ERC-Sponsored PhD in Probabilistic Structural Dynamics

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Faculty of Engineering Science

A fully-funded 4 year research position is available in the Structural Mechanics Section, Faculty of Engineering Science, at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) under the supervision of Prof. Edwin Reynders. As most PhD candidates at KU Leuven, the holder of the post will be employed as a member of staff (research assistantship) and at the same time also hold student status (PhD studentship). The position relates to the ERC project VirBAcous, which is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon 2020 – Excellent Science program.

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We are looking for an outstanding candidate who is interested in working with us on the development of cutting-edge numerical simulation tools for noise and vibration transmission prediction. These tools aim at a paradigm shift, where the vibro-acoustic development of building systems is no longer based on extensive prototype testing, which is costly, time consuming, and leading to suboptimal designs, but on high-fidelity numerical modeling. The envisaged developments are very challenging because the frequency range that needs to be covered is very wide, multiple and complex vibration transmission paths are involved, uncertainties can have a large effect, and vibro-acoustic requirements often conflict with other design requirements. Within the large-scale ERC research project VirBAcous, the successful applicant will concentrate on quantifying uncertainties of the predicted vibro-acoustic response that are related to dynamic loading (e.g. impact), damping mechanisms, and structural connection details, and on reducing such uncertainties by accounting for experimental information.

Applicants should have 
(1) a MSc degree (or equivalent) with excellent grades and in a relevant discipline such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, aerospace engineering or applied mathematics, by July 2018; 
(2) a solid background and keen interest in at least two of the following topics: finite element analysis, structural dynamics and vibration, and probability theory; 
(3) strong communication, programming, and problem solving skills and proficiency in English; 
(4) the ability to meet the admissions entrance requirements of the KU Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School and to successfully complete the PhD project within 4 years.

We offer a collaborative and internationally oriented research environment at one of the leading engineering faculties worldwide. The successful candidate will be supervised by an ERC Starting Grant holder. He or she will have access to the fully equipped KU Leuven Structural Mechanics Laboratory, the KU Leuven Acoustics Laboratory, and to extensive computational resources.The successful candidate will also be encouraged to present his or her work at international conferences and he or she can benefit from our strong international research network. We are located centrally in Europe in a scenic setting, next to the Arenberg Castle at the outskirts of Leuven. The position is full time with a maximum duration of four years. The successful candidate is expected to take up the position before 24 September 2018.

Applications must include (1) a motivation letter (max. 2 pages) describing why the applicant is interested in this particular position and how the position fits into his or her career plans; (2) a full cv showing how the applicant’s profile fits the requirements; (3) a complete transcript of records to date; (4) a proof of proficiency in English or Dutch; (5) an electronic copy of the MSc thesis or research project report (if already available). For more information please contact Prof. Edwin Reynders (email:

You can apply for this job no later than May 13, 2018 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed