ESR 1 – Online identification of vessel dynamics in confined inland waterways

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


November 11, 2021


ESR 1 – Online identification of vessel dynamics in confined inland


(ref. BAP-2021-736)

Last modification : Monday, October 11, 2021

The Robotics research at KU Leuven Department of Mechanical Engineering has pioneered robotics research in Europe since the mid-1970s. It has covered virtually all aspects of sensor-based robotics, from the high-level task specification down to low-level sensor-based control, and applied the research results in a variety of industrial applications. In the last decade the group shifted its attention towards advanced industrial robot assistants, and active sensing. The Intelligent Mobile Platform (IMP) group is a multi-disciplinary and multi-campus research group originating from the robotics research with a focus on the intelligent design and control of the mobile platforms of the future with a special focus on waterway transport applications. The industrial relevance of the department's research activities is witnessed by its many spin-off companies and its tradition of close industry collaboration in numerous European, national, and bilateral projects.

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  • Develop an on- and offline algorithm to estimate states and parameters of the hydrodynamic model of an inland barge
  • Design and implement a sensor setup that is able to identify the hydrodynamic model
  • Expected Results:

  • Defining parameterized hydrodynamic models
  • Off-line algorithms for hydrodynamic parameter estimation
  • On-line parameter and state estimation algorithms suited for real-time motion prediction.
  • Profile

    Successful candidates:

  • hold a master's in engineering science, computer science or engineering technology or any other comparable study with a solid mathematical background,
  • have a profound interest in uncertainty quantification, machine learning and numerical simulation,
  • have a working experience with coding in Matlab/Python/…,
  • like to work in a multidisciplinary team of international researchers,
  • have a creative and problem-solving mindset and take initiative to conduct cutting-edge research in close collaboration with industry,
  • are fluent in English (both spoken and written) or willing to improve their language skills.
  • Any prior experience in the application or development of additive manufacturing or CT metrology techniques is considered a strong plus.

    Further,due to eligibility criteria of the European Commission, following rules have to be taken into account:

  • The candidate must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (studies etc.) in Belgium for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, compulsory national services (such as mandatory military service) and procedures for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not counted.
  • The ESR (early stage researcher) shall at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. The date is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.
  • Offer

    KU Leuven is among the top universities in Europe (ranked 48th in general and 45th in engineering according to Times Higher Education world university ranking) and the research performed in the Manufacturing Metrology group is renown in the scientific community (with 3 fellows of CIRP - International Academy for Production Engineering).

    We offer:

  • the opportunity to be part of a Marie Curie International Training Network including key CT players in Europe
  • a research position in an enticing research environment at the cross-roads of numerical simulation, applied mathematics, mechanical engineering and computational mechanics in close contact with key industrial partners,
  • an attractive salary package, complemented with multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.),
  • a thorough scientific education,
  • the opportunity to participate at international conferences and the possibility to spend a research stay at one of our international contacts,
  • to work towards obtaining a PhD degree from a highly-ranked university and become a well-trained, independent researcher.
  • We encourage everyone to apply for the position. Since KU Leuven carries out an equal opportunity and diversity policy, we strive for full gender balance in the project


    For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Peter Slaets, tel.: +32 16 32 27 73, mail: or Mr. Paolo Pilozzi, tel.: +3216324218, mail:

    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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