Ph.D. position in Sensing Coatings for Smart Shoe Insoles

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


August 30, 2022


Ph.D. position in Sensing Coatings for Smart Shoe Insoles

(ref. BAP-2022-573)

Last modification : Wednesday, July 27, 2022

KU Leuven is a multi-campus research institute dedicated to offer high quality educational programs and to deliver high-impact research in relevant domains. The research group M-Group (Mechatronics Group) of KU Leuven, and more specifically the lab Networked Embedded Systems, performs research on sensors and embedded devices as well as the networks between them. The research group consists of 5 professors and 20 post-docs, business developers, research assistants or Ph.D. students and is based at the modern Bruges Campus. The M-Group has an extensive collaboration with the iR research group of prof. Vandeginste of the New Materials cluster and MusculoSceletal Revalidation group of the Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, all hosted at the Bruges Campus.

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For diabetic patients, special care needs to be given to the extremities in the body such as the foot. Therefore, shoe insoles are carefully designed to minimize the pressures on the foot during daily activities. However, there is still a need for a reactive patient-targeted approach. In this Ph.D. project, the candidate will investigate new technologies for sensing coatings with the application in shoe insoles to design flexible electronics to sense and detect excess local pressures. The design and development of sensing coatings and electronics is very challenging as pressures need to be measured with high sensitivity at a high load.

Graphene-based coatings have shown a lot of promise in achieving this. The candidate will therefore investigate how graphene and various carbon materials (e.g. Carbon Nano Tubes, carbon black,…) can be applied in coatings in shoe insoles to meet the sensing requirements. Furthermore, the candidate will need to design energy-efficient and accurate electronics and software to detect these pressures.

The candidate will work in the context of the ORTEADA project and will join a multidisciplinary team of professors with various backgrounds and 2 other Ph.D. students. The candidate will collaborate with Ph.D. candidates on the topic of Material Sciences and Rehabilitation of the diabetic foot.

Successful completion of the research project will result in a number of scientific international journal papers and a PhD at the Faculty of Engineering Technology (KU Leuven). Results from the research will be published in international scientific journals, and will be presented at conferences and to interested companies and potential users. The new technologies has large potential for valorization, such as licensing, patenting and even a spin-off company,


For this vacancy, we are looking for a top-of-the-class enthusiastic Ph.D. candidate who will work on this topic and who shows a dynamic and proactive attitude towards research and industry. The candidate has excellent skills in electronics and sensor technology and has an affinity or willingness to learn to work in a chemistry lab.

The candidate

  • has a Master's Degree in Engineering, preferably Computer Science, Electronics, Mechatronics, Material Science, or Chemical Engineering.
  • is ranked within the top 10% of your class.
  • has a large interest in high-end electronics design and sensor technology (mechatronics and chemical engineering) for Biomedical Applications.
  • has strong communication skills and is willing to present his/her research results at top national and international conferences. Dissemination of research results on social media is a plus.
  • Has excellent writing skills to report research results in high-quality high-impact journals
  • Is willing to write a Ph.D. fellowship proposal for national funding
  • Is flexible, has good time management skills, and can work independently with good interaction with the ORTEADA team and under the supervision of the supervisory team.
  • Has a creative, critical, analytical, and innovative mindset.
  • Is very fluent in English both spoken and written
  • Has a critical mindset and can analyze research results in a comprehensive way
  • Experience as a research assistant or industrial expertise is a plus
  • Being a first author or co-author in internationally peer-reviewed publications is a plus
  • Offer
  • You will be working on a state-of-the-art topic on a brand new campus at Bruges with state-of-the-art laboratories
  • A young and dynamic work environment where human contacts and professionalism are very important.
  • Contacts with industrial partners and consultancy companies in the sector.
  • We offer a full-time position for 1 year which can be prolonged to four years upon positive evaluation.
  • Other working conditions can be found at https: // www.
  • Interested?

    For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Hans Hallez, tel.: +32 50 66 48 38, mail: or Prof. dr. Veerle Vandeginste, tel.: +32 50 66 49 32, mail:

    Please provide

    - a motivation letter and CV with at least 2 contacts who can be contacted

    - a pdf version of your Master thesis

    - Transcripts (overview of study results) of your Bachelor's and Master's studies. Please, provide preliminary results if the Master's degree is not completed yet.

    - if possible, a certificate of an English language test (IELTS or TOEFL)

    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