PhD position in Functional Materials
Last modification : Tuesday, August 30, 2022
KU Leuven is one of the top 50 universities in the world, and has been ranked
as the most innovative university in Europe, and 7th in the world (Reuters,
2019). The New Materials group at Campus Bruges belongs to the Department of
Materials Engineering, and has a strong focus on polymer materials. The group
has two subgroups, Propolis concentrates mainly on polymer processing, whereas
the Interfacial and Surface Engineering Research group (iR group) focuses on
the development of novel and advanced (polymer) materials through
modification of material interfaces for several application domains (health,
energy, transport). The project is a collaboration between the New Materials
group (iR subgroup), the M group (mechatronics, sensors) and the Faculty
of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, all hosted on Campus Bruges.
Functional materials have gained a lot of interest over the last years. In
contrast to conventional materials, auxetic materials have a negative Poisson
ratio, which means they get narrower in all directions when they are subjected
to compression. Auxetic materials are of interest because of their mechanical
properties such as shear resistance and energy absorption. Auxetic foams have
been produced; however, their micro-scale structure is hard to control and
they do not have good repeat cell patterns. Moreover, bio-inspired shape
memory polymers see interesting developments. Such polymers may respond
autonomously to an external stimulus such as heat, light or chemical
conditions. For example, electro-active polymers known as artificial muscles
show a mechanical response or shape change upon an electrical stimulation.
The goal of the PhD project is to develop a reversible shape-adaptable
material that may have many applications. The research will involve new
material synthesis with a focus on electro-active shape memory polymers,
auxetic materials and 3D printing techniques. Moreover, physical and chemical
characterization methods and material testing techniques will be used.
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.
We are looking for a first-class, motivated, hard-working PhD candidate, who
will conduct innovative research in the field of materials engineering. The
ideal candidate has excellent chemical and engineering laboratory skills, and
a strong interest in functional polymer materials.
Achieved a European master degree in engineering technology, materials
engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry or equivalent within the last
two year and ranks within the top 10% of his/her class
Has a strong interest and knowledge in the field of functional polymer
material synthesis, material characterization, and physical chemistry of
Has strong communication skills and is willing to present their research
results at national and international conferences, and on social media, as
well as writing research papers for publication in international peer-
Is willing to help in teaching activities and co-supervision of
Is willing to write a PhD fellowship proposal
Is flexible, has good time management skills and self-discipline, can work
independently as well as in a team
Has a creative, critical,analytical and innovative mindset
Is very fluent in English both spoken and written
Having authored or co-authored peer-reviewed publications is a plus
Speaking Dutch is a plus
The successful candidate will be hired as a PhD researcher. We offer a full-
time one year contract which can be prolonged to four years upon positive
evaluation. Your main working place is the Brugge campus.
The KU Leuven pursues a policy of equal opportunity and diversity.
Start date: as soon as possible
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Veerle Vandeginste, tel.: +32 50
66 49 32, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. dr. ir. Hans Hallez,
tel.: +32 50 66 48 38, mail: email@example.com.
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