PhD Position on Thermal Monitoring and Characterisation of the FDM Process University of Leuven, Technology cluster Mechanic Industrial Engineering Techniques Belgium




Last modified: 1/12/2017

The Advanced Manufacturing research laboratory at the Campus De Nayer is part of the Mechanical Engineering technology cluster ( and the Faculty of Engineering Technology at the KU Leuven. The Mechanical Engineering technology cluster groups research and service-to-society in the field of Mechanical Engineering at the different engineering Technology Campuses of KU Leuven. Its activities are typically application-driven or application-oriented, and can rely on: a strong network with the industrial and services sector; presence at 6 intensively cooperating campuses spread across Flanders; and close collaboration with other disciplines as well as with more fundamentally oriented research partners, leading to a continuous interaction between fundamental and applied research activities. The Advanced Manufacturing research laboratory, which is led by Dr. Eleonora Ferraris, has 4 PhD students and several master students. The group researches topics ranging from advanced machining of ceramics to additive manufacturing (3D printing) for mechatronic and biomedical applications. The laboratory has several own-built and commercial 3D printing systems, with a main focus on jet- and extrusion-based techniques, that will be used in this project.The Additive Manufacturing research group at campus Arenberg (Leuven) has been active since 1990 in the domain of additive manufacturing of polymers, metals and ceramics and is recognized as a pioneer in this area. The group is headed by Prof. Jean-Pierre Kruth together with his future successors Prof. Brecht Van Hooreweder and Prof. Shoufeng Yang. These three professors are complemented by an IOF (Industrial Research Fund) manager, 3 post−docs, 9 PhD researchers and 2 technicians. The group has a large number of commercial AM machines and is expert in building and improving its own equipment (e.g. in-house developed SLM tool with own monitoring and heating system). During the last 27 years, the AM group has set up one of the best equipped academic AM labs in Europe which is complemented by a unique durability lab tailored for testing AM samples, parts and lattice structures. One of the strengths of the KU Leuven AM group is the close collaboration between researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering with the Chemical Engineering Department (CIT), and the Material Science Department (MTM). This is definitely an important factor for past successes and it gives a promising outlook for future developments.In addition, this project is part of an industrial cooperation, and the candidate is expected to may collaborate strictly with the companies of the consortium.



The project aims at the fundamental study of the Fusion Deposition Modeling (FDM) process. The recent years, additive manufacturing has received increasing attention from the scientific and public community. FDM especially is the most known technology for the realization of visual prototypes, hobby components and small series of functional polymer products. New trends, especially in the printing of new polymers and exotic materials for constructions and furniture are also seen. In this project, together with key researcher and industrial partners, in the field of polymer processing, additive manufacturing, characterization and construction, new FDM filaments will firstly developed along with printing test and sample characterization for the fundamental understanding between material, process and product performance towards the final realization of large FDM printed components for construction purposes. In the frame of the specific task, the candidate will focus on the characterization of filaments and printed samples, realized with varying parameters. During the FDM process particular attention will be given to the effect of temperature and this value will be monitored timely and spatially during manufacturing. To realize the goals, the candidate will be responsible for set-up development and construction, and the experimental campaigns.


Additional responsibilities include:

·       Collaboration on related research activities within the groups

·       Guidance of master students on related projects

·       Limited teaching tasks within the department

·       Presentation of results during regular group meetings and in meetings with project partners

·       Writing of scientific papers and presenting at scientific conferences, of results obtained during the project



We are looking for an enthusiastic, creative and independent Ph.D. student researcher (4 year position) with: 

·       a master's degree in mechanical engineering, materials engineering, engineering technology, or a related domain

·       good communication skills (oral and written) in English

·       a collaborative attitude and interest in multidisciplinary research

·       experience with additive manufacturing/3D printing and/or mechanical characterization and/or polymer processing

We will also consider candidates at the postdoctoral level for a 3 year position who meets the above criteria and further has a PhD in mechanical engineering, materials engineering, engineering technology, or a related domain and specific expertise in the field of additive manufacturing/3D printing and mechanical characterization.


Applicants should use the online application tool to submit:

·       an academic CV

·       transcripts of bachelor and masters degrees

·       a short statement of research interests and career goals

·       at least two references with their full names and contact information. 

If selected, the applicant will be asked to provide proof of English language proficiency test results if the candidate's mother tongue is other than Dutch or English.  Knowledge of Dutch is a plus.



The successful candidate will receive:


  • A full-time researcher position at an internationally renowned research university.
  • A competitive salary according to the relevant university salary scales.
  • The opportunity to attend international conferences and participate in other training courses and teaching activities.
  • The opportunity to collaborate with top research groups nationally and internationally, and to explore new research scenarios.
  • The opportunity to develop an extended industrial network.
  • The opportunity to develop teaching skills and people management skills.
  • The opportunity to work closely for the coordination of laboratories.



For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Eleonora Ferraris, tel.: +32 16 37 28 84, mail: or Prof. dr. Brecht Van Hooreweder, tel.: +32 16 37 26 88, mail: The position will be filled in as soon as the right candidate will be identified. So if you have interest, please apply immediately!
You can apply for this job no later than February 01, 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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