PhD Position in Structural Dynamics and Durability in Cooperation with Hilti University of Leuven, Department of Production Techniques, Machine Building and Automation Belgium




Last modified: 8/12/2017

The KU Leuven Noise and Vibration Research Group is headed by Prof. Wim Desmet ( and currently counts 8 permanent staff members, 16 senior post-doc and 55 PhD researchers. The group has a longstanding history and internationally highly recognized expertise in the fields of engineering dynamics of (mecha(tro)nic) systems, vibro-acoustic modelling, simulation, analysis and testing, identification and control of (non-)linear systems, and lightweight structure design and analysis. The Noise and Vibration research group is also recognized for its yearly Acoustics (ISAAC) and Modal Analysis (ISMA) courses and for organizing the biennial ISMA Noise and Vibration Engineering Conference ( develops and produces products, systems, software and services that feature leading-edge technology and provide the construction and energy sectors with outstanding added value. Hilti stands for innovation, quality and direct customer relationships. Some two-thirds of Hilti’s more than 24,000 worldwide employees work directly on behalf of customers in Hilti sales organizations and technical service units in more than 120 countries.

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The scope of the PhD project lies in the field of structural dynamics and durability. The goal is to increase the capability for virtual life time prediction, whereby the focus lies on load identification. In many cases, the loads for a lifetime calculation cannot be measured directly, but rather require a model based identification, e.g. by model based virtual sensing. Consequentially, the work plan of the project contains both numerical simulation activities as well as real-life experiments. To increase the confidence in the numerical models, it might be necessary to do successive verification analyses, involving supplementary tests like modal analysis as well as static and operational measurements. In this context, another goal of the project is to improve approaches to correlate simulation results with experimental data.




The PhD project is focused on structural dynamics and durability assessment, with a broad scope in these fields (FEM and multi bodysimulation, modal analysis, measurement techniques, digital signal processing, state estimation). An ideal candidate has an M.Sc. in engineering and is specialized in solid mechanics, dynamics or computational engineering.

  • We are looking for a candidate who enjoys working in the field of structural dynamics and durability, who is curious and hasthe courage to try out new things.
  • Knowledge of numerical modelling, measurement technology and data-acquisition (preferable with LMS Test.Lab), programming languages and signal processing is a strong advantage.
  • Candidates get the opportunity to perform this work as part of a KU Leuven PhD study in cooperation with HILTI (Kaufering, Germany). Main host will be the KU Leuven Mechanical Engineering Department (Leuven, Belgium). Candidates should be willing to travel and spend several weeks per year in Kaufering, Germany.
  • All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English. Due to the cooperation with Hilti, knowledge of German is advantageous, but not necessary.
  • All members of the network are equal opportunity employers, both female and male candidates are invited to apply.
  • The applicant may be of any nationality.



KU Leuven in cooperation with Hilti offers to the selected candidate a stimulating and ambitious research environment [1]which is embedded in the DNA of the region of Leuven, a premier destination for Health, High-Tech and Creativity [2] and considered an extremely nice place to live and work.


To assist Fellows in matters of work permits, visas, living, mobility, housing,… , KU Leuven has the International Admissions Office (an Official Marie Curie mobility centre recognized by the Flemish government) with dedicated Officers which offers new colleagues HR, Recruitment and Career Management support [3].







For more information please contact Mr. Bert Pluymers, tel.: +32 16 32 25 29, mail: or Mr. Frank Naets, tel.: +32 16 37 26 93, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than February 28, 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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