PhD Position in “Process Signature of Micro-EDM Process" KU Leuven, Leuven Production Engineering, Machine Design and Automation (PMA) Section Belgium




For more than 30 years, the Mechanical Engineering Department of KU Leuven has been active as a research institute in the domain of precision and micro-manufacturing processes, hybrid-manufacturing for advanced materials, production metrology & quality control, additive manufacturing, and so forth. In addition to these research areas, KU LEUVEN is also active in the domains of production engineering, CAD/CAM, virtual sensing, flexible automation, robotics and control.



  • Micro-EDM drilling/milling is a derivative of themacro electrical-discharge machining (EDM) process. In this process usually a rodelectrode with small diameter, sometimes down to a few microns, is utilized to eitherproduce holes or (3D) cavities by removing material in a layer-by-layer modewhich is similar to the normal mechanical milling process. Thanks to thefundamentals of its non-contact processing, the micro-EDM process can beapplied to produce very small features on conductive materials. Typicalapplications are mould inserts for micro injection molding and small holes forengine nozzle and cooling holes for turbine blades.


KU Leuven has recently successfully secured ECfunding for further investigation on the micro-EDM process formicro-structuring, within the framework of a H2020 FoF project “ProSurf - HighPrecision Process Chains for the Mass Production of Functional StructuredSurfaces” ( KU Leuven is going to team up with a leading industrial partner in powder micro injectionmolding to improve the process performanceby adding micro-structures on themould inserts. The project within the context will be focusing on in depth research on the fundamentals in material removal mechanism in micro-EDM through process monitoring. Design of experiments approach will be implemented in thisresearch to identify the processsignature and a digital twin of the micro-EDM process is expectedto be developed using the acquired process information. Some of theexpectations of this research are:


1.   An accuratequantitative estimation of the material removal micro-EDM process based on process monitoring,

2.   A digital-twin framework of the micro-EDM process for real-time/in-processdemonstration of machining process and its verification with intermit processdata, and

3.   Successfulrealization of the industrial demonstrator.


The successfulapplicant to this job vacancy is also expected to register as a PhDstudent at KU Leuven.



·       Diploma: Master's degreeor comparable qualification in Engineering Science (preferably in Computerscience, Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics, Electronic engineering oradjacent fields).

·       A stronginterest for multidisciplinary research is required.

·       A solidbackground/knowledge in computer vision is strongly recommended.

·       Experience inelectronics, data analysis and programming (LabView, Matlab) will be consideredas an advantage.

·       Goodknowledge of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential. TOEFLscore at least 79 (IBT) or IELTS-score of 6.5. Knowledge of Italian is a plus.



·       Full-time employmentfor 3 years with possibility of extension tillthe completion of the PhDproject.

·       Attractive monthly salary/scholarshipaccording to the EU and Belgian regulations.

·       The opportunity to performexperimental research in an international and interdisciplinary researchenvironment.

·       The opportunity to activelyparticipate in the international collaboration between research groups Europe.

·       The opportunity to gain didacticalexperience by being involved in teaching duties for a limited amount of time(e.g., guiding Bachelor and Master students with theirexperiments and research).



For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Dominiek Reynaerts, tel.: +32 16 32 26 40, mail: or Mr. Jun Qian, tel.: +32 16 32 25 24, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than June 30, 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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