PhD Position in Acoustics Based Material Property Characterization KU Leuven, Kortrijk Physics Belgium


KU Leuven-Kulak is a daughter branch of the main university of KU Leuven and is located in Kortrijk, the western part of Belgium. Kulak offers high quality Bachelor education (no masters) and interdisciplinary research facilities.Currently, the Physics team at Kulak consists of 2 full-time staff members, 3 post-Docs and 7 PhD students. The Wave Propagation and Signal Processing (WPSP) research team has a strong focus on ultrasound based non-destructive testing for the characterisation of materials and for defect detection.For a project in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Ghent, we are looking for a PhD student to conduct simulations and experimental analysis of acoustics based Nondestructive Testing (NDT) techniques for the characterisation of layered wood panels.


Lightweight wooden panels such as Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) offer an alternative to concrete or masonry walls, as they present an economical solution with several advantages such as easy and fast assembly and good fire resistance. On the downside, the compilation of individual beams in different directions gives rise to CLT panels with an increased complexity in mechanical properties, whereas the low mass results in poor acoustical isolation between rooms. Moreover, due to the combination of wood and glue, the visco-elastic parameters of these panels are very hard to model, which makes the design of constructions with proper characteristics, both structural and acoustical, a difficult matter.


The goal of this project is to develop an Acoustic Polar Scan (APS) method that can be employed for the anisotropic mechanical parameter inversion and acoustical isolation characterization of lightweight wood panels in construction engineering. The APS design and methodology involves a motorized multiple angle of incidence plane wave excitation using a parametric antenna, data acquisition using laser Doppler vibrometry, and a multi-parameter visco-elastic tensor inversion analysis of the data. Experiments on real CLT construction elements will be conducted to validate and optimize the methodology and the set-up. The ultimate goal is to reach a deep theoretical understanding of the mechanical and dynamical behavior of CLT that would permit the optimization of desired design properties.



Master in Sciences or Engineering, with a profound interest in the field of applied physics
Background in acoustics is a plus
Interest in experiments, modelling and numerical simulations of real physical phenomena
Team player
Independent researcher
Curiosity driven
Determined to go for a Doctorate Degree
Fluent English, Dutch is a plus



We can offer funding for a 4 years doctoral program in an interdisciplinary research environment. Initial appointment will be for 12 months, extendable to 4 years following an evaluation.



For more information please contact Prof. dr. Koen Van Den Abeele, tel.: +32 56 24 62 56, mail: or Mr. Steven Delrue, tel.: +32 56 24 60 87, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than August 20, 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

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


All Jobs







Uni Anu

Uni Copenhagen

Uni Gothenburg

Uni Kuwait

Uni Laval

Uni Nus Singapore

Uni Seoul

Uni Simon Fraser

Uni Tcd

Uni Tokio

Uni Unsw