PhD Position on the Prediction and Optimization of Impact Sound Insulation KU PhD Position on the Prediction and Optimization of Impact Sound Insulation Belgium



A four-year research position is available in the Structural Mechanics Section, Faculty of Engineering Science, at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) under the supervision of Prof. Edwin Reynders. The holder of the post will be employed as a member of staff (Research Assistantship) and at the same time also hold student status (PhD Studentship). The position is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the prestigious Horizon 2020 – Excellent Science program and it forms an essential part of the ERC project VirBAcous.



The aim of the VirBAcous project is to solve major issues in the development of high-fidelity numerical modeling tools for predicting the sound insulation of complex building systems, so as to resolve the need for extensive prototype testing and to enable numerical design optimization. This PhD forms a vital part of the ERC project. Direct mechanical excitation of building components due to e.g. walking people, falling objects, appliances and equipment is a major source of noise discomfort at homes and offices worldwide. The aim of this PhD is to develop an efficient yet sufficiently accurate numerical method for predicting the generation and transmission of impact sound, and for optimizing the impact sound insulation of building systems. This is challenging because the frequency range that needs to be covered is very wide, multiple transmission paths are involved, uncertainties can have a large effect, and impacting objects may interact with the impacted structure in a complex way. The developments can start from a hybrid displacement-energy-based numerical framework that has already proven very successful for other purposes, such as the prediction and optimization of airborne sound insulation.



Applicants must have 

  • a MSc degree (or equivalent) with excellent grades and in a relevant discipline such as mechanical engineering, civil engineering, aerospace engineering or applied mathematics;
  • a solid background and keen interest in at least two of the following topics: structural dynamics and vibration, engineering acoustics and numerical modeling; 
  • strong communication, programming, and problem solving skills;
  • proficiency in English; and 
  • the ability to meet the admissions entrance requirements of the KU Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School and to successfully complete the PhD project within 4 years.

The successful applicant is expected to take up the position no later than 1 September 2019.



We offer a collaborative and internationally oriented research environment at one of the leading research groups in building acoustics worldwide. The successful candidate will be encouraged to present his/her research at international conferences and he/she can fully benefit from our strong international reputation and research network.



 Applications should include

  • a motivation letter (max. 2 pages) describing why the applicant is interested in this particular position and how the position fits into his or her career plans;
  • a full cv showing how the applicant’s profile fits the requirements; 
  • a complete transcript of records to date;
  • a proof of proficiency in English or Dutch (e.g., native speaker, Toefl or IELTS test results, etc.);
  • an electronic copy of the MSc thesis (if already available).


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Edwin Reynders at


You can apply for this job no later than February 25, 2019 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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