PhD Position in Hybrid-ECM (Electro-Chemical Machining) Technology
Catholic University of Leuven, Department of Mechanical Engineering

You will be part of the subtractive machining research team of the Manufacturing Processes and Systems (MaPS) group at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of KU Leuven. The MaPS consists of 10 professors, with research interests ranging from subtractive manufacturing technologies (milling, turning, grinding, EDM, ECM, laser texturing, hybrid-processes etc. and related CAD/CAM activities), 3D printing technologies (both powder bed based and nozzle based techniques), sheet metals (metal forming and laser cutting etc.), life-cycle engineering, welding techniques and metrology technologies (conventional CMM, computer tomography, optical measurement etc.). There are 5 CIRP fellows in this research group and 1 associated CIRP member. This research group has created several spin-off companies (Materialise, 3D Systems | Layerwise, Nikon, LAB Motions etc.) that are active in manufacturing processes and systems. This research group has also participated in a large number of national and international (including EU) projects. More information is available through the link below.


The selected candidate will be involved in research onHybrid-ECM technologies (ECM – Electro Chemical Machining), where ECM is combined with other technologies such as EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining) or mechanical cutting.. Through comprehensive theoretical and experimental studies,quantitative models, optimization algorithms and process technology will be developed to improve process performance, in terms of machining speed andsurface integrity. Industrial  validations will be carried out, both economical and ecological aspects will be considered to provide more sustainable ECM strategies for high-performance alloys.


For this vacancy, the selected candidate will focus on the experimental research and technology development of novel ECM technologies. This includes a thorough review on the state-of-the-arts in the relevant research domain (with the support from an industrial partner), proof-of-concept investigation on a prototype equipment, modelling and DoE experiments on process principle and process optimization, verification on industrial demonstrators.



A successful candidate should have obtained a MSc degree in engineering related to manufacturing technologies. Some additional expectations include:

·        A strong interestfor multi-disciplinary research is required.

·        A solid background in manufacturing is strongly recommended.

·        Experience in machining technologies, electronics, data analysis and programming (LabView, Matlab) will be considered as an advantage.

·        Good knowledge ofthe English language, both spoken and written, is essential. TOEFL score atleast 79 (IBT) or IELTS-score of 6.5.

·        Strong commitment, open-minded, ability to work in a team, and eager for international mobility.



The successful candidate will receive:

●   a fully funded doctoral scholarship for one year, renewable up to four years (till the completion of PhD thesis)

●    multiple benefits (health insurance, access touniversity infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)

●    the opportunity to participate in research collaborations and international conferences



Pleaseuse the online application tool to submit your application and include:

(i)           an academic CVwith photo,

(ii)          a pdf of your diplomas and transcript of course work and grades,

(iii)         statement of research interests and career goals (max. 2 pages),

(iv)         sample of technical writing (publication or thesis),

(v)          contact details of at least two referees.


NOTE: the position might be filled in earlier if an excellent candidate is found. 

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Bert Lauwers, tel.: +32 16 32 24 85, mail: or Mr. Jun Qian, tel.: +32 16 32 25 24, mail:
You can apply for this job no later than December 31, 2019 via the
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
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: December 31, 2019
  • Tags: Industriële Ingenieurswetenschappen
  • Download: file

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