Research Professor in Engineering of Soft Matter with Bio Polymers
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Chemical Engineering


You develop a fundamental, interdisciplinary and internationally oriented research programme concerning the rheology and structure development in Soft Matter containing (bio)polymers, with a scientific output that matches the highest international standards.You have a broad knowledge in the field of chemical engineering in general and specific knowledge concerning the rheology of liquids, techniques for structural analysis and the physico-chemistry of materials in particular. Expertise with (bio)polymeric materials such as polymeric melts or solutions, blends, emulsions, gels … is a plus. These materials display a wide range of length- and time-scales that can be optimized for the development of sustainable products. Mechanical properties in the semi-liquid state are core in this vacancy as they are crucial for the processing of these materials towards end products. The research program is also relevant for the development and optimisation of industrial processing operations. The up-to-date infrastructure of the division SMaRT is at the disposal of the candidate for his/her research.You build a research group at an internationally competitive level and collaborate with research groups at KU Leuven with interest in chemical engineering, chemistry and/or materials. You publish at the highest scientific level, acquire competitive resources for research, set up international collaborations around your research programme and supervise PhDs at an international level.

You ensure high-quality education, in particular in educational programmes at the bachelor and master level in chemical engineering, where the potential of teaching core courses in the chemical engineering curriculum is combined with teaching that is closely related to the specific research expertise, with a clear commitment for the quality of the program as a whole. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the faculty/university through the supervision of master theses and as a promoter of PhD students.You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven's vision on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalisation offered by the faculty and the university.Your teaching task is determined in consultation and based on your specific profile. The scope of this is limited in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the faculty pays a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.

Besides the research and the teaching assignment, you are expected to provide scientific, social and internal services to the community, at the level of the department and beyond, in function of the... For more information see


We are offering full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly inter- and multidisciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard, we actively work together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor.KU Leuven is committed to creating a diverse environment and is therefore an equal opportunity employer. It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at the university to submit their applications.KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, … To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%.


Eligibility criteria


You have a PhD in (engineering) sciences, preferably chemical engineering or equivalent. You have a strong research profile in the field of interest. The quality of your research is proven by publications in prominent international journals. International research experience is an important advantage.If you have recently been admitted to the degree of doctor, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with academic references.You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership capacities within a university context.Proficiency in English is required. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings. courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch, respectively English, to the required standard.


Selection process

For more information please contact  Prof. dr. ir. Paula Moldenaers, academic contact person and departmental chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering (mail:, tel.: +32 16 32 23 59).For more information on guidelines and application procedure please contact Mrs. Kristin Vermeylen ( , tel. +32 16 32 09 07) or Mrs. Christelle Maeyaert ( , tel. +32 16 31 41 94). 


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