English version

Development of acoustic resonant metamaterials for building applications

(Ref. BAP-2017-75)

Tewerkstelling : Voltijds
Duur : Bepaalde duur
Plaats : Leuven
Solliciteren tot en met : 30/03/2017
Acoutect is a H2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie ETN project, running from January 2017 until December 2020. Acoutect marries “Acoustics” and “Architect” and responds to the important role that Acousticians have in the design of modern buildings. The overarching aim of Acoutect is to set up a PhD training network on building acoustics and react to the acoustic challenges stemming from modern building concepts to deliver sustainable indoor environments with respect to health and well-being.

Development of acoustic resonant metamaterials for building applications

The KU Leuven Noise and Vibration Research Group which currently counts 90 researchers and is headed by Prof. Wim Desmet (https://www.kuleuven.be/wieiswie/en/person/00011973), is part of the Mechanical Engineering Department, a vibrant environment of more than 300 researchers (www.mech.kuleuven.be). Research in noise and vibration was initiated in the late sixties, with initial efforts focussed on the development of experimental methods, with the birth of modal analysis and applications in the automotive and aeronautics sectors. The eighties are marked with the introduction of numerical techniques (finite elements and boundary elements) and in the nineties, the scope further widened with the development of active control strategies. During the last decade, the group’s expertise in dynamic analysis was further exploited in the context of model based system engineering of smart products and their manufacturing. Today, noise and vibration issues remain a major challenge, not only in the development of high-tech products, processes and systems, but also for the health of people and the well-being of society, for sustainable environment and energy supply, and for safe and comfortable mobility. As such, the KU Leuven research group is continuously challenged to excel and innovate helping to build tomorrow’s society.

Industrial relevance and advanced applications have always been major drivers in our strategy. LMS International, now Siemens Industry Software NV (SISW), was established in 1979 as one of the first spin-off companies of KU Leuven and is now a global leader in dynamic testing and mechatronic simulation. Testimony to this industrial relevance also is the long list research projects, ranging from fundamental research over applied research to prototyping and demonstration projects: https://www.mech.kuleuven.be/en/pma/research/mod/projects/projects

Another important element in the group’s strategy is dissemination. Apart from publishing in relevant international peer reviewed journals and at scientific and industrial conferences (see https://lirias.kuleuven.be/cv?u=U0011973 for a list of publications), since 1975 the research group organises the yearly ISMA and ISAAC courses and the biennial ISMA conference on Noise & Vibration engineering, attracting more than 600 participants from industry and academia, and with full conference proceedings listed on the ISI Thompson list: www.isma-isaac.be


The proposed ESR PhD track fits in the acoutect project (http://www.acoutect.eu/) and targets the development of an innovative noise control concept for building applications, which complies with the challenging and apparently conflicting requirements of good noise and vibration behaviour, and low mass and compact volume.

The concept is based on the patented concept of KU Leuven acoustic resonant metamaterials [1],[2]. These are innovative material systems that can be manufactured from conventional materials but exhibit some targeted performance that exceeds that of conventional materials. Vibro-acoustic metamaterials come to the fore as possible candidates for lightweight material systems with superior noise and vibration insulation, be it at least in some targeted and tuneable frequency ranges, referred to as stop bands.

The proposed PhD track will develop metamaterial structures specifically for building acoustics applications such as roof and wall panels with low mass and high sound insulation. The proposed PhD track will also be involved in the Open Plan Spaced demonstrator and investigate the potential in such setting of open space offices to improve acoustic comfort.


[1] www.mech.kuleuven.be/en/research/mod/research/metamaterials

[2] www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUi3qK32mf0


Required educational level:
Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent     
Required languages:

English: Excellent

All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English. The R&D is highly multidisciplinary. An ideal candidate has an M.Sc. in engineering (e.g. (vibro-)acoustics, solid-mechanics, building physics, physics).

  • Knowledge of numerical modelling. programming languages and signal processing is a strong advantage.
  • Candidates get the opportunity to perform this work as part of a PhD study.
  • All members of the network are equal opportunity employers, both female and male candidates are invited to apply.


KU Leuven offers to the selected candidate a stimulating and ambitious research environment[1] which is embedded in the DNA of the region of Leuven, a premier destination for Health, High-Tech and Creativity[2] and considered an extremely nice place to live and work.

To assist Fellows in matters of work permits, visas, living, mobility, housing,… , KU Leuven has the International Admissions Office (an Official Marie Curie mobility centre recognized by the Flemish government) with dedicated Officers which offers new colleagues HR, Recruitment and Career Management support[3].


[1] http://www.kuleuven.be/english/living

[2] http://www.leuvenmindgate.be/en

[3] www.kuleuven.be/welcome

Eligibility criteria

The applicant may be of any nationality.

The applicant shall at the time of recruitment be in the first four years of his/her research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. This is measured from the date when the applicant obtained the degree, which would formally entitle him/her to register as PhD candidate.

The applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in the country of the host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment.


For more information please contact Mr. Bert Pluymers, by sending an email to mod.hr@kuleuven.be and mention ACOUTECT-ESR7 in the title.

Applicants must (i) send the following documents to mod.hr@kuleuven.be and (2) upload the same documents via http://www.acoutect.eu/.
Note that a first review of application starts at 1/4/2017. Applications that are submitted later may not be considered.
- a CV
- two recommendation letters by two referees
- personal statement (max. two pages A4) indicating their motivation for the PhD study
- the transcript of records (Bsc and Msc)
- the diploma that gives access to the doctoral studies

You can apply for this job no later than March 30, 2017 via the

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