English version

Development of acoustic resonant metamaterials for building applications

(Ref. BAP-2017-70)

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


Whereas novel material concepts, such as for instance the metamaterials, come to the fore as efficient lightweight and compact solutions for building noise and vibration problems, there is a lack of adequate tools for accurate and fast assessment of the material and structure meso- and macro-properties of these concepts. Since also in building design, Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools have become indispensable in cost and time efficient development, fast and cost efficient identification approaches are also needed to feed the numerical vibro-acoustic computer models with reliable data. The proposed PhD track will investigate the shortcomings of currently existing identification approaches which typically rely on large, expensive infrastructure and are very time-consuming and develop new approaches based on lessons learned in the Mechanical and Aerospace industry where similar problems are encountered but different approaches are used. The PhD candidate will actively contribute to the Multi-Story Building demonstrator and investigate the potential in the developed methodologies for characterisation of materials and structures in that setting.



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-ESR8 in the

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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