Faculty Position in Acoustic Monitoring in Industrial Environments

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Mechanical Engineering

The proposed research track runs at the KU Leuven Mecha(tro)nic System Dynamics (LMSD) division which currently counts more than 100 researchers and is part of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a vibrant environment of more than 300 researchers (www.mech.kuleuven.be). Doctoral training is provided in the framework of the Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School (https://set.kuleuven.be/phd). LMSD has a longstanding history and internationally highly recognized expertise in the fields of condition monitoring, numerical modeling, engineering dynamics, automotive engineering, vibro-acoustic analysis, identification and robust optimal control of (non-) linear systems, active control and lightweight structure design and analysis. It is also recognized for its yearly Modal Analysis (ISMA) and Acoustics (ISAAC) courses and for organizing the biennial ISMA Noise and Vibration Engineering Conference (www.isma-isaac.be). The research group has a long track record of combining excellent fundamental academic research with industrially relevant applications, leading to dissemination in both highly ranked academic journals as well as on industrial fora. Furthermore, the group contributes to the Dynamics of Mechanical and Mechatronic Systems (DMMS) University Core Lab of Flanders Make. Flanders Make (https://www.flandersmake.be/en) is the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry in Flanders, stimulating open innovation through excellent research. The research group's international research flavour is illustrated amongst others by the large portfolio of research projects (https://www.mech.kuleuven.be/en/mod/Projects) which includes regional, national and international funded activities through which the group cooperates with leading mechatronic and machine & vehicle-building companies in Flanders and throughout Europe. More information on the research group can be found on the website: https://www.mech.kuleuven.be/en/research/mod/about and our Linked.In page: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/noise-&-vibration-research-group/. The PhD will be co-supervised by Prof Konstantinos Gryllias and Dr. Hervé Denayer.


Manufacturing companies continuously try to increase their productivity by avoiding machine downtime and increasing the quality of the delivered products. Hence, monitoring and diagnosing the health of the production lines and machines during operation is crucial. A necessary step to achieve this goal is to find robust and cost-efficient monitoring solutions for timely detection of anomalies and quality issues in machines and vehicles. Acoustic monitoring provides a solution, in particular for applications where 1) it is too costly to install sensors on all components which might fail, 2) it is too difficult or impossible to install and/or integrate a sensor on the components or subsystems. Acoustic monitoring techniques could offer a solution for such cases where conventional, often vibration-based approaches can’t be applied. However, current acoustic monitoring systems have two main problems: lack of robustness and difficult deployment in industrial environments. Therefore, this PhD track targets to develop a more robust and easier to deploy acoustic monitoring toolchain for the detection of anomalies and quality issues in machines and vehicles, based on novel measurement techniques, acoustic modeling methods, advanced denoising approaches, signal processing and machine learning. The new methodologies will be tested and validated on dedicated test rigs exploiting the state of the art equipment which is available within the research group.


If you recognize yourself in the story below, then you have the profile that fits the project and the research group.
•I have a master degree in engineering, physics, computer science or mathematics and performed above average in comparison to my peers.
•I am proficient in written and spoken English.
•I have good programming skills in Matlab and/or in Python (in particular Tensorflow or Pytorch).
•I have some basic experience with signal processing, acoustics, machine learning and vibroacoustics measurements and/or I have a profound interest in these topics.
•As a PhD researcher of the KU Leuven Mecha(tro)nic System Dynamics (LMSD) division I perform research in a structured and scientifically sound manner. I read technical papers, understand the nuances between different theories and implement and improve methodologies myself.
•Based on interactions and discussions with my supervisors and the colleagues in my team, I set up and update a plan of approach for the upcoming 1 to 3 months to work towards my research goals. I work with a sufficient degree of independence to follow my plan and achieve the goals. I indicate timely when deviations of the plan are required, if goals cannot be met or if I want to discuss intermediate results or issues.
•In frequent reporting, varying between weekly to monthly, I show the results that I have obtained and I give a well-founded interpretation of those results. I iterate on my work and my approach based on the feedback of my supervisors which steer the direction of my research.
•I value being part of a large research group which is well connected to the machine and transportation industry and I am eager to learn how academic research can be linked to industrial innovation roadmaps.
•During my PhD I want to grow towards following up the project that I am involved in and representing the research group on project meetings or conferences. I see these events as an occasion to disseminate my work to an audience of international experts and research colleagues, and to learn about the larger context of my research and the research project.


• A remuneration package competitive with industry standards in Belgium, a country with a high quality of life and excellent health care system.
• An opportunity to pursue a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, typically a 4 year trajectory, in a stimulating and ambitious research environment.
• Ample occasions to develop yourself in a scientific and/or an industrial direction. Besides opportunities offered by the research group, further doctoral training for PhD candidates is provided in the framework of the KU Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School (https://set.kuleuven.be/phd), known for its strong focus on both future scientists and scientifically trained professionals who will valorise their doctoral expertise and competences in a non-academic context. More information on the training opportunities can be found on the following link: https://set.kuleuven.be/phd/dopl/whytraining. 
• A stay in a vibrant environment in the hearth of Europe. The university is located in Leuven, a town of approximately 100000 inhabitants, located close to Brussels (25km), and 20 minutes by train from Brussels International Airport. This strategic positioning and the strong presence of the university, international research centers, and industry, lead to a safe town with high quality of life, welcome to non-Dutch speaking people and with ample opportunities for social and sport activities. The mixture of cultures and research fields are some of the ingredients making the university of Leuven the most innovative university in Europe (KU Leuven is the Most Innovative University of Europe – Faculty of Arts). Further information can be found on the website of the university: https://www.kuleuven.be/english/living


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Konstantinos Gryllias, tel.: +32 16 32 30 00, mail: konstantinos.gryllias@kuleuven.be or Mr. Hervé Denayer, tel.: +32 16 37 28 27, mail: herve.denayer@kuleuven.be.

To apply for this position, please follow the application tool and enclose:
1. full CV – mandatory
2. motivation letter – mandatory
3. full list of credits and grades of both BSc and MSc degrees (as well as their transcription to English if possible) – mandatory (when you haven’t finished your degree yet, just provide us with the partial list of already available credits and grades)
4. proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, …) - if available
5. two reference letters - if available
6. an English version of MSc or PhD thesis, or of a recent publication or assignment - if available
You can apply for this job no later than January 31, 2022 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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: January 31, 2022
  • Tags: Ingenieurswetenschappen