PhD Position in the Modeling and Model Order Reduction of Vibro-Acoustic Systems

Catholic University of Leuven

The KU Leuven Mecha(tro)nic System Dynamics division (LMSD) is searching for a PhD candidate to join its team and to take up a PhD track in collaborative industrial research project(s).


  • This PhD is part of an industrial collaborative project that aims to develop new strategies for the evaluation of the Noise-Vibration-Harshness (NVH) properties of a tire by means of numerical modelling and experiments. Specifically, the project focuses on detailed tire modelling with time domain non-linear structural models, modelling the time domain acoustic radiation from the tire, and performing vehicle noise prediction (auralisation) and experimental validation.
  • As a researcher within this project you will develop numerical methods for the modelling and model order reduction of moving structural components that due to their vibrations will radiate sound to an exterior acoustic field. After an evaluation of the wide range of available methods in the literature for the modelling of moving boundaries within the finite element method, a model order reduction strategy will be derived that can reduce such models. While the main application will be the rapid evaluation procedure for the sound radiated by a rotating tire, you will work on a more generic approach that can be  applicable on a wide range of moving structures.
  • The PhD is hosted by the KU Leuven Noise and Vibration Research Group, which currently counts 90 researchers and is part of the Mechanical Engineering Department, a vibrant environment of more than 300 researchers. 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. More information on the research group can be found on the website: and our linkedIn page:


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 or mathematics and performed above average in comparison to my peers.
  • I am proficient in written and spoken English.
  • During my courses or prior (professional) activities, I have gathered experience with numerical simulation tools for mechanical systems, preferably both structural and acoustic, I gained some first notions of model order reduction, and I have a profound interest in these topics. 
  • I have an interest in simulation technology both from using commercial tools, like Simcenter Nastran, as well as from methodological development perspective, like implementing numerical algorithms in Matlab/Python/etc. 
  • As a PhD researcher of the KU Leuven Noise and Vibration Research Group 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 feel comfortable to work as a team member and I am eager to share my results to inspire and being inspired by my colleagues.
  • 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 (, known for its strong focus on both future scientists and scientifically trained professionals who will valorize their doctoral expertise and competences in a non-academic context. More information on the training opportunities can be found on the following link: 
  • 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 ( Further information can be found on the website of the university:


To apply for this position, pleasefollow the application tool and enclose:

1.      full CV – mandatory

2.      motivation letter –mandatory

3.      full list of credits andgrades of both BSc and MSc degrees (as well as their transcription to Englishif possible) – mandatory (when you haven’t finished your degree yet, justprovide us with the partial list of already available credits and grades)

4.      proof of Englishproficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, …) - if available

5.      two reference letters - ifavailable

6.      an English version of MSc thesis,or of a recent publication or assignment - if available

For more information please contact prof.Frank Naets ( by mail and mention TireNVH in the title.

You can apply for this job no later than February 28, 2021 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: February 28, 2021
  • Tags: Ingenieurswetenschappen