Professor in control systems for human-centered applications

Professor in control systems for human-centered applications

Published Deadline Location
9 Jul 15 Sep Leuven
KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy in the area of control systems for human-centered applications at the Group T campus in Leuven. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent interdisciplinary research record and with educational qualities within the field of algorithms for control systems and hardware implementations, incl. sensors, actuators and electronic circuits.

Job description

The candidate will set up and carry out curiosity-driven and demand-driven research in close collaboration with companies and actors in diverse sectors, such as health care, learning, art and/or entertainment. The e-Media Research Lab is an intense collaboration between the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) and the Department of Computer Science. For this vacancy, a close collaboration is foreseen with the STADIUS Center for Dynamical Systems, Signal Processing and Data Analytics of the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT). The successful applicant will be appointed in the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) and the Faculty of Engineering Technology of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven.

The e-Media Research Lab investigates, develops and implements novel techniques to enhance the human condition with embodied media. The lab builds sensor-based systems with sensors that capture input from a human user or information from the environment, algorithms that analyze these data, and intelligent systems with actuators that generate meaningful output. Central to our research questions is how humans will perceive this output, and how they respond to it. Often we implement fully interactive systems that are fun and engaging, and at the same time serve a serious purpose. Our human-centered systems are applied in the domains of health care, learning, arts and entertainment. The e-Media Research Lab brings together expertise from different domains such as electrical engineering, signal processing, data analysis, machine learning, computer sciences, software engineering, social sciences and user experience design.

Control systems have traditionally been a crucial component in industrial systems, both in automation applications and in the transition to Industry 4.0. Nowadays, control systems have an increasing impact on the further digital development of non-industrial sectors such as digital health, digital learning and digital humanities. Within these domains the interaction between the system and the human user is put central. An example of such systems are haptic feedback systems that help people with motor disabilities, as a rehabilitation aid after an injury, or to improve the condition of patients with neurological disorders. Other examples include controlling glucose levels in diabetics, designing haptic interfaces for interactive and playful learning, or creating personal sound zones and virtual acoustics in art and entertainment applications.

Your research will focus on the design, implementation and evaluation of new interactive control systems within one or more application domains. This includes the design and development of complex actuator systems, the design and implementation of advanced signal processing and control algorithms, as well as the design and implementation of theelectronic circuits. These systems are designed, developed and tested in closecollaboration with domain experts (therapists, healthcare providers, artists)and end-users.

You strive for excellence and thus contribute to the international reputation of the research group, the department and the faculty.

You strengthen existing research lines and bring additional expertise.

You initiate and support goal-oriented scientific research activities that result in PhDs and publications that meet international standards and lead to broad international recognition.

You build up a network of non-profit and health institutions and companies through tech transfer and application of your research results and implementing industrial services, with the aim of strengthening innovation in these sectors.

You develop international partnerships around your research programme, both within the academic world and with non-academic partners (industry and non-profit sector).

You are able to acquire competitive funding, both project-based government funding as well as industrial funding.

You pay the required attention to the social implications of your research results.

You provide high-quality education for both bachelor and master students in the field of control systems in general, with a focus on both the mathematical algorithms, and the concrete implementations, including actuators systems and electronic circuits. You show a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. The idea of project based hands-on education and interactive teaching makes you enthusiastic. You contribute to the faculty’s and the university’s pedagogical project through the supervision of student projects (for example bachelor’s and master’s theses) and by acting as a supervisor of PhD students.

You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s views on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.

Your teaching duties are negotiated in agreement and are based on your specific profile. The scope is limited in the first years of your appointment. All professors are expected to teach a few basic undergraduate courses. In your further career, the faculty will also pay a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.

You are prepared to provide services to the scientific community, to society and to the university in function of the needs and your personal interests.

You maintain close contact with non-profit organisations and companies in the domains of health, learning, arts and/or entertainment.

You play an active part in promoting the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the wider professional field by participating in open days, networking events and fairs,...


KU Leuven


You have a degree in a relevant engineering discipline, and a PhD where the subject of your doctoral thesis relates to the research field.

You have a strong research track record in the discipline, evidenced by your publications or by your research experience in industry. Preferably, you have contributed to the valorisation of research in industry and/or in society. International experience is an important advantage.

You can teach in an academic environment. Having teaching experience is an advantage.

You like to create and innovate, to organise and collaborate in a university context, together with stakeholders.

You are a good communicator. You show enthusiasm, empathy, commitment and passion.

You can inspire and motivate other people, you can coach and delegate, and know how to deal with diversity.

A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English.

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 your employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings.

Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required standard.

Conditions of employment

We offer full-time employment in an intellectually enriching, diverse and collaborative environment.

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, full professor. If you are a junior researcher you will, in principle, be appointed as assistant tenure track professor for a period of 5 years. If your evaluation after this period is positive, you will be permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor.

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%.

Fixed-term contract: 5 years.


KU Leuven

KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly focused on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and strives for international excellence. In this regard, the university works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.

You will work at KU Leuven Group T Campus, in a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 30 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Additional information

For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:

Add to your application following documents in English (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site):

  • your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages);
  • a file on your five most important publications or realizations;
  • an extensive cv including a full publication list and if applicable a portfolio of your most important projects;
  • your research plan with focus on the development of your research line and research team in relation with the colleague-researchers of the entity of employment (maximum 4 pages);
  • your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);
  • your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page);
  • your vision on leadership addressing topics like innovation, collaboration, communication, coaching, empathy, diversity and inclusiveness (maximum 1 page).

You can apply for this job no later than September 16, 2019.

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


  • Professors, associate professors, assistant professors and lecturers; Research, Development, Innovation
  • Natural Sciences; Engineering; Economics
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • AT ZAP-2019-20


Parijsstraat 72, 3000, Leuven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 15 Sep 2019 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).