PhD Position in Electromagnetic Metamaterials Created by 3D Printing

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Chemical Engineering


The PhD project will be performed in the Soft Matter Rheology and Technology (SMaRT) section in the Chemical Engineering Department at KU Leuven under the supervision of Prof. Ruth Cardinaels. The research in the SMaRT group is mostly of experimental nature and aims at designing methodologies for intelligent process or product (formulation) design using so-called “complex fluids” or “soft matter”. Extensive state-of-the-art and home-built experimental facilities for the characterization of viscoelastic properties in the liquid state (bulk as well as interfacial rheology), combined with various techniques to characterize microstructure development during flow are available. Moreover, the lab is equipped with all major types of commercial 3D printing devices as well as several in-house adapted devices.


The increasing miniaturization and integration of numerous components in electronic devices and the booming use of wireless technologies leads to an explosion in the amount of electromagnetic waves and resulting crosstalk. Therefore, there is a need for efficient electromagnetic shielding materials. In addition, with the recent 5G mobile network, a major challenge is to enhance the range of the electromagnetic waves, which could be accomplished by suitable wave bending around obstacles. Polymer nanocomposites containing functional conductive and magnetic particles have been shown to have large potential as flexible, easily processable and efficient EM shielding materials. In addition, using multi-phasic polymeric materials in which the particles are selectively localized in one phase, provides improved shielding responses. However, the types of morphologies that can be generated with traditional processing techniques are limited. Therefore, in this research, a 3D printing setup will be developed that allows to print multiple materials with the aim of generating multi-phasic structures for EM shielding.


  • You are recently graduated or will soon graduate with a master degree in chemical engineering, materials science, physics or a related discipline 
  • You have excellent analytical skills, high grades and you are a creative and critical thinker.
  • You are highly motivated to start your career in research and to pursue a PhD degree during a four year research period.
  • You like hands-on laboratory work, experience with equipment design is a plus.
  • You have prior experience in experimental research obtained during project or thesis work, preferably in the area of soft matter.
  • You are able to report your progress in an accurate and timely fashion.
  • You have excellent communication skills, with fluency in both written and spoken English. 


  • Full-time PhD position with a competitive salary and additional benefits such as health insurance, access to university sports facilities, etc.
  • The opportunity to work and live in one of the most innovative universities and cities in Europe. Leuven is located 20 min from Brussels, in the centre of Europe.
  • International working environment and possibility to present your work on international conferences.
  • A state-of-the-art experimental infrastructure.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will participate in the Arenberg Doctoral School doctoral training program 
  • You will get the opportunity to deepen your rheology knowledge via participation in the European School on Rheology and other relevant summer schools.


Candidates can apply by submitting their CV, motivation letter and gradelists via the online application tool. Please also include the names and contact details of at least two senior researchers that are willing to write a letter of recommendation upon request.

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Ruth Cardinaels, tel.: +32 16 32 16 88, mail:

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

You can apply for this job no later than March 15, 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: March 15, 2021
  • Tags: Chemische Ingenieurstechnieken

In your application, please refer to


amsterdam uni

antwerp uni

cambridge uni

florida uni

hamburg uni

harvard uni

hiroshima uni

oslo uni

purdue uni

ryerson uni

shanghai jiao tong uni

stockholm uni