Post Doc Position in Thermal Modelling and Online Heat Transfer Estimation Using Active Learning Grey-Box Approaches

Catholic University of Leuven


The Reliable and Robust Design (R2D) group belongs to the Department of Mechanical Engineering of KU Leuven and is located on campus De Nayer. The group has extensive expertise in non-deterministic modelling, including interval and fuzzy analysis, advanced field concepts for uncertainty quantification and inverse approaches. Furthermore, the group has strong ties to both the international research community, as well as to local and international industrial partners.


The GREYDIENT innovative training network aims at training a next generation of Early Stage Researchers (ESR) to fully sustain the ongoing transition of European personal mobility towards safe and reliable intelligent systems via the recently introduced framework of grey-box modelling approaches.
One of the main challenges that we currently face in this context is the integration of the data captured from the plenitude of sensors that are involved in a particular road-traffic scenario, ranging from monitoring car-component loading situations to power network-reliability estimations. The aim is to fully exploit the potential of merging these data with advanced computational models of components and systems that are widely available in industry in order to fully assess the momentarily safety.
Grey-box models are an answer to this pressing issue, as they are aimed at optimally integrating (black-box) data driven machine learning tools with (white-box) simulation models to greatly surpass the performance of either framework separately.
Therefore, GREYDIENT will train its ESR’s in a wide spectrum of fields, including the modelling, propagation and quantification of the relevant variabilities, the application of big data and machine learning methods, as well as the optimal combination of data-driven approaches with numerical models.
All our ESR’s will obtain a PhD from an internationally respected university, build experience in communicating and disseminating their work, applying their research skills in a non-academic context and receive in-depth training in transferable skills such as commercialization, collaboration and entrepreneurship.
Objectives of this ESR project include (1) To construct a production-process virtual twin consisting of an ensemble of data-driven black box approaches, surrogate models and full-scale, non-linear, finite-element computations, (2) to apply active learning to train this virtual twin based on the full-scale white box model, (3) to apply this virtual twin in combination with active learning to create an optimal sensor lay-out, (4) to apply the developed methodology on a projection welding machine at KU Leuven.


Successful candidates:
-hold a master’s in engineering science, computer science or engineering technology or any other comparable study with a solid mathematical background,
-have a profound interest in uncertainty quantification, machine learning and numerical simulation,
-have a working experience with coding in Matlab/Python/Julia/…,
-like to work in a multidisciplinary team of international researchers,
-have a creative and problem-solving mindset and take initiative to conduct cutting-edge research in close collaboration with industry,
-are fluent in English (both spoken and written) or is willing to improve their language skills.
Any prior experience in the application or development of uncertainty quantification techniques is considered a strong plus.
Further, due to eligibility criteria of the European Commission, following rules have to be taken into account:
-The candidate must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity (studies, etc) in Belgium  for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to his/her recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, compulsory national services (such as mandatory military service) and procedures for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not counted.
-The ESR shall at the date of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. The date is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him or her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged.


KU Leuven is among the top universities in Europe (ranked 48th in general and 45th in engineering according to Times Higher Education world university ranking) and the research performed in the R2D group is renown in the scientific community.
We offer:
-the opportunity to be part of a Marie Curie International Training Network
-a research position in an enticing research environment at the cross-roads of numerical simulation, applied mathematics, mechanical engineering and computational mechanics in close contact with key industrial partners,
-an attractive salary package, complemented with multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.),
-a thorough scientific education,
-the opportunity to participate at international conferences and the possibility to spend a research stay at one of our international contacts,
-to work towards obtaining a PhD degree from a highly-ranked university and become a well-trained, independent researcher.
We encourage everyone to apply for the position. Since KU Leuven carries out an equal opportunity and diversity policy, we strive for full gender balance in the project.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. David Moens, tel.: +32 16 37 28 79, mail: or dr. Matthias Faes, tel.: +32 15 68 81 99, mail:

!!! Important !!! To be eligible for the ESR positions, all applications must also be submitted to the 'jobs' section at indicating ESR position 1. Applications that are not received through the GREYDIENT website wil not be taken into account.
You can apply for this job no later than March 31, 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: Sint-Katelijne-Waver
  • Apply before: March 31, 2021
  • Tags: Industriële Ingenieurswetenschappen

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