Senior Researcher in the Building Physics and Sustainable Design Section

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Civil Engineering


You will become a senior researcher in the Building Physics and Sustainable Design Section of the Department of Civil Engineering at KU Leuven which closely collaborates with the EnergyVille research center. The section's research targets heat and mass transfer in porous building materials, durability of (highly insulated) building components, and the energy use and indoor air quality in buildings and the built environment. The project is part of ‘Flemish Resilience’, a huge investment plan of the Flemish government to restore the economic and social fabric in Flanders after the Corona-crisis. The investment plan is based on seven pillars. The current project ‘Building a climate neutral Flanders’, with a total budget of 10 MEuro fits within the pillar ‘Sustainability’. The project will realize a multidisciplinary R&D infrastructure where innovative, replicable and commercially viable solutions for climate-neutral constructions are investigated, optimized and demonstrated. The infrastructure itself will be an exemplary test building with a modular structure of flexible units of different size and equipped with replaceable façade elements. The units will represent dwellings as well as office typologies. The infrastructure will enable a scientific and independent evaluation of energetic, acoustic, durability and sustainability performances of building solutions both for newly built as well as renovated buildings. In this study the holistic approach combining constructive envelope solutions, extensive digitization, intelligent data-driven management and climatization systems and supply from (renewable) energy sources as well as looking for the use and integration of carbon neutral materials and available water resources are key.


The Building Physics and Sustainable Design Section is looking for an enthusiastic and motivated senior-researcher to take the lead in a project that aims at the design and construction of a new large scale test facility for sustainable and carbon neutral building solutions. Your task will consist of supervising the design team, drafting the research roadmaps in collaboration with the main project participants, identifying opportunities within the KU Leuven but also with industrial partners, other research institutes and government.

Knowledge of building physics and energy in buildings is essential. Affinity and expertise in experimental and numerical research are similarly valuable. Independence and initiative, reliability in teamwork and good com­munication skills are crucial.  Finally, a suitable knowledge of spoken and written Dutch is a plus.

The project has started, and suitable candidates can start immediately. In your motivation letter, you should clearly state when you could start.  


The project is part of ‘Flemish Resilience’, the ambitious post-COVID Recovery Plan of the Flemish Government, and focuses more specifically on a sustainable built environment. Within the project a large multidisciplinary test infrastructure will be realized to investigate new technologies to transform the Flemish building stock by 2050 towards carbon neutral and sustainable.

The position is open for applicants holding at least a master’s degree in one of the following Engineering fields: Architectural Engineering, Civil Engineering, Energy Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering with a strong interest and expertise in the field of carbon neutral buildings. This includes, but is not limited to, energy in buildings, sustainable design, material engineering, building information modeling and water management and resources. 

Knowledge and experience in the following fields will be relevant:

·      Sustainable and renewable solutions for newly built and renovated buildings

·      Innovative building construction methods including digitization and data-analysis

·      Building energy simulation and EPBD-regulation

·      Renewable energy systems and energy grids

Please indicate clearly, what your experience and knowledge in the mentioned fields is and why you are interested and motivated to acquire expertise in the other fields.


  • The project will run until 2025. The successful applicant will receive funding for at least this period
  • Possibility to further develop your career at KU Leuven within the research management staff as research and/or valorization manager in charge of the R&D infrastructure.
  • You will participate in a challenging and extremely relevant project, working at the cutting edge of innovation to reach climate neutrality
  • You will gain experience in many transferal skills and can fall back on research units with high expertise
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in local and international conferences, collaborate closely with industry, other research institutes and government, and thus expand your network
  • The position is available immediately


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. arch. Dirk Saelens, tel.: +32 16 32 13 43, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. arch. Staf Roels, tel.: +32 16 32 13 49, mail:

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
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: January 31, 2022
  • Tags: Burgerlijke Bouwkunde

In your application, please refer to


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