Ph.D. opportunity under the project “Optimization of material flows in recycling processes by means of CFD“ (Ref. BAP-2015-521): For Mechanical Engineering Technology TC, Campus Group T Leuven we are looking for an engineer/physicist with background and interest in experimental and numerical fluid mechanics (Computational Fluid Dynamics, CFD).

General Information: Campus Group T is an internationally oriented campus of the KU Leuven undertaking education, research, and rendering services in the fields of Engineering, Enterprising, and Educating. Campus GROUP T aims to create an environment in which students and professors alike can develop themselves by experiencing these core activities, both locally and internationally. The proposed PhD position fits the “Sustainable Engineering” research group of the campus. Within this group all fields of engineering are covered and research focusses on 3 research groups: “Intelligent Mobility”, “Life Cycle Engineering” and “Quality and Durability”. This project fits the Life Cycle Engineering group.

The general goal of the proposed project concerns the optimization of material flows in recycling processes with the aid of numerical simulation techniques, i.e. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). In particular, the project focuses on the optimization of density separation processes in collaboration with industrial partners active in the development and operation of recycling infrastructure. The separation efficiency of density separators will be improved by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics.

Tasks and Objectives: The specific objectives of the project are:

  • The development of a numerical model that can simulate the material flows in the current separator. In order to be able to develop the model, the complex physical properties of both the suspension, as well as the flow in the current reactor will be examined.
  • The validation of the developed numerical model by comparing the simulated flow with experimental results. This validation will lead to a better understanding of the current material flows in the reactor during operation with the standard process parameters (throughput, rotating velocity of the drum, ).
  • To investigate the influence of relatively easily changeable process parameters by means of numerical simulations and experiments. By using a combination of both numerical and experimental techniques, an efficient optimization will be possible, since this allows combining the advantages of both methods.
  • Determination of design guidelines for the next generation innovative and high efficient separation installations based upon numerical simulation.

Student Profile: Qualifications and requirements

  • Master degree in engineering, engineering science, engineering technology, physics or equivalent
  • background in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • motivated, enthusiastic and eager to learn
  • team player, yet also able to work independently, accurately and methodically
  • contribute to the research activities of the research group sustainable engineering and pursue a doctoral degree in engineering technology
  • present research findings at national and international conferences and in international journals
  • necessary software, conduct experiments and report both internally and externally
  • colleague-researchers and offer support in research projects that are related to your expertise.
  • finance is provided for an initial period of one year. Meanwhile, you contribute to the acquisition of follow-up funding, e.g. via IWT doctoral grants.
  • contribute sporadically to teaching activities within the Bachelor and Master of Industrial Sciences programs at the GROUP T campus of KU Leuven

Last date: January 31, 2016

For more information please contact

Dr. ir. Maarten Vanierschot, tel.: +32 16 30 10 72,

mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Wim Dewulf, tel.: +32 16 37 28 81,


Apply online: click here