PhD in Computational Science


The Project

Advances in TeraHertz technology have driven researchers to consider systems that are highly non-linear and strongly radiating. Modelling these systems requires methods that are based on time-stepping, and that can accurately describe unbounded regions. The use of methods such as the finite element method, the method of moments, or the finite difference time-domain method – if at all applicable – results in unacceptable computational costs, and large errors in dispersion and radiation characteristics. The right tool to model this class of devices is the time domain boundary element method. Unfortunately a number of challenges remain, stopping designers from deploying time domain boundary element methods in the modelling of realistic devices and systems.

The ERC Consolidator project BET3D will accelerate the development of the time-domain boundary element method into a method that can model highly non-linear, strongly radiating systems and that unlocks the capability to model emerging technologies in THz communications and imaging. In this project, we will develop novel modelling methodologies that allow the integrated simulation of complex sensors made from multiple materials, and including ports, coatings, and two-dimensional materials such as graphene. We will pursue transformational advancements in the formulation, discretization, and implementation of the time domain boundary element method.

Who are we looking for

We are looking for doctoral candidates with an interest in the physics and mathematics of electromagnetic systems, the theoretical and practical aspects of finite element and boundary element methods, and/or the implementation of distributed algorithms for parallel execution on high performance computing hardware. You are required to hold a master’s degree in an area relevant to the project. BET3D is a highly innovative project supported by the European Research Council. It is multidisciplinary in nature and ambitious in scope. We look for motivated doctoral candidates with interest in one or multiple of the following domains:

  • Computational electromagnetics
  • Finite element and boundary element methods
  • Domain decomposition methods
  • Distributed high performance computing
  • Numerical analysis and numerical linear algebra
  • The physics and applications of 2D materials
  • Sensors and antennas in THz technology

Please do not be discouraged if your interests lie in only one or a few of the above. We are looking both for specialists and generalists. As part of the requirements for awarding the PhD degree, you will publish your work in peer reviewed journals and present your work at international conferences. You have four years to meet the requirements for awarding the PhD degree, at which point you will defend your research in front of a panel of experts.

Candidates are required to be holder of a Master’s degree in mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, or equivalent.

What we offer

We offer the opportunity to conduct full-time research in an international research environment at Ghent University. You will be working towards the academic degree of Doctor in Applied Sciences. The position is funded by ERC Consolidator grant BET3D with budget provisions for a competitive salary and research/dissemination costs. You will be entitled to 38 days of annual leave and holiday and end-of-year allowance. You will accrue entitlement to social security and pension benefits. You will have the opportunity to present your work at international conferences and in peer reviewed journals. The doctoral training at Ghent University focusses on transferrable skills in addition to research skills and provides an excellent preparation for employment both in academia and beyond.

We offer a full-time position as a Ph.D. scholarship recipient, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which –upon positive evaluation– will be extended to a maximum of 4 years

How to Apply

Send your application or any questions concerning this vacancy by email to Prof Kristof Cools (, indicating “Application: BETD3D-PhD” in the subject. Applications should include (1) an academic / professional resume, (2) a personal motivation letter, and (3) transcripts of study results, and (4) two reference contacts. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited for an (online) interview. More information about the project can be found at

Application deadline: 31 July 2022
Earliest starting date: 1 September 2022