Science in Engineering Physics - Job Profiles

Current occupation: Research & Development: Software Engineer, Bricsys

Wouter Nys – Physical Engineer 2017

Shortly after graduating, I started my professional career at Bricsys, provider of BricsCAD, a Computer-Aided-Design software package. BricsCAD is used by engineers, designers and architects around the world. As a member of the R&D Artificial Intelligence team, I develop innovative and creative solutions that make the jobs of engineers and architects much easier by automating all kinds of time consuming tasks in the design process of a mechanical part, a building, a plant...

As a graduate from the engineering physics programme, I am convinced that the programme really makes a difference for my current job. In my opinion, three main aspects are particularly important. A first aspect is that the programme succeeds in combining interesting and relevant topics in multiple domains: from fundamental, purely physical to more technical. As all these topics are addressed in a highly rigorous way, graduates have developed knowledge and skills that are widely applicable in the work field. Moreover, the wide range of elective courses in the Master's programme offers the possibility to relate this knowledge to other scientific disciplines. In my case, I chose the Machine Learning course, which made it possible to build a bridge between engineering physics and computer sciences.

Second, in my current job, a profound mathematical foundation is crucial, as I am working with geometrical and optimization problems. A solid mathematical approach is present in almost every course of this programme, which is highly valuable for me day after day. Finally, I want to highlight the fact that physical engineers are trained in making abstractions in real-life problems very quickly. Although our colleagues from other engineering backgrounds are developing these problem-solving skills as well, I feel that the pace at which physical engineers make abstractions is really impressive. This skill is of great importance both in an engineering as in a more business-related context.




Current occupation: Machine Learning Engineer at ML6

Karel Dumon – Physical Engineer 2015

I started my studies in Engineering Phyics from a very utopian view: I wanted to know how things worked, in theory ánd in practice. It was very fascinating to get an education where you go from a low level in nature (photons, electrons...) to applications which shape the world of today: lasers, displays, telecommunication, solar panels, nuclear fusion, batteries...

Both the bachelor and master provided a good balance between rigorous mathematical models, physics simulations and practical experiments. Studying a wide array of topics in such depth makes it sometimes challenging to connect the dots, but this definitely enabled me to grow my problem solving skills, both on a conceptual and technical level.

Currently, I work as a Machine Learning Engineer at ML6. I joined the company at a very early stage - when machine learning was not yet part of as many curricula as it is today. My background in Engineering Physics ensures that I have the right multidisciplinary mindset in combination with a solid technical skill set. I work on a lot of different projects, going from laser modelling to HR. Today I co-lead the company's R&D efforts. This entails working together with clients on applications that require algorithms which go beyond the current available set and translate these into scalable products. In general, I see my background in mathematical and physical modelling as a big asset in my job, since it enables me to deep dive into the fundamentals of machine learning and even allows me to explore innovative technologies like quantum computing.

Interesting anecdote: my thesis in computational materials physics provided me with practical experience in e.g. python, linux, databases, high performance computing and machine learning - skills I still use on a daily basis!

Summarizing: Engineering Physics brings you to the edge of knowledge in a wide variety of fields, while providing you with the fundamental skills in physics, mathematics and engineering that are needed to research and push the state-of-the-art.




Current occupation: postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University, Liquid Crystals and Photonics Group

Inge Nys – Physical Engineer 2013, Doctor in Engineering Physics 2018

During the master in Engineering Physics I came into contact with a broad diversity of research domains (material physics, nuclear physics, electronics, etc.). After graduating in 2013 I decided to specialize in soft matter physics and photonics and I started a PhD in the Liquid Crystals and Photonics Group at Ghent University. I received my PhD in 2018 and am now working as a postdoctoral researcher.

Two things that I appreciated most about the Engineering Physics programme are the combination of fundamental science with an engineering approach and the large variety of elective courses in the master programme. The programme brings you into contact with many different disciplines and allows you to discover which domains are most appealing and what kind of professional career will suit you best. This gives you the freedom to explore many options after graduating. I started a PhD in photonics but some of my fellow students started working in electronics engineering, software engineering and consulting. The goal of the Engineering Physics programme is not to make you an expert in a specific discipline but it hands you the tools to analyse and tackle all kinds of problems in an efficient way. You learn to think out of the box and develop a critical attitude: in general, you become a good problem solver. It is clear that these skills are highly appreciated in many different jobs and will help you to make the best out of your professional career!




Current occupation: HPC System Administrator, VUB

Ward Poelmans – Physical Engineer 2009, Doctor in Engineering Physics 2015

I work for the high performance computing team of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. During my PhD I heavily used computational simulations and it was a natural choice to continue in this field. Our team supports researchers in the computational aspects of their work and we deal with all aspects of keeping a large computational cluster online which we continuously try to improve.

I always had a very strong interest in physics and how things work. Engineering Physics was a logical choice as it combines both aspects. The strong mathematical aspect made it all the more fun. The broad scope of the programme gives you a wide vision on the engineering field. I really enjoyed figuring out how the fundamental forces of our universe work and yet trying to find out how we can manipulate them for practical applications. The programme gives you a lot of freedom to follow your own path and pick the courses that interest you the most.

My current job doesn't involve a lot of physics anymore but the tools and skills I learned during my study still serve me very well. My horizon is broad and I can quickly pick up on anything new that comes on my path. I can go both very deep on the technical aspects and yet keep an eye on the global picture. Not once have I regretted my choice for this programme.




Current occupation: Head of Project Management Office, Antwerp Space

Bart Desoete – Physical Engineer 1997

The combination of technological, purely physical and more theoretical courses really appealed to me. The large choice in elective courses was also one of my main reasons of choosing this programme. I think the study programme Engineering Physics provided me with the ideal basis for my PhD in microelectronics.

After my PhD, I switched to Alcatel Microelectronics, now ON Semiconductor, where I was responsible for the development and manufacturing of new semiconductor technologies. For this function too, I think the main subject of Engineering Physics is very suitable. I’m currently leading the Project Management Office of Antwerp Space.




Current occupation: Data Analytics Specialist at ArcelorMittal Ghent

Andy Van Yperen-De Deyne – Physical Engineer 2009, Doctor in Engineering Physics 2014


At the Systems and Models group of ArcelorMittal Ghent, we use mathematical models to optimize a wide variety of processes at our site. This varies from the physical processes of steel production, to logistic and planning models. The focus on mathematical models allows to increase the efficiency and productivity of our site at Ghent - and even other sites - even further. As the first data scientist at our site, exploring and performing data mining techniques for process optimization, as well as educating these techniques to my colleagues are my key responsibilities.

Specialization in physics requires a very diverse mathematical tool set and the education in Engineering Physics increases your capabilities in abstract thinking, but always with the aim to solve real problems. The education focuses on a wide variety of the fundamentals of both established and state-of-the-art technologies, which makes this a very interesting four years and prepares the students for jobs in very diverse industries, depending on your own interests.




Current occupation: Director EFESO Digital

Reinout Declerck – Physical Engineer 2005, Doctor in Engineering Physics 2008

In 2011 I founded a new entreprise together with a colleague from The Boston Consulting Group. EFESO Digital improves the productivity in management environments; we consult a number of big European companies and work on a commercial software product.

The study programme Engineering Physics is both broad and fundamental. Broad, because of the important points of contact with the programmes Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Computer Science Engineering. Fundamental, because the elementary building blocks of the world around us are thoroughly studied. This combination is a huge asset in both the research community and in corporate life. I have experienced this in my career until now: as a researcher I helped in developing the description of magnetic resonance effects on molecules via computer models; as a management consultant I advised on a wide variety of strategic challenges for some prominent companies; as an entrepreneur I maintain relationships with clients and oversee the development of our software.




Current occupation: Business Manager of Enprove bvba

An Beazar – Physical Engineer 2004

In 2010 I decided to start an own business. Today, I lead a small team that consults industrial companies on how to save energy. We are also developing a software system to monitor the (energy) efficiency of plants.

What appealed to me in the study programme Engineering Physics, is that you could still put your own focus by choosing your elective courses well. At that time, I did not have a clue what I wanted to do afterwards. In hindsight, I feel I have built a broad theoretical basis to fall back on. The practical applications followed later in my job.

To counter the theoretical courses, I followed a minor in Industrial Engineering. My thesis discussed music and signal processing: the recognition of tonalities in music signals. After my final year, I immediately started working as an industrial engineer. An ideal job to get to know the practice of corporate life.

I would summarize my experiences during my studies as follows: on the one hand, I got to know various research topics (relativity, semiconductors, signal processing, business law...). On the other hand, a well-founded scientific approach also provides you with a clear view of the complexity of the matter.




Current occupation: patent attorney trainee, brantsandpatents

Francis Ryckaert – Physical Engineer 2016

Being a patent attorney trainee, I assist our clients in all matters of intellectual property. Often this involves analysing their innovative products, filing patent applications and guiding them through the process of obtaining a granted patent. The topics are highly diverse. They cover physics, mechanics, electronics, and computer sciences.

The same topic diversity is found in the engineering physics programme. Those undertaking the journey should not be afraid of first exploring some theoretical fields in depth. In any case, you will need to have a good understanding of some basic quantum mechanics and advanced engineering mathematics. A solid basis is provided. Subsequently there is a wide freedom to pick courses according to your own interests. I preferred a more applied approach, electing courses on nanophysics and solar energy. Accordingly, my master thesis related to luminescent quantum dots. In the light of television screen technology today, those should ring a bell, do they not?

Besides all physical theories and phenomena I learned about, the programme most importantly left me with a well-sharpened, analytical mind-set. This comes in handy for the job I now have. More generally, I am convinced that engineering physics offers an ideal springboard to a vast range of jobs, whether physics-related or not. And in the end, a lot boils down to physics as you think of it.




Current occupation: Counselor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and the Interior on Nuclear Safety and Security

Joris Creemers – Physical Engineer 2006

My previous job as an inspector-expert at FANC was very diverse. The FANC, among other things, watches over the safe use of applications with ionizing radiation. Together with my colleagues, I monitored the state of several large (class I) nuclear plants by means of specific inspections and analysis of both technical and more organizational aspects.

The last few years I have met several fellow physical engineers in different functions in the most diverse sectors (research, industry, government, consultancy...), all leaving me with a very competent impression. Many graduates aim for a PhD or another research position in Belgium or abroad, and the study programme Engineering Physics is the ideal preparation for that. But in my experience, the mindset and skills that are taught, are equally advantageous in other sectors, both in a profession (understanding processes, for example) and in various continued study programmes. After all, the programme Engineering Physics offers a unique combination of detailed knowledge in a broad range of domains. It allows graduated physical engineers to maintain the big picture, while comprehending complex processes. Because of the large number of elective courses and the thesis, you can determine your own specialisation in a simple way, gathering the knowledge that can give you an edge in your subsequent career.