PhD Student

Last application date
Feb 28, 2024 00:00
TW05 - Department of Information Technology
Limited duration
Master degree in Computer Science, or a master degree in Computer Engineering with excellent ('honors'-level) grades
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Vacancy: PhD position Time-series forecasting and predictive models for biomanufacturing

SUMOLab – IDLab (Ghent University, Belgium)

IDLab is a core research group of imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, with research activities at Ghent University. IDLab performs fundamental and applied research on data science and internet technology, and is, with over 300 researchers, one of the larger research groups at imec. Our major research areas are machine learning and data mining; semantic intelligence; multimedia processing; distributed intelligence for IoT; cloud and big data infrastructures; wireless and fixed networking; electromagnetics, RF & high-speed circuits and systems.
The activities of SUMO Lab are embedded in this stimulating environment and include predictive analytics, machine learning, deep learning, time series analysis, forecasting, explainability, anomaly/event detection, etc., with applications in various sectors, a.o., biomanufacturing.

Job Description

The availability of novel sensors causes an important growth of data that offers the potential for a revolutionary transformation in the biomanufacturing sector. A bioreactor is a device or vessel used in biotechnology for the cultivation of biological organisms. Conventional methods to monitor and control the evolution of the process are typically involve labor-intensive and based on infrequent measurements. At imec, a probe is currently being developed that is equipped with multiple sensors to provide continuous monitoring of bioreactor processes. The availability of this time series data makes it possible to develop a dynamic digital twin that can forecast key process parameter, such as the future evolution of cell growth, or the future quality of the bioreactor broth, etc. The aim is to extract relevant insights from this data and to transform them into actionable predictions or forecasts that can be used to optimize the working of the system.
The proposed PhD research is defined within the context of several national and international collaborations on deep learning techniques for time series analysis and model explainability. You are expected to actively work and significantly contribute to research projects in this area.
As the PhD will focus mainly on data analysis using machine learning and related algorithmic challenges, previous experience or knowledge about biomanufacturing processes is not required.

Our offer

We offer the opportunity to do full-time research in an international (with over 17 nationalities at IDLab, part of imec and Ghent University) and friendly working environment, with a competitive salary at Ghent University. While grounded in fundamental academic research, as a PhD candidate you will also participate in collaborative research with industrial and/or academic partners in Flanders and/or on a wider geographic scale (e.g., EU H2020 projects), in the framework of new/ongoing projects. Furthermore, you will publish your research results at major international conferences and in journal papers, as part of meeting the requirements for your PhD. The PhD position is available starting January 2024.

Job profile

  • Highly creative and motivated PhD student with the following qualifications:
  • You have (or will obtain in the next months) a master degree in Computer Science, or a master degree in Computer Engineering with excellent ('honors'-level) grades.
  • You have strong computer science skills (python, C++, etc.)
  • You have a strong interest in machine learning and time series analysis, and are eager to advance the state-of-the-art.
  • Experience with machine learning algorithmic approaches or frameworks (such as PyTorch, Tensorflow, GPFlow, etc.) is considered a significant plus.
  • You are a team player and have strong communication skills.
  • Your English is fluent, both speaking and writing.

How to apply

Send your application by email or any questions concerning this vacancy to prof. Dirk Deschrijver ( and Prof. Tom Dhaene (, indicating “Job Application: Machine learning for Biomanufacturing” in the subject. Applications should include (1) an academic / professional resume, (2) a personal motivation letter, and (3) transcripts of study results, and (4) at least two reference contacts. After a first screening, selected candidates will be invited for an interview as a first contact in a multi-stage selection process.

  • Application deadline: vacancy is open until it is filled.
  • Type of contract: Full-time PhD Scholarship
  • Employment: Temporary (1+3 years), with yearly progress evaluation
  • Earliest starting date: January 1th 2024