PhD Student

Last application date
Apr 01, 2020 12:00
TW08 - Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Limited duration
Master in electromechanical, electrical or control engineering
Occupancy rate
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

Ghent University is a top 100 university worldwide and one of the major universities in Belgium, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members. At the department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering (ESME), the optimization and control of mechatronic systems is an important research topic. In mechatronics, there is a trend towards autonomous systems with a high level of modularity. For instance, in manufacturing and logistics, Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) can be equipped with a robot arm to perform various working functions in an automated manner, such as handling loads, drilling, polishing or painting. Also in agricultural applications, modularity and automation are becoming more and more important, e.g., in autonomous farming equipment for plowing, sowing or harvesting.

Ghent University is a research partner in the Flanders Make Work-Drive project, which investigates collaborative motion for modular mechatronic systems. Our contribution in the project lies in the low-level control of the motors and actuators. As a PhD student within this project, your task is to investigate a distributed, adaptive and modular low-level control architecture with digital twin integration for modular collaborative mechatronic applications. This involves modelling the system and developing the control strategy in a simulation environment, e.g., using Matlab/Simulink and Siemens NX. The research results must be validated both in the simulation environment and on a linear track robot setup at the campus Kortrijk of Ghent University. Since the research is part of a Flanders Make project, you will collaborate closely with other research groups in Flanders. You are expected to publish your research results in scientific journals and to present your results on international conferences. The initial contract duration will be one year, in which you are hired as a PhD researcher. The contract can start on the first of July 2020 at the earliest. The contract can be extended to a full 4 year PhD research period under the condition of a positive evaluation after the initial period. Ghent University offers an attractive salary with additional benefits, a positive and inspiring working environment and training possibilities. You will work both in the mechatronics research group at the campus Kortrijk and the Electrical Energy Laboratory in the Tech Lane Ghent Science Park in Zwijnaarde.

You can also find a description of the job vacancy on

Profile of the candidate

You have a master degree in engineering, preferably in electromechanical, electrical or control engineering. You are motivated, creative and have a passion for academic research. You have an affinity with both experimental research and simulation software. You must be sufficiently fluent in writing and speaking in English. You will work in a positive and international environment where a constructive collaboration with other researchers is expected. Therefore, we expect you to be a team-player and a good communicator.

How to apply

Send your CV and motivation letter to before the 1st of April 2020, including ‘WORK-DRIVE’ in the subject of your e-mail. Please include contact details of two referees. If you pass the pre-selection, you will receive further instructions on the selection process and will be invited for a job interview, possibly via Skype. Job interviews will be held in April.