Post-doctoral position in Photonics: Applied and industrial research on optical fibre sensing

This job offer has expired

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    30/04/2019 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Belgium › Gooik

The objective for this Post-Doc position is to instrument a bearing test rig with optical fibre sensors for measuring the pressure and temperature in the roller bearings’ thin lubricant film during operation. The offered job post is situated in the strategic basic research project CONTACTLUB, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen). The Post-Doc candidate will join the Brussels Photonics (B-PHOT) research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium. With 45 international experts in fundamental and applied photonics research, B-PHOT covers the entire research cycle from modelling and fabrication to characterization and proof-of-concept demonstration (http://www.b-phot.org/).

Over the last decade, B-PHOT has built up a team that is passionate about optical fibre sensing. This team has acquired theoretical and experimental expertise, dealing with modelling and design of dedicated optical fibres for sensing applications, overcoming challenges in fibre sensor fabrication, as well as on the characterisation and implementation of optical fibre sensors for various applications. In particular, the team achieved breakthroughs in the fabrication and demonstration of fibre Bragg gratings in photonic crystal fibres, in the instrumentation of smart materials and structures, and in performing measurements with optical fibre sensors in harsh environments. Currently B-PHOT is involved in EU projects for structural health monitoring of composite fuselage (see http://sherloc-project.com) and for distributed optical fibre sensing (http://itn-finesse.eu/finesse-project/) in collaboration with multidisciplinary experts from around Europe. In addition, B-PHOT is also coordinating regional and national research projects on fundamental challenges in polymer optical fibres, lab-on-fibre devices and structural health monitoring. Finally B-PHOT is also a core lab of the Flemish strategic research centre “Flanders Make” which leads to numerous industrial collaborations in which optical fibre sensing is involved.

VUB B-PHOT is currently constructing a lab extension at its Photonics Innovation Centre (current infrastructure, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UawaU0hkjxY), that will include a brand new lab for the team working on optical fibre sensors.


We are looking for an excellent Post-Doctoral Researcher in Photonics (duration = 36 months) to join our team:

  • Developing optical fibre sensors and optical fibre packages for advanced pressure and temperature measurements.
  • Instrumenting mechanical engineering structures with optical fibre sensors
  • Performing a variety of measurement campaigns.
  • Data processing and reporting of results.

Starting date: September 2019.

The available Post-Doc position has a duration of 3 years (and prolongation possible). After a first period of six months, you will be evaluated, and the contract will be extended only if your evaluation was positive.

To apply please send your detailed CV (including a copy of the PhD diploma), letters of recommendation, your publication list and an application letter to Prof. Thomas Geernaert (thomas.geernaert@vub.be) before 30thApril 2019. If your application is selected based on the CV and accompanying documents, you will be invited for a teleconference interview and online tests.



The work location will be the VUB Photonics Innovation Centre, Vollezelestraat 46, 1755 Gooik, Belgium. The centre, located at VUB’s Photonics Campus in Gooik outside of Brussels, is a totally new research facility with world-unique large-scale equipment for the fabrication, characterization and demonstration of photonic components. Part of its equipment is placed in clean room conditions, and the facility is currently being expanded with dedicated labs for advanced material and fiber processing. The brand-new offices at the Photonics Innovation Centre host about 20 B-PHOT researchers. More information about the centre can be found at: http://www.b-phot.org/www/Industrial-photonics/Photonics-Innovation-Center

As an employee of VUB you will receive a salary on one of the pay scales laid down by the government, depending on your experience and academic merits. Hospitalisation cover and free use of public transport for travel to and from work are standard conditions of employment. If you would rather cycle to work, compensation is also available for that.

More information is available at www.vub.ac.be under the heading ‘future employees’.


Eligibility criteria



Selection process

To apply please send your detailed CV (including a copy of the PhD diploma), letters of recommendation, your publication list and an application letter to Prof. Dr. Ir. Thomas Geernaert (thomas.geernaert@vub.be) before 30thApril 2019. If your application is selected based on the CV and accompanying documents, you will be invited for a teleconference interview and online tests.


Additional comments

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a dynamic university with 4 campuses in and around Brussels, one of which is dedicated to photonics research. The university has 8 faculties that accomplish the three central missions of the university: education, research, and service to the community. The faculties cover a broad range of fields of knowledge including natural sciences, classics, life sciences, social sciences, humanities, and engineering. The university provides bachelor, master, and doctoral education to over 15,000 students, 21% of which are international. It also is a strongly research-oriented institute, which has led to its #182 ranking among universities worldwide. With more than 150 internationally recognised research teams, VUB performs high-level fundamental and applied research. Thanks to the creation of more than 20 spin-offs in various domains, VUB plays a prominent role in attracting and instigating new economic activity in and around the Brussels-Capital Region.

Teaching and research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are founded on the principle of unfettered inquiry to benefit the progress of mankind. This means rejecting dogmatic positions and guaranteeing the freedom to form opinions without interference; in this way the University aims to ensure the dispersal of the principle of unfettered inquiry throughout society.

The University is autonomous and democratically run. This means guaranteeing the exercise of the fundamental freedoms within the University, as well as the right of the University Community to participate in the decision-making process and scrutiny of University policy.

The following form part of the University’s mission:

  • the development, the communication and the application of a high level of academic education and scientific research, free from all preconceived ideas;
  • the translation of these ideals and knowledge into society in the spirit of social engagement;
  • the creation of a society in which everyone is capable of engaging in critical thinking.

Required Research Experiences

    4 - 10
    4 - 10

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: PhD or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


  • Candidates should possess a PhD degree in Photonics or Physics.
  • A strong background in experimental work on optical fibre sensors is a must.
  • Candidates should have proven experience with the installation of optical fibre sensors and the interpretation and processing of their raw measurement data.
  • Candidates with a strong interest in multidisciplinary problems and with both theoretical and experimental skills will be favored.
  • Additional knowledge and experience on vibrations and dynamics of mechanical systems will be considered as a plus.
  • Candidates should be able to carry out research activities in an independent manner, whilst having excellent communication skills and a positive attitude towards collaboration. Regular interaction in a professional and constructive manner with the B-PHOT team members and with the industrial project partners will be crucial.
  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English (CEFR level C1 or equivalent) is required.
  • Candidates should be prepared to travel within Belgium, and occasionally within Europe, to the project partners for joint experiments and meetings.

Besides the criteria enlisted above, applications will be evaluated based on their overall quality.

The candidate is expected to endorse the educational vision of the university (full text available on the university website).

Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.


Specific Requirements

As B-PHOT’s main research centre is situated outside Brussels, candidates are preferred to have a driving license recognized as valid in the EU. They should also be prepared to travel to project partners (within Belgium and occasionally within Europe) for joint experiments and meetings.


Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Vollezelestraat 46

EURAXESS offer ID: 378886


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