Professor in eco-hydro-morphodynamics

    KU Leuven
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    02/11/2020 23:59 - Europe/Brussels
    Belgium › Leuven
    To be defined


You conduct fundamental and applied research on the interactions between hydrodynamics, sediment transport and biota in fluvial, estuarine and/or coastal environments, with a focus on the mutual feedbacks between these three players.
You will use current state of the art and develop new methods to understand the role of biological processes in morphodynamics, and look for applications of sustainable, nature-based solutions for environmental problems (e.g. in the view of climate change).
You will support the design and set-up a new state-of-art laboratory where the interactions between water, sediments and (living) biota can be studied, which aims at becoming a unique facility of international reputation.
You look for opportunities to valorise your research in collaboration with government and/or industry.
You set up national and international collaborations in this field.
You strive for excellence in your research and provide contributions to the continued development and the international character of the research groups and departments.
You publish at the highest scientific level, acquire resources for fundamental and applied research, develop international collaborations and supervise PhDs at an international level.


You ensure high-quality education in the programmes of Civil Engineering, Geography and Water Resources Engineering, with a clear commitment to the excellence of these programmes. You cover courses in the field of hydraulics, sediment transport and morphodynamics, and support students to develop skills in a laboratory and field environment and in numerical modelling. You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the university through the supervision of bachelor and master theses and as a promoter of PhD students.
You develop your teachings in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educationalist professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.


As academic staff of KU Leuven, you play an important role in society through your research and teaching, but also through your participation in the public debate, contributions to policy-supporting research projects for governments from the local to the European and international level. Participation in research-for-development projects (collaboration with developing countries) is encouraged.
You take up an active role in councils, educational committees, working groups of the university and in particular, of the division, department and faculty you will belong to.


We are offering a full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment.
KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly inter- and multidisciplinary focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard we actively work together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.
You will work in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor.

Eligibility criteria

You have a PhD degree in (hydraulic / oceanographic / geotechnical) engineering science, earth sciences, physical geography, ecology or a related subject.
You have research experience preferably in at least two of the following fields: (eco-) hydraulics, (eco-) morphodynamics, computational fluid mechanics, sediment mechanics. You are open-minded to cross borders between these disciplines and be willing to learn from others.
You have the desire and vision to close the triangle between water, sediments and ecology by linking the expertise of yourself with other colleagues with complementary expertise in these fields (within as well as outside KU Leuven). You are not expected to master every aspect of the eco-hydro-morphodynamics triangle, but should be able to coordinate, strengthen and optimize a research network between the available expertise. You must succeed in bridging the different research approaches and integrate results from all of them.
You have experience in conducting laboratory and/or field experiments and in the design of laboratory facilities and/or larger field campaigns, and have affinity with numerical modelling of flow processes.
You have a strong research profile. The quality of your research is proven by publications in prominent international journals and/or books. International experience is an important advantage.
You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
You develop a strong national and international network and you contribute highly to the international visibility of KU Leuven.
You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership capacities within a university context.
For this position, it is expected that you are able to teach courses in Dutch or in English from the start (native or C1 level CEFR). The official language at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment to meet the legal requirements, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required standard. Information is available on the language attestation website https://www.kuleuven.be/communicatie/intranet/taalattestering/english.

Selection process

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Erik Toorman, tel.: +32 16 32 16 59, mail: erik.toorman@kuleuven.be or Prof. dr. Gert Verstraeten, tel.: +32 16 32 64 11, mail: gert.verstraeten@kuleuven.be.

For problems with online applying, please contact solliciteren@kuleuven.be.

Add to your application following documents (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site):

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