13 June 2019

Get in touch!


For more information please contact dr. Jef Peeters, tel.: +32 16 32 25 69, or prof. dr. Wim Dewulf, tel.: +32 16 37 28 81,

You can apply for this job no later than July 07, 2019 via the online application tool
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

Apply before 18 November 2019

As KU Leuven research group on Life Cycle Engineering of the Department of Mechanical Engineering we have acquired significant experience in de- and remanufacturing of Waste of Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE): the dismantling of products into their components or composing materials in support of reuse and/or high-end recycling. We also exploit this knowledge to support original equipment manufacturers in designing the next generation products for ease of disassembly and recycling. Hence, the research group supports both manufacturers and recycling companies in the transition towards a circular economy.

Website unit


The European Horizon 2020 project Si-DRIVE (Silicon Alloying Anodes for High Energy Density Batteries comprising Lithium Rich Cathodes and Safe Ionic Liquid based Electrolytes for Enhanced High VoltagE Performance) will develop innovative battery technologies for electric vehicles. Within Si-DRIVE KU Leuven will develop and evaluate the end-of-life treatment and the related economic and environmental performances of these new battery technologies. You will be responsible for conceiving intelligent de- and remanufacturing systems that enable fully automated dismantling of Si-DRIVE battery cells. A major challenge concerns handling the large variation of products and their conditions at End of Life. You will therefore develop innovative multi-sensor and computer vision solutions to detect and recognize product features and the condition of components in order to determine and execute autonomously the optimal dismantling strategy. In addition, you explore opportunities to increase the robustness of these automated de- and remanufacturing processes by integrating self-learning abilities based on process and human feedback. You will investigate different strategies to improve and better align the product design and the repair, reuse, repurpose and recycling of the electrical vehicle batteries. Throughout the project, conceptual approaches will be combined with experimental validation of innovative automated processes on a lab scale.

To achieve these goals:

  • You independently follow-up literature, patents, company releases, conferences, etc. and use the obtained information to set up experiments.
  • You are responsible for the development and evaluation of innovative algorithms and contribute to organizing and performing validation experiments.
  • You contribute to the writing of project proposals and the guiding of Master students with their thesis work.
  • You report to your supervisors and to industrial and academic partners during project meetings and at international conferences.
  • You publish in international scientific journals and work towards writing a PhD dissertation.
  • You combine a Master’s in Science, Engineering, or equivalent with a solid background in Artificial Intelligence and automation.
  • You have a profound interest in sustainability and circular economy, hence are willing to broaden your field of expertise in related assessment techniques, such as life cycle costing and environmental footprinting.
  • You like to work in a multidisciplinary team of international researchers and show willingness to learn/explore innovative technologies and techniques.
  • You have a creative mind set, take initiative, and are not afraid to address innovative ideas and new opportunities.
  • You are fluent in English or willing to improve your language skills.

KU Leuven is among the top European universities. The Life Cycle Engineering group coordinated by Prof. Wim Dewulf, Prof. Joost Duflou, and Dr. Jef Peeters has a long-standing track record in ecodesign, sustainable manufacturing, and recycling systems.

We offer:

  • a research position in a stimulating and multi-disciplinary environment, in close collaboration with industry and European research partners.
  • an attractive salary package, complemented with multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.).
  • the opportunity to participate at international conferences, and to work towards obtaining a PhD degree.