Professor Computer Science, Cost-efficient and data-efficient solutions for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

22 April 2020

Get in touch!

For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:

o Prof. Stefan Vandewalle, department chair of the Department of Computer Science (, +32 16 32 76 54).

o Prof. Jan Ivens, campus chair of De Nayer Campus (, +32 1632 86 12).

If you have problems submitting your application online, please send an email to

Apply before 29 June 2020

KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy in the area of Artificial Intelligence at the De Nayer Campus.

We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record and with educational competencies within the field of computer science, strongly focused on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and industrial applications of AI. The successful applicant will be appointed in the Section Declarative Languages and Artificial Intelligence of the Department of Computer Science, and the Faculty of Engineering Technology of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology has an extensive national and international network, both in the academic and business world.

The research group Declarative Languages and Artificial Intelligence (DTAI) is one of Flanders’ leading research groups on Artificial Intelligence, with a focus on logical/relational methods in both Knowledge Representation and Machine Learning. The DTAI subgroup at De Nayer focuses on the demand-driven application of state-of-the-art AI in industrial applications. Its activities are embedded within the multi-disciplinary research group EAVISE (Embedded Artificially Intelligent Vision Engineering) active on Campus De Nayer, Sint-Katelijne-Waver. The research group can build upon a solid research infrastructure, an extensive international network, connections with companies and non-profit organisations, a stable offer of highly talented PhD students and a supportive work environment.

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Recent advances in Machine Learning and particularly the field of Deep Learning have provided huge gains for big companies (Google, Facebook, ...) that are able to apply massive amounts of computation power to huge datasets in order to solve the kinds of problems that are typically of interest to them. This has led to impressive achievements, particularly in audiovisual areas such as speech recognition and object/person detection.

The requirement of huge datasets or massive computation rules out many applications of interest, especially those involving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which do not have access to such datasets or computational resources. Furthermore, besides the audio- and visual applications which are already extensively covered at KU Leuven, numerous relevant applications involve other kinds of data. Examples of such applications are the detection of anomalies in event logs, the monitoring or analysis of chemical processes and the search for pattern in users' online behavior. The question then is how to provide effective cost-efficient and data-efficient AI and ML solutions for such applications.

We are looking for a researcher who will investigate ways of bringing state-of-the-art ML and AI closer to the practical needs of SMEs. This topic can be tackled in different ways, for example, by devising solutions that do not require huge amounts of computation power to be available, that do not require big datasets, that integrate available background knowledge, or that focus on specific application areas that lend themselves to more cost-efficient and data-efficient solutions. Solutions may consider ML and AI paradigms that are alternatives to deep learning, or that combine machine learning with other AI methods.

In the aforementioned context, you develop a research programme at an international level, on cost-efficient and data-efficient solutions for ML and AI. You collaborate with other research groups at KU Leuven and other universities. The research should be complementary to the applied research carried out by both the EAVISE group at De Nayer Campus and the ADVISE (Advanced Integrated Sensing) group at Geel Campus, and complementary to the more fundamental research carried out by the DTAI Section in Leuven. You develop a network within the academic and non-academic world in order to strengthen the collaboration between both, among others for the valorisation of scientific results. Your research results in PhDs and publications that meet international standards and lead to broad international recognition.

You are able to acquire competitive funding, which includes project-based government funding as well as industrial funding. You develop strategies for commercialization of the applied research results on behalf of government and industry in applied research.

You provide additional expertise to the research group, thereby strengthening the fundamental research, and you identify topics within existing research programmes that are relevant for your own work, thereby providing a fundamental basis for your own research. You also give the necessary attention to ensuring societal impact of scientific results.


  • You provide high-quality education for both bachelor and master students in the field of computer science and artificial intelligence, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme as a whole. All professors are expected to teach a few basic undergraduate courses.
  • You contribute to the faculty’s and the university’s pedagogical project through the supervision of student projects (for example bachelor’s and master’s theses) and by acting as a promotor of PhD students.
  • You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s views on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.
  • Your teaching duties are limited in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the faculty will also pay a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.


  • You are prepared to provide services to the scientific community, to society and to the university in function of the needs and your personal interests.
  • You maintain close contact with the local industry.
  • You play an active part in promoting the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the wider professional field by participating in open days, networking events and fairs,...


  • You have a master’s degree in Science, Engineering Science, Engineering Technology, Computer Science, or an equivalent degree. You hold a PhD degree in a subject that relates to the research field of this vacancy.
  • You have a strong research track record in the discipline, evidenced by your publications or by your research experience in industry. You have the ambition to contribute to the valorisation of research in industry and in society. International experience is an important advantage.
  • You have verifiable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
  • You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership competencies in a university or industry context.
    Proficiency in English is required.
  • The official language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, 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.

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

  • your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages);
  • a file on your five most important publications or realizations;
  • an extensive cv including a full publication list and, if applicable, a portfolio of your architectural projects;
  • your research plan with focus on the development of your research line and research team in relation with the colleague-researchers of the entity of employment (maximum 4 pages);
  • your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);
  • your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page);
  • your vision on leadership (maximum 1 page).

KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.

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