full‐time research professorship in the research group ELECTA

Posted 1 year ago

(ref. BZP-2020-13)

Last modification : Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) of KU Leuven, invites scholars to apply for a full‐time research professorship in the research group ELECTA. This position is funded by the Special Research Fund (BOFZAP), established by the Flemish Government. We are looking for motivated and internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record and with educational competence in the field of smart power systems. The appointment is expected to start on October 1, 2021. Applications will be evaluated in parallel and independently by 1) the KU Leuven Research Council in a competitive process across academic domains and 2) the faculty advisory committee. During the first 10 years, the teaching obligations as a research professor will be limited. Afterwards, the position will be transformed into a regular professorship. The electric power sector goes digital: monitoring systems, communication networks and data storage are integrated in the transmission and distribution grid, and data streams compete with power streams for importance. Concurrently, decisions are being taken closer towards constraints, which requires an ever more important uncertainty characterisation. To meet the energy transition challenges, hence, requires power system operation to become ever more data-driven. The simulation of multiple what-if -scenarios in real time provides numerous opportunities for decision support for grid operation, making it more efficient, also if invertor-coupled renewable sources and controllable loads are connected to the grid, and when SCADA/EMS-systems run in parallel to local control applications. This also requires the ability to validate the behaviour of grid protection devices, smart energy sources or other devices in an emulation environment (coupled to a real-time simulator), before integrating them in the grid. This (power-)hardware-in-the-loop approach is a complementary challenge. It is expected that the selected candidate will take initiatives to guide and steer such research. ELECTA’s research focuses on the broad spectrum of electrical energy systems. The design and development of a future-proof smart grid is key. ELECTA is co-founder of the knowledge centre EnergyVille on sustainable energy systems, and of the KU Leuven ‘Energy Institute’. ELECTA received the ‘excellence’ mark following the most recent research visitation. ELECTA owns a state-of-the-art research infrastructure for decision support and power-hardware-in-the-loop, it has an elaborate national and international network in academia as well as in industry, a stable inflow of talented PhD students and a supportive working environment.
It is part of the assignment of the appointed candidate to develop, within the domain of smart grids an international, competitive research programme, to pursue excellent scientific results at an international level and to support and promote national and international research partnerships. The candidate must meet a strong research profile or have the potential to do so. In addition, the candidate is expected to have a multidisciplinary attitude and a willingness to cooperate intensively with other researchers and research units at KU Leuven and within EnergyVille.
The candidate:
  • Is an excellent, internationally oriented researcher and develops a research programme at the forefront in the field of decision support for grid operation and/or power-hardware-in-the-loop.
  • Strengthens existing research lines and brings complementary and/or additionally new expertise by working closely with the members of the research unit.
  • Publishes at the highest scientific level (such as IEEE transactions on Smart Grid, on Power Systems, etc.).
  • Develops an own research group.
  • Supervises master students, PhD students and postdocs at a high international level.
  • Aims to acquire competitive research funding from national and/or international agencies and submits effective research project proposals for this purpose.
  • Establishes both within KU Leuven, national and international partnerships in the context of the research programme.
  • Strives for excellence in research and provides a contribution to the international research reputation of ELECTA/EnergyVille, the department of electrical engineering and KU Leuven.
  • Has a pronounced interest in fundamental research, but also pays attention to the valorisation and applications of the research, e.g. via contacts with policy makers and industrial leaders.
Although the position regards a research professorship at the start of employment, the candidate is expected to gradually contribute to state of the art teaching.
The candidate also contributes to the pedagogic project of the faculty/university. He/she develops teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and research‐based education and makes use of the possibilities for the educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.
The assignment of the candidate to be appointed also includes a teaching assignment in the Master of Engineering: Energy, Master of Electrical Engineering and other related programs in the faculty of Engineering Science.
Scientific, societal  and internal services (administrative and/or institutional) are also part of the assignment.
  • You have a PhD degree in Engineering Science, in a domain closely related to the topic described above. If you have recently obtained your PhD, it is important that you support your research and growth potential with academic references. At least three years of postdoctoral experience is expected.
  • You have a strong research profile in the field and an indisputable research integrity.
  • The quality of your research is proven by publications in leading international top journals in this domain.
  • International research experience is considered as an important advantage.
  • You have demonstrable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is a plus.
  • You possess organizational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also have leadership skills within a university context.
  • Your spoken and written English is excellent. The official administrative 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 administrative meetings. Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch resp. English to the required standard.
  • We offer 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 collaborate with research partners in Belgium and abroad. We provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.
  • Depending on your qualifications and academic experience, 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 researches 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 as an associate professor.
  • You will work in Leuven, a historic and dynamic and vibrant city located in the heart of Belgium, within twenty minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.
  • KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration and administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, …
  • In order to facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding and appointed for at least 50%.
More information on the content of the job can be obtained from the academic contact person : Prof.dr.ir. Geert Deconinck, geert.deconinck@kuleuven.be.
More information on the guidelines, regulations and application file is available from Ms. Kristin Vermeylen (kristin.vermeylen@kuleuven.be , tel. +32 16 32 09 07) or Ms. Christelle Maeyaert (christelle.maeyaert@kuleuven.be , tel. +32 16 31 41 94).
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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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Job CategoryEnseignement et recherche scientifique

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