Production intelligence for product design and performance optimization

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
October 22, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
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Production intelligence for product design and performance optimization

(ref. BAP-2022-619)

Last modification : Monday, August 22, 2022

The research is hosted by the KU Leuven Micro&Precision Engineering Research(MPE) group – as part of the Manufacturing and Process Systems division(MaPS) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. MaPS stands for the study of techniques, methods and devices that are used to manufacture parts of products and systems based on in-depth knowledge of the material-tool interaction and derived machine structures. Systematic data monitoring, analysis and management is used in this context, targeting system optimisation. Product specification, modelling, process planning and quality control are integrated aspects of the product-production cycle, for which the sustainability dimension is considered in a life cycle approach. This results in innovative manufacturing processes and systems that are developed in close collaboration with industrial partners. The MPE group is supervised by prof. Dominiek Reynaerts and is focusing on the development of micro-systems, micro- nano manufacturing (covering both machining processes and machine design) and the development of medical instruments.

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Designingtolerances can be a time-intensive and heuristic process in mechanical designs.Often these tolerances are simply copied from previous designs or obtained fromrather heuristic tolerance synthesis methods, which do not account for theactual behaviour of an assembly nor do they take into account the productioncost. In other cases, designers even lack the freedom to alter the tolerances,and need to stick to company standards. This is problematic as these tolerancescan have a major impact on the performance of the system while also stronglyaffecting the cost of manufacturing and quality control.

Theproposed thesis will focus on the development of a workflow to optimizetolerances (to optimize manufacturing cost) while fulfilling the functionalityof the assembled product. The software toolchain developed in the project isexpected to extend the capabilities of the existing CAD/CAM/CAE systems bynovel tolerance and design optimization tools.

  • Diploma: Master's degree or comparable qualification in Engineering Science (preferably in Mechanical Engineering, computer science, mechatronics, electronic engineering or adjacent fields).
  • A strong interest for multidisciplinary research is required.
  • A solid background/knowledge in mechanical manufacturing techniques is strongly recommended.
  • Prior experience with CNC machine tools is beneficial but not mandatory.
  • Experience (courses/projects) with programming (C++ or python), or affinity for model based (physical models) analysis will be considered as an advantage.
  • Holding an analytical mindset and technical/practical implementation skills will be considered as an advantage.

  • Good knowledge of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential. TOEFL score at least 79 (IBT) or IELTS-score of 6.5.

  • Offer
  • A remuneration package competitive with industry standards in Belgium, a country with a high quality of life and excellent health care system.
  • An opportunity to pursue a PhD in mechanical engineering, typically a 4 year trajectory, in a stimulating and ambitious research environment.
  • Ample occasions to develop yourself in a scientific and/or an industrial direction. Besides opportunities offered by the research group, further doctoral training for PhD candidates is provided in the framework of the KU Leuven Arenberg Doctoral School(https: //, known for its strong focus on both future scientists and scientifically trained professionals who will valorize their doctoral expertise and competences in a non-academic context. More information on the training opportunities can be found on the following link: https: //
  • A stay in a vibrant environment in the hearth of Europe. The university is located in Leuven, a town of approximately 100000 inhabitants, located close to Brussels (25km), and 20minutes by train from Brussels International Airport. This strategic positioning and the strong presence of the university, international research centers, and industry, lead to a safe town with high quality of life, welcome to non-Dutch speaking people and with ample opportunities for social and sport activities. The mixture of cultures and research fields are some of the ingredients making the university of Leuven the most innovative university inEurope(https: // tops-reuters-ranking-of-europes-most-innovative-universities).Further information can be found on the website of the university: https: // www.
  • Interested?

    For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Dominiek Reynaerts (tel.: +32 16 32 26 40, mail:, Dr. Jun Qian (tel.: +32 16 32 25 24, mail: or Dr. Shashwat Kushwaha (tel.: +32 16 32 64 50, mail:

    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

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