Virtual sensing strategies from optical fiber measurements in mechanical
Last modification : Saturday, October 8, 2022
The research is hosted by the KU Leuven Mecha(tro)nic System Dynamics
division (LMSD), which currently counts >100 researchers. This research
track is supervised by prof. Frank Naets
(https: // www. kuleuven.be/wieiswie/en/person/00055809 ). The research group
has a long track record of combining excellent fundamental academic research
with industrially relevant applications, leading to dissemination in both
highly ranked academic journals as well as on industrial fora. More
information on the research group can be found on the website:
https: // www. mech.kuleuven.be/en/research/mod/about and our linkedIn page:
https: // www. linkedin.com/showcase/noise-&-vibration-research-group. The KU
Leuven Mecha(tro)nic System Dynamics division (LMSD) is searching for a
research engineer to join its team to work in the challenging Fibermech
strategic basic research project.
This PhD is part of a project aiming to develop a novel approach for
virtual sensing of dynamic quantities (strains, stresses, forces) in
mechanical systems, exploiting fiber optical measurements in the
considered structures. These types of sensors have shown great potential
over the past decades due to the distributed nature of the information
which can be extracted. However, in order to robustly apply these sensors,
a proper correction for the connection between the thermal and structural
behavior of the system under study is key. There is therefore great
potential in estimation or observer frameworks which allow to combine
thermo-mechanical models together with these measurements in order to
obtain an accurate view on the operational behavior of the system.
As a researcher you will investigate novel methods to combine thermo-
mechanical models (and their reduced-order versions) of various
structures with (embedded) fiber optic sensors. You will develop reduced
order modelling methods such that the (coupled) thermo mechanical
behavior can be included in real-time estimation schemes. You will develop
the estimation framework, starting from existing methodologies like Kalman
filtering, and investigate appropriate calibration procedures to update
the models, sensors and estimators. You will validate the developments
both numerically and experimentally, in first instance on academic
problems, and finally scale them to (close-to-)industrial complexity
If you recognize yourself in the story below, then you have the profile that
fits the project and the research group:
I have a master degree in engineering, physics or mathematics and
performed above average in comparison to my peers.
I am proficient in written and spoken English.
During my courses or prior professional activities, I have gathered some
basic experience with numerical modelling methods and optimization
I have a good background in finite-element methods (both theory and
application) for mechanical problems (thermal and structural).
I have notions of control theory and estimation.
I have experience end/or am interested in combining numerical and
I am proficient in programming basic methods in Matlab.
As a PhD researcher of the KU Leuven Noise and Vibration Research Group I
perform research in a structured and scientifically sound manner. I read
technical papers, understand the nuances between different theories and
implement and improve methodologies myself.
Based on interactions and discussions with my supervisors and the
colleagues in my team, I set up and update a plan of approach for the
upcoming 1 to 3 months to work towards my research goals. I work with a
sufficient degree of independence to follow my plan and achieve the goals.
I indicate timely when deviations of the plan are required, if goals
cannot be met or if I want to discuss intermediate results or issues.
In frequent reporting, varying between weekly to monthly, I show the
results that I have obtained and I give a well-founded interpretation of
those results. I iterate on my work and my approach based on the feedback
of my supervisors which steer the direction of my research.
I feel comfortable to work as a team member and I am eager to share my
results to inspire and being inspired by my colleagues.
I value being part of a large research group which is well connected to
the machine and transportation industry and I am eager to learn how
academic research can be linked to industrial innovation roadmaps.
During my PhD I want to grow towards following up the project that I am
involved in and representing the research group on project meetings or
conferences. I see these events as an occasion to disseminate my work to
an audience of international experts and research colleagues, and to learn
about the larger context of my research and the research project.
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: // set.kuleuven.be/phd), known
for its strong focus on both future scientists and scientifically trained
professionals who will valorise their doctoral expertise and competences
in a non-academic context. More information on the training opportunities
can be found on the following link:
https: // set.kuleuven.be/phd/dopl/whytraining.
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 20 minutes 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 in Europe
(https: // nieuws.kuleuven.be/en/content/2018/ku-leuven-once-again-tops-
information can be found on the website of the university:
https: // www. kuleuven.be/english/living
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Frank Naets, tel.: +32 16 37 26
93, mail: email@example.com or Mr. Bert Pluymers, tel.: +32 16 32 25 29,
mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and mention Fibermechapplication in the
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