KU Leuven

Professor in cost-effective building (junior)

2023-11-20 (Europe/Brussels)
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KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Science, Department of Architecture there is a full-time academic vacancy available on campus Leuven-Heverlee in the area of cost-effective building. We are looking for highly motivated candidates with the capacity of developing research on cost-effective design of sustainable buildings (new constructions and renovations) and cities from a life cycle thinking perspective, who are able to engage actively with our educational programmes.
The research performed at the Department of Architecture encompasses the field of architecture in its broadest sense, meaning the built environment created by man, at the heart of which stands design. From theory and history to construction and building technology, from heritage conservation to urbanism, spatial planning and landscape architecture, we strive only for excellence. This research is located at the Faculty of Engineering Science (Leuven-Heverlee) and at the Faculty of Architecture (Campus Sint-Lucas Brussels and Ghent). The Department serves as international centre of expertise in these areas and numbers over 160 doctoral researchers from all over the world.
The purpose of this vacancy is to complement, expand and build upon existing expertise at KU Leuven, the Faculty of Engineering Science, and the Department of Architecture. This profile fits within the ambition of the department to contribute to the challenge to move towards a more sustainable building stock, more specifically by researching how the challenges the built environment is facing can be addressed in a cost-effective way. Important challenges are impact on and exposure to climate change, high use of resources and harmful emissions (e.g. waste). The goal is to work on developing methods and computational tools that facilitate the cost-effective design of sustainable buildings (new constructions and renovations) and cities from a life cycle thinking perspective. The aim is to provide decision-makers with the necessary cost information in the early design stages and to support policy makers in defining roadmaps for building stock dynamics with these insights.
The candidate for this position shall ally him/herself with the Research Group Architectural Engineering of the Department at its site in Leuven-Heverlee. The candidate will work in a research division that has a strong expertise in environmental life cycle assessment, design optimization and building performance assessment. Close collaboration with these fields is aimed for in order to tackle the complexity of buildings from a holistic perspective. Although this vacancy is seeking for an expert in building cost assessment, expertise in the field of environmental life cycle assessment, climate modelling, building performance assessment, multi-criteria decision making or design optimization are hence seen as an important added value.

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  • You develop high-level, internationally oriented research on cost-effective building. You pay attention to the broader perspective of sustainable building through collaboration with the colleagues of the Research Group of Architectural Engineering.
  • You will be actively involved in doctoral research at the Department of Architecture, as supervisor or as a member of the advisory committee. You will thus build up your research group, demonstrating academic leadership qualities.
  • You also actively develop new research projects at the Section and in the Department, both fundamental and applied in nature. You competitively acquire research funding on the university, national and/or European level. You publish in the top channels and fora of your field.
  • You actively support and assist in developing national and international collaboration at the Section and at the Research Unit you are associated with. 
  • You strive for excellence in your research and consequently provide a contribution to the continued development of the Department.
  • Remark. During the first years, your educational load will be limited in agreement with the educational committee and with the other professors of architectural engineering, so as to leave you sufficient space to build up your research. 


  • You ensure high-quality education within the broad field of Building Technology, Building Economics and BIM, with a clear commitment to the quality of the program as a whole. In particular, you contribute to the bachelor and master programs in engineering/architecture at the Department.
  • You integrate your research within your teaching. You commit yourself to reviewing the existing didactical model critically, to refine and further develop it. 
  • You also contribute to the pedagogic project of the Faculty/University through the supervision of master theses and as a supervisor of PhD students.
  • You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and research-based education and make use of the possibilities for the educational professionalization offered by the Faculty and the University.
  • In doing so, you collaborate closely with the other professors of architectural engineering of the Department of Architecture, and with the other ZAP members of the Research Section.


  • You are prepared to provide scientific, social and internal services, amongst others by maintaining close contact with the international academic community and the related professional domains and by serving on advisory committees.
  • You are prepared to take up responsibilities in academic management at KU Leuven and you are willing to participate actively in the development of the educational programs in engineering/architecture, on all degree levels.
  • You play an active role in maintaining the profile and furthering the impact of the Department and Faculty as regards students, both new and old and the broader professional field, amongst others by taking part in public presentations, information days, introductory events.


  • You have a master degree in architectural engineering, or a master degree in an equivalent engineering degree, as well as a PhD. The subject of your doctoral thesis was related to the research and educational field described for this vacancy.
  • You can show high-level research experience in the aforementioned field (publications, membership of reputable research programs and institutions, previous research financing).
  • International experience acquired during your academic training and/or international experience with practice, and/or collaboration with practitioners from other disciplines, are considered as an advantage.
  • Experience with teaching students in architecture, architectural or construction engineering, or related fields will also be considered as an advantage. You are ready to help position the program of engineering/architecture and the advanced master degrees at the Department within the (inter)national world of architectural education.
  • You possess organisational skills and you adopt a cooperative attitude towards your colleagues. You champion a dynamic department. You are willing to build bridges between practice, education and research on the one hand, and between sections, institutes, organisations and communities on the other. 
  • 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, respectively English, to the required standard.


  • We are offering full-time (100 %) 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 multidisciplinarily focused and strives for international excellence. In this regard we actively work together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provide our students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.
  • The alma mater of acclaimed scholars such as Erasmus, Andreas Vesalius and Georges Lemaître, KU Leuven has a rich scientific tradition and history. Its internationally renowned research and educational programmes cause it to consistently rank among the best 50 universities worldwide.
  • You will work in Heverlee near Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20 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 & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, … 
  • To facilitate scientific onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 110.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%.
  • In accordance with your curriculum vitae and your scientific seniority, the rank of your appointment will vary. You may either be appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, you will be permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor. Or, if your track record justifies this, you may be appointed as associate professor (or in a higher rank) for a probation period of 3 years, after which you achieve tenure if the evaluation is positive.


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:
- Prof. Dr. Bruno De Meulder, Chair of the Department of Architecture (Heverlee) (bruno.demeulder@kuleuven.be)
- Prof. Dr. Karen Allacker, Head Research Section “Design and Engineering of Construction and Architecture” (karen.allacker@kuleuven.be)
You can submit your application only through our online application system. If you have problems submitting your application online, please send a message to solliciteren@kuleuven.be
Add to your application following documents (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 list of your publications and if applicable, a portfolio of your past 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 is committed to creating a diverse environment and is therefore an equal opportunity employer. It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at the university to submit their applications.
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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Job details

Professor in cost-effective building (junior)
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-11-20 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2023-11-20 23:59 (CET)
Save job

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