KU Leuven

Retrofitting of machines using Artificial Intelligence at the Edge

2024-07-31 (Europe/Brussels)
Save job

About the employer

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visit the employer page

KU Leuven is a multi-campus knowledge institution that focuses on high-quality education and carries out high-quality research in several fields. The research group M-Group (Mechtronics research group) of KU Leuven is a multidisciplinary research group consisting of eight professors and more than 40 researchers and is situated at the Bruges Campus of KU Leuven. The M-Group carries out research into reliable interconnected systems where it develops new software and hardware to make systems more reliable and sustainable. More specifically, the M-Group also carries out research on sensors and on Edge Computing, more specifically on how Artificial Intelligence can be performed on constrained embedded systems.
This vacancy is in close collaboration with VIVES University of Applied Sciences, which in addition to providing training also conducts practice-oriented research and valorisation. Within the IoT and Data Driven Solutions research group is the IoT Lab, a high-tech lab that, on the one hand, carries out research, service provision as well as post-training around the topics IoT, edge AI, connectivity and networking, but on the other hand, also carries out the full-stack development of embedded systems at hardware and software level.


Within this project, we are looking for a motivated PhD student who will be employed on the ‘Retrokit’ project. The aim of this project is to upgrade machines that are not yet industry 4.0-ready with an external system so that real-time monitoring can be performed. Monitoring these machines is crucial to detect early component failure. This allows us to avoid unnecessary machine downtime or quality problems. The monitoring of machines requires technical expertise of the system, must be cost-efficient and for real-time interaction or feedback has the lowest possible latency. Within this project, you will develop a hardware platform for retrofitting to provide robust, timely and accurate edge condition monitoring via a modular machine learning approach. You will collaborate with a post-doc researcher from KU Leuven who is further developing the modular machine learning model. Your assignment will be to develop a new cost-efficient hardware platform that allows data to be taken in via various sensors, execute the modular machine learning model on the hardware (edge) and aggregate the information and communicate it to a general system. Communication can be wired or wireless.
For this vacancy, we are looking for an enthusiastic researcher with ambitions to do a PhD on this topic. You have a dynamic and proactive attitude towards research and industry. 
You are attached as a researcher to the research group M-Group within KU Leuven and the research group IoT & Data Driven Solutions within VIVES: 
You actively contribute to building technological expertise within VIVES and KU Leuven; 
  • You interact with companies and detect how all aspects of IoT and retrofitting can play a role in meeting their knowledge and innovation needs;
  • You closely follow up on contemporary developments concerning hardware design, (I)IoT, embedded AI and related technology: literature study and trendwatching is an important part of your assignment; 
  • You maintain good and timely feedback towards fellow researchers and your project coordinator; 
  • You detect research and service opportunities and help write them into project applications or tenders.


  • You have a master's degree in (industrial) engineering sciences, preferably Electronics, Mechatronics or Computer Science. You have an affinity for hardware design, embedded systems, IoT and Artificial Intelligence;
  • A systematic way of working is evident from your planning and organisation. You work on a project basis and think analytically and logically;
  • Your interpersonal skills are evident from your empathy, the ability to work together and communicate openly;
  • Networking and maintaining relationships are your strengths;
  • You can think critically and solve problems; 
  • You can work independently as well as a motivated team player and dare to take responsibility if necessary; 
  • You possess professional expertise and are willing to further optimise it;
  • You update by looking ahead and responding to developments in society;
  • You have experience in designing, drawing electronic schematics, developing and debugging hardware systems at PCB and component level. 
  • You have experience with or great interest in applying IoT technologies at hardware level (use of development boards, microcontrollers, FPGAs), at wireless level (LoRaWAN, IEEE 802.15.4, NB-IoT, BLE...) and at software level (Cloud services, Docker...); 
  • You have experience with or strong interest in applying AI to embedded systems with Tensorflow and/or PyTorch; 
  • Knowledge of DevOps tools such as Git, Docker, CI/CD, pipelining... is a plus.


You will be contracted with VIVES. Salary scale equivalent to the salary scale 502 for Master of Education Department. You will be employed as a contract clerk (through the social secretariat). This is a full-time assignment to start as soon as possible until 31 August 2025. Extension is possible after positive evaluation. 
You will have a laptop at your disposal on assignment from 35%.


For more information please contact Mr. Jonas Lannoo, tel.: +32 494 03 19 44, mail: jonas.lannoo@vives.be or Prof. dr. ir. Hans Hallez, tel.: +32 50 66 48 38, mail: hans.hallez@kuleuven.be.

Apply online via the VIVES vacancy: https://www.vives.be/nl/vacatures/onderzoeker-retrofitting-van-machines-via-edge-ai

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Job details

Retrofitting of machines using Artificial Intelligence at the Edge
Oude Markt 13 Leuven, Belgium
Application deadline
2024-07-31 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2024-07-31 23:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

More jobs from this employer

About the employer

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Visit the employer page