The lab of Prof. Anne Gobin conducts research on “hydropedology in a changing climate” at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, at KU Leuven (Belgium). There is an open full-time PhD position in Bioscience Engineering to investigate and engineer climate resilient agricultural soil and land management. KU Leuven offers a competitive and international working environment with access to the latest technologies and expertise.

KU Leuven is the highest internationally ranked university in Belgium and ranks amongst the best European universities for research and education. KU Leuven also ranks as the most innovative university in Europe, building on a very strong tech transfer office. Leuven is one of Europe’s best university towns located only 30 minutes from Brussels with an international and diverse student community. A short description of the division of soil and water management (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences) at KU Leuven can be found here:


High-resolution spatial-temporal data on soil characteristics are essential to advance data driven agriculture, monitor soil health and establish land-based climate mitigation objectives. Farmers increasingly grapple with extreme weather events such as drought in some years and excess rainfall in others, necessitating sustainable and climate resilient agricultural soil and land management. Current soil data available do not match the resolution needed for modelling carbon and water cycles, and current soil surveys fall short due to their time and cost-intensive efforts.

Satellite remote sensing has the potential to provide harmonised low-cost high-resolution soil information at the field to regional scale. The project aims to establish a framework for measuring and monitoring soil functions and agro-ecosystem services of agricultural soils to identify and monitor the most sustainable and climate resilient agricultural land management practices.


We seek a candidate with a Master’s degree (European or equivalent) in Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering, Water Resources Engineering or other relevant degrees for the PhD project described above.

A successful candidate will ideally:

  • have experience in plant production systems, soil and water management or landmanagement
  • have good academic performance at the MSc and BSc levels*
  • have intermediate programming or data-analytic skills and an active interest in further developing such skills
  • be eager to learn new techniques related to geomatics, remote sensing, machine learning and process-based modelling
  • be creative and have a strong interest in fundamental and applied scientific research
  • be willing to participate in teaching and other educational activities
  • demonstrate an ability to write and communicate in English
  • be able to integrate well in an international and diverse working environment

We offer a full-time doctoral position, initially for one year, which can be prolonged after a positive evaluation by the doctoral committee for up to four years in total. Candidates will be supported to apply for an FWO PhD fellowship.

You will be closely mentored by Prof. Anne Gobin. You will be given support to participate in European and international conferences and publish your contributions to science in scientific journals. In addition, you will be provided with career guidance and encouraged to develop research oriented skills through courses via the Arenberg Doctoral School. The lab supports the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and embraces Open Science.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Anne Gobin, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than August 18, 2022 via the online application tool

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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