KU Leuven offers a full-time academic vacancy in the area of flavour engineering & technology for the beverage industry at Ghent Technology Campus. We are looking for internationally orientated candidates with educational competencies within the field of biochemistry and bio(chemical process)technology and an excellent interdisciplinary research record. The successful applicant will be appointed in the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems, Food and Microbial Technology, Technology Campuses Ghent and Aalst of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven. Within the unit Food and Microbial Technology, Technology Campuses Ghent and Aalst, you will join the Research Group Enzyme, Fermentation and Brewing Technology.

The research group has been active for many years in applied scientific research and development and technological services for the beverage, food and feed industry with a strong emphasis on increasing the efficiency and quality of the malting and brewing process (raw materials, beer flavour stability, high-tech hopping, development of specialty beers, industrial proteomics, technological innovations), this through intensive collaboration with an extensive national and international network.

In a broader context, bioreactors are used for the production (from side streams and waste streams) of bacteria and fungi, enzymes and other functional proteins as well as high-quality microbial metabolites. An extensive lab and pilot infrastructure is present including a very well equipped analytical centre for microbiological and (bio)chemical monitoring of the processes and for chemical-analytical fingerprinting and sensory profiling of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, food products and packaging materials.

  • You develop a research programme at an international level in the field of flavour engineering & technology for the beverage industry. 
  • Within the proposed domain, your research will focus on the role of raw materials in the flavour aspects of beverages, the development and implementation of innovative flavours in raw materials, the usage and control of microorganisms in flavour development as well as synergisms between raw materials and microorganisms with respect to the creation of new flavours. As a primary focus, you will address fermented alcoholic beverages (beer) and innovative non-alcoholic beverages including the associated technological challenges. This expertise can be further expanded towards the food industry.
  • You strengthen existing research lines and bring complementary expertise in line with ongoing research of the Research Group Enzyme, Fermentation and Brewery Technology, the Unit Food and Microbial Technology, the Unit Microbial and Plant Genetics and the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems.
  • Within the proposed domain, you develop activities of targeted scientific research resulting in PhDs and scientific publications that meet international standards and lead to broad international recognition. Additionally, you consolidate and expand the existing national and international network, with special emphasis on the expansion of an industrial network where demand-driven research topics are central, including valorisation of the research results and technological industrial services. To achieve these objectives, you are able to competitively acquire both project-based government funding and bilateral industrial funding.
  • You strive for excellence and thus contribute to the further development of the research group and the faculty.
  • You provide high-quality education for both bachelor and master students in the field of biochemistry and bio(chemical process)technology, with a clear commitment to the quality of the programme of the Faculty of Engineering Technology as a whole. 
  • You contribute to the faculty’s and the university’s pedagogical project through the supervision of student projects (for example bachelor’s and master’s theses) and by acting as a promotor of PhD students.
  • You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s views on activating and researched-based education and make use of the possibilities for educational professionalization offered by the faculty and the university.
  • You are prepared to provide scientific, societal and internal services.
  • You maintain close contact with the local industry. As mentioned above, contacts with companies that are eligible for the valorisation of results are of great importance.
  • You play an active part in promoting the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the wider professional field by participating in open days and other PR activities, networking events and fairs, etc. In addition, an enthusiastic commitment is expected in the various commissions and working groups of the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems and the Faculty of Engineering Technology.
  • You have a PhD in Engineering Technology (preferably specialized in Biochemistry) or a PhD in Bio-Engineering Technology (preferably specialized in Food Science and Nutrition or Cell and Gene Biotechnology) or an equivalent degree and a PhD in a relevant field, guaranteeing excellent preparation for the research programme.
  • You have a strong research track record in the discipline, evidenced by your publications or by your research experience in industry. You have the ambition to contribute to the valorisation of research in industry and in society. International experience is an important asset.
  • You have verifiable qualities related to academic education. Teaching experience is an advantage.
  • You possess organisational skills and have a cooperative attitude. You also possess leadership competencies in a university or industry context.
  • A good command of English is required. KU Leuven provides courses in academic English. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of your 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 resp. English to the required standard.

We offer full-time employment in an intellectually stimulating environment.

KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly focused on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and strives for international excellence. In this regard, the university actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.

You will work at the KU Leuven Technology Campus Ghent, in a historic city with a 40-minute rail connection to Brussels, and about three hours train to Paris, London and Amsterdam.

Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years. At the end of this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as associate professor.

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 integration and research in the first phase, a research position equivalent to a PhD fellowship for 4 years is made available. If you have no other substantial funding available, you can apply for a start-up grant of EUR 100,000, on the condition that you are recruited for at least 50%.


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:

* Prof. Chris Michiels, departmental chair of the Department Microbial and Molecular Systems (chris.michiels@kuleuven.be, tel. +32 16 32 15 78) or

* Prof. Lieven De Strycker, campus chair of Ghent Technology Campus (lieven.destrycker@kuleuven.be, +32 9 267 27 11)

You can submit your application until only through our online application system. If you have problems submitting your application online, please send an email to solliciteren@kuleuven.be.

Add to your application following documents in English (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 full publication list and if applicable a portfolio of your architectural 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 places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.

You can apply for this job no later than September 27, 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 diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

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