The Applied Fluid Mechanics and (Aero) Acoustics (AFAA) research group of the division of Applied Mechanics and Energy Conversion (TME) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the university of Leuven is looking for a motivated colleague. The AFAA research team is a growing, multi-disciplinary research group with a strong emphasis on the application of fluid mechanics, heat transfer and thermodynamics to industrial processes. The group has expertise in experimental fluid mechanics, as well as computational fluid mechanics (CFD). The team offers a positive and dynamic work environment in close cooperation with the Life Cycle Engineering research group of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and several industrial partners active in the recycling industry and the development and commercialization of machinery for this industry.

The goal of the Plastic Recycling 4.0 project concerns the optimizationof plastics recycling processes with the aid of numerical simulationtechniques, i.e. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). In particular, the projectfocuses on the optimization of density separation processes for plastics in closecollaboration with industrial partners. The objective is to improve the separationefficiency by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics and to validate theseimprovements by experimental measurements.


The specific objectives of the project are:


·  The development of a numerical model thatcan simulate the fluid flow in a lab scale separator. In order to be able todevelop the model, the complex physical properties of the turbulent fluid flowin the current reactor will be examined.

·  The validation of the developed numericalmodel by comparing the simulated flow field with experimental results usingParticle Image Velocimetry (PIV). This validation will lead to a betterunderstanding of the current flow field in the separator during operation.

·  The development of physical models of thesuspension behavior, including sedimentation, to investigate the flow fieldusing two-phase models.

·  The development of models to simulate thepath of the plastic particles in the separator to optimize the separationefficiency.

·  The investigation of design guidelines forthe next generation of innovative and high efficient separation installationsbased upon the results of this project.

  • You hold a Master degree in engineering,engineering science, engineering technology, physics or equivalent
  • You have a background in ComputationalFluid Dynamics (CFD)
  • You are motivated, enthusiastic and eagerto learn
  • You are a team player, yet also able towork independently, accurately and methodically
  • You are willing to contribute to theresearch activities of the AFAA research group and pursue a doctoral degree inengineering technology
  • You are willing to present researchfindings at national and international conferences and in internationaljournals
  • You will develop the necessary software,conduct experiments and report both internally and externally
  • You work together withcolleague-researchers and offer support in research projects that are relatedto your expertise.
  • You are willing to contribute up tomaximum 4 hours per week during the academic year in teaching activities withinthe Bachelor and Master of the Engineering Technology programs at campus GroupT of KU Leuven
  • We offer a varied andchallenging full-time job  with the 1st of January 2021 astargeted starting datein close cooperation with industry combined with an attractivesalary package.
  • We offer a research position in a stimulatingand multi-disciplinary environment and a strong industrial network.
  • We provide the opportunity to work towardsobtaining a PhD degree within an international network.
For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Maarten Vanierschot, tel.: +32 16 30 10 72, mail: or Prof. dr. Jef Peeters, tel.: +32 16 32 25 69, mail:
You can apply for this job no later than December 30, 2020 via the online application tool
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