As KU Leuven research group on Life Cycle Engineering of the Department of Mechanical Engineering we have acquired significant experience in re- and demanufacturing of Waste of Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), in other words the dismantling of products into their components or composing materials in support of reuse and/or high-end recycling. We also exploit this knowledge to support original equipment manufacturers in designing the next generation products for ease of disassembly and recycling. Hence, the research group supports both manufacturers and reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling companies and organisations in the transition towards a circular economy.

The European Horizon 2020 project Si-DRIVE (Silicon Alloying Anodes for High Energy Density Batteries comprising Lithium Rich Cathodes and Safe Ionic Liquid based Electrolytes for Enhanced High VoltagE Performance) will develop innovative battery technologies for electric vehicles. Within Si-DRIVE KU Leuven will develop and evaluate the end-of-life treatment and the related economic and environmental performances of these new battery technologies.

In the framework of the Si-DRIVE project You will be responsible for conceiving intelligent re- and demanufacturing systems that enable fully automated dismantling of electrical vehicle battery assemblies. A major challenge concerns the handling the large variation of products and their conditions at End of Life. You will therefore develop innovative multi-sensor and computer vision solutions to detect and recognize product features and the condition of components in order to determine and execute autonomously the optimal dismantling strategy. In addition, you explore opportunities to increase the robustness of these automated re- and demanufacturing processes by integrating self-learning abilities based on process and human feedback.

Based on the learnings of practical experiment you will also formulate recommendations to improve and better align the product design and the reuse, repair remanufacturing and recycling of the electrical vehicle batteries. Throughout the project,conceptual approaches will be combined with experimental validation of innovative automated processes on a lab scale.

  • You are part of a multidisciplinary research group working on the topic of Life Cycle Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Jef Peeters and Prof. Wim Dewulf.
  • You independently follow-up literature, patents, company releases, conferences, etc. and use the obtained information to set up experiments.
  • You are responsible for the development and evaluation of innovative algorithms and contribute to organizing and performing validation experiments.
  • You contribute to the guiding of Master students with their thesis work.

You report to your supervisors and to industrial and academic partners during project meetings and at international conferences.

  • You combine a Master’s in Science, Engineering, or equivalent with a solid background in Artificial Intelligence and/or automation.
  • You have a profound interest in sustainability and circular economy, hence are willing to broaden your field of expertise in related assessment techniques, such as life cycle costing and environmental footprinting.
  • You like to work in a multidisciplinary team of international researchers and show willingness to learn/explore innovative technologies and techniques.
  • You have a creative mind set, take initiative, and are not afraid to address innovative ideas and new opportunities.
  • You are fluent in English or willing to improve your language skills.
  • We offer a varied and challenging job in close cooperation with industry combined with an attractive salary package.
  • We offer a research position in a stimulating and multi-disciplinary environment and a strong industrial network.
  • We provide the opportunity to work towards obtaining a PhD degree within an international network.

For more information please contact prof. dr. Jef Peeters, email: or prof. dr. Wim Dewulf,

You can apply for this job no later than June 30, 2020 via the online application tool
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