Professor in Process Technology for Innovative Protein Rich Food Products 

7 days left

Leuven, Louvain (BE)
13 Feb 2020
End of advertisement period
14 Apr 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

Professor in Process Technology for Innovative Protein Rich Food Products 
(ref. ZAP-2019-18)

KU Leuven has a full-time academic vacancy in the Bioengineering Technology Cluster at the Ghent Technology Campus of KU Leuven. We are looking for internationally orientated candidates with an excellent research record and with educational competencies within the field of biochemistry and food technology, strongly focussed on the expansion of a network of companies through which demand-driven research topics can emerge and where valorisation of research results can take place. The successful application will be appointed in the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems and the Faculty of Engineering Technology of the Science, Engineering and Technology Group of KU Leuven. Within the Bioengineering Technology Technology Cluster you will join the Research Group for Technology and Quality of Animal Products. Current research activities of the group focus on processing of meat products and related products, with a focus on either meat or alternative protein sources as a raw material. The group disposes of a well-equipped pilot facility in which the various types of meat products can be produced under strictly controlled conditions, as well as of laboratory facilities for the analysis of microbial, (bio-)chemical, analytical, micro- and macroscopic quality of the products. The group has an extensive national and international network both in the academic and industrial world. 



You will develop a research program at an international level in the domain of processing of protein rich food products such as traditional meat and/or fish products, but also innovative protein rich (including plant-based) alternatives can be studied. The focus of the research program entails the study of various transformations that take place during unit operations applied in the production of protein rich food products, such as heating (pasteurization, sterilization, oven processes), smoking, drying, ripening, etc. 

You will develop a new research program in line with ongoing research within the Research Group for Technology and Quality of Animal Products, and complementary to existing research projects within the Technology Cluster BioengineeringTechnology and the Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems.

A possible research topic is the study of the impact of processing conditions (e.g. during heating, smoking, etc.) on the formation of process-induced contaminants in meat and/or fish products such as N-nitrosamines, polycyclicaromatic carbons, heterocyclic aromatic amines, etc. and the development of strategies to delay or prevent their formation. A second example involves the study of the impact of processing conditions on the formation of aroma-active components in protein rich food products, including their relation to sensorial properties.

Within the proposed domain you engage in targeted scientific research, resulting in PhD’s and scientific publications that meet the highest international standards and lead to broad international recognition. Additionally, you will support and expand the existing network of companies through the valorisation of research results and by delivering industrial services, aimed at strengthening industrial innovation. To reach these goals, you are able to acquire competitive funding, both project-based government funding as well as industrial funding.  


  • You provide high-quality education for both bachelor and master students in the field of (bio)chemistry and food technology at the Ghent campus, with a clear commitment to the quality of the program 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.
  • All professors are expected to teach a few basic undergraduate courses. 


  • You are willing 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 research 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, 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 Technology) or any other domain that guarantees an excellent preparation towards the research program.
  • You have a strong research track record in the discipline, evidenced by publications or by 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 challenging 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 in an inclusive, diverse and collaborative environment.

You will work at the KU Leuven Ghent Technology Campus, in a historic city with a 40-minute rail connection to Brussels, one hour to Leuven 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. If you are a junior researcher you will, in principle, be appointed as assistant tenure track professor for a period of 5 years. If your evaluation after this period is positive, you will be permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor. You will receive a starting grant for setting up your research and the recruitment of a PhD researcher

KU Leuvenis 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 onboarding and accelerate research in the first phase a starting grant of 100.000 euro is offered to new professors without substantial other funding, appointed for at least 50%.

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

You can submit your application until Tuesday 14 April 2020, only through our online application system. If you have problems submitting your application online, please send an email to

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 important 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 is committed to creating a diverse environment and is therefore an equal opportunity employer. It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at the university to submit their applications.

You can apply for this job no later than April 14, 2020 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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