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Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #48 (WUR) ,
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at KU Leuven offers a PhD degree that aims to bring doctoral researchers to an advanced level of creative and independent thinking and acting. As such, the doctoral programme prepares for a career in frontier research and education or for high-level roles in professional sectors where deep rigorous analysis is required. T


The research is organised in 4 divisions:

  • Production engineering, Machine design and Automation: PMA carries out research in the areas of production engineering, machine design and mechatronics. The research themes include new production processes, CAD/CAM/CAPP, assembly automation, dimensional metrology and reverse engineering, machine and instrument design, structural dynamics and acoustics, motion control, programming and control of robots and intelligent machines, and life cycle engineering.
  • Applied Mechanics and Energy Conversion: research activities include a wide range of expertises, which may be broadly classified as aspects of (non-electrical) energy. Activities vary from fundamental research (heat transfer, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, combustion) to applied energy-related topics such as thermal design, energy systems, energy and environment, energy management, industrial safety and explosions, combustion engines, etc).
  • Biomechanics: Research topics cover the broad spectrum of length scales present in the human body: from cells to tissues and from organs to the entire body and its interaction with the environment. Research is clustered around four main topics: bone and implant mechanics, mechanobiology and tissue engineering, computer aided engineering in surgery, and functional biomechanical design and analysis.
  • Centre for Industrial Management/Traffic and Infrastructure: Research focuses on several topics of operational research, knowledge management, systematic innovation, logistics management, total quality management, maintenance management, industrial organisation, transportation and distribution planning, traffic policy analysis and transport system analysis, systematic design of transport networks, intelligent transportation systems, safety, accessibility and sustainability (environment) aspects of the transport system.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology Cluster: The Mechanical Engineering Technology Cluster groups research and service-to-society in the field of Mechanical Engineering at the different engineering Technology Campuses of KU Leuven. 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Division PMA
  • Robotics
  • Motion Estimation, Control and Optimization
  • Robot-assisted surgery.
  • Micro & Precision Engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Production Processes
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Dimensional Metrology and Quality Control
  • Noise and Vibration Engineering
  • Design Methodologies and Life Cycle Engineering
  • Mechanics of bone and bone-implant system
  • Mechanobiology and tissue engineering
  • Computer integrated surgery systems
  • Rehabilitation and prevention biomechanics

Division TME

  • Thermal and Fluids Engineering
  • Thermotech
  • Applied Combustion
  • Engine Technology
  • Industrial Safety
  • Energy & Environment
  • Simulation of Thermal Systems
  • Turbulent Flow Simulation and Optimization

Division CIB

  • Logistics & Production planning
  • Planning for the Public Sector
  • Maintenance
  • Design Methodologies & Life Cycle Engineering
  • Traffic and Infrastructure

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

  • Applicants need to have obtained a relevant master degree with excellent grades. We are looking for highly motivated researchers with good English proficiency.

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.
First registration and year of defense - 461 eurosIntermediate years with all facilities - free

Living costs for Leuven

  • 810 - 1280 EUR/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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