Placeholder image for Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
Access all 180000+ programmes, for free with a Studyportals account.
account benefits visualised



All professors and assistants at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KU Leuven speak English and much of the research work and publications are also in English. It is therefore no problem for foreign students to carry out a PhD research at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. 

To be admitted to the doctoral programme one should have succeeded with honours in his Master examination or any degree equivalent to it (burgerlijk ingenieur (Belgium), Diplom Ingenieur (Germany),...), or in a predoctoral examination. In fact for foreign students the Faculty always requires a predoctoral test, but depending on the candidate’s background, it may be taken immediately after arrival or require a preparation time anywhere between three months and one year. In order to obtain a PhD in engineering (doctor’s degree) the candidate must carry out research during at least three years on a relevant research topic, under the supervision of a professor. The doctoral programme also includes a number of courses to be followed and seminars to be attended. 

The doctoral examination consists of the public defence of an original thesis. The thesis should represent research of a theoretical and experimental nature or work of technical-scientific character and should be a significant contribution to the knowledge and know how in the field. It is expected that the candidate will have published most of his results in journals or presented at international conferences.

Detailed Programme Facts

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

Programme Structure

Research Mechanical Engineering:
  • Logistics, Mobility & Traffic
  • Manufacturing
  • Biomechanical Engineering
  • Machine and Vehicle Design & Mechatronics
  • Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics
  • Energy Systems & Thermal Fluid Engineering

English Language Requirements

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

General Requirements

The candidate must meet the following requirements:

  • Either the candidate must hold a Flemish Master’s degree relevant to the doctoral research or an equivalent higher education degree, and also have obtained at least a distinction or have distinguished him/herself with high-quality scientific publications or design-oriented achievements,
  • Or the candidate must have passed the predoctoral exam with the degree of distinction.
  • The candidate must also have sufficiently mastered the language of the discipline in order to be able to participate actively in the research.

Tuition Fee

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.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


You’ve wishlisted multiple studies. Did you know you can compare them side-by-side in our Compare-tool?