Construction Program Manager

Department General
Deadline Feb. 1, 2019

About VKI

The von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) has been founded in 1956 by Theodore von Karman as an international center for the study of fluid dynamics. What began as an experiment in international post-graduate training, has developed into a widely recognized center of excellence in fluid dynamics, combining education and research into “training in research through research” in a truly international and intercultural environment. In this respect the Institute occupies today a unique place in between the academic world and the industrial world. The synergy between high level education and both fundamental and applied research creates knowledge and value to the benefit of students, researchers and a wide community of customers be it from industry (such as many companies from the space and aeronautic sector) or institutional research programs (such as ESA and the European Commission).
The VKI site in Sint-Genesius Rode has remained almost unchanged since its construction in the 50’s, and is therefore no longer adapted to the mission of the Institute. The growth of VKI necessitates a thorough renovation of the current site, or move to a new site.

About the function

VKI is looking for a program manager who will manage and closely follow-up the renovation of the current site of VKI or the development of a totally new site. This program comprises several phases, such as a detailed definition of the needs in terms of real estate infrastructure, the feasibility and cost of moving to a new site, the detailed assessment of the total cost for renovating the current site, the selection of contractors, etc.

The program will be considered successful upon either the completion of the site renovation, or the construction and move to a new site.

For the purpose of the successful execution of this program, and in coordination with the Director, the program manager will assure the link between the Institute and the local, regional and federal government.


The responsibilities of the successful candidate comprise, but are not limited to:

  • Coordination and management of the detailed study, related to the needs of VKI in terms of infrastructure, taking into account the current VKI needs and foreseen growth strategy;

  • Coordination and management of the detailed schedule and budget, needed for renovating the current site, in line with the current and foreseen needs identified;

  • Coordination and management of the detailed feasibility study, as well as the detailed schedule and budget needed related to the possible move of VKI to (an) identified new site(s);

  • Elaboration of a detailed trade-off between the various options studied, as described here above;

  • Selecting and short-listing qualified architects, contractors, etc

  • Liaising between the VKI and government entities, at the relevant levels, for all matters related to the renovation of the current or construction of a new site;

  • Adressing and resolving stakeholders and government offices’ concerns related to the renovation, construction, operation… of the future VKI site (e.g. sound burdens created by the test installations), determining and managing the associated (political) risks, etc

  • Preparing relevant committees, meetings, hearings for the CEO related to the future site, to the extent needed;


  • Master degree
  • Language skills: fluency in English, Dutch, French

  • At least 5 years of professional experience

  • Thorough understanding of the political landscape in Belgium, and in particular at the local, regional and federal level

  • Expertise on complex building project management (from the concept phase until the realisation) especially with regards to public investments

  • Knowledge and proven experience with corporate and public accounting

What do we offer?

  • A competitive salary with extra-legal benefits

  • Flexible working hours

  • Being part of a research institute that is internationally recognized as one of the main players in its domain

  • Working closely with an international team of young and dynamic researchers

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