Postdoc Fellow – Emerging combustion technologies modelling and design

Department Turbomachinery and Propulsion
Deadline None

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Careers at the von Karman Institute: Construct the future together!

For 65 years as international center of excellence in fluid dynamics, the von Karman Institute brings together young engineers and scientists from all over the world to study, improve their skills and perform their research.

Construct the future together! Besides its mission of education, the von Karman Institute gathers the top-level scientists and engineers to work on very challenging projects as the next generation of engines, new propulsion concepts, the new green energy, the safety of industry, solutions for a cleaner space, the Mission to Mars and many other fields of research which can make the difference for the human kind. Those scientists have access to more than 50 wind tunnels and test rigs, some of them unique in the world to help them in their projects.

VKI is a team of people looking in the same direction, for a better future, not only scientists and engineers but also students, PhD candidates, PostDocs, IT, Human Resources, accountants, librarians, designers and technicians and more....

“A scientist studies what is, whereas an engineer creates what never was“, Théodore von Kármán

Duration of the postdoc: 1-2 years

Deadline: Spontaneous applications are always accepted

Position Start Date: Open throughout the year

Background and Motivation

We are seeking a full-time post-doctoral fellow to join the von Karman Institute. The position is initially fixed-term for one or two years,
that can be turned into a permanent position.

As part of a team investigating emerging combustion technologies for future propulsion and energy applications, you will support the numerical research programs
run by the Aeronautics and Aerospace as well as Turbomachinery and Propulsion Departments at the von Karman Institute. The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for the
execution numerical studies of the computational projects related to emerging combustion technologies for propulsion systems reducing the environmental footprint of novel
aircrafts and spacecrafts.

Research Program

The candidate will be responsible for numerical simulation of hydrogen and hydrocarbon combustion to be set-up on open source and commercial solver platforms, execution of the simulations at cutting edge computational resources of the VKI and collaborators, processing the data to understand the underlying physics.

In particular, she or he will be responsible for the planning of the research objectives, the design and optimization of new combustors, the implementation of numerical techniques as well as the processing and analysis of the generated data.

The successful candidate is expected to organize the research data, report results and findings to colleagues as well as external research sponsors. The candidate is expected to contribute actively to the dissemination of her/his research findings through conference participation and peer-reviewed articles.

The candidate will also assist with grant proposal preparation and, if required, will mentor graduate students and PhD candidates involved in the research projects.


- You will have a PhD in Mechanical, Aeronautical/Aerospace, Chemical or related engineering field.

- Experience is required in the field of theoretical, numerical and/or experimental reactive flows. The successful applicant is familiar with numerical tools and theory of combustion processes. The job requires multitasking skills and predisposition towards teamwork while liaising closely with faculty, student and staff members.

- A background in one or more of the following subjects is a valuable asset: combustion modelling, high-speed combustion, detonation, porous media combustion, spray combustion, numerical methods in reactive flows, OpenFoam, Ansys/Fluent, Chemkin and Cantera. Good programming skills are expected in at least one of the following languages: C, C++ as well Matlab or Python. Knowledge and experience in non-intrusive experimental techniques (Raman scattering, LIF, PLIF, TDLAS etc.), gas chromatography as well as combustion rig design is an asset, but not a prerequisite. Fluent knowledge of English (oral and written) is mandatory.

- Candidates are expected to be self-motivated team players. We ensure a high-level of interaction in a world-known international research center specialized in fluid dynamics for aerospace, environmental and propulsion applications.


- The appointment is fixed-term for 1 year with possibility of extension and eventually to turn the assignment into a permanent position. The position type and related job description, salary and benefits are dependent on skills and experience.

- We maintain a very friendly and international working environment, which will provide easy adaptation for the selected applicant.

- Employed by the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in one of the most attractive areas of central Europe in the neighborhood of Brussels.

- Work at the internationally renowned von Karman Institute in a key role, emerging technologies for combustion.

- Work in close collaboration with Belgian universities as well as an industrial network.

- Become part of the VKI network with global access to industry experts and academics in the field of fluid dynamics, aerospace, propulsion, and energy conversion.

- Experience the unique international workshop character of the VKI working environment.

- Access to specialized seminars and lecture series and to world-unique facilities.


VKI does strictly adhere to the ethical standards of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers
( . Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply.
A strict equal opportunity, gender-neutral and internationally comparable recruitment procedure is implemented.


Contact information

For further information, please contact Dr. Bayindir H. Saracoglu (

How to apply

You will be required to upload a covering letter, CV, publication list and the contact of two referees as part of your application. CV must clearly indicate the exact dates of (1) each position hold in the past, and (2) countries of residence in the last 5 years.

All the fields (including pdf files and references) should be filled in to allow you to confirm your application. Only full applications will be taken into account. Please do not use white spaces or special characters to name your files. If you have not received a confirmation email it means that you have not fulfilled all required fields.

Short-listed candidates are called for an interview with the search committee at the von Karman Institute. The selected candidate must comply with the internal procedures of the von Karman Institute and receive clearance from the Institute Board of Directors before she or he can begin to work. The von Karman Institute reserves the right not to appoint a candidate if no suitable candidate is found.

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