Université catholique de Louvain

PhD Opportunity in Architectural Engineering

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Do you want to better understand the implications of hybrid work on energy demands and related environmental impacts by doing a PhD thesis? Do you want to join a dynamic research team at UCLouvain and be part of a national research consortium? Do you have a master's degree in architectural engineering or in a related field? Then this challenge might interest you.

We offer a PhD scholarship based on a research collaboration between the Louvain research institute for Landscape, Architecture, Built environment (LAB) and the Institute of Mechanics, Materials, and Civil Engineering (iMMC) at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.

The PhD scholarship, under the joint scientific supervision of Professor Sergio Altomonte (LAB) and Professor Hervé Jeanmart (iMMC), is part of a larger interdisciplinary project – Towards sustainable hybrid work: the study of hybrid work effects on well-being, productivity and energy demands (SUSHY) – financed by the prestigious BRAIN-be 2.0 programme of the Belgian federal government (BELSPO). The PhD scholarship is offered for a total duration of 3 years, to be renewed each year.

The project

The SUSHY research project aims to study the effects of hybrid work on well-being, productivity and energy demands within a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach. To this end, SUSHY adopts a mixed-method longitudinal approach integrating a large-scale employee survey, case studies and employee follow-up via a self-administered diary method. The project brings together an interdisciplinary team (sociology, management, engineering, information systems). The project is led by Professor Laurent Taskin (UCLouvain) - project coordinator - Professor Christophe Vanroelen (VUB), Professor Annick Castiaux (UNamur), and Professors Sergio Altomonte and Hervé Jeanmart (UCLouvain).


You will carry out a doctoral thesis within two of the institutes (LAB and iMMC) that are part of the Sector of Science and Technologies (SST) of UCLouvain, which brings together scientists and academics from several disciplinary domains. You will work in close collaboration with all members of the SUSHY project team, specifically being responsible for the following activities

  • Carry out a PhD thesis on the implications of hybrid work on energy demands and related environmental impacts directly related to the SUSHY research programme. This includes active participation to the development of the project, exchanges with the project team, contribution to meetings and activities, communication, etc. 
  • Your research activities will be related to the qualitative and quantitative characterisation of the perceived changes in energy use habits and energy demands due to hybrid work, e.g. including new social and mobility practices, via data collection, onsite measurements, surveys, interviews, and computer simulation, 
  • The PhD researcher will have opportunities to be involved in research seminars and upskilling workshops throughout her/his research work. This includes doctoral training focused on the development and writing of a thesis, and the scientific dissemination associated with the research.

Qualifications and Skills

Candidates must meet the following requirements

Essential criteria

  • A Master’s Degree of at least 300 ECTS in Architectural Engineering, Architecture, Energy Engineering, Environmental Science or equivalent, with a top-tier final grade;
  • A top-tier grade final Master thesis on a topic of pertinence to this project;
  • Commitment and ability to work as part of a team;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to interact with university staff at all levels;
  • Be able to work independently and take the initiative in conducting research;
  • An excellent command of English, as demonstrated by English Language tests (i.e., IELTS, TOEFL, etc.), or secondary or tertiary education in English.

Desirable criteria

  • Demonstrated skills and/or experience in energy management, building and occupant measurements, energy performance simulation, etc.;
  • Demonstrated skills and/or experience in qualitative data collection and analysis or be committed to further training; 
  • Demonstrated skills and/or experience to write scientific reports and/or papers in English, with precision and rigour;
  • Knowledge of French and of a third language (Dutch, preferably);
  • Master current software useful for research work.

Working conditions

You will participate in an innovative research project and join a dynamic and multidisciplinary research team. The teamwork, as well as the PhD thesis, are project-oriented and allow a certain flexibility in the organisation of your work, while respecting coordination with all the other partners involved. The researchers are located in Louvain-la-Neuve (and commit to reside in Belgium), the working hours are full time, travel expenses related to the project (meetings, interviews) and home-work (public transport pass) are covered. The net monthly salary is approximately €2,000. The status is that of a full-time research fellowship for a period of 36 months, renewable each year (the condition for renewal are linked to the progress of the thesis: admission to the doctorate and confirmation).


The final deadline for applications is the 16th December 2022, but review of applications and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis as soon as applications are received. The start date is expected to be throughout the month of January 2023 (depending on required documentation). 

To apply for this PhD position, interested candidates need to send the documentation specified below, as an email attachment, to Professor Sergio Altomonte sergio.altomonte@uclouvain.be and Professor Hervé Jeanmart herve.jeanmart@uclouvain.be from whom further information on this position can also be obtained. 

Documentation Required

  1. A cover letter presenting the motivations for applying to this position;
  2. A detailed CV;
  3. A response to each of the essential and desirable qualifications and skills listed above;
  4. Academic transcripts of the candidate for their Bachelor and Masters Degrees (translated into English if they are not in English or French).
  5. Proof of English Proficiency (e.g. IELTS or TOEFL) – Note: applicants with a Bachelor and/or Masters degree from an English-speaking institution are exempt from this, but must provide evidence.

All files should be converted to PDF, presented in the order listed above and submitted as a single PDF (or ZIP) file, named with the following format: <LastName_FirstName>.pdf(or .zip)

Selected candidates will be invited to an online interview consisting of the presentation of their previous research activities or interests (e.g., their master dissertation, preliminary research) and of an open discussion centred on motivations for engaging in such a project.

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Informatie over de vacature

PhD Opportunity in Architectural Engineering
Place de l'Université 1 Louvain-la-Neuve, België
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
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The Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) is internationally recognized for research and teaching quality in many different fields of expert...

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