KU Leuven

Professor Elektrotechniek: Hardware Security for the IoT

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Om arbetsgivaren

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

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(ref. ZAP-2021-45)

In the Science, Engineering and Technology Group, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT), Campus Diepenbeek at KU Leuven, a full-time vacancy for academic staff or tenure track (professor) is available in the area of hardware security for the Internet of Things (IoT). We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with an excellent research record in this area and a strong affinity with industrial applications. Besides scientific research, the candidate will be teaching in the field of embedded systems and digital hardware design (including FPGA design) within the Faculty of Engineering Technology at Campus Diepenbeek. KU Leuven (https://www.kuleuven.be/english) is a research-intensive, internationally orientated university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. Our university is highly focused on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research and strives for international excellence. In this regard, the university actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad and provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research. The department of Electrical Engineering (also known as ESAT) (https://www.esat.kuleuven.be/english) of the KU Leuven conducts research at a high international level. It is also responsible for education in the domains of electrical engineering, electronics, and information processing. ESAT works on several technological innovations in the fields of energy, integrated circuits, information processing, image & speech processing, and telecommunication systems. The department is also co-founder of many spin-off companies. With more than 300 PhD students, 200 master students, and 100 staff members, ESAT is a strong international research and educational department. The Faculty of Engineering Technology (https://iiw.kuleuven.be/english/engineering-technology) gathers all engineering technology programmes offered by the KU Leuven at campuses throughout Flanders. In addition to the faculties of Science, Engineering Science, Bioengineering Science and Architecture, the Engineering Technology Faculty is one of the five faculties within the KU Leuven's Science, Engineering & Technology Group. Education at the Faculty of Engineering Technology is organised in a unique way. Students can choose to follow their programme of choice at no less than 7 locations throughout Flanders: Bruges, Ghent, Aalst, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Leuven, Geel and Diepenbeek. At Campus Diepenbeek, the educational programme in the Faculty of Engineering Technology is organized in collaboration with the University of Hasselt. The Faculty of Engineering Technology ensures that the unique approach and quality of the programmes taught at each of these campuses is guaranteed, while bearing in mind common goals and interests. Research is conducted within the departments of the Science, Engineering & Technology Group. Both the multi campus model and the optimal collaboration within the KU Leuven make the Faculty of Engineering Technology an exceptionally dynamic and future-oriented study and research platform. Both at Campus Diepenbeek (https://iiw.kuleuven.be/english/diepenbeek), which will be your main work location, and at the Electrical Engineering Department in Heverlee you will have access to a solid research infrastructure, an extensive international research network, connections with industry and non-profit organisations, a steady offer of talented PhD researchers and a supporting work environment embedded in a multi-disciplinary network with other KU Leuven research departments. At the Electrical Engineering Department, you will be embedded in the Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography (COSIC) group (https://www.esat.kuleuven.be/cosic). The group was founded in 1979 and currently has 7 professors, 6 members of support staff, 8 research experts/managers and over 60 researchers. The group is headed by Prof. Bart Preneel. During the last 15 years, COSIC obtained more than 1200 international reviewed publications in journals and conferences, 13 edited books, 10 patents and has graduated over 60 PhD students. The COSIC researchers on Campus Diepenbeek are supervised by Prof. Nele Mentens and are part of the Embedded Systems & Security (ES&S) group (https://iiw.kuleuven.be/onderzoek/ess). You will become an academic staff member of COSIC and ES&S.

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The internet of things (IoT) is increasingly becoming part of our everyday life. Examples of IoT application markets are car-to-car communication, smart electricity grids and e-health systems. In order to protect the processed data and the privacy of the users, it is important to implement dedicated security measures in IoT devices and networks.

Putting in place security and privacy measures should introduce a minimal overhead in the system's power/energy consumption, cost and operational delay. Additionally, the IoT usually allows potential attackers to be in the vicinity of the IoT device, which stresses the need for side-channel protection (e.g. against power analysis or electromagnetic analysis attacks). Finally, it is difficult to predict future security threats. Therefore, future IoT products should be capable of being upgraded/updated/reconfigured. Another trend IoT networks is the emergence of new technologies to meet constraints such as low cost, low energy consumption, high reliability, ... IoT devices built in these emerging technologies also need to be secured, and existing security mechanisms cannot always be ported to these technologies. The goal is to take on the challenge of designing secure and efficient IoT devices and networks, taking into account these design parameters and requirements.

We are inviting applications from candidates that pursue the development of applied research activities in this domain while relying on a strong expertise in hardware design. The focus can be on digital design for ASICs and/or FPGAs with innovations in the field of cryptography and security applications, or related aspects.


- You set up and coordinate a research programme at international level within one or more of the above-mentioned domains. 

- You set up close collaborations with regional and international industrial and academic partners.

- You work closely with members of the Department of Electrical Engineering and of the campus in Diepenbeek. You will also start partnerships outside these entities.

- You strive for excellence in your research and as such you contribute to the further development of the campus and the department.

- You acquire competitive project-based government funding and bilateral industrial financing.

- You publish in top-level international journals and conferences and you coach PhDs.

- You pay attention to the valorisation of applied research for government and industry.


The academic programmes offered by the Faculty of Engineering Technology aim at educating engineers with a strong focus on industry-ready technological development and problem solving. The teaching assignment is situated in the Bachelor of Engineering Technology and Master of Engineering Technology, mainly at the campus in Diepenbeek. It includes courses in the field of embedded systems and digital design (example courses in this area are digital electronic circuits, chip design, hardware/software co-design, computer architectures). Besides this, you will also coach students in the context of bachelor's and master's theses and PhDs. Other campuses may also appeal to your expertise for their education. 

You ensure high-quality education in the above-mentioned fields. You develop your teaching in accordance with KU Leuven’s vision on activating and researched-based education and with a commitment to the quality of the program as a whole. You make use of the possibilities for educational training offered by the faculty and the university.

Your teaching assignment is limited in size in the first years of your appointment. In your further career, the faculty also pays a great deal of attention to the balance between research and teaching time.


You are prepared to provide scientific, societal and internal services. In particular, you are willing to provide services to the Government and to (regional) industry in the context of applied research assignments. Therefore, you stay up-to-date with both the scientific state-of-the-art and with the industrial state-of-practice in the field. 

You play an active role in profiling the Faculty of Engineering Technology towards new students and the larger work field by, for example, participating in information days and events.


You have a PhD in Electrical Engineering or a related degree and experience in the field of hardware design, preferably concentrated on applications in cryptography or security (e.g. via the subject of your PhD, research projects and publications). 

You have a strong research record in the field and/or you have relevant industrial experience. International experience is an important asset. You are focused on valorisation of research. You have a vision on research in hardware security for the IoT and the potential synergies and compatibility with the ongoing research on Campus Diepenbeek and at the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT). 

You have a vision on providing high-quality academic education in your field. Teaching experience is an advantage.

You possess organisational skills and leadership capacities in a university or industrial context and you have a cooperative attitude.

Proficiency in English (level C1) is required. The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of your employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in meetings. Level B2 needs to be obtained for a tenured position. Before teaching courses in Dutch (C1), you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch to the required standard.


We are offering full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment with a large degree of freedom. Depending on your record and qualifications, you will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor, associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are permanently appointed (or tenured) as an associate professor.

For your research and teaching assignments you will work mainly on the campus in Diepenbeek. Other campuses can use your expertise for teaching assignments. You can apply for a start-up fund of 100 kEuro for the further expansion of research and to attract doctoral students.

KU Leuven is well set to welcome foreign professors and their family and provides practical support with regard to immigration & administration, housing, childcare, learning Dutch, partner career coaching, …


For more information on the contents of the job, please contact:

o Prof. Dr. Ir. Georges Gielen (georges.gielen@kuleuven.be, department head Department of Electrical Engineering, +32-16-324076)

o Prof. Dr. Ir Johan Baeten (johan.baeten@kuleuven.be, campus chair Campus Diepenbeek, +32-11-751704)

Add to your application following documents in English (more information is available on the KU Leuven job site):

- your biosketch in which you indicate your added value as an academic for research, education and service to society of your past career and of your future activities (maximum 2 pages);

- a file on your five most important publications or realizations;

- an extensive cv including a full publication list and if applicable a portfolio of your architectural projects;

- your research plan with focus on the development of your research line and research team in relation with the colleague-researchers of the entity of employment (maximum 4 pages);

- your vision on academic education and its organization (maximum 2 pages);

- your contribution to society by outreach and public communication on science and technology, internal representation in boards and councils and service activities directly in relation to your developed expertise (maximum 1 page);

- your vision on leadership (maximum 1 page).

KU Leuven is committed to creating a diverse environment and is therefore an equal opportunity employer. It explicitly encourages candidates from groups that are currently underrepresented at the university to submit their applications.

KU Leuven places great importance on research integrity and ethical conduct and will therefore ask you to sign an integrity statement upon appointment.

You can apply for this job no later than December 15, 2021 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at diversiteit.HR@kuleuven.be.

Om tjänsten

Professor Elektrotechniek: Hardware Security for the IoT
Oude Markt 13, Belgien
Sista ansökningsdag
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Om arbetsgivaren

KU Leuven is an autonomous university. It was founded in 1425. It was born of and has grown within the Catholic tradition.

Besök arbetsgivarsidan

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