Early Stage Researcher - VRACE project

Job Description

Organization/Company: Siemens Industry Software N.V.

Academic supervisor: KU Leuven, Prof. Wim Desmet

Location: Belgium, Leuven

Research field: Numerical methods, Acoustics, Finite Element Methods, Model Order Reduction

Research profile: First Stage Researcher (R1)

Type of contract: temporary

Job status: full-time

Hours per week: 39

Offer starting date: 4st April 2019

Application deadline: Open until filled

EU RESEARCH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME: H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


Job title: Model order reduction schemes for accelerated transient acoustic models


“Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the potential to become the next big computing platform, and as we saw with the PC and Smartphone, we expect new markets to be created and existing markets to be disrupted. “(Understanding the Race for the Next Computing Platform, Goldman Sachs 2016).

VR/AR has the potential to change the way we do business, social interactions or education, but its applicability beyond gaming requires further development. An important field of research is the audio part. The importance of sound becomes evident when considering how people orient themselves in space. Unlike seeing, hearing allows us to perceive instantly from all angles, and plays a leading role in giving us clues where to look at. To support natural orientation in VR/AR, the visual and auditory information has to closely match, as otherwise the illusion is shattered, and the experience is not convincing.

VRACE - Virtual Reality Audio for Cyber Environments

VRACE project aims at providing physically correct and perceptually convincing soundscapes in VR. This goal is pursued through dedicated training of Early State Researchers (ESRs) in all VR-related domains, namely physical modelling, sound propagation, audio rendering and psychoacoustics. Specific research projects involve modelling of sound sources, such as musical instruments, voices, vehicles, colliding objects or environmental sound sources, studying sound propagation in complex interior spaces like concert halls and in outdoor environments such as urban or rural areas and investigating human perception and localisation of sounds.

 The PhD track at Siemens Industry Software

Real-time acoustics rendering technologies deployed in video game applications, use sampled recordings along with positional audio and modular effects to create the audio experience. These methods are however limited to simplified sources and geometries. Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) acoustics tools on the other hand, are predictive, but still require calculations of the range of an hour for a complete sound synthesis at a stereo listener. The objective of the project is to accelerate these methods, to generate realistic and immersive audio of complex sound sources, arising in automotive, aerospace, mechanical industries, with close to real time rendering.

The specific task of the ESR will be to achieve these by drastically accelerating transient Acoustics Finite Element models, using state-of-the-art Krylov-based Model Order Reduction methods.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibility as an ESR is to carry out high-quality scientific research. This includes developing scientific concepts and communicating research results both verbally and in writing. As a research fellow you will be registered as a PhD candidate with the Graduate School of KU Leuven, under the supervision of Prof. Wim Desmet, head of the Noise and Vibration Engineering group.


The PhD funding within VRACE will be for three years. There is some flexibility on the start date of each studentship, ranging from March to December 2019.


The researchers will receive a full salary in line with the rules for European Industrial Doctorates (see http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/people/) including contributions to pension scheme and health care. A mobility allowance is also provided to support travelling.


A suitable background is a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, computer science, engineering physics, scientific computing or related fields. Excellent programming skills and a good background in Linear Algebra is a requirement. Experience in Finite Element and Model Order Reduction Methods are considered especially meriting. Knowledge in Fluid Mechanics and/or Acoustics is an asset. The position requires excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must satisfy the eligibility rules stipulated by the Horizon 2020 Guidelines of the European Commission. In particular, they must not have performed their main activity in Belgium for more than 12 months of the 36 months preceding the position. Early-Stage Researchers must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers, starting at the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate.

Your application, with CV, names and contact information of at least two persons for reference, a list of publications (if applicable), and a summary of the M.Sc. thesis should be sent to michiel.ceunen@siemens.com, with subject “Application VRACE”. The application should also include a complete academic record (credits and grades), including information on the grade point average, the maximum possible grade in the grading system that is in use at your university as well as the minimum passing grade. If possible, provide also a ranking within your class. Please make sure to combine all the documents in a single PDF file.

Selection process

The recruitment procedures will be transparent, efficient and internationally comparable; they will be based on competitive selection with equal opportunities for all applicants. Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply, while discrimination based on gender, ethnic origin, disability, … will not be tolerated. European and national legal obligations will be adhered to, in particular the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

The Organization

Siemens Industry Software N.V. (SISW, formerly known as LMS), located in Leuven, Belgium, is an engineering innovation company, with proven track record in the area of experimental, numerical and hybrid (mixed experimental-numerical) system modelling for noise, vibration, durability and dynamics, performing substantial in-house research on advanced methods and applications. The RTD Acoustics team, is a young and diverse research unit welcoming several international doctoral candidates.

Founded in 1425, KU Leuven has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium's highest-ranked university, 48th position on the times higher education ranking in 2019, as well as one of the oldest and most renowned research universities in Europe, hosting over 56.000 students of which more than 9.000 are international students in a wide variety of study programmes. The university is located in Leuven, a modern, bustling and safe student town, where centuries-rich history meets cutting-edge science. The mixture of cultures and research fields are some of the ingredients making the university of Leuven the most innovative university in Europe.

The KU Leuven Noise and Vibration Research Group, which currently counts 90 researchers, is headed by Prof. Wim Desmet and is part of the Mechanical Engineering Department, a vibrant environment of more than 300 researchers. The research group has a long track record of combining excellent fundamental academic research with industrial relevant applications, leading to dissemination in both high ranked academic journals as well as on industrial forums.

Job ID: 109364

Organization: Digital Industries

Company: Siemens Industry Software NV

Experience Level: Early Professional

Job Type: Full-time

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