Research Scientist / Engineer - Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

School/Institution:Royal Military Academy, Belgium, Bruxelles

Discipline: Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Employment Type:4-year research project


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Research scientist/engineer (M/F) for the Royal Military Academy

Job description and associated tasks

In the framework of a 4-year research project funded by the Belgian Defence we are looking for a research scientist/engineer with a master's degree in Electrical and/or Mechanical Engineering (Applied Sciences, Engineering Sciences).

The project consists in designing a counter LSS UAV (Low/Small/Slow Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)dedicated Ballistic System (referred as CUAV), used to make the LSS UAV fall, while minimizing collateral damage, in terms of potential wounding to the human body, when impacted by the CUAV effector.

The CUAV will be designed in order to optimize the probability of neutralization of the LSS UAV by making it fall (referred as Pkill). To do so, the optimization can be divided into two main objectives: finding solutions to optimize the probability to hit the LSS UAV (Phit) and finding solutions to make it fall when hit (Pkill|hit).

Besides, the developed system should minimize the potential collateral damage when engaging targets in a civilian surrounded area. This consideration will be observed by characterizing the impact of a CUAV shot on human body simulants called surrogates.

The research strategy is divided in five main work packages:

State of the art and concept definition (WP1): During this step, the threat is characterized thanks to literature, networking, and other communication means. The update on the LSS UAV threat will be monitored and the future trends are identified to ensure the longevity of the proposed solution.

Pkill|hit optimization (WP2): This experimental phase consists of developing experimental means to optimize the effect of the CUAV on the LSS UAV, while minimizing the effect onto the human body. Substitutes of LSS UAVs will be designed, dedicated experimental setups will be developed, and experimental tests will be performed on the LSS UAV and on surrogates.

Phit optimization (WP3): experimental and numerical phases consist of developing a solution to maximize the probability to deliver the effect (as developed in the previous WP). Firstly, tests will be performed to characterize the ballistic trajectories of the CUAV effector and the LSS UAV movements. Secondly, statistical simulations will be performed to find an optimal ballistic solution that maximizes Phit. Thirdly, (scaled) experimental validation of the simulations will be performed in the laboratory and the definitive CUAV solution will be determined.

Fire control (WP4): during this phase, the question of aiming is addressed. A demonstrator of an aiming system will be developed and validated.

Integration (WP5): This final work package consists of designing the integrated ballistic system, based on the result of previous work packages.

At each stage of the project, dissemination events are foreseen, on the academic, and operational side.

Required skills

Technical skills:

  • The applicant shall have a master's degree in Engineering (Applied Sciences, Engineering Sciences) in the field of Electrical and/or Mechanical Engineering
  • The applicant shall have experience in designing/conducting laboratory tests.
  • The applicant shall have relevant skills in Electrical and Mechanical engineering

Specific requirement:

  • The researcher will be exposed to classified information and will therefore have to obtain the required security clearance. The candidate must consent with the background check required to obtain this clearance, which will be executed by the Belgian Defence.
  • The researcher will be exposed to classified information and should be citizen of a NATO country.

Personal skills:

  • Ability to conduct scientific research at university level
  • Ability to work independently and in a multidisciplinary research team
  • Excellent written communication skills, both for scientific communications and for general public communications
  • Good oral communication skills for scientific communications
  • Honesty and loyalty towards the organization
  • Solution-oriented

Experience & other skills:

  • The applicant shall have an excellent command of the English language (to read and write scientific publications).
  • Experience with small UAVs is an added value
  • Experience in CAD software, Matlab and/or LabVIEW and computers in general is an added value
  • Experience in ballistics is an added value
  • Minimal knowledge of French and/or Dutch is recommended (collaboration with peers)


  • Send a motivation letter, a CV and a scan of your ID card (both sides) to Prof. Alexandre Papy ( and to Mr Thierry Deprez (
  • Please mention clearly the reference of the project: MSP19/03
  • Application deadline: 31 October 2019
  • An interview (+/- 1h) will take place at the Royal Military Academy, Hobbemastraat 8, 1000 Brussels.


Point of contacts

  • Concerning the research project: Prof. A. Papy (
  • Concerning the recruitment modalities: Mr Thierry Deprez (
  • For more information about the Royal Military Academy, see and for ABAL,


  • Probable date of recruitment: to be agreed with the applicant.
  • Status: Open-ended contract with the patrimony of the Royal Military Academy (you will not be a civil servant).
  • Wage scale: A11 (holders of a Master’s degree in Science) / A21 (Ir or holders of a Master’s degree in Engineering)

Extra-legal benefits:

  • Possibility to obtain a bonus for bilingualism (Dutch/French);
  • Holiday allocation;
  • End-of-year bonus;
  • Hospitalization insurance;
  • Free public transport (home-work commute);
  • Free access to the on-campus sport infrastructure;
  • On-campus restaurant and cafeteria.

Workplace: Royal Military Academy, 1000 Brussels, occasional travels abroad, measurement campaigns off campus, meetings in NATO nations

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