Research in Wound Ballistics (M/F/X) (MSP/24-02 AHTAFEM)

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Jun 2024

17 May 2024
Job Information

Royal Military Academy

Research Field

Engineering » Mechanical engineering
Engineering » Biomaterial engineering
Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)

Application Deadline

7 Jun 2024 - 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Reference Number

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

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

The Royal Military Academy of Belgium (RMA) is a military institution responsible for the basic academic, military and physical training of future officers, and for the continuing advanced training of officers during their active career in the Belgian Defense department ( ). It is fully recognized as a university, fulfilling the same criteria as civilian universities. The Royal Military Academy is also conducting scientific research at university level for projects funded by the Belgian Defense department or external sources.
You work within the department of Weapon Systems and Ballistics of the Faculty of Polytechnics of the Royal Military Academy. You conduct scientific research at university level.

The proposed research study consists in working on the development of a human thorax/abdomen finite element model for the evaluation of Kinetic Energy Non-Lethal Weapons (KENLW) and Behind Armour Blunt Trauma (BABT). KENLW consists in firing soft material, “slow velocity” projectiles in order to incapacitate human targets without causing severe or permanent injuries. BABT is the loading that occurs on the human body when undergoing a ballistic impact on a ballistic protection that stops the projectile.
In practice, Finite Element Models are used to recreate the biomechanical response of human targets when undergoing a KENLW impact or BABT [1]. These models are supposed to be validated thanks to biomechanical data available on the open literature [2, 3].
Firstly, an initial workload will be assigned concerning the literature study. Parallelly, a learning process is envisioned. The geometry generation of the model will then be performed, based on CT-scan and MR imaging. The mesh generation and contact definition will follow. All the gathered results at this stage will allow performing the main effort of the study, which is the material models definition and the validation of the global model. Finally, the model will be used to generate results.
Here are some references. it is strongly recommended to consult these references before the interview.
[1] NATO, “STANREC 4744 – AEP 94, AEP 98, AEP 99 and AEP 103, available on the NATO portal ( , filter with 4744, and download the AEP documents).
[2]C. Bir, “The evaluation of blunt ballistic impacts of thorax,” Wayne State University, 2000. (… , press “download”)
[3] C. R. Bass et al., “Injury risk in behind armor blunt thoracic trauma.,” Int. J. Occup. Saf. Ergon., vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 429–42, Jan. 2006. ( )
Main Tasks

  • Develop a Finite Element model of a 50th percentile human for assessing non penetrative impacts
  • Validate the models using data from the literature
  • Use the model for assessing non penetrative impacts
  • Provide general support to the Departments activities

Research Field
Engineering » Mechanical engineering
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent

Research Field
Engineering » Biomaterial engineering
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent

Research Field
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent


Required skills
Due to the specific nature of the proposed project, only a very limited set of technical skills are required. Several other skills are identified as added value (not compulsory). Motivation and the potential offered by the candidate will be a key factor.

Technical skills

  • The applicant shall have a master's degree in Engineering (Applied Sciences, Engineering Sciences) in the field of Mechanical Engineering or Biomechanical engineering
  • The applicant shall have academic (study project and/or master thesis) or professional experience in numerical simulations
  • The applicant shall have relevant skills in mechanical engineering and/or biomechanical engineering.

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

Other skills

  • The applicant shall have an excellent command of the English language (to read and write scientific publications).
  • Experience in LS-DYNA is a strong added value
  • Experience with medical imaging is an added value
  • Experience in ballistics is an added value
  • Minimal knowledge of French and/or Dutch is recommended (collaboration with peers)
  • Experience in scientific literature review and scientific writing is an added value.

Specific Requirements

Specific requirement

  • The researcher can 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 can be exposed to classified information and should be citizen of a NATO country.




Research Field
Engineering » Mechanical engineeringEngineering » Biomaterial engineering
Years of Research Experience
1 - 4

Internal Application form(s) needed
20240517_ATHAFEM job offer FINAL_ENG_junior profile.pdf
(211.92 KB - PDF)
Additional Information


  • Probable date of recruitment: September 2024, in consultation with the applicant.
  • Status: Full-time employment (38h / week) based on an open-ended contract with the Patrimony of the Royal Military Academy (you will not be a civil servant).
  • The financing of the contract will be tied to the funding project (4 years). Prolongation of the position is possible according to the availability of funds past the four year period.
  • Wage scale: class A2 (holder of an Ir degree or equivalent Master's in Engineering Sciences, doctor’s degree in the same area of expertise). RMA-Patrimony applies a merit-based research career track, allowing researchers to advance in wage scale based upon annual evaluations.
  • Holiday pay.

Extra-legal benefits

  • Possibility of receiving a bilingualism allowance (Dutch/French) following a SELOR test;
  • End-of-year bonus;
  • Free DKV hospitalization insurance. Possibility of additional affiliation for one or more persons living under the same roof: partner, child(ren) (50% of the price per additional member);
  • Bike allowance / Free public transport (home-work commute);
  • Free access to campus sports facilities outside working hours;
  • On-campus restaurant and cafeteria with democratic prices (discount on the daily menu);
  • Meal vouchers (6€/day)
  • Flexible working hours within the 38-hour week;
  • Teleworking possible with allowance;
  • Additional holiday for all staff between Christmas and New Year;
  • 29 days holiday / year from the 1st year of contract (then from 45 years: +1 day holiday every 5 years) ;
  • Advantages and interesting offers thanks to the Benefits@work card (discounts, vouchers...);
  • Entitlement to services offered by the ‘Office Central d'Action Sociale et Culturelle de la Défense’ (OCASC): among others holiday centres, discount on travel organised by the tour operator...;
  • Possibility of benefiting from the nursery funded by Belgian Defence (subject to availability).

Selection process

You will be working in a military environment. That is why everyone is expected to undergo a security verification. Please add to your application the filled out document. The form can be downloaded from:
Send by email:

  • a motivational letter;
  • a CV
  • a scan of your ID card (both sides);
  • the filled out security document

to Mr. Cyril ROBBE ([email protected] ) and to Mrs Helena BRUYNINCKX ([email protected] ).
Please mention clearly the reference of the project: “MSP/24-02 AHTAFEM”.
Application deadline: 7th June 2024.
The interviews will take place preferably at the Royal Military Academy, Hobbemastraat 8, 1000 Brussels. In some specific situations, on-line interviews can be organized. The date and time of the interview will be communicated to the preselected candidates.

Additional comments


  • Royal Military Academy, Avenue de la Renaissance 30, 1000 Brussels;
  • Occasional travels abroad for scientific conferences, etc.

Points of contact

  • Concerning the research project: Mr. Cyril ROBBE ([email protected] )
  • Concerning the recruitment modalities: Mrs. Helena Bruyninckx (erm-deao-rswo@mil)

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Royal Military Academy - Patrimony
Postal Code
Hobbemastraat 8

Where to apply

[email protected]




Hobbemastraat 8
Postal Code


[email protected]



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