PostDoctoral position in computational modeling of re-entry plasma flows

Updated: 11 days ago
Deadline: 31 Jul 2020

(ref. BAP-2020-186)

Laatst aangepast : 16/03/2020

The Center for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics (CmPA) at KU Leuven and the COOLFluiD team are looking for a qualified individual for continuing the development of a single/multi-fluid plasma model for re-entry flows, within the framework of "MHD-Enhanced Entry Systems for Space Transportation (MEESST), a multi-partner project selected for the prestigious Future Emerging Technologies (FET) Horizon2020 program by the EU Commission. The work place is Leuven, a historic university town (our university is one of the oldest in Europe, founded in 1425) located just 20 minutes from the center of Brussels and 15 minutes from Brussels international airport, making it easily reachable for international travelers. Leuven is an international city located in the Flemish (Dutch speaking) part of Belgium, where English is spoken routinely in all places (from University and public offices to shops and entertainment venues). The distance from Brussel and from other French speaking parts of the country is so small that it is perfectly possible to commute. Our division, the Center for mathematical Plasma Astrophysics (CmPA,, is a leading center in the study of space science. Our team is formed of four professors (plus one active emeritus) and about 40 experts, scientists, postdocs and students working on different aspects of simulation and data analysis applied to solar and space science, astrophysics and other plasma processes (nuclear fusion energy, industrial, space propulsion).


The candidate's task will be to further develop a single/multi-fluid Maxwell solver for simulating re-entry in planetary atmospheres (e.g. Earth's and Mars') of space vehicles with the inclusion of thermochemical nonequilibrium and

magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) effects. Both hypersonic flows in in-flight conditions and experimental setups at lower speeds, including the magnetic fields induced by new generation magnets for mitigating heat fluxes

and radio communication blackout will be simulated.

An overview of COOLFluiD, a large open source platform for flow and plasma simulations, can be seen at (official Wiki) (talk @NASA Ames).


We look specifically for the following skills (the more, the better):

1- CFD methods and models for hypersonic flows/plasmas;

2- Finite Volume algorithms for unstructured meshes;

3- modeling of flows in thermochemical nonequilibrium;

4- modeling of MHD plasmas and/or Maxwell equations;

5- object-oriented programming in C++;

6- visualization with TECPLOT and/or ParaView;

7- strong interest in aerospace applications;

8- parallel computing with MPI and/or CUDA;

9- mesh generation with Gmsh, ICEM, Gambit or Pointwise.

The ideal candidate should be a team player also able to work independently and efficiently. Please notice that the project in question has deliverables and

strict deadlines, therefore the candidate is expected to be able to deliver timely both high-quality numerical results and technical documentation (reports) of his/her work.


This position is initially for 2 years, extendible to a third year upon successful performance evaluation.


For more information please contact Mr. Andrea Lani, tel.: +32 16 32 74 94, mail: or Prof. dr. Stefaan Poedts, tel.: +32 16 32 70 23, mail:

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

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