Skip to main content

Lecturer (tenure track) Quantum Technology for Space Science (m/f/x)



Deadline for applications
Job title description

The Faculty of Sciences, research institute Institute for Materials Research, research group Materials Physics of Hasselt University and BIRA-IASB seeks a lecturer (tenure track) Quantum Technology for Space Science.

Research Profile: Prf-2021-040_QanT42S FED-tWIN funding programme.

Place of employment
  • UHasselt , Materelarenlaan 42, B 3500 Hasselt
  • Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Avenue Circulaire 3, 1180 Uccle, Belgium
Division, context

The Department of Physics , the Faculty of Science the University of Hasselt and the Space Physics division at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA‑IASB) have the following full-time vacancy (100%). This position consists of 2 related appointments in the context of the FED-tWIN funding programme of the federal government. FED-tWIN is a new federal research programme of the Programmatory Federal Government Service for Science Policy (BELSPO) with the aim of stimulating sustainable cooperation between ten federal science institutions and Belgian universities through the financing of joint research profiles.

This vacancy falls within the research profile Prf-2021-040 for scientific domain ScD-2021-005. Of the FED-tWIN funding programme. The candidate will implement the FED-tWIN research profile at the UHasselt (50%) and (50%) at the BIRA‑IASB.

Advances in quantum technologies open up novel emerging applications in sensing and metrology. These directions are of special interest both for the UHasselt and BIRA‑IASB. In this context, BIRA‑IASB and UHasselt have initiated a FEDtWIN research profile with an objective to set up a sustainable research cooperation in the field of quantum technology-based space instrumentation, with a special emphasis on quantum magnetometry. In a broader sense, these applications are also of interest to the Faculty of Engineering Technology at UHasselt as it concerns the instrumentation development. The Faculty of Science will deal with fundamental aspects of quantum technology such as spin physics, quantum protocols and material aspects, BIRA‑IASB will be engaged in the development of quantum technology‑based instruments, their engineering and inclusion in space science/services missions. The work relates to the following keywords

Education task

You will provide quality education, mainly in the bachelor physics courses and contribute to developing and teaching new course units in the Master Materiomics curriculum at the Faculty of Science. You will familiarise students with current evolutions in the latest quantum and quantum engineering sciences. Additional courses might be defined in other study programmes. In addition, in the context of continuous evolution of the curriculum innovation in education you are expected to develop new courses.

Research mission

The research topics relate to quantum physics and space science instrumentation. You will be in charge of the conceptualization, development and realization of quantum technology‑based magnetic field sensors as well as other quantum instruments for space science applications. By using the scientific background developed at UHasselt’s Faculty of Science, you will design optimal sensor configurations and sensing protocols enabling the best device performance.

You will also be strongly engaged in the preparation of national and international projects, collaborating with international academic and industrial partners. Expected output will be publications, patents but also industrially relevant prototypes. You are expected to build and lead a strong and internationally recognised team, which is part of the Space Physics division at BIRA‑IASB, as well as the Quantum Science and Technology research unit which is embedded in IMOMEC, UHasselt’s materials research institute

Required competences

The candidate has obtained maximum 12 years before the submission date with derogations (extension for maternity, parental, adoption, long-term illness: see details in article 14 of the Law). This period of 12 years is extended by one year for each absence due to pregnancy, parental or adoption leave, as well as each long-term absence due to illness of the candidate or and long-term absence due to illness of a family member of the first degree.

The candidate is required to hold a PhD in one of the following fields: quantum magnetometry, experimental quantum physics, device physics or engineering. The candidate should have demonstrated expertise in the development of magnetometers and quantum readout protocols for their operation. Furthermore, it is essential that the candidate has a high-level technical background, allowing him/her to transfer the physical operation principles to electronics design and construction. The researcher should be able to model the device electronic boards and should have expertise in electromagnetic noise and shielding.

Profile details
  • You have obtained a PhD in one of the following fields: quantum magnetometry, experimental quantum physics, device physics or engineering.
  • You must have minimum three years of research experience after the PhD and at least six years research experience in magnetometry. Experience in space physics and spacecraft engineering will be an asset.
  • You should have demonstrated expertise in the development of magnetometers and quantum readout protocols for their operation. Furthermore, it is essential that you have a high‑level technical background, allowing you to transfer the physical operation principles to electronics design and construction.
  • Experience in educational tasks and supervision of PhD students will be an asset.
  • You need to have broad scientific interests, enabling you to link the main fields of the research profile, i.e. space physics instrumentation and advanced quantum principles. You should also be able to familiarise quickly with new scientific domains.
  • Strong mathematical, problem‑solving skills and programming (Python, Comsol, Matlab) are an asset.
  • Ability to export scientific methods and results to practical applications is an advantage. Experience in collaboration with industry is an asset.
  • You have collegial spirit, show organisational commitment and contribute to the objectives of UHasselt and BIRA‑IASB. You have necessary qualities to function within a multidisciplinary research group. You are motivated, creative and self‑learning.


Furher details

Dutch is the official administrative language of Hasselt University. If you do not have a sufficient knowledge of Dutch (CEFR level B2) upon your appointment, we expect you to obtain the required level no later than 5 years after being appointed or at the moment of tenure (usually after an internship of 3 years for senior academic staff). We provide tailor‑made language training. If you are a coordinating lecturer you must have a command of the language of instruction of the program component at CEFR level C1. We provide tailor‑made language training.

Offer and benefits

We offer an appointment as a lecturer in the tenure track system during 5 years. This will lead to an immediate permanent contract as a senior lecturer, if the Board of Directors favorably assesses the party involved, based on previously set public grading criteria.

  • for BIRA-IASB a 50% contractual SW2 position with open-ended contract.
  • for the UHasselt a 50 % "lecturer in a temporary tenure-track" position which will lead to a permanent (academic) status.

The selection procedure consists of a preselection based on application file, an introductory interview, an in‑depth interview (with assignment) and an assessment center. If required, a selection exam can be held after preselection.

During the selection interview, a short trial lesson (20 min) is requested, as well your scientific research vision within the Faculty and BIRA‑IASB.

  • Prof. dr. Milos NESLADEK, +32‑11‑268833
    milos (dot) nesladek (at) uhasselt (dot) be
  • dr. Sylvain RANVIER
    sylvain (dot) ranvier (at) aeronomie (dot) be

More about working at Hasselt University? Check for our staff benefits.


Please send a detailed CV, including a list of your scientific publications, a cover letter describing your motivation, a contact information of 2 referees and fill in the online form at up to and including 30 June 2022 with the following reference : Prf-2021-040_QanT42S FED-tWIN

More about BIRA-IASB

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

Since its founding in 1964, BIRA-IASB has been conducting research and providing public services in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere and other planets, and outer space.

Our scientists use instruments on the ground, in the air, on board balloons or in space and computer models.