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(Senior) Research Manager – Turbomachinery and Propulsion

  • VKI - von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics
Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium
  • VKI - von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics
Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium

For 65 years as an international centre of excellence in fluid dynamics, the von Karman Institute (VKI) brings together young engineers and scientists from all over the world to study, improve their skills and perform their research.

“A scientist studies what is, whereas an engineer creates what never was “ Théodore von Kármán.

Besides its mission of education, the von Karman Institute gathers the top-level scientists and engineers to work on very challenging projects as the next generation of engines, new propulsion concepts, the new green energy, the safety of industry, solutions for a cleaner space, the Mission to Mars and many other fields of research which can make the difference for the humankind. Those scientists have access to more than 50 wind tunnels and test rigs, some of them unique in the world to help them in their projects.

VKI is a team of people looking in the same direction for a better future, not only scientists and engineers but also students, PhD candidates, PostDocs, IT, Human Resources, accountants, librarians, designers, and technicians and more.

Today, we are looking for a (Senior) Research Manager for our Turbomachinery and Propulsion Department.


As manager of a team focusing on Turbomachinery and Propulsion research projects, you will support the growing portfolio in the following 'Research Expertise Groups (REG's)' of the Institute:

  • Turbine Aerodynamics & Heat Transfer;

  • Compressor Aerodynamics & Heat;

  • Shape Optimization;

  • Hypersonic propulsion.

You will

  • Take full programmatic responsibility of the portfolio of projects and proposals related to the four 'Research Expertise Groups', including the full responsibility of the achievement of a yearly financial objective;

  • Collaborate with Faculty and Assets & Resources on the progress of those proposals/projects;

  • Manage a team within the Project Office in their day-to-day activities and career evolution;

  • Take the project management responsibility of medium to large size research projects in order to reach the project scope, planning and cost objectives;

  • Participate in market surveillance activities for early identification of contract opportunities and to take the proposal management responsibility of medium to large size proposals;

  • Identify, protect & valorize the IP generated by the projects;

  • Lead scientifically one or more Research Expertise Groups as Head of Research Expertise Group;

  • Report to the Chief Project Management Officer.

Main Activities

  • Portfolio Management;

  • Proposal Management;

  • Project Management;

  • People Management;

  • Research and Engineering;

  • IP Protection & Valorization;

  • Head of Research Expertise Group.


You are a highly motivated and enthusiastic person with a passion for scientific research. You can work well independently as well as part of a team. You are result-oriented, have good communication skills and have a pragmatic approach. You are resilient to stress and enjoy challenges. You are strongly interested in Turbomachinery and Propulsion.


  • Master in Engineering Sciences in fluid dynamics (or other relevant field);

  • Minimum 10 years of research and development experience;

  • Project Management Certification (PMI/PMP level or similar);

  • Minimum 10 years of Project/Proposal Management in a research environment, including a first exposure to portfolio management of research projects;

  • Minimum 5 years of experience in People Management;

  • Good organizational skills (time & priority management) and problem-solving capabilities;

  • Good written & oral communication skills in technical English (technical reports and presentation). French is a plus;

  • Strong leadership and coaching skills;

  • Strong team spirit;

  • Extensive professional network in his/her domain of knowledge;

  • Strategic insight in his/her research domain;

  • Strong awareness of IP protection and exploitation.


  • A permanent full-time contract;

  • An attractive salary package, including pension-, hospitalization- and dental insurances, as well as other fringe benefits;

  • A stimulating and challenging job in an enthusiastic and growing team;

  • An international work environment with a chance to work with students as part of a research and educational institute;

  • Global access to industry experts and academics;

  • A flexible working culture with opportunities for partial homeworking.


As the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone who meets the eligibility criteria below is encouraged to apply for this position.

Location: Close to Brussels @ Rhode-Saint-Genèse (Flemish-Brabant).

Informal enquiries: Philippe Planquart, CPMO ( or Prof. Frank Eulitz (

Important: Please apply online, do NOT send your application by email.
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