Applied Engineering

PhD defences

Attend a PhD defence or find the archive of concluded doctoral research

Biorefinery concept in paper recycling: modelling, verification and prediction of bleaching process (13/01/2021)

Giorgio Tofani 

  • Wednesday January, 13 2021 
  • 10 a.m. (UTC+1) 
  • Promotors: Prof. Serge Tavernier & Prof. Iris Cornet 
  • Online PhD defence: Due to the current circumstances, the public defence will be available through live streaming, using Microsoft Teams. Please confirm online your presence before the 10th of January 2021. You will receive a link on January, 12 to participate to the online public defence. 
  • Faculty of Applied Engineering

Advanced Array based Sensors for Industrial In Air Sonar Applications (10/12/2020)

Robin Kerstens

  • Thursday 10 December 2020
  • 17:00 (UTC+1)
  • Supervisor: Prof. dr. Ing. Jan Steckel
  • Online PhD defence: Due to the current circumstances, the public defence will be available through live streaming, using Microsoft Teams. Please confirm your presence before the 8th of December, after which you will receive a link where you can participate.
  • Faculty of Applied Engineering - CoSys Lab Research Group

Maximising asphalt recycling challenges and variability in fatigue and healing (09/12/2020)

Alexandros Margaritis

  • 9 December 2020
  • 14:00 (Brussels time)
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. Wim Van den bergh, Prof. dr. Johan Blom
  • Faculty of Applied Engineering - EMIB
  • Follow online:The public defence will be available through live streaming, using Microsoft Teams. Please confirm here your online presence before the 7th of December

Modelling Human Anatomy for use in Clinical and Virtual Population Studies - Emmanuel Audenaert (24/06/2020)

Emmanuel Audenaert

  • 24 June 2020
  • Supervisors: Prof. Gunther Steenackers (UAntwerp), Prof. Dirk Vandermeulen (KULeuven) and Prof. Christophe Pattyn (UGent)

Sensorless Load Angle Detection forBrushless Direct Current and Stepping Motors - Jasper De Viaene (25/05/2020)

​Jasper De Viaene

  • 25 May 2020
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. ing. Kurt Stockman (Ghent University) and Prof. dr. ing. Stijn Derammelaere (UAntwerp)


The possibility to accurately position without the need for a position sensor makes stepping motors very appealing for positioning applications. However, drawbacks of the cheap and easy to use open-loop control are the continuous risk of missing a step due to overload, the high torque ripple and low efficiency. In addition, BLDC motors are particularly outspoken for speed varying applications. Literature shows that the control method can be improved by controlling a BLDC motor with sinusoidal currents instead of square-wave currents. Unfortunately, feedback techniques typically used in BLDC motors to determine the commutation moments are inadequate for sinusoidal current setpoint generation.In this study, a sensorless feedback mechanism indicating the actual load and a controller preventing step loss, without noticeably increasing the cost, is proposed for stepping motor applications. In parallel, a computationally simple sensorless method that uses sinusoidal currents to increase the efficiency of BLDC motors is developed.

Characterization of the Mechanical Properties of Asphalt Mixtures Using Optical Measurement Techniques - Navid Hasheminejad (09/01/2020)

​Navid Hasheminejad

  • 9 January 2020
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. Cedric Vuye and Prof. dr. Steve Vanlanduit

A general approach to robot path planning for optical inspections - Boris Bogaerts (20/12/2019)

​Boris Bogaerts

  • 20 December 2019
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. Rudi Penne and Prof. dr. Steve Vanlanduit

Lipase-Catalyzed Modifications of Mannosylerythritol Lipids and their Characterization - Eliane Goossens (13/12/2019)

​Eliane Goossens

  • 13 December 2019
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. Filip Lemière and Prof. ir. Marc Wijnants

Pose Estimation in Rehabilitation - Dennis Laurijssen (29/11/2019)

​Dennis Laurijssen

  • 29 November 2019
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. ir. Ing. Walter Daems, Prof. dr. Ing. Jan Steckel and Prof. dr. Steven Truijen

Hydronic design of hybrid thermal production systems in buildings - Freek Van Riet (25/10/2019)

​Freek Van Riet

  • 25 October 2019
  • Supervisor: Prof Ivan Verhaert

Computer Vision Techniques for 3D Optical Measurements - Seppe Sels (26/09/2019)

Seppe Sels

  • 26 September 2019
  • Supervisors: Prof. Steve Vanlanduit and Prof. Rudi Penne

The mouse on your head: an iterative, model-based approach towards improving assistive human-computer interaction - Edwin Walsh (14/12/2018)

Edwin Walsh

  • 14 December 2018
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. ir. Walter Daems and Prof. dr. ing. Jan Steckel

The Impacts of International Immigration and Cultural Diversity on Economic Performance, Public Attitudes and Political Outcomes in European Regions - Panos Chasapopoulos (10/10/2018)

​Panos Chasapopoulos

  • 10 October 2018
  • Supervisors: Prof. A. van Witteloostuijn and Prof. C. Boone
  • Joint defence UAntwerp - Tilburg University


International migration is a complex and dynamic phenomenon with wide-ranging implications for the receiving countries. As implied by the title, this doctoral dissertation attempts to approach the subject of international migration from different angles and perspectives. In particular, each of the three main empirical studies of this dissertation investigates a specific topic of the economic, social and political consequences of international migration in the European region. This is in order to highlight the importance of multidimensional research that is able to give a bird’s eye view on the theme.

The first study examines whether the effect of cultural diversity on economic performance of European regions is influenced by the level of generalized social trust and individuals’ trust in public institutions. The second study investigates how the origin and the skill level of immigrants in European regions affect natives’ attitudes toward them. The last study examines the impact of international immigration on electoral support for the radical right in Dutch municipalities.

Towards a structured consequential modelling approach for the construction sector: the Belgian case - Matti Buyle (25/05/2018)

​Matti Buyle

  • 25 May 2018
  • Supervisor: Prof. dr. ir. Amaryllis Audenaert

Influence of Electrodeposited Nanoparticles on the Electrochemical Halide Reduction - Bart Vanrenterghem (28/03/2018)

​Bart Vanrenterghem

  • 28 March 2018
  • Supervisor: Prof. dr. ing. Tom Breugelmans

Functionalization of Long Chain Olefins and Fatty Acid Derivatives via Boron Intermediates - Lukasz Pazdur (23/03/2018)

​Lukasz Pazdur

  • 23 March 2018
  • Supervisors: Prof Serge M.F. Tavernier and Prof ir. Kourosch Abbaspour Tehrani


The chemical (related) industry is one of the largest industries in the world. At this moment this industry is mainly petrochemically based. Due to a rising shortage of petroleum and the stress between its function as fuel (source of energy) and its function as raw material (source of chemical building blocks), new strategies are deployed with respect to alternative raw materials that could lead to chemical building blocks.

Oleochemistry (centered on carbon containing molecules from natural oils and fats) seems an interesting way to obtain valuable chemical building blocks. A very interesting point is that it is a natural source of desirable long carbon-chain molecules, which can be further derivatized. The oleochemical approach has however also some disadvantages. A first important issue is the food versus fuel and/or food versus raw material discussion. The second issue is that there is a lack of long chain multifunctional, more specifically long chain α,ω-bifunctional molecules occurring in nature. Yet, such molecules can be used in high-value applications such as biopolymers and biolubricants.

As long chain bifunctional compounds, like α,ω-dicarboxylic acids are not provided by nature in sufficient amounts, it is important to develop a process to obtain these compounds in an environmentally friendly and economically viable way. It is important to design a process with an environmentally friendly catalyst and to optimize the process in such a way that not only edible clean fats/oils are used as starting material but also inedible fats/oils and maybe used oils/fats (used cooking oil).

This PhD work contributes to the valorization of unsaturated renewable materials into industrially relevant products. More specifically, the goal of this PhD work was to realize a sustainable method for the preparation of long carbon chain α,ω-bifunctionalized molecules starting from unsaturated long chain fatty acids and/or their derivatives. Two different methods to produce α – ω long chain building blocks were investigated: (1) the shift of mid-chain double bonds in derivatives of unsaturated (free) fatty acid esters by means of hydroboration-isomerization and (2) the synthesis and derivatization of long chain unsaturated dialkyl ethers.

The largest application of α,ω-bifunctional compounds (short as well as long type) can be situated in the production of biopolymers. Most of said biopolymers are based on polycondensation reactions (polyamides, polyesters, ...). Depending on the chain length of the α,ω-bifunctional compound the amount of polarity can be controlled in the biopolymer that has a polar repeating unit (e.g. ester group) that will be “diluted” with the long apolar hydrocarbon chain. At the moment a lot of apolar (petro)polymers are used that are not biodegradable (PE, PP, etc.). From literature it is found that most of all produced apolar (petro)polymers are not recovered and thus induce environmental pressure. In case long chain α,ω-bifunctional molecules with a high number of –CH2- groups in the chain could be produced, polymers could be made that could mimic the apolar (petro)polymers. This polyester type “Pseudo-PE” would be degradable and hence will give raise to less environmental pressure.

Biological nutrient removal via nitration-denitration using granular sludge treating industrial wastewater from the food industry - Thomas Dobbeleers (25/01/2018)

​Thomas Dobbeleers

  • 25 January 2018
  • Supervisor: Prof. Jan Dries

Thermal Inertia in Dwellings - Stijn Verbeke (31/10/2017)

​Stijn Verbeke

  • 31 October 2017
  • Supervisor: Prof. dr. ir. Amaryllis Audenaert

Optimised Failure Detection and Advanced Non-destructive Inspection Using Active IR Thermographyy and Numerical Modelling - Jeroen Peeters (14/09/2017)

​Jeroen Peeters

  • 14 September 2017
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. ir. Gunther Steenackers and Prof. dr. Joris Dirckx

Bituminous Pavements in Flanders: quantifiying the effect of RAP on the environmental impact - Joke Anthonissen (17/05/2017)

Joke Anthonissen

  • 17 May 2017
  • Prof. dr. Ing. Wim Van den bergh and Prof. dr. Johan Braet

Uncertainty of Localization using Electromagnetic Fingerprints - Raf Berkvens (27/02/2017)

Raf Berkvens

  • 27 February 2017
  • Supervisors: Prof. dr. ing. Maarten Weyn and Prof. dr. ir. Herbert Peremans