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PhD on development of animal health and welfare monitoring technology

   Department of Biosystems

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  Dr T Norton  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The research team of M3-BIORES (Measure, Model and Manage Bio-Responses) at KU Leuven carries out research and innovation in the field of monitoring animal and human responses with the mission to improve their health and well-being. M3-BIORES place a strong emphasis on developing cutting-edge tools with industry partners, many of which represent market leaders in the agricultural sector.

To achieve this impact our ambition is to train future innovators to PhD level, so they can make an impact on the highly dynamic agri-tech sector. Most of our graduates go on to start their own companies or play leading roles in world leading companies after they graduate with their PhD.

With this in mind, we are currently looking for talented researchers with an interest in developing technology (sensors + algorithms) for animal health and behaviour monitoring in order to improve animal welfare and support sustainable animal farming. Our research team is progressing with exciting projects on an International level with world leading companies. We are always interested to find candidates who can contribute towards developing and exploiting novel methods for identifying, tracking, and monitoring important animal behaviours/health. The right candidates will also work with the team to propose how extracted information can be exploited by end-users (researchers, animal care-takers, farmers) to understand and manage animals in ways that go beyond state-of-the-art practices.

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• Working collaboratively with the research team leader and team to produce excellent research results for animal health/welfare/productivity monitoring technology development

• Demonstrate effective collaboration skills with high standard of personal integrity & handling of confidential information

• Write reports and research papers, and present findings to collaborators and scientific community

• Responsibly manage your PhD milestones, write up, submit and defend your PhD.

Who we are looking for

• You have a vision to become an international expert in the field of sensor based animal health/welfare/productivity monitoring/management

• You have experience in designing and running research projects to a high standard.

• You are an excellent collaborator within multi-disciplinary teams, you can communicate effectively and deliver high quality science.

• You are interested in data analysis and/or algorithm design with state-of-the-art and traditional processing methodologies, and you are interested in balancing performance with complexity to achieve implementable technologies for the industry.

• You are creative individual and have a "persistent itch" to develop innovative solutions.


• MSc degree in the field of Bioengineering, Biosystems Engineering, Veterinary Science, Animal Behaviour, Data Science, Computer Science, or related field

• Knowledge in the field of animal behaviour, veterinary science, and/or machine learning and algorithm development

• Strong analytical skills with the ability to collect, organize, analyse, and disseminate significant amounts of information with attention to detail and accuracy

• Experience in paper/report writing and presenting findings at scientific conferences

• Demonstrably self-motivated, flexible, logical thinking, goal-oriented, team player

• Stress resistant and passion for excellence.


• Genuine passion for developing animal-based sensor systems

• Knowledge on data analysis packages such as Python OpenCV (OpenCV, PyTorch, Tensorflow), MATLAB, R

• Analytical, structured and result-oriented; you are able to work independently and make decisions without direct supervision involvement;

• Experience in working in multidisciplinary research projects

Funding Notes

If you have a passion for an industry oriented PhD, agri-tech development, animal health and welfare, or better yet all of these then please contact Prof. dr. Tomas Norton, tel.: +32 16 37 75 31, mail:[at]
In the case that direct funding is not available there can be opportunities to apply for competitive grants based on the available funding opportunities and the candidate's CV. Applicants with self-funding or scholarships are also encouraged to apply.


See the publications from our team here:
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