Head of Unit - Structural Composites (M/F)

Reference : MRT-2019-062

Type: Researcher
Contract type: Permanent contract
Duration: CDI
Place: Hautcharage



The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is seeking to appoint a Head of Unit for its Structural Composites Unit. The research in this unit is crucial in enabling novel and multi-functional structural products with improved properties addressing for example automotive and aerospace challenges among other economic sectors.
The Structural Composites unit is part of the Materials Research and Technology (MRT) Department and addresses the tailoring and processing of composite materials to achieve specific and enhanced properties through both experimental and numerical approaches. The unit leads competitive projects, industry-funded projects and European projects and presently comprises about 20 researchers, engineers and PhD students, organized into two research groups, which focus on the following domains:

  • The design and durability of high-performance and multi-functional composites based on advanced modelling expertise
  • Interface engineering towards better performance and durability

A large part of Luxembourg’s manufacturing industry is closely tied to innovations in materials research. Several Luxembourgish companies have extensive R&D operations, in domains ranging from automotive to aerospace, metallurgy, electronics and construction. As a consequence, the materials and processes sector is regarded as one of the main drivers of competitiveness and diversification in Luxembourg.

Together with other MRT activities, the Structural Composites Unit stands in the larger context of the “National Composite Initiative in Luxembourg”, which aims to federate, extend, consolidate and integrate the competencies existing in Luxembourg’s composite sector, which is composed of both large industrial companies and SMEs. Within this initiative, MRT operates the National Composite Platform, which combines composite manufacturing expertise and infrastructure.

The MRT department currently comprises about 180 members of staff and is organized as follows:

  • Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology Unit. The aim of this unit is to translate the enabling capabilities of nanotechnology/nanomaterials into application-driven solutions, which take advantage of the functional properties of materials.
  • Scientific Instrumentation and Process Technology Unit, working in the fields of nanoanalytic instruments and surface treatments relying on process technology.
  • Functional Polymers Unit, investigating functional and bio-based polymers including biodegradable and recyclable plastics, macromolecular chemistry, responsive polymers and polymer physics.
  • Structural Composites Unit, studying materials with a specific focus on the design and durability of high-performance and multi-functional composites based on advanced modelling expertise together with interface engineering towards better performance and durability.
  • A transversal platform regrouping materials characterization and testing, composites manufacturing and prototyping, which provides access to state-of the art characterization in the fields of molecular analysis/elemental and isotopic analysis/structure, morphology and topography/mechanical testing and accelerated ageing/fire testing/thermal analysis/composites manufacturing/specific prototyped high-end home-made processes and equipment.




The Head of Unit is responsible for the overall management, coordination and performance of the RDI activities of the unit. He/she reports to the Department Director and is him/herself hierarchically responsible for the RDI group leaders. The successful candidate will steer the development of an internationally recognized Research, Development & Innovation (RDI) programme in the field of composite materials. In particular, he/she is expected to:

  • Propose an RDI strategy for the unit, aligned with the overall mission and global strategy of MRT
  • Translate the approved strategy into the drafting of:

    • a short, mid and long-term roadmap for the unit
    • a competitive multiannual research programme and appropriate funding plan
    • a valorization strategy of scientific knowledge and technologies for the industrial sector

  • Implement the validated RDI unit business plan
  • Define and propose relevant KPIs to monitor the performance of the groups within the RDI unit
  • Ensure high-level people management of the RDI unit and direct management of the group leaders
  • Propose Capex investments and implement the validated Capex
  • Provide structural reports to the Department Director
  • Oversee the HR of the unit, support and execute HR corporate policies
  • Coordinate RDI activities, promote interdisciplinary collaboration within the research unit, with other units and other departments at LIST, as well as with Luxembourgish stakeholders.
  • Represent and promote the RDI unit externally in line with the Department’s communication strategy
  • Be accountable for the administrative and financial follow-up of the RDI projects of the unit
  • Continue to build his/her scientific and technological expertise

The research areas to be considered for the positions include, but are not limited to:

  • Mathematical and numerical modelling of composite materials, structures and technological processes
  • Mechanical testing of composites in collaboration with the Testing Platform
  • Novel design concepts and advanced manufacturing technologies in collaboration with the Composites Platform
  • Chemistry of interface and interphase of fibre-based composite materials
  • Smart structures





  • Hold a PhD degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Sciences or a related field of Engineering Sciences


  • Sound and proven knowledge and comprehension of both the industrial and academic world of composite materials and  extensive experience in building relationships with industries and in the advocacy of institutional interests
  • At least 15 years of relevant professional experience in team leadership and project management within a competitive academic or industrial RDI environment
  • Proven success in multiannual RDI projects and experience as a Principal Investigator of projects
  • Proven experience in terms of cooperation with the industrial sector industry
  • Solid experience in developing innovative research, technology and solutions
  • Sound experience in generating intellectual property and valorizing scientific and technological results (contract research, patents, licences)
  • High-level scientific and technological track record related to composite materials
  • Significant experience in managing, developing and mentoring researchers
  • Strong communication skills and recognized management team spirit


  • Excellent command of English
  • Good knowledge of at least one of the official languages of the country (French, German or Luxembourgish)


Please apply before 31 March 2019


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