Research Engineer/Scientist (M/F) Departement CISS for the project “The analysis of combustion plumes through hyperspectral" (DAP19-05)

Job description and associated tasks

In the framework of a hyperspectral research project between the Royal Military Academy, industry and the Belgian Navy, we are looking for a full-time research scientist/engineer with master or PhD degree in Applied Sciences / Engineering / Physics / Computer Science / Image processing / Spectroscopy.

The Royal Military Academy of Belgium (RMA) is a military institution responsible for the basic academic, military and physical training of future officers and for the continuing advanced training of officers during their active career in the Belgian Defense department ( It is fully recognized as a university, fulfilling the same criteria as civilian universities. The Royal Military Academy is also conducting scientific research at university level for projects funded by the Belgian Defense department or external sources.
You work within the department of Department of Communications, Information, Systems and Sensors (CISS) of the Faculty of Applied Sciences of the Royal Military Academy ( and in close collaboration with the mathematics department. You conduct scientific research at university level on a project entitled ‘The analysis of combustion plumes through hyperspectral imaging’. You work within a research team and in close collaboration with the industry, the Air Force and the Belgian Navy for defining operational requirements and setting up test campaigns.

Modern military and defense environments require proven, reliable and scalable technologies for evaluating and analyzing the battle scene. Optical imaging becomes an integral part of military systems as it provides solutions to the whole defense ecosystem including complex controls, surveillance, intelligence, measurement, monitoring and execution. The imagers consolidate various military and defense systems and platforms including vehicles, marine vessels, drones, spacecraft, missiles and rockets. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) provides significant additional information to the spatial dimension of conventional sensors by adding the spectrum to each position. This powerful method creates a “data cube” that contains information about the physical and chemical properties of a target at tens to hundreds of narrow wavelength bands within the system’s field of view.

Analysis of the spectral signature of a combustion plume goes far beyond the military applications as effective performance of engines is important to guarantee operational efficiency, reduce environmental pollution and secure human life and assets. The aim of the research project DAP-19/05 is the analysis of combustion plumes using an advanced hyperspectral imaging system from satellite, airborne, ground and marine vessels. Realization of this challenging study will be accomplished by a 4-steps strategy:

  1. Modeling the IR irradiance signature of rocket engines and turbojet plumes, using combustion, CFD and radiative transfer models
  2. Simulating the signal and image of missile and turbojet exhausts considering different sensor, environmental and atmospheric conditions
  3. Collecting experimental data with a hyperspectral imager during rocket launching or during take-off of jet aircraft
  4. Analysis and validation using machine learning algorithms

The project will be realized in close collaboration with National and International military components and industry and will be performed at the CISS department of the Royal Military Academy (RMA).

Main Tasks:
Perform research activities in the frame of the study project:

  • Modeling the IR irradiance signature of rocket engines and turbojet plumes, using combustion, CFD and radiative transfer models
  • Simulating the signal and image of missile and turbojet exhausts considering different line-of-sights, telescope focal planes, atmospheric layers and conditions, integration times, radiative and thermal noises
  • Collecting experimental data with a FTIR hyperspectral imager in ballistic and engine laboratories, during the launching of surface-to-air or surface-to-surface missiles (by the Navy or Land Component) and during the take-off of jet aircraft (from the Air Component)
  • Analyzing and validating the simulated images and existing detection algorithms using real thermal hyperspectral data
  • Developing robust methods for the detection and identification of missile and turbojet plumes in the atmosphere.
  • Creation of a road-map for future technological development of a non-intrusive hyperspectral imaging technique for monitoring turbojet engine performance
  • Report the progress results to the promotor and research team in English
  • Report the obtained results at international conferences and write scientific papers in English

More info about the project: please contact Rob HAELTERMAN & Michal SHIMONI

Required skills

Technical skills
  • The applicant shall have Master or PhD Degree in Applied Sciences, Civil Engineering Physics, Computer Science or Mathematics
  • Experience in programming is absolutely required
  • Training or experience with Python/R/IDL/Java/MATLAB is required
  • Training or experience in image or signal processing is required
  • Training or experience in physics modeling is required
  • Training and experience in computational fluid dynamics modeling is recommended
  • Training or experience in Deep learning or/and AI algorithms is recommended
  • Training or experience in machine learning algorithms is recommended
  • Training or experience in hyperspectral and spectroscopy is an added value
  • Training or experience in sensor modeling is an added value
  • Training or experience in atmospheric modeling is an added value
  • Training or experience in applied research and or design is an added value
Specific requirements

The researcher may be exposed to classified information and will therefore have to obtain the required security clearance. The candidate must consent with the background check required to obtain this clearance, which will be executed by Belgian Defense.

Personal skills
  • You conduct scientific research in an independent and upright way within a multidisciplinary environment
  • You think in an innovative and creative way
  • You communicate your results in a clear, concise and precise manner
  • You take initiative
  • You are involved and result oriented
  • You are honest, loyal toward the institution and respect confidentiality
  • You plan and manage proactively your self-development, while being critical to your own functioning and striving to your self-improvement
  • You improve the team-spirit and solve interpersonal conflicts
  • You solve problems autonomously and find alternatives or solutions
  • You behave in a respectful way toward the others, their ideas and opinions as well as toward procedures and instructions
  • You are flexible for change and adapt yourself
  • You commit yourself in your job by giving the best of your aptitudes in striving toward the highest quality standards and persevere when needed
  • You will be working very closely together with the industrial partner and will get insight in their proprietary intellectual property. Confidentiality is therefore an absolute must
  • This study calls for both theoretical and practical developments. You will need to participate in field campaigns on Belgian Navy vessels or at airfields. A practical attitude and willingness to bring novel scientific innovations into practice is therefore required
Experience & other skills
  • The applicant shall have good knowledge of English (oral / written)
  • Minimum knowledge of French or Dutch is an added value for collaboration with peers



Point of contacts
  • Probable date of recruitment: from February 1st 2021, in consultation with the applicant
  • Status: full-time employment based on an open-ended contract with the Patrimony of the Royal Military Academy (you will not be a civil servant)
  • Wage scale: A11 (holders of a Master’s degree) / A21 (Ir or holders of a Master’s degree in Engineering Sciences (Applied Sciences)) / A22 (Doctor’s degree in the same area of expertise)
  • Extra-legal benefits:
    • Possibility to obtain a bonus for bilingualism (Dutch/French)
    • Holiday allocation
    • End-of-year bonus
    • Hospitalization insurance
    • Free public transport (home-work commute)
    • Bicycle allowance
    • Free access to the on-campus sport infrastructure
    • On-campus restaurant and cafeteria with discount on the daily menu
  • Workplace:
    • Royal Military Academy, Avenue de la Renaissance 30, 1000 Brussels
    • Occasional travels abroad for scientific conferences, etc





  • Send:
    • your motivational letter,
    • your CV,
    • a scan of your ID card (both sides) or passport,
    • and the filled and signed request for security check (see below)

to Rob HAELTERMANMichal SHIMONI  and to Thierry DEPREZ

  • You will be working in a military environment. That is why everyone is expected to undergo asafety verification. Please add to your application the filled out document.
  • Please mention clearly the reference of the project: DAP19-05
  • Application deadline: December 13, 2020
  • The interviews will take place at the Royal Military Academy, Hobbemastraat 8, 1000 Brussels. In case of access restriction due to COVID-19 or non-Belgian application, on-line interviews will take place. The date and time of the interview will be communicated to the preselected candidates.