Research Master in Fluid Dynamics (Master-after-master level)

Applications for the academic year 2022-2023 are opened!

Research Master in Fluid Dynamics

The Research Master of the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI) is a one-year postgraduate programme at “Master-after-Master” level (also known as VKI Diploma Course) with a 60-years legacy. The program offers a wide choice of specialised courses on various aspects of fluid dynamics. Half of the year is devoted to a personal research project under close guidance by members of the faculty. The research may be experimental, theoretical, or computational in nature. The VKI Research Master in Fluid Dynamics complements the master programmes of universities with a deep research oriented specialisation.

The program is accredited by NVAO (Nederlands-Vlaamse Accreditatieorganisatie) which ensures the quality of educational programs following the Bologna agreement for higher education in Europe. NVAO takes this decision in accordance with the Codex Hoger Education, in particular Article II.170/18. The accreditation is valid from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2027 and is renewable.

The complete Research Master curriculum involves a minimum of 30 ECTS of courses and 30 ECTS for an independent research project, corresponding to one full academic year. 

Who can apply?

Citizenship

  • Citizens of NATO countries
  • Citizens of EU member countries, NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates), Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Montenegro, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Uruguay, South-Africa and Vietnam.

Required qualifications

A five-year engineering or science degree (3-year B.S. + 2-year M.S.) from a European university or a M.S. from an American, Canadian or Turkish University.
A working knowledge of the English language (level B1)

VKI fellowship and tuition waiver

VKI Fellowships and no tuition fee for students, citizens of all the contributing countries.

Countries which contribute to the funding of the Institute are Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Turkey and  The United States of America.

A fellowship of 1110€/month (from October to June) to cover living expenses while in Belgium is available for accepted applicants from the countries listed above. The fellowship is automatically granted after acceptation of the applicant in the program. Note that it cannot be cumulated with any other means of financial support (own fellowship, salary …).

Furthermore, for accepted applicants from these countries, tuition is free.

Tuition for students, citizens of NATO countries which do not contribute to the VKI financing

For students, citizens of non VKI-financing NATO countries can participate (if selected) subject to payment of a tuition fee of € 10.000 and are not eligible for the VKI fellowship.

Tuition for students, citizens of non NATO countries

Students, citizens of non NATO countries can participate (if selected) subject to payment of a tuition fee of € 25.000 and are not eligible for the VKI fellowship.

VKI-BAEF fellowships for US citizens

The Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) in collaboration with the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (VKI)  encourages applications for fellowships for advanced study or research during the academic year 2023-2024, at VKI. The offer is directed to US citizens.

The BAEF will award up to eleven fellowships as outright non-renewable grants carrying a stipend of

  • 29,000 for Master’s or Ph.D. students
  • 33,000 for Post-doctoral Fellows.

BAEF fellowships 2023-2024 can be initiated between July 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023. Fellows should be in residence in Belgium during the tenure of their fellowship and stay for a period of 12 months. If the Fellow chooses to remain in Belgium for less than 12 months, the stipend will be prorated accordingly. The minimum fellowship period is 6 months.

In addition to the stipend, the Foundation will defray the cost of health insurance in Belgium. No additional financial aid is to be expected.

Completed applications for the 2023-2024 fellowships must be submitted as electronic documents in pdf format attached to an email sent no later than October 31, 2022 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Other funding for US students

- Flanders House: http://www.flandershouse.org/study-in-flanders

- The Fulbright Foundation: Americans living outside of Belgium may be eligible for Fulbright scholarships to come to Belgium for research or study.  http://www.fulbright.be/study-in-belgium/scholarships-for-us-citizens-studying-in-belgium

Programme of the VKI Research Master

One of the main programmes offered by the Institute is the one-year postgraduate “Research Master in Fluid Dynamics” at the level “Master after Master” (former VKI Diploma Course). Approximately thirty-five engineers and scientists drawn from ten or more countries attend this program. They are offered a wide selection of specialised courses on various aspects of fluid dynamics and are given the opportunity to perform personal research projects under close guidance by members of the faculty. The projects may be experimental, theoretical, or computational in nature. Thus, the VKI Research Master in Fluid Dynamics Course complements, rather than duplicates, the teaching programs of universities.

The syllabus presents pertinent information regarding the VKI Research Master in Fluid Dynamics Course. Admission and diploma requirements are reviewed first. Then the course syllabus for the current academic year is presented. A description of research activities provides an indication of the diverse possibilities for the individual research project. The major facilities available for the research project are described and a list of the faculty members is included.

Attendees to the VKI Research Master in Fluid Dynamics Course follow a series of lectures entitled "Theoretical and Experimental Fluid Dynamics" described in the syllabus and then make a selection among the three areas of specialisation. Further specialisation in certain fields is also possible. The final program of courses for each attendee is formulated, following discussions with the supervisor.

An essential aspect of the VKI Research Master in Fluid Dynamics Course is the independent research project. A list of suggested projects appears in a later section of the syllabus.

The VKI Research Master in Fluid Dynamics comprises a balanced combination of classroom lectures and individual research.

Attendees select one of the areas of specialisation and follow the courses therein, adding optional courses to their program if they so desire. Attendees are allowed a certain flexibility in the selection of their course program. The final curriculum will be decided after consultations with the Institute's Faculty and will involve a minimum of 30 ECTS (*) of courses outlined in the syllabus and 30 ECTS for an independent research project.

Faculty members will assist attendees in selecting an appropriate research project. The individual research project will be weighted with a factor of nearly two compared to the performance in course work.

The VKI Diploma will be awarded to attendees who, in the opinion of the faculty, achieve a mark of at least 60% in both course work and the research project.

Submit your Application

If you are interested in joining our 2022-2023 program, the application system is opened.  We encourage interested students to apply as early as possible. You will be guided through the process step-by-step, and kept informed of the progress of your application via electronic notifications.  The next academic year starts on October 3rd, 2022.  

Requirements to obtain the degree

The VKI Research Master in Fluid Dynamics comprises a balanced combination of classroom lectures and individual research. Attendees select one of the areas of specialisation and follow the courses therein, adding optional courses to their program if they so desire. Attendees are allowed a certain flexibility in the selection of their course program. The final curriculum will be decided after consultations with the Institute's Faculty and will involve a minimum of 30 ECTS (*) of courses outlined in the syllabus and 30 ECTS for an independent research project.

Faculty members will assist attendees in selecting an appropriate research project. The individual research project will be weighted with a factor of nearly two compared to the performance in course work.

The VKI Diploma will be awarded to attendees who, in the opinion of the faculty, achieve a mark of at least 60% in both course work and the research project.

Added Values

Unique international setting

Originating from more than 10 countries, some thirty to thirty-five young engineers and scientists work together in a unique international team spirit, following a tradition of excellence initiated by Theodore von Karman in 1956.

Exceptional environment

VKI offers a one-year specialisation for in research in the following fields:

  • Aeronautics and Aerospace
  • Turbomachinery and Propulsion
  • Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics

Access to a fleet of wind tunnels covering all regimes, from low subsonic to hypersonic flow. Free access to our internationally renowned VKI Lecture Series, a lifelong learning program.

Recent Research programmes cover the following fields: aircraft and space propulsion; aerothermal flow in turbomachinery; turbomachinery design and testing; flight and ground testing for space vehicles; small satellites development and launching; noise and emission reduction; non-intrusive instrumentation; physico-chemical and numerical modeling, design and optimization; industrial plasma processes; thermal-hydraulics and safety of nuclear reactors; cryogenics; wind energy and green energy systems.

Career opportunities

Graduates of the VKI Research Master have access to exciting career opportunities in the research departments of industry (Airbus, Automotive, General Electric, Rolls-Royce, SAFRAN, ...), in government agencies and international research centers (ESA, DLR, NASA, ONERA, ...), or pursue their education in a Doctoral Programme.

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