Flanders Metals Valley Member

Ghent University

Ghent University is a pluralistic university open to all, regardless of ideological, political, cultural or social background. Our credo is ‘Dare to Think’. Ghent University was founded in 1817. We are a top 100 university (ranked 71th in the Shanghai and 96th in the Times ranking) with more than 50,000 students and 15,000 staff members.

Our 11 faculties offer more than 200 courses and conduct in-depth research within a wide range of scientific domains. Several of our research groups, centres and institutes are renowned worldwide. Key areas of metals R&D are durable materials and rational material usage, energy transition and electrification, and digitization.

Ghent University offers in-depth academic expertise, research capacity and dedicated infrastructure to bring added value in the domain of metal innovation and the energy transition. We help to develop new generation of metal alloys, process techniques and products, together with advanced characterisation tools making designs safe and durable in real conditions.

It is also a key ambition to contribute to a sustainable industry by training youngsters and young professionals that have the skills and competences to think critically and build novel solutions.

Key R&D pillars are:

  • Durable materials and material usage
  • Energy transition and electrification
  • Digitization and Industry 4.0
  • Energy use optimization

UGent has also initiated platform initiatives, gathering researchers from different backgrounds and faculties on thematic topics. The hydrogen platform and the platform of additive manufacturing are of particular interest to some of the recent developments in the metal industry. They provide excellent opportunities to reach out to different stakeholders – industry and policy makers – and to identify needs and opportunities.

These activities are supported by the business development centres Metals, EnerGhentIC and M&F. This business centres are closely linked to the Technology Transfer department, and they support the involved research team in identifying valorisation of the obtained research results and disseminating them to a broad group of stakeholders.

Moreover, as one of the largest universities in Flanders, Ghent University focuses on durability and sustainability in many courses and educational activities. These include bachelor and master courses spread over different faculties. Innovative programs on hydrogen industry, energy management, etc. are also developed as part of the Lifelong Learning academies. It is also possible to offer topics for master thesis projects or internships.

Through high-level and high-quality research, education and collaboration, UGent is creating an impact on society and industry, and this in both an economic and societal way. Together we can dare to think and develop new solutions towards more sustainability.


Based on a strong backbone resulting from the collaboration between universities and industry, we train a next generation of engineers ready to design a sustainable society in which metals undoubtedly keep on playing a key role.

Kim Verbeken // Professor UGent - Research Group Sustainable Materials Science