KU Leuven

Biosystems @ KU Leuven, Biotechnics, sensors and mechatronics for plant health and quality in production and the supply chain.
KU Leuven is a university with international appeal, ranking among the best 50 universities worldwide with a strong focus on innovation. At the department of Biosystems, different groups of the divisions of Crop Biotechnics and Mechantronics and Sensors perform R&D towards sustainable solutions for producing and supplying healthy agrofood to the consumer.

During a tour of the research facilities in Heverlee near the historic university city of Leuven you can meet with experts from the different research groups that will explain and demonstrate their research and applications:

  • The Plant Health and Protection Laboratory led by Prof. Barbara De Coninck, where she employs a variety of biotechnological methodologies to perform fundamental and applied plant research. They integrate knowledge at the cellular, tissue, plant, environment and agro-systems level for both model plants and economically important crops. The tour will include a visit to the greenhouse research facility.
  • The Biophotonics group of Prof. Wouter Saeys, where fundamental and applied research is focused on applying light based sensor technologies in combination with advanced statistical techniques for quality assessment and optimization of agricultural products. The smart farm technology group aims at the development and exploitation of the new technology in primary production to produce high quality products in a sustainable way. The tour will include explanation of hyperspectral imaging combined with modelling for precision spray applications.
  • The CADcracker innovation platform of Dr. Pieter Verboven, that provides advanced computer aided design and engineering techniques to develop and optimize technology in the agrofood supply chain. The modelling and simulation tools are used to preserve food quality, save energy while reducing environmental impacts. Tools for optimizing pre- and postharvest applications of plant protection products have been a focus for many years and will be demonstrated.
  • The Flanders Centre of Postharvest Technology led by Prof. Bart Nicolaï is an experimental station that delivers postharvest science, technology and consultancy to create more value for the Flemish horticultural industry. It has been established in 1997 as a collaborative project between the Association of Belgian Fruit and Vegetable Cooperatives and the University of Leuven. They have a long track record in applied research on postharvest treatments, as well as new dynamic storage technologies, that are demonstrated during a visit to their pilot storage facility and accredited food quality lab.

The afternoon in Leuven will be as follows:


Arrival and coffee @ KU Leuven



Introduction to Biosystems @ KU Leuven



Tour of the labs, demos and facilities in small groups

- Plant health and protection lab green house


- Biophotonics hyperspectral imaging for precision agriculture


- CADcracker digital optimization tools for pre- and postharvest treatments


- Flanders Centre of Postharvest Technology accredited quality lab and pilot


Closing drink



Departure @ KU Leuven



Visit and Dinner in the historic city of Leuven



Return to Ghent city center


Find out more about Biotechnics

Leuven, the home to the KU Leuven

There’s no way around the classics in Leuven: the numerous students, the beer and the wonderful townhall will sure guarantee a most pleasant trip. But Leuven is so much more. The small stories, the surprising anecdotes narrated by our charming guides will bring you to hidden streets and alleyways of this old university town.