Koen(raad) Van Balen graduated as an Engineer Architect at the KU Leuven (Belgium) in 1979; he obtained a post-graduate degree in architectural conservation in 1984 and he obtained a Ph.D in Engineering in 1991 at the KU Leuven.
He was a full-professor at the KU Leuven in the Civil Engineering department. Van Balen carries out research and teaches on binders, masonry and sustainable construction methods. He was the director of the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC) at the University of Leuven.
With a number of colleagues, he initiated the KU Leuven Cultural Heritage Institute (HERKUL) in 2020.
Since October 2022 he is Professor Emeritus, active in the field of Cultural Heritage.