Two PhD Scholarship Wideband Optical Network Nodes and Techniques

Applicants are invited to apply for a PhD position in wireless communication at Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands. This position is available for 4 years. This position is open until filled.

Vacancy for Two PhD students in dept. EE Wideband Optical Network Nodes and Techniques

Work environment

Eindhoven University of Technology ( is one of Europe's top technological universities, situated at the heart of a most innovative high-tech region. Thanks to a wealth of collaborations with industry and academic institutes, our research has real-world impact. TU/e is ranked among the first 100 in the Times Higher Educational World University ranking and 49th in the Shanghai ARWU ranking (engineering). TU/e has around 3,000 employees and 2,300 PhD students (half of which international, representing about 70 nationalities). The candidate will work at the Department of Electrical Engineering ( Within this department, research and education is done in domains of Telecommunication, Care and Cure, and Smart energy systems. The interfaculty Institute for Photonic Integration (IPI) performs research in the area of broadband telecommunication, by investigating the potential of optical technologies. As a key member of IPI, the Electro-Optical Communication Systems (ECO) group focuses its research on optical communication system techniques, ranging from systems for ultra-high capacity long reach transmission (encompassing single-mode, multi-mode and multi-core fiber systems), ultra-fast (all-) optical packet switching nodes, high-density intra-data center networks, to multi-service flexible access and in-building networks (including radio-over-fibre and optical wireless communication). ECO participates in several national and international projects.

The annual global Internet traffic will 127-fold increase from 2005 to 2021, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 24% from 2016 – 2021. In the context of such extraordinary traffic growth, the Wideband Optical Networks (WON) European Training Network project will investigate solutions to overcome a possible traffic-crunch by achieving an increase in the usable optical bandwidth of single-mode fibres. The WON project addresses the challenges of designing and developing a spectrally efficient and adaptive wideband optical network infrastructure to support traffic originating from heterogeneous access networks with specific requirements such as high mobility, low latency, low jitter etc. The novel WON network solution includes both transparent and flexible optical switching and adaptive optical transmission supporting dynamic optical bandwidth allocation. It will be coordinated by a dedicated control plane responsible for the provisioning of the network through the allocation of heterogeneous compute, storage and networking resources also embedded in the node. Through the combination of improved, elastic optical techniques and intelligent, dynamic management of the network applications, WON will perform demonstrations of more than 10-fold capacity increase of current optical networks.

Being highly multidisciplinary, WON will cover all topics and expertise from design and development of photonic components, novel digital signal processing algorithms and system modelling to network and control management. WON is a doctoral-level training network that will benefit of rich interactions between the academia and industry. The PhD candidate will benefit from a comprehensive training programme featuring inter-sectorial and multidisciplinary technical courses, rich transferable skills training and international inter-sectorial secondments with a strong focus on industrial experience. The PhD candidates will be capable of leading interdisciplinary research activities with unique expertise on designing physical-layer-aware next generation wideband optical communication networks.

WON deals with the design, implementation and characterisation novel photonic wideband network elements to enable wideband operation from O- to L-band, opening the O, E, and S bands that are currently unexploited for DWDM. The main novel wideband network elements are the wideband optical add/drop switching nodes including wideband photonic integrated Mux/De-Mux and photonic integrated wavelength selective switches. The optical add/drop switching nodes exploiting WSS modules are largely employed in telecom networks. However, the WSS solutions that can be found in the literature or commercially available can only work for the C-band or L-band. Therefore the aim here is to invent and demonstrate modular wideband photonic wavelength selective switches and optical add/drop switching nodes able to operate from the O- to the L-band.

Objectives: The PhD will investigate, design, and assess novel modular wideband WSS able to operate from the O- to the L-band. To this aim, a number of novel architectures will be investigated including a wideband photonic mux/de-mux filter and WSS modules capable to separate the different bands with target specifications such as wavelength band separation, low insertion loss, flat-top profile with low ripple, number of switching ports. The design of the passive wideband photonic mux/de-mux filter will be performed by a commercial device software simulator considering different technology options to achieve the target specifications. A modular architecture approach will be investigated for the wideband WSS which allows more flexible and scalable port count operation.

Objectives: The PhD will investigate and design novel disaggregated WDM optical cross-connect switch architectures using integrated devices each to deliver switching at various granularities such as wavelength and band while supporting the wideband operation. The aim is to explore ways to deliver a modular pay as you grow architecture where sub-systems can be re-arranged to handle services and traffic demands. Synthetic architectures will be explored to different various levels of add/drop modular systems for colourless, directionless and contentionless systems. The PhD will also address the definition, implementation, integration, and testing of the various control interfaces that will support software-defined networking principles such as declarative configuration and model-driven management and operations (e.g. based on NETCONF or RESTCONF).

The PhD candidates will contribute to the TU/e efforts in establishing collaboration with the other researchers in the project and contribute to the related project reporting, scientific publication and dissemination activities.

Candidates for this challenging projects must have a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering or in Applied Physics, with a strong knowledge of optical communication techniques and/or for photonic devices and circuits. He/she must be familiar with optical and electronic laboratory measurement equipment, optical fiber system and components, semiconductor devices, and electronic circuits. Knowledge of of photonic devices and circuits / integration technologies and software simulation tools for optical fiber communications are appreciated. He/she must have good communication skills, must be fluent in English (both verbal and written), and must have good team-working capabilities.

We offer a challenging job at a dynamic and ambitious university through a fixed-term appointment for a period of 4 years. The research in this project must be concluded with the attainment of a Ph.D. degree. As an employee of the university you will receive a competitive salary as well as excellent employment conditions. A salary is offered starting at 2266.per month (gross) in the first year, increasing up to 2897. per month (gross) in the last year. Moreover, an 8% bonus share (holiday supplement) is provided annually. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given. The university offers an attractive package of fringe benefits such as excellent technical infrastructure, child care, savings schemes, and excellent sports facilities.

TU/e also offers you the opportunity for personal development by developing your social and communication skills. We do this by offering every PhD student a series of courses that are part of the PROOFprogramas an excellent addition to your scientific education.

More information on employment conditions can be found here:employment conditions.


If you are interested in this PhD student position, please proceed viathe 'apply now'button. You must upload the following documents (PDF format only): -Cover letter, explaining your motivation for applying and how you meet the job requirements (1 A4 page maximum);

-A detailed Curriculum Vitae, including also a list of publications, awards and contact information of two referees;

-Copies of diplomas, including list of courses taken and grades obtained;

-Proof of English language skills (if you are not a native speaker);

-Any other information you deem relevant (e.g. PDF of a recent paper).

Please bear in mind: you can only upload 5 PDF documents (up to 2 MB each).


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