PhD Studentship - Device technologies for Peta-bit Communications, Aston University, UK

Publish Date: Apr 28, 2015

Deadline: Jun 30, 2015

Engineering & Applied Science

Contract Type:  Fixed Term (3 years)
Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  Tuesday 30 June 2015
Reference:  R140186

Device technologies for peta-bit communications

Applications are invited for a three year PhD studentship, supported by the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies, to be undertaken within the Optical Communications Research Group at Aston University.  The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on energy efficient means to approach Petabit communication capacity alongside researchers funded by the EPSRC funded project PEACE.

The position is available to start in April 2015 or October 2015 (subject to negotiation)


Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home/EU fees rate plus a maintenance allowance of £13,726 for the 2014/15 academic year. Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, currently this is £10,914 for the academic year 2014/15.

Background of the Project


This project aims to allow the continued increase of the bandwidth of these fibre networks underpinning modern communications, including 17.6 million UK mobile internet connections and 70% penetration of home broadband connections. To increase capacity we will maximise spectral use, by adapting techniques found in mobile phones for use in fibre networks, resolving the significant issues associated with processing data with 1,000,000 times greater bandwidth using a balance of digital and analogue electronic and optical processing. This will reduce cost, size and power consumption associated with producing Tb/s capacities per wavelength. Critically, the project will develop techniques to understand and mitigate the nonlinear signal distortions. Nonlinear distortions occur within a channel, between channels and between each channels and noise originating in the optical amplifiers. By transforming the signal mid way along the link, we will exploit the nonlinear response of the second half of the fibre link to cancel the nonlinear distortion of the first to minimise the impact of nonlinear distortion associated with the channels themselves, and optimise the configuration of the system to minimise the nonlinear interaction with the noise, resulting in orders of magnitude increases in the maximum capacity of the optical fibre system. The successful candidate will design and test advanced devices to enable operation of such Petabit networks, working within the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies and with our industrial partners to fabricate them.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Electronic Engineering, Applied Physics or a related discipline. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of optical communications, non-linear fibre optics, the application of Fourier transforms to communication signals. Applicants should fulfil the eligibility criteria for EPSRC funding through UK nationality and/or residency status (see

For informal enquiries about this and other opportunities within the Optical Communications Research Group, contact Professor Andrew Ellis by email:

The online application form, reference forms and details of entry requirements, including English language are available at

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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Host Countries

United Kingdom