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Post doctoral Researcher or Research Assistant in FPGA based Control Circuit Design

CA-01 — Post doctoral Researcher or Research Assistant in FPGA based Control Circuit Design and Prototyping for Reconfigurable Photonic Circuits

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The Photonic Systems Group (photonics) at Tyndall National Institute is seeking a highly motivated candidate for a position as Post-Doctoral Research Scientist or a Research Assistant working on the European project PHORMIC which is a follow-up from a previously successful EU project MORPHIC (

PHORMIC is a European collaborative project that will develop a new class of photonic chips that can be programmed to suit a specific application. PHORMIC has the ambition to enhance silicon photonics with low-power MEMS actuators and transfer-printed III-V amplifiers to enable self-contained large-scale programmable photonic circuits interfaced with driver electronics.

The project partners (imec, KTH, Tyndall National Institute, ASM AMICRA, III-V Labs, NVIDIA, Sentea, VLC Photonics, X-FAB MEMS FOUNDRY) will combine silicon photonics with microscopic moving elements (MEMS) to build programmable photonic chips. PHORMIC's chips will have the potential to accelerate the photonics supply chain dramatically, achieve performance improvements in size and power consumption, and boost the adoption of photonics technologies in various applications. The PHORMIC platform will be validated using technology demonstrators in diverse application domains - datacenter communication, structural and environmental sensing and microwave/mm-wave signal processing.

The successful candidate will work on developing control and readout electronics for the programmable photonic chips. The specific challenges will include the design of the control circuitry for the MEMS elements, monitoring photodiodes and light sources using off-the-shelf electronic components. Programming strategies to implement software feedback loops to control the photonic chips will be implemented utilising microcontrollers or FPGAs to execute sequences of operation such as activating and reading the photodiodes taps, operating the MEMS elements and optimisation of the tuneable elements. The work will be carried out in close collaboration with Tyndall Photonics Packaging Group in order to address the challenge of controlling thousands of photonics and MEMS elements on a single programmable photonic chip.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to be actively involved in the broader research programme of the Photonic Systems Group in the area of next generation access networks and short reach interconnects. This will involve collaboration with parallel ongoing projects and partners of the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) (

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop and implement the programming sequences in FPGA
  • Specification and procurement of driver and readout electronic components for the optical MEMS-based programmable photonic chip.
  • Design of the PCBs that will implement electronic control using DACs and ADCs for the programmable photonic chip
  • Test the control of the optical MEMS and the programming of the photonic chip
  • Support the development of the system demonstrations of the PHORMIC concept
  • Report the results at project meeting and collaborate with the PHORMIC partners to refine the specifications of both the photonic chip and the control electronics
  • Author and co-author publications in leading journals and present talks at top international conferences in the relevant fields in order to disseminate the results of the project
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the required Health and Safety standards.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post

Essential Criteria

  • A PhD (or Master degree with equivalent industry experience) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering or a related subject (Computer Science, Telecommunication, Electrical/Electronics, etc.)
  • Experience of development of digital control electronics using microcontrollers and FPGAs
  • Experience of PCB schematic and layout design (example using Altium or similar software packages)
  • The candidate must demonstrate a high level of motivation; have an academic record of excellence, and good writing and communication skills.
  • Strong theoretical and experimental skills are essential.
  • Highly self-motivated and able to demonstrate initiative.
  • A capability to work effectively within a project team to achieve results.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience in characterisation of photonic devices
  • Experience in designing Analog to Digital Convertors and Readout circuits
  • Experience of developing FPGA with Verilog (or VHDL/SystemVerilog) know-how and RTL coding and modelling.
  • Knowledge of FPGA design and verification tools (Vivado or Quartus).
  • Excellent hands-on lab skills in characterisation, problem-solving, etc. and willing to work in the lab, and in a team

This is a fulltime Researcher/Research Engineer opportunity in University College Cork, initially for 18 months, with further extension to 36 months, subject to successful project progress.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Dr. Cleitus Antony at

Appointment may be made on the IUA Scale for Post-Doctoral Researchers € 42,781 - € 49,177  per annum or Senior Post-Doctoral Researchers €50,540- €54,966 pa.  Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with public sector pay policy.

Application Instructions:

Step 1 -  click here to download the application form and indicate Job Reference CA-01

Step 2 - return the completed application form, together with your cv and motivation letter to

Please ensure that your motivation letter, cv and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.