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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

PhD in RFIC and Antenna Design

JBU-16 PhD in RFIC and Antenna Design

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

This work will develop a highly integrated implantable medical device for future healthcare applications in a collaboration between Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI) and the Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) Group, Tyndall.

MCCI is an EI / IDA technology centre hosted at Tyndall National Institute.  Its mission is to carry out industry-led world-class Analog, Mixed-Signal and RF integrated circuit research and to deliver trained people and IP to industry.  MCCI is already collaborating with 35 companies and many of the staff eventually transfer into the thriving microelectronics industry in Ireland.  MCCI targets real-life applications with its research and currently has projects in diverse topics such as DNA detection, next generation optical communications, bio-sensing, imaging for security applications and early cancer detection. MCCI is carrying out innovative research in the areas of Radio Frequency, Frequency Synthesis, high speed optical transceivers, high performance data-converters and power management integrated circuits to enable new applications.

The WSN Group, Tyndall is a world leader in the development of wireless sensor solutions, working closely with a global range of academic, business and clinical partners. The Antenna and RF Team’s research focuses on applied Antenna and RF research for a wide range of wearable and implantable applications.

Reporting to Dr. John Buckley (WSN) and a core team of senior researchers in MCC/Tyndall/UCC, this work will provide an exciting opportunity to work both in RFIC and antenna research. The end goal will be the development of a novel, highly integrated, wirelessly powered implantable medical device (WPIMD) based using a custom RFIC design.

A key goal is to investigate novel circuit architectures and highly integrated antenna designs that can help achieve wirelessly-powered (battery-less) sensor operation inside the human body. The research work will involve the design and integration of key circuit and antenna functional blocks including:

•            An Ultra-Low-Power (ULP) Radio

•            A highly integrated antenna design suitable for in-vivo operation

•            An adaptive RF-Front-End (RFFE) design to cater for varying human body effects

•            RFtoDC circuit block for wireless powering of the implantable sensor

•            Integrated RFIC design, fabrication and test

The successful candidate will work with the team to understand sensor system requirements, propose novel circuit and antenna solutions and then design and test an integrated RFIC chip and develop a working system demonstrator.


The candidate is expected to be creative, driven and self-motivated, with a strong desire to be a key member of a collaborative engagement with the MCCI and WSN teams and beyond to all involved teams for this project in Tyndall and UCC.

  • Review the literature and propose innovative circuit and antenna designs to meet the requirements of a state-of-the-art WPIMD sensor system
  • With guidance from the team, implement the proposed solution based on a custom RFIC design. This activity will involve system level simulation, schematic design, layout and validation of manufactured silicon and EM simulation of the antenna and WPIMD device within the human body
  • Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research, in high impact-factor conferences and journals as directed by and with the support of senior researchers in the team

Essential Criteria

  • The minimum academic qualification is a first or upper second class honours degree (or an equivalent international degree) in electrical engineering, electronic engineering, electromagnetic engineering, microwave engineering, physics or a related but relevant discipline
  • Experience in use of Electromagnetic (EM) design tools such as ANSYS HFSS, CST or equivalent EM solvers, Keysight ADS, AWR Microwave Office etc
  • The successful candidate will be highly analytical and self-motivated with excellent interpersonal, communication and organisational skills with a strong desire to learn and engage with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers
  • The successful candidate will be highly innovative with a strong desire to create world-class integrated circuit and antenna designs for real-world applications
  • Excellent spoken and written English skills

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience in the design of IC design blocks such as LNA, PA, Oscillators etc.
  • Knowledge of Antenna Design/ Electromagnetics
  • Experience in the design and testing of RF and Microwave circuits
  • Experience in Analogue and Mixed-Signal circuit design
  • Experience in PCB schematic and layout design
  • Experience in research paper writing
  • Strong mathematical ability with knowledge of mathematical modelling tools such as MATLAB, Mathematica etc.

Any queries relating to this position can be forwarded to Dr. John Buckley at the following email address:

An annual student stipend of €18,500 applies for this successful candidate for this position.  Yearly University academic fees will paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference JBU-16

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.

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations ( Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

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.