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PhD - Ultra-Low Cost Burst Mode Coherent Transmission System with Digital

PT-30  PhD - Ultra-Low Cost Burst Mode Coherent Transmission System with Digital Optical Bandwidth Interleaving Receiver

Contract Type: Fixed Term

The Photonic Systems Group at Tyndall National Institute is seeking a highly motivated candidate for a PhD project on “Ultra-Low Cost Burst Mode Coherent Transmission System with Digital Optical Bandwidth Interleaving Receiver.”

The Photonic Systems Group is an internationally recognised research group in the area of optical communication systems and the project will be funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under the Communications Theme of the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC).  IPIC comprises more than 150 researchers, with capabilities spanning from photonic materials and devices to advanced systems, who together with 24 international industrial partners, develop new communication and medical device technologies. IPIC represents a proposed combined SFI and industry investment of more than €60M over the period 2013-2025. Facilities are world-class, including advanced cleanrooms for optoelectronic device fabrication and packaging, as well as state of the art systems labs incorporating the latest coherent communications test and measurement capability.

The project aims to develop a new type of coherent optical transmission technology specifically designed to solve an emerging bandwidth bottleneck in the future access or edge portion of the network. This bottleneck is primarily being created by the emergence of new wireless technologies, such as 5th generation mobile (5G) which will deliver a 1000-fold increase in the bandwidth per unit area to end users, making new innovations such as high definition mobile video, augmented reality and autonomous vehicles a widespread reality. Coherent transmission technology holds the promise to supply the resultant massive and dynamically fluctuating bandwidths to the network edge, but many new innovations, such as those targeted by this project, are required to make this possible.

Specifically, the project aims to develop a new type of low cost coherent transceiver using a novel approach based on receiver-side coherent spectral slicing.  It will involve both theoretical study of the novel modulation formats and related algorithms in the context of burst mode operation and experimental characterisation of proof-of-concept components and designs.


  • Review of state of the art (publications in journals, conferences and patents).
  • Development and analysis of algorithms for the generation and detection of coherent modulation formats (e.g. QPSK, 16QAM) using modelling environments in Matlab and VPI.
  • Experimental characterisation of transmitter and receiver components.
  • Development of proof-of-concept demonstrations of new transmitter and receiver designs.
  • System level characterisation of the proof-of-concept transmitter/receiver in the access network/5G-fronthaul context.
  • Publication and presentation of results in leading international journals and at major conferences.

Essential Criteria

  • The minimum academic qualification is a first or upper second class honours degree (or an equivalent international degree) in physics, electronic engineering or a related relevant discipline.
  • 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

  • Prior knowledge of communication theory and digital signal processing is desirable.

Any queries relating to this position can be forwarded to Professor Paul Townsend by email to:

An annual student stipend of €18,000.00 applies for this successful candidate for this position.  Yearly University academic fees will paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

Application Instructions

Step 1 - please click here to download the application form

Step 2 -  return the completed application form, together with your cv, motivation letter and references to  Handwritten forms will not be accepted.

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.