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Post Doctoral Researcher/Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in Optical Communication Systems for Data Centre and Optical Metro/Access

PT-41 - Post Doctoral Researcher/Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in Optical Communication Systems for Data Centre and Optical Metro/Access

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The Photonic Systems Group (photonics) at Tyndall National Institute is seeking a highly motivated candidate to support and contribute to the leadership of research activities in high-speed optical communication and digital signal processing. The candidate will collaborate closely with industry and academic partners to develop prototype systems with high-capacity, multiple-wavelength communication systems that exploit novel photonic integrated components for future datacentre, optical metro/access networks. The post focuses on the implementation, set-up, experimental demonstration and validation of 100Gb/s direct detection and 160GBaud coherent optical communication systems with multi Terabit per second overall capacity.

This position is funded by European Union Project ADOPTION with the objective of developing low power and low cost solution for intra-data centre networks employing co-packaged optics. The proposed heterogeneous integration of optics and silicon on a single packaged substrate in ADOPTION aims at addressing switch capacities scaling beyond 204.8Tb/s with port speeds of 6.4Tb/s. The consortium includes 3 small to medium sized enterprises, 3 large multi-national companies and 4 research institutions (Tyndall, Imec, Technical University of Eindhoven and Fraunhofer IZM). The successful candidate will work with the ADOPTION team on system integration and high-speed testbed development. The final demonstrator will showcase disruptive new network architectures for hyper-scale data centres and AI computing clusters utilising optical switching and routing to increase efficiency and reduce latency.

The candidate will be appointed as the technical lead of the SFI funded Tera Lab infrastructure in the Photonic Systems Laboratory in Tyndall. The Tera Lab is Tyndall’s latest cutting-edge testbed, incorporating the latest high-speed sampling System (256 GSa/s arbitrary waveform generators and real-time oscilloscopes) and optical components capable of delivering up to 1 Terabit-per-second per user. Tera Lab will be Ireland’s leading test and measurement research facility to develop, test and showcase advanced wireless and photonic components, sub-systems, and converged network demonstrators.

The candidate will also be actively involved in the broader research programme of the Photonic Systems Group in the area of next-generation communication systems. This will involve collaboration with parallel ongoing projects and partners of the Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) ( Tyndall is a leading international research institute, with both an academic ethos, based on research excellence and leadership, married to an industry-supporting economic development remit. Hence, the post will be an ideal stepping stone for industry-based researchers who wish to transition to an academic career, or for academic researchers who aim to move later to industry. The candidate will further develop their optical communications knowledge and skills, working with the latest, state-of-the-art optical transmission test and measurement equipment, within a friendly and vibrant group comprising around 20 senior researchers, post docs, PhD students and interns. Tyndall has ambitious plans to double in size over the next 5 years and offers a broad range of unique training opportunities for future research leaders, as such, it is an excellent place to develop research careers. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with national and international partners in academia and industry on research and development projects.
  • Setting-up optical communication testbed, testing and validating novel network architectures and optical components.
  • Supporting the acquisition of new research and industry projects that will be carried out on the Tera Lab Infrastructure.
  • Support the development of the system demonstrations in the ADOPTION project.
  • Report the results at the project meeting and collaborate with the ADOPTION partners to refine the specifications of the final demonstrator and test bed.
  • 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 in Electrical and Electronic Engineering or a related subject (Computer Science, Telecommunication, Physics, Electrical/Electronics, etc.)
  • Good knowledge of optical communication systems and digital signal processing, as well as experience in experimental work and dedication to laboratory experiments.
  • Extensive (typically at least 2 years) hands-on experience of the development and operation of high speed coherent optical transmission test beds in academic or industrial laboratories.
  • Experienced in verifying and validating experimental results by comparing with modelling of optical communication systems using software packages such as MATLAB, Python and VPITransmissionMaker.
  • The candidate must demonstrate a high level of motivation; have an academic record of excellence, and good writing and communication skills.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Experience in the acquisition of new projects in the area of optical communications.

This is a full-time opportunity initially for 18 months, with further extension to 36 months, subject to successful project progress.

Appointment may be made dependent on experience on the IUA Scale for Postdoctoral Researcher (€4€ 42,031- € 48,427 per annum) or Senior Postdoctoral Researcher (€49,790– €54,154 per annum).Salary placement on appointment will be in accordance with public sector pay policy.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to Prof. Paul Townsend at

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download and complete the application form and indicate Job Reference PT-41.

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