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College of Engineering and Physical Sciences PhD Studentships supported by EFFECT Photonics (3.5 years)

College of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Studentships

Location:  Aston University Main Campus
Basis:  Full Time
Closing Date:  23.59 hours BST on Tuesday 31 May 2022
Reference:  R220274
Release Date:  Sunday 01 May 2022

Highly Integrated Coherent optical fibre Communications

Supervisor: Prof Wladek Forysiak 

Project Reference: Forysiak_EFFECT_Photonics_HICC_V2

Key words: optical fibre communications, photonic integration, system-on-chip, 5G, mobile fronthaul, data centre interconnects

Applications are invited for THREE three-and-a-half year Postgraduate studentships, supported by the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and EFFECT Photonics, to be undertaken within the Optical Fibre Communications Research Group of AiPT at Aston University. The successful applicants will join an established experimental group working on future high speed, high capacity optical fibre communication systems, to work on research projects co-defined by EFFECT Photonics related to the development of a new generation of optical transceivers for vital short-reach applications, such as 5G, mobile fronthaul, and data centre interconnects.  

The positions are available to start in July or October 2022.

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the Home fees rate, plus a maintenance allowance of at least £15,609 for the 2021/2 academic year, and £16,062 for the academic year 2022/3 (subject to eligibility). Outstanding applicants will qualify for additional support of up to £3,000 per year.

Overseas Applicants

Overseas applicants may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees. The difference between ‘Home’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees is £13,100 in 2021/22, and £13,404 for 2022/3. As part of the application, you will be required to confirm that you have applied for or secured this additional funding. Outstanding overseas applicants with relevant publications or research experience will be able to apply for a scholarship to fund the fee difference.

Background to the Project

The optical fibre communications research group at AiPT has a long history of innovations in nonlinear photonics and long-established relationships with leading companies in the optical networking industry. These PhD studentships are directly funded by EFFECT Photonics within the framework of a project entitled “Highly Integrated Coherent optical fibre Communications” which aims to explore the future roadmap of EFFECT Photonics’s System-on-Chip technology as applied to a new generation of highly compact, power efficient and agile optical transceivers.  

The successful applicants will join a research team comprising Prof Wladek Forysiak, Dr Ian Phillips, and Dr Stelios Sygletos, within an optical fibre communications group of over 20 researchers, and will benefit from full scale experimental facilities including access to multi-100Gb/s optical transmission test-beds, state-of-the-art high speed electronic test equipment, and dedicated computational facilities. The projects will investigate the performance of a new generation of digital coherent transceivers in development by EFFECT Photonics, and will enable students to gain highly sought after skills in optical communications, high speed electronics, digital signal processing, and machine learning. These 3.5 year studentships are funded and co-directed by EFFECT Photonics, and students will enjoy opportunities to develop close working relationships and gain valuable industrial experience with the company during extended visits to their engineering sites in the UK and The Netherlands.    

Person Specification

The successful applicants should have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a 60% or higher weighted average, and/or a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution) in physics, applied physics, or electronic/electrical engineering.  Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of optical fibre communications, photonics, and/or mathematical modelling of physical systems, including digital signal processing and machine learning.  

We would particularly like to encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EPS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

Contact information

For informal enquiries about this project please contact Professor Wladek Forysiak by email at

Submitting an application

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here.  

Please include the supervisor name, project title, and project reference in your Personal Statement.

The application must be accompanied by a short “research proposal” statement. An original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has been defined, but candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their knowledge and experience will benefit the project, including a brief review of relevant research literature.

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at

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Aston University is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.  It promotes equality and diversity in all aspects of its work. We are committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recognised by a silver award, and we are a Disability Confident Employer Level 2. We strive to have robust inclusivity strategies in place, including race and sexual orientation, to encourage colleagues to have the confidence and freedom to be themselves in the workplace. For more information, visit:

As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

If you require the job details document or an application form in an alternative format please contact the recruitment team at



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