PhD Position in Robust and Secure Visible Light Communication

Leuven, Louvain (BE)
09 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
08 Nov 2019
Contract Type
Full Time


(ref. BAP-2019-505)

The research group ESAT-TELEMIC of the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) of KU Leuven focuses on Telecommunications and Microwaves. It covers research on wireless networking, active circuits, and antennas. Currently, the Networked System team of Prof. Sofie Pollin is focusing strongly on visible light communication systems. In this PhD project, the aim is to combine expertise from ESAT-TELEMIC on ultra-dense visible light communication networks, innovative security solutions for wireless networks, and embedded systems.


Although numerous research studies have been performed to improve the data rate of Visible Light Communication (VLC) links, an important fact has been largely neglected: the limited communication coverage with light and the complex and dynamic surroundings can degrade the network reliability substantially. For example, in VLC-enabled Internet of Vehicles, the high mobility of cars can significantly degrade the performance of VLC links. The vehicles themselves, act as blockages, can easily break the wireless communication links between other vehicles. To make the emerging LED-enabled VLC technology a competitive wireless communication interface for networking vehicles and other mobile devices, we must have ultra-reliable VLC channels. 

Meanwhile, VLC applications in automotive, healthcare, or the Industrial Internet of Things demand strong security, going beyond the traditional security argument that opaque walls confine VLC signals to a controlled area. Limited security features would hinder the industry adoption of VLC and restrict its vast economic potential. As VLC is an emerging technology, there is also a unique opportunity now to design VLC systems with inherent security, instead of adding it in a later design phase as is typically the case for RF communication systems.

For this vacancy, the selected candidate will focus on the system-level research of a robust and secure VLC network. This includes a thorough review of the state of the arts, the invention of new methods and algorithms, the design of new VLC hardware and software, the implementation of a proof-of-concept system, thorough experimental evaluations of the system in different indoor/outdoor application scenarios, and feasibility demonstration of the system in top venues.


The applicant should have a Master Degree in Electronic Engineering or Computer Science. He/she should meet the minimum eligibility criteria for a PhD at KU Leuven: having excellent grades as well as mature mastering of English, both oral and in writing. The applicant should preferably have a background in VLC or other wireless communication, should be familiar with performance modeling and embedded hardware and software, and should ideally have experience with system design and implementation.


We offer a PhD scholarship up to four years (subject to positive intermediate evaluations). If the applicant is non-EER, also up to 1 year pre-doc will be supported.


Please use the online application tool to submit your application. You need to provide the following documents in PDF:

1. Curriculum vitae, including a full list of your publications,

2. Motivation letter,

3. Bachelor's (and Master's, if available) transcripts,

4. Two recommendation letters,

5. Language proficiency certificates.

NOTE: the position might be filled in earlier if we find an excellent candidate

For more information please contact Dr. Qing Wang, tel.: +32 16 37 40 89, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than October 31, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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