Post-doctoral Fellow / Senior Research Assistant, Department of Architecture

Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong
04 May 2022
End of advertisement period
31 May 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Work type: Full-time
Department: Department of Architecture (01100)
Categories: Academic-related Staff

Applications are invited for appointment as Post-doctoral Fellow/Senior Research Assistant (holding the functional title of Senior System Engineer) in the Department of Architecture (Ref.: 513758), to commence on June 1, 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter for 1 year, with the possibility of renewal.

The University of Hong Kong Healthy High Density Cities Lab has secured a Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) grant for designing a scalable, privacy-preserving platform to track infectious airborne diseases.  The Lab is assembling a team of engineers and developers to implement an end-to-end proof of concept for this Spatial Exposure Notification (SEN) research project.

The team will build upon existing smart lightbulb solutions for the client hardware but will add necessary client hardware, client software, and backend software to create an end-to-end system.  The system should be easily deployable and managed at scale, and should operate robustly in a variety of indoor environments ranging from small restaurants to large performance venues.  The design process will be collaborative, hands-on, and iterative, whereby the system will be tested in a variety of environments in order to drive the designs of the next version.

The system is based on a new class of low-cost, Internet-of-Things sensor devices embedded within smart lightbulbs that interoperates with and addresses deficiencies of the existing Google/Apple Exposure Notification (GAEN) framework.  The smart lightbulb devices detect Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals transmitted by mobile phones as part of GAEN and communicate the measurements wirelessly to a nearby routing hub via the Thread network protocol.  Measurements are aggregated and processed in a backend server, and follow the confirmation of an infection event; notifications of potential exposure are communicated to individual mobile phones.

Applicants should possess a Ph.D. degree in engineering, computer science or related technical fields.  Those with a Master’s degree and at least 1 year’s post-qualification relevant experience may be appointed as Senior Research Assistant.  They should have:

  • prior technical project management experience and excellent communication skills in English;
  • expertise in wireless communication systems design and Python development;
  • experience in related technologies including radio-frequency propagation, Bluetooth Low Energy, Thread network protocol, embedded software development, large-scale data analysis, deep learning, cloud storage and management, Docker and cybersecurity; and
  • the ability and desire to drive the current research-driven, experimental-grade hardware and software through to potential city-scale deployment.

The appointee will lead the technical team members to design and develop the entire end-to-end system, with the below responsibilities:

  • defining technical requirements of the overall system design, including sensor device hardware and software, backend software processes, security and privacy frameworks, defining Thread-based wireless networking and device placement strategies for ensuring sufficient coverage in different classes of indoor environments (e.g. large transportation hubs, small restaurants);
  • coordinating the deployment and testing of the end-to-end system in real-world environments; and
  • leading the analysis of test results, as well as formulating and communicating design changes to the technical team. 

Enquiries about the duties of the post should be sent to Dr. Eric Schuldenfrei at

A highly competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience will be offered, in addition to annual leave and medical benefits.

The University only accepts online application for the above post.  Applicants should apply online and upload an up-to-date C.V.  Review of applications will commence as soon as possible and continue until May 31, 2022, or until the post is filled, whichever is earlier.

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