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Research Fellow, Fibre and Communication Group

Southampton, United Kingdom
£34,980 to £42,978 per annum
Closing date
1 Jan 2024

Fibre and Communication Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £34,980 to £42,978 per annum
Full Time Fixed Term (3 years)
Closing Date:  Monday 01 January 2024
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  2545323PN

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Hollow Core Fibre Fabrication

Are you an accomplished researcher with expertise in optical fibre fabrication or optical device manufacture? We invite you to join our team at the University of Southampton, a globally recognised research institution in the top 1% of world universities. As part of the renowned Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), you’ll contribute to groundbreaking advancements in hollow core optical fibre technology.

About the Role:

  • Project FASTNET: You’ll play a pivotal role in a large-scale collaborative project between the University of Southampton and the newly established Microsoft Azure Fiber division in nearby Romsey.
  • Objective: Our mission is to revolutionise mass production, enhance performance, and facilitate volume installation of hollow core optical fibres that guide light through air, rather than traditional glass. This innovation is projected to boost information transmission speeds by 50% and significantly impact Microsoft Azure’s next-generation ultrafast data centres and optical networks.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Advanced Fabrication:
  • Collaborate closely with Microsoft researchers to produce cutting-edge optical fibres that can be manufactured at scale.
  • Leverage your expertise in microstructured/hollow core fibre fabrication to drive innovation.
  • Interdisciplinary Exploration:
  • Your work will intersect with complementary research programs at the ORC, investigating diverse applications for our fibres, including:
  • High-power laser delivery
  • Novel medical diagnostics
  • Space-driven sensors and communications

Essential requirements:

  • PhD in Physics, Engineering, or Material Science (or equivalent professional qualifications and experience). Applications for Research Fellow positions will be considered from candidates who are working towards or nearing completion of a relevant PhD qualification. The title of Research Fellow will be applied upon successful completion of the PhD. Prior to the qualification being awarded the title of Senior Research Assistant will be given.
  • Track Record of excellence in research.
  • Hands-On Approach.
  • Innovative Mindset: Transform proof-of-principle ideas into practical solutions.

The following expertise would be advantageous:

  • Prior experience in the fabrication of microstructured/hollow core fibres
  • Familiarity with glass-working lathes and/or fibre draw towers
  • Knowledge of cleanroom working environment
  • Practical knowledge of optical fibres and their properties
  • Proficiency with optical test equipment

Why Join Us?:

  • Dynamic Team: Be part of a dynamic team at the forefront of optical technology.
  • Real-World Impact: Contribute to groundbreaking advancements with real-world impact.
  • Collaborative Environment: Enjoy the collaborative environment of the ORC and the exciting partnership with Microsoft.
  • Inclusive Culture: Benefit from an environment where everyone can thrive. The University of Southampton actively fosters a culture of inclusion, respect, and equality of opportunity. We support flexible working arrangements and provide a generous holiday allowance.

Salary and Duration:

  • The salary, in the range of £34,980 to £42,978 p.a., will be commensurate with experience, based on Level 4 of the University Education, Research, and Enterprise scale.
  • The initial appointment is for a 3-year period, ideally starting in January 2024, with significant potential for further extension.

Shape the Future:

  • This is your opportunity to shape the future of optical communication. Apply now and be part of our journey toward ultrafast data centres and beyond!

To discuss this position informally, please contact Prof Francesco Poletti at

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