School of Engineering and Applied Science PhD Studentship

Birmingham, West Midlands (GB)
09 May 2018
End of advertisement period
08 Jun 2018
Academic Discipline
Engineering & Technology
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Engineering and Applied Science PhD Studentship (3 years)

[Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Innovative Training Networks (ITN), project FONTE – Fibre Optic Non-linear Technologies]

Development of new optical transmission methods based on nonlinear Fourier transform.

Applications are invited for a three year prestigious Postgraduate studentship as MSCA Early Stage Researcher, supported the School of Engineering and Applied Science through MSCA ITN European Industrial Doctorates project FONTE, to be undertaken within the Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AIPT) [] at Aston University.  The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on the applications of the nonlinear Fourier transform signal processing method for the fibre nonlinearity mitigation and the development of the new generation of extra-high-capacity optical networks and related concepts.  Secondments: The studentship is offered in collaboration with world-leading industrial unit: Nokia Bell Labs (NBL), Stuttgart, Germany (no less than 18 months at NBL). The project research time and trainings will be equally split between AIPT and NBL. Close collaboration and visits to other three FONTE partners, Technical University of Denmark, Telecom ParisTech (France), and Technical University of Delft (the Netherlands), will be carried out along the project.

The position is available to start in September/October 2018 (subject to negotiation)


The successful candidates will be employed on a full-time basis with a competitive salary in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions regulations for Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) and the personal circumstances of the applicant. The successful candidate will receive a financial package consisting of MSCA living allowance and mobility allowance, together £32,750 pa. Eligible candidates will also receive an additional family allowance according to the rules of the MSCA.

PhD studentship bursary

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home/EU fees. Applicants from outside the EU may apply for this studentship but will need to pay the difference between the ‘Home/EU’ and the ‘Overseas’ tuition fees, the difference currently being £12,005 pa in 2017/18.  Confirmation that this funding support is in place for the full duration of the PhD studentship will be required as part of the application process. 

Background of the Project

Nonlinear transmission effects in optical fibre are now a major limiting factor in modern fibre-optic communication systems. Nonlinear propagation effects make optical fibre channels very different from traditional linear communications channels such as wireless or copper cables. There is a clear need for radically different methods for the coding, transmission, and processing of information that take the nonlinear properties of the optical fibre into account. The nonlinear Fourier transform (NFT) that is to be used in place of the conventional Fourier transform, offers new opportunities for the development of fundamentally novel engineering techniques for the coding, modulation, transmission, and processing of information in optical fibre channels. The student will work on the theoretical development and experimental verification of new coding and modulations techniques for NFT-based optical transmission systems under the supervision of world-class mentors: Prof. S. Turitsyn (AIPT, main supervisor), Drs Y. Prylepskiy (AIPT), H. Buelow (NBL), and M. Yousefi (TPT). FONTE ESRs will benefit from cross-disciplinary joint supervision by world experts in optical communication in academia and industry.

Person Specification

FONTE is looking for candidates with exceptional skills in signal processing, optical communication or applied mathematics. Preferred skill requirements include experience in experimental work, knowledge of scientific programming and computing, physical optics, communications.  Knowledge in differential equations, mathematical physics, numerical analysis, information and communication theory, or machine learning is an asset. Applicants with a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Physics, or equivalent, are especially encouraged to apply. The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in engineering or physics.  

For informal enquiries about this project and other opportunities within the AIPT, contact Prof. Sergei Turitsyn by email:

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