NESTOR PhD (DC1) on Coded Modulation for Optical Access/Metro Networks

NESTOR PhD (DC1) on Coded Modulation for Optical Access/Metro Networks

Published Deadline Location
20 Sep 18 Feb Eindhoven

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Job description

The Information and Communication Theory Lab (ICT lab) is currently seeking to recruit, starting in February 2024, 1 Doctoral candidate/Research Associate (m/f/d) working on Advanced DSP and transmission strategies for high-performance pluggable optical transponders within the framework of the European Doctoral Training Network 'NESTOR' (NESTOR Doctoral Candidate 1).

Research Programme Description

'NESTOR- Next generation high-speed optical networks for metro access' NESTOR will provide a world-class advanced training programme to 10 Fellows with PhD projects significantly expanding the flexibility, capacity and cost-effectiveness of access/metro networks. Taking advantage of the synergetic interaction between academia and industry, NESTOR will provide its Fellows with a uniquely broad education ranging from recent advances in coherent pluggables and AI/ML to real-world engineering aspects of relevant telecommunication sectors, which will provide them the tools to design and implement state-of-the-art (SotA) optical networks for access/metro, thus achieving the goal of a more connected world resilient to adversity such as the ongoing pandemic and with its lasting effects on our way of working and living. Thanks to the combination of all partners, NESTOR represents a unique consortium to build robust and efficient next-generation optical networks in Europe.

The Doctoral Network program is designed to follow technical, scientific, and transferable skills, enabling the next generation of young researchers/engineers with excellent skills in understanding the challenges of quantum secure optical communications. All Doctoral Candidates will carry out secondments and placements with industrial partners at the earliest possible opportunity. Transferable skills and technical workshops from industrial partners will be central to the training of the Doctoral Candidate.

Host institution

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) is a highly rated technical university located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. With an annual budget of 500 million euros, TUE has over 3,000 staff members and 13,000 students and is dedicated to groundbreaking research and education in engineering, science, and technology. TUE has created the new Eindhoven Hendrik Casimir Institute for Photonic Integration and Quantum Technology. Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands offers (pre)graduate engineering programmes (BSc and MSc) and post-graduate technological design (MTD), PhD and teacher training programmes (MSc) and post-academic continuing education. The courses are research-driven and design-oriented. TU/e coordinates several prominent Dutch research schools and institutes, such as Institute for Photonic Integration (IPI) and the Center for Quantum Material and Technology (QT/e) have strong position and a role to play within international research networks. The TU/e is hence a natural partner for technology-intensive enterprises. The campus is a fertile breeding ground for new business ventures. The TU/e hosts the Dutch national centre on III-V-semiconductors and optoelectronics. With these facilities, TU/e have one of the world's best-equipped academic research centres in the field of Photonics and Quantum Communications

The Information and Communication Theory Lab (ICT Lab) at TU/e is a globally recognized research group focusing on information and communication theory, and its applications. At the ICT Lab, we study information processing in a broad sense. We focus on finding fundamental limits but also on the data processing techniques (often codes and digital signal processing algorithms) and architectures that aim at approaching these limits. Main areas of interest are source coding, channel coding, multi-user information theory, security, and machine learning. We typically use information-theoretical frameworks to model the scenarios under investigation. This allows us to find out what the optimal trade-offs are. The scenarios that we study often result from close interaction with industry.

Curious to hear more about research at the ICT Lab? Please view this video.

Job Description
  • Project title: Advanced Coded Modulation Schemes for High-Performance Metro-Access Optical Transponders
  • Host institution: Eindhoven University of Technology
  • PhD enrolment: Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Supervisors:  Dr Gabriele Liga, Dr Alex Alvarado, (Eindhoven University of Technology). Industrial Mentors: Dr. F. Saliou (Orange), Dr. A. Richter (VPIphotonics)
  • Research Objectives: Devising novel soft-aided bounded-distance-decoding-based FEC schemes Introducing novel product code-like FEC designs optimised for soft-aided FEC decoder architectures Devising new wavelength-coordinated constellation shaping and forward error correction schemes maximising the information throughput of optical subcarrier-multiplexed systems. Introducing new "receiver-friendly" cross-wavelength coded modulation designs to optimally ``shape'' the mismatched memoryless decoding metric. Characterise the achievable information rates of novel cross-wavelength coded modulation schemes.
  • Expected Results: At least two novel hybrid FEC schemes outperforming state-of-art solutions in this area. At least two novel cross-wavelength coded modulation designs outperforming conventional independent/identically designed coded modulation strategies in multicarrier optical systems. At least one pragmatic low-complexity variant for each of the proposed coded modulation schemes.
  • Secondments: Secondment periods are planned at VPIphotonics in Berlin and Orange France. 


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in Electrical Engineering , Computer Science, or a related field.
  • Strong background in digital signal processing, communication theory, and coding theory.
  • Proficiency in programming languages such as MATLAB, Python, or C/C++.
  • Strong motivation to deliver groundbreaking work and ambition to excel.
  • A research-oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and interested in collaborating with industrial partners.
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).

Please note: Each project requires a different mix of skills and attitude. Please use the TU/e PhD Competence Profile to determine which competences you find most important and want to mention as a job requirement (aside from the aspects mentioned above).

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • The period of employment is 48 months with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and attractive participation in conferences.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • The successful candidates will receive a gross salary in accordance with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) regulations for Doctoral Candidate researchers. According to the MSCA regulation, if the recruited doctoral candidate has or acquires family obligations during the action duration, a family allowance will be added, in case of eligibility.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
  • The Doctoral Candidates are expected to travel to network partners under three secondments for a typical duration of 2-6 months. Additionally, the Doctoral Candidates are expected to participate in outreach activities including, but not limited to, YouTube videos, social media updates, participation in public events and campaigns, as well as dissemination to popular press.

Eligibility and mobility criteria (mandatory requirements EU rules)
  • The recruited researchers must be doctoral candidates, i.e. not already in possession of a doctoral degree at the date of the recruitment.
  • The recruited researchers must be employed full-time, unless the granting authority has approved a part-time employment for personal or family reasons
  • The recruited researchers must be working exclusively for the project
  • Recruited researchers can be of any nationality and must comply with the following mobility rule: they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date - unless as part of a compulsory national service or a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V36.6917


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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