PhD position: Guiding commercialization and societal impact of photonics

PhD position: Guiding commercialization and societal impact of photonics

Published Deadline Location
28 Mar 19 May Eindhoven

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Job description

Are you passionate about addressing complex, multidisciplinary challenges at the interface of integrated photonics, technology commercialization and societal impact? The Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship and Marketing group (ITEM) at the Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for a PhD candidate interested in pursuing research at the intersection of photonics and collaborative technology commercialization for impact. This PhD project is part of the European EIC pathfinder CIRCULIGHT project.

In this project you will closely collaborate with the public and private stakeholders involved in the project to facilitate the societally aligned development and commercialization of novel integrated optical circulator technology.

Photonics is widely regarded as the key enabling technology of the 21st century and its application and use in many scientific and industrial fields is accelerated through Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), which combine many optical components in a miniaturized chip format. Similar to electronic ICs, PICs are revolutionizing areas such as healthcare, communication and sensing and have the potential to generate significant societal impact. A key element in building towards very large scale integration (VLSI) of photonics is the optical circulator, which manages the flow of light in complex networks. Together with various European partners, the recently granted European project CIRCULIGHT will work towards developing a fully integrated and miniaturized optical circulator. The new technology envisioned in CIRCULIGHT will establish a breakthrough in Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) capabilities, with impact across a wide range of applications of high economic and societal value.

As part of the interdisciplinary CIRCULIGHT consortium, you will play a key role by facilitating the co-creation of an application roadmap with industrial and societal stakeholders. You will thus work in a multi-disciplinary team composed of professors, assistant/associate professors, engineers, PhDs, and students. Throughout the project you will interact with experts on innovation.

As part of this PhD project you will:
  1. Identify the most relevant societal stakeholders, end users and applications that would benefit from the optical circulator.
  2. Develop an overview of industrial and societal stakeholders' requirements based on key application domains and the potential roles that they may play in the value chain to bring the technology further.
  3. Map the technical, operational, economic, legal and societal enablers and barriers in relation to requirements.
  4. Develop a multilayered roadmap of prioritized technology applications towards societal impact.
  5. Develop scientific insights, publications and a final dissertation on societal co-creation processes that drive the development of technological solutions for societal impact.
ITEM Group
The PhD candidate will be located in the Innovation, Technology Entrepreneurship & Marketing (ITEM) group. The group is part of the School of Industrial Engineering of the department IE&IS. The ITEM group consists of about 19 FTE faculty members and 20 FTE PhD's who participate in and contribute to the research, education and service program of the ITEM group. This program is one of the leading programs in the world and emphasizes means for measuring and improving the process of conceiving, developing, and launching new products and businesses, and also managing these products and businesses post-launch. More information about the group can be found at:

Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the world's leading research universities (ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement) and is particularly well known for its joint research with industry (ranked number one worldwide by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies). The Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) of Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the longest-established engineering schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community, especially in the fields of Operations Management and Innovation Management, which are at the core of the undergraduate BSc program. The graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in Operations Management & Logistics and Innovation Management attract top-level students from all over the world.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in fields such as Electrical Engineering, (Applied) Physics, Innovation Management or Business Administration.
  • Strong preference for candidates with multi-disciplinary profile and/or research interests: i.e. technical degree with broad interest in commercial and societal aspects of technology or an innovation-, business- or social sciences degree with broad interest in technology.
  • Research-oriented attitude, ability or motivation to conduct in-depth qualitative research, and make use of key enabling methodologies such as participatory and co-creation processes.
  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary team in navigating and managing complex, multi-stakeholder settings involving technology experts, industrial partners, and other societal stakeholders.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

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:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • 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).
  • 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.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V39.7374


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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