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PhD Studentship: Advanced Hollow Core Fibre Fabrication

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 30 September 2019
Reference:  1088018PN

Project Description

Fibre optics has transformed telecommunications and profoundly impacted industrial manufacturing, medical endoscopy and structural sensing. In many applications however, fibres are operating close to fundamental physical limits of the glass forming their core. A transformative new technology is required to keep up with the growth rate in data traffic and laser output power. Air guiding hollow-core fibres – for which this group has a world-leading reputation - can provide the solution.

We are looking for enthusiastic PhD students with a background in physics/engineering/material science and an interest in optics, lasers or glass science. 

As part of a well-funded ERC European project, a PhD position is available to work alongside experienced researchers and develop a radically new form of optical fibre. This could represent the future of data transmission and laser power delivery, and enable numerous revolutionary applications, such as laser-driven particle acceleration or ultraprecise transfer of timing signals.

The PhD project aims to develop novel fibres in a host of different glasses and materials. The application of these fibres to forward-looking datacoms/telecoms networks, high power laser machining, biomedical and mid-infrared sensing, will be pursued in collaboration with existing partners such as Nokia Bell Labs, the UK National Physical Laboratory and SPI lasers.

A fully funded PhD position is available for UK applicants. EU students with no external funding can contend for a small number of competitive scholarships. Students from overseas who have secured some external funding are also encouraged to apply. 

To discuss any details of the project or arrange a visit, please contact Professor Francesco Poletti, (, email: 

The PhD programme

The project will be hosted at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), a world-leading institution in optical fibre technology for the past 45 years. With more than 90 state-of-the-art laboratories and 200 researchers working in all areas of photonics, the ORC provides an outstanding interdisciplinary environment for students to grow. Besides, its cluster of ten photonics spin-out companies provides a natural career paths for PhD graduates. 

The fabrication of photonics devices is hosted in a state-of-the-art £120 million cleanroom facility. 

The group has an excellent track record of publishing in high profile research journals and in leading international conferences. Former PhD and postdoctoral researchers from this group have made successful careers in Universities worldwide or as scientists and business leaders in industry. The quality of our research outputs, the cluster of spin-off companies and the worldwide network of successful alumni place the ORC amongst the top institutes worldwide for doctoral research. 

The ORC PhD provides a solid education for a research career, Students will present their work at conferences worldwide, first-author papers in leading academic journals and will emerge from the PhD with skills at the forefront of fibre optics research

Key facts

  • Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

  • Closing date: applications are welcome throughout the year. 

  • Duration: typically 3½ years (full-time) 

  • Funding: full tuition plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

  • Assessment: reports at the 8 and 16-month stage and an oral examination to determine progression to PhD, which is awarded after thesis submission and viva voce examination 

  • Start date: typically October (although later starts might be acceptable)

  • Applying:

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

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