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PhD Studentship: Wide-band optical fibre amplifiers for the next generation of internet

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  1117219PN

Supervisor: Professor David Richardson FRS, FREng
 Co-supervisor: Dr Lin Xu

Project description:

In collaboration with a world-leading industrial telecommunications equipment manufacturer, this PhD at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) focuses on exploiting novel fibre materials, structures and technologies to develop wide-band fibre amplifiers. Ensuring the key amplifier characteristics of high gain, flat spectral gain profile and low noise figure represents a major aspect of the project.

We are looking for applicants with a background in physics, material sciences or engineering to develop the technology needed to support the internet of the future.

The successful candidate will be an integral part of an ambitious, well-funded Programme with the potential for major global impact. Working alongside a world-renowned ORC research team, you can expect professional mentoring, independence and the skills for a successful career.

The amount of data transferred daily over the internet is increasing at a rate of 40% per annum and demand to increase the transmission capacity of optical communication networks continues. This has traditionally been done by improving the transmitter and receiver technology at the end of the fibre transmission line. However, this approach is running out of steam as the signalling technology is close to fully optimised and the fundamental transmission capacity of the fibre transmission line, and in particular the bandwidth of the erbium doped fibre amplifiers (EDFAs) used to periodically boost signals degraded by signal propagation losses, is now a major limiting factor.  

Full tuition funding, plus, for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £18,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.  EU students with no external funding can apply for a small number of scholarships. Students from overseas with external funding are also encouraged to apply. 

To discuss details of the project or arrange a visit, please contact Professor David Richardson FRS, FREng ( and Dr. Lin Xu ( 

About the Optoelectronics Research Centre

The ORC has been leading the world in optical fibre technology research for the past 50 years. With over 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. Its cluster of 12 photonics spin-out companies provides a natural career path for PhD graduates. 

The group has an excellent track record of publishing in high profile research journals and leading international conferences. Its former PhD and postdoctoral researchers have made successful careers in universities worldwide or as industry scientists and business leaders. 

In the first year of your PhD a structured training programme runs alongside the research project, providing a gradual transition from a taught degree to open-ended research. Students present their work at conferences worldwide, first-author papers in leading academic journals and emerge with skills at the forefront of glass and 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 three and a half years (full-time) 

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)


Further information about the ORC:

Further information about the Airguide Photonics programme: 

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

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