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PhD Studentship: New Optical Components and Optical Amplifiers Development for Future High Speed Internet

Fibre & Systems Group

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Saturday 31 August 2019
Reference:  1117319PN

Supervisor: Professor David Richardson FRS, FREng
 Co-supervisor: Dr Yongmin Jung

Project Description

This project will explore a new fibre technology concept capable of supporting far greater capacity by increasing the number of spatial channels sent through the fibre cross-section. Working in the world-leading Optoelectronics Research Centre, (ORC), the successful candidate will develop a new array of optical components and optical amplifiers to facilitate compact and practical new Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) systems targeting up to 100 spatial channels per fibre operation.

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.

This project is primarily experimental in nature and you will be working within a team of world-leading researchers, within extensive and well equipped labs, with the opportunity to engage with industrial partners to achieve high impact outcomes from the work.

Optical fibre networks provide the backbone for the internet, with 99% of the world’s data traffic sent at some point over optical fibres. There are more than two billion kilometres of fibre installed across the globe with an extra 400 million kilometres added every year! However, the ultimate data carrying capacity of the fibres used in today’s networks, developed in the mid-70s, is now within sight in the laboratory and there are concerns this will ultimately compromise the capacity, cost and ways that commercial networks are built in the next 5-10 years.

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 contend for a small number of scholarships. Students from overseas with some external funding are also encouraged to apply. 

To discuss details of the project or arrange a visit, please contact Professor David Richardson ( and Dr Yongmin Jung ( 

The PhD programme

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 Airguide Photonics: 

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

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