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PhD on Electro-Photonic Accelerator for Green and Low Latency Computation

PhD on Electro-Photonic Accelerator for Green and Low Latency Computation

Irène Curie Fellowship
Electrical Engineering
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Job description

We are seeking a highly skilled and motivated candidate to investigate and implement novel concepts of neuromorphic computation, relying on the adjunct top intrinsic properties of electronics and photonics, for ultra-low latency and energy-efficient computation. This PhD research will enable a whole new class of reconfigurable electro-photonic networks, leading to highly efficient parallel processing engines.

Research challenges

You will be working within the newly granted NWA ORC (Research along Routes by Consortia) “NL-ECO” project. See here for more information: Big consortium starts research into energy-efficient information technology ( Within this extensive project framework, we will focus on combining photonic integrated technology and electronics for frontier neural network research and accelerators. The project is among the first to bridge electronic ICs and photonic ICs with the target of the co-design of both for energy efficiency, high bandwidth and low latency computation. This research will enable a whole new class of reconfigurable neural network layouts, which could lead to highly efficient optical processing engines.

Several on-chip computing paradigms have already been proposed using electrons and light. However, optimal solutions and scalability at the small energy and low latency are still far ahead. A different approach needs to be explored and realized within this program. The Photonic Neural Network Lab within the ECO group at TU/e aims to synergically collaborate with the Neuromorphic Edge Computing Systems Lab within the ES group to powerfully interface both solutions and leverage the intrinsic strengths of both electronic and photonic technologies.

The PhD student will explore the different brain-inspired neural network models and investigate suitability and mapping into an electro-photonic accelerator. He/She will address brain-inspired architecture with high dimensionality and for a complete set of neural network architectures. Depending on the best suitable implementation, dimensionality expansion, matrix multiplications, filtering, and data interpretation will be assigned to the photonic and/or electronic domains. Software-defined accelerators will be implemented to optimize data conversion and memory utilization. Image processing cases related to classifying high-resolution images and extreme hi-data-rate processing will be addressed.

The PhD work will include a mixture of activities, from neural models to physical properties of the electronic and photonic engine, from close system integration and model mapping on a chip to implementation and soft-defined programmability. This research will enable a whole new class of reconfigurable electro-photonic networks, leading to highly efficient parallel processing engines and high-impact journals.

The team

The PhD position is based within the Electro-Optical Communication Systems (ECO) group and the Electronic Systems (ES) group, which are both part of the Eindhoven Hendrik Casimir Institute (EHCI) and of the Eindhoven AI System Institute (EAISI). The ECO group has about 73 members, 55 of which are PhD students and PDs, and 18 are staff members, focusing on photonic technology for communication and computation. The ES group has about 70 members, 40 of which are PhD students and focuses on ground-breaking designs for high-quality, cost-effective electronic systems for applications, including edge artificial intelligence and high-tech systems.

The EHCI has five dynamic and ambitious research groups, which are closely cooperating: a systems group, a photonic integration technology group and three materials research groups, with a predominant focus on neuromorphic and quantum computing is the ideal ecosystem where to develop this research. The EAISI brings together all AI activities of the TU/e. Top researchers from various departments and research groups work together to create new and exciting AI applications directly impacting the real world in collaboration with representatives from the industry.

The PhD student will also closely be connected to the NL-ECO consortium for idea cross-fertilization and for developing novel synergic research within the same consortium [Big consortium starts research into energy-efficient information technology (]. The student will also closely interact with other 2 PhD students who will do adjacent and connected work on the algorithms and photonic integrated sides.

Job requirements

Candidates for this challenging project must:

  • Hold a Master within Electrical Engineering or Telecommunication Engineering or Applied Physics;
  • Has a strong background in IC and photonics;
  • Is familiar with optical and electronic laboratory measurement equipment, and electronic circuits;
  • Has a background in semiconductor devices and general knowledge about semiconductor physics, modelling, and component design and in system integration;
  • Has good programming skills, and a strong affinity with AI models;
  • Has experience with FPGA prototyping;
  • Is capable of taking initiatives and has a strong problem solving attitude;
  • Has good communication skills, fluent in English, both in speaking and writing, and  good team-working capabilities and is capable of meeting hard deadlines;

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.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 


Do you recognize yourself in this profile? Then, please do apply straight away.

If you have questions and would you like to know more? Please do contact dr. Patty Stabile (r.stabile[at] and dr. Sander Stuijk (s.stuijk[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services Flux, hrservices.flux[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • A cover letter explaining: 1) your motivation for applying to this position, 2) background and qualifications for the position, 3) the proposal for a research plan for next four years, based on the project description.
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications and awards),
  • Contact information of two reference people,
  • Copies of diplomas and a list of your courses taken and grades obtained,
  • Half-page summary of your MSc thesis,
  • Proof of English language skills (if applicable), and
  • All other information that might be relevant.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.