Fibre optics are critical infrastructure for society because they carry nearly all the global Internet traffic. For a long time, optical fibre systems were thought to have infinite information-carrying capabilities. With current traffic demands growing by a factor between 10 and 100 every decade, however, this is no longer the case. In fact, it is currently unknown if the installed optical infrastructure will manage to cope with these demands in the future, or if we will face the so-called “capacity crunch”. This potential capacity crunch is due to a power dependent nonlinear distortion in single mode fibres arising from a phenomenon known as the Kerr effect. The action of this nonlinear effect in combination with dispersion and noise is modelled using a stochastic partial nonlinear differential equation known as the Nonlinear Schrödinger Equation (NLSE).
To satisfy traffic demands, transceivers are being operated near the nonlinear regime of the fibres. In this regime, the power-dependent nonlinear Kerr effect becomes the key impairment that limits the information-carrying capability of optical fibres. The intrinsic nonlinear nature of these fibres makes the analysis very difficult and has led to a series of unanswered fundamental questions about data transmission in nonlinear optical fibres. For example, the maximum amount of information that optical fibres can carry in the highly nonlinear regime is still unknown, and the design of transceivers well-suited for this regime is also largely unexplored. Answering these fundamental questions is the key objective of this position.
Academic and Research Environment
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is one of Europe’s top technological universities, situated in the heart of one of Europe’s largest high-tech innovation ecosystems. Research at TU/e is characterized by a combination of academic excellence and a strong real-world impact. This impact is often obtained via close collaboration with high-tech industries.
This exciting research will be carried out at the signal processing systems (SPS) group, in particular, in the Information and Communication Theory Lab (ICT Lab), which is a world-leading group on the topic of information and communication theory. Our research in the topic of fiber optics is also carried out in close collaboration with the electro-optical communications (ECO) group, as well as with industrial partners both groups collaborate with. For more details see:
We are hiring 1 postdoctoral research for up to 4 years. The candidate must have PhD degree in information and/or communications theory or signal processing. A strong background on Shannon theory is highly desirable. Affinity with optical communications, the NLSE, or with optical physical layer (including channel modeling), is beneficial, but not mandatory. Candidates with a degree in mathematics or nonlinear physics are also welcome to apply.
Some of the problems/topics that the candidate will address are discrete- and continuous-time channel models in the highly nonlinear regime, information theory and channel capacity analysis of the nonlinear fiber optical channel, modulation, signal shaping, and forward error correction. The position will include international short- and medium-term research visits to academic and/or industrial research institutions as well as the possibility of co-supervising multiple BSc, MSc, and PhD students in the ICT Lab.
The candidate should be able bridge the distance between information-theoretic concepts and practical relevance. They should be able to think out of the box, provide structure to their work, have excellent multidisciplinary team working and communication skills, and be fluent in English.
We offer an exciting job in the group Signal Processing Systems of the Eindhoven University of Technology:
More information on the vacancy and project can be obtained from dr. Alex Alvarado, a.alvarado[at]tue.nl .
For information concerning employment conditions, you can contact: Mrs. Tanja van Waterschoot, e-mail: t.a.m.v.waterschoot[at]tue.nl .
Interested candidates with a background in systems and control, (applied) physics, mathematics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering or a related field are encouraged to apply using the ‘apply now’-button. You should upload the following:
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