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Postdoc on Key Generation using Physical Layer Security (+QKD)

Postdoc on Key Generation using Physical Layer Security (+QKD)

(Post-doctoral) Researcher
Irène Curie Fellowship
Electrical Engineering
Date off
Reference number

Job description

Are you fascinated by the idea of a next-generation, secure, high-speed space Internet which will enable high-bandwidth and secure communications to every corner of the Earth? Join us on this exciting EU research project with prestigious institutes, observatories and companies throughout Europe. And a warm word of welcome to the information and communication theory lab at the TU/e!

Job Description

Quantum key generation over the satellite is envisioned as part of the core infrastructure for future long-distance, resilient, secure communications. Though the optical losses in the free space optical channel are considerably less than in the fiber channel, for large distances the secure key rates are still very limited. This means in practice that the number of keys, the length of the keys and the rate with which they can be refreshed is limited. To overcome this and enhance the security, in addition to quantum key generation, classical key generation can take place. The classical key generation can be added – on top of the quantum key generation – and inherits its security thanks to the low-divergence of laser beams and by exploiting physical optical channel properties.

As a post-doc you are asked to lead research in this area, give guidance to students and come up with innovative concepts. The research includes defining (realistic) eavesdropper scenarios, perform secrecy analysis and come up with physical layer security schemes (e.g., one-way and two-way) to complement QKD. All with the aim to enhance the security, enable higher secure key rates and longer-distance secure communications.

This position is part of the collaborative EU research project LaiQa which develops key technologies for a global quantum Internet enabled from space. The consortium consists of the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS, Greece), the applied research organization TNO (Netherlands), Quantum Technology Laboratories GmbH QTLABS (Austria), Quantum Space Systems GmbH QSSYS (Germany), the National Observatory of Athens (Greece), the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), and Thales Alenia Space (Italia).

Job requirements

  • You are a motivated researcher with a PhD in Electrical Engineering or a related field.
  • You are able to conduct independent academic research, as evidenced by your previous publications in relevant high-ranking journals and conference proceedings.
  • You have a strong background in signal processing, communication theory and information theory.
  • You have a comprehensive understanding of physical-layer communications and security and experience with optical channel models.
  • You are experienced in modelling communication systems and their performance with Matlab, Python or C++.
  • You have experience in the field of quantum key distribution, free space optics and/or space telecommunication engineering is a plus.
  • You are a team player who enjoys coaching and teaching students and shaping new research plans.
  • You have excellent proficiency in written and verbal English, along with strong communication and leadership skills.

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 (at least) 1 year.
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10 (min. €3,877 max. €5,090).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Partially paid parental leave and an allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A TU/e Postdoc Association that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.

A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as are a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) and a compensation for moving expenses.

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. 

Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.

The Information and Communication Theory Lab (ICT Lab) at TU/e is a globally recognized research group focusing on information and communication theory, and its applications. At the ICT Lab, we study information processing in a broad sense. We focus on finding fundamental limits but also on the data processing techniques (often codes and digital signal processing algorithms) and architectures that aim at approaching these limits. Main areas of interest are source coding, channel coding, multi-user information theory, security, and machine learning. We typically use information-theoretical frameworks to model the scenarios under investigation. This allows us to find out what the optimal trade-offs are. The scenarios that we study often result from close interaction with industry.

Curious to hear more about research at the ICT Lab? Please view this video.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring managers dr. Wim Korevaar, Optical Satellite Communications Researcher (SPS Group) at c.w.korevaar[at] or dr. Alex Alvarado, Associate Professor (SPS Group) at a.alvarado[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment.
For more information about the research groups in this project please visit

For any other informal inquires, please contact the secretary of the ICT Lab, Mrs. Emeral Clump-Busser at ictlab[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 cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • A curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Copies of up to five self-selected ‘best and appropriate publications’.
  • A copy of the candidate’s PhD Thesis

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.