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PhD in Quantum System Testbed: Fibre-based coherent quantum communication

PhD in Quantum System Testbed: Fibre-based coherent quantum communication

Electrical Engineering
Graduate Program(s)
Electrical Engineering


The high-capacity optical transmission laboratory – Electrical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology has a PhD position in the field-based coherent quantum communication based on the continuous variable QKD system.

Goal and Background - TU/e QKD testbed and development of evaluation site
At the TU/e campus, we are developing a world-class testbed to enable the integration of classical coherent optical transmission with Quantum key distribution (QKD) systems. QKD offers the means to increase the security of next-generation optical communication systems or even ensure unconditionally safety in combination with one-time pad encryption. The interest in QKD has risen in recent years, primarily due to the rapid progress in computation hardware, lower cost of data storage, and maturity of quantum computing technologies. The most mature QKD systems are based on single-photon detection schemes; however, continuous variable (CV) QKD has recently received much interest for several reasons. It may be implemented with off-the-shelf hardware from coherent communication technology, promising low cost and integrability to classical optical coherent transmission networks. Quantum Delta funds this particular project on developing Quantum Testbed under the CAT-2 programme on Quantum Network Testbed -

This novel testbed will address several critical applications with stringent key performance indicators (KPIs) and requiring high cybersecurity, e.g., robot-to-robot communication, fronthaul to a robot, robot-to-drone, broadcasting, city security, 3D-communications, 5G automated vehicle driving, to name but a few. As such the candidate will draw from novel applications in current and ongoing EU and National Projects from several groups at TU/e on 5G, Quantum secured 5G networks BRAINE and Quantum secure authentication project - NWO SMOKE and others. All activities are cross-collaborating in setting up the Quantum test-environment.

Research Challenges in the Quantum Testbed Project
The Quantum Testbed will be rolled out across the TU/e campus using locally deployed optical fibres; besides, the testbed is expected to expand into a regional network interconnecting local nodes. Operating QKD alongside classical optical signals presents several challenges such as handling the impact of impairments such as loss, noise and scattering from classical optical channels.

The candidate will investigate the implementation of quantum key distribution based on coherent optical transmission techniques. The Quantum states are distributed with state-of-the-art rates at high baud rates via an optical link. QKD can then be deployed beyond secure campus area networks towards the metro and long-haul scenarios. The candidate will investigate continuous-variable QKD using a variety of modulation formats (BPSK, QPSK, etc.). Within the rich ecosystem of integrated photonics, the candidate will investigate the system-level performance of the homodyne detection schemes and improved error-correcting strategies to enhance the performance and extraction of final keys.

Note that the coexistence of quantum signals and classical coherent signals on the existing fibre infrastructure is key to the wide-scale deployment. Therefore, the development of high dimensional fiber based encoding should help to avoid deploying parallel fiber infrastructure for QKD and classical optical signals.

Work environment
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is one of Europe's top technological universities, in the heart of one of Europe's largest high-tech innovation ecosystems - the Eindhoven Brainport region. Research at TU/e is a combination of academic excellence and a strong real-world impact through close collaboration with regional and international high-tech industries.

The candidate will be employed within the Electro-Optical Communications Group, in particular within the high-capacity optical transmission laboratory ( The candidate will strongly interact with the ECO group, which consists of over 70 researchers. This position is embedded within the new Center for Quantum Materials and Technology (QT/e) at TU/e which consists of principal investigators from Applied Physics, Electrical Engineering and Mathematics & Computer science departments-


The candidate
We are looking, therefore for a strong researcher for a PhD candidate to:

  • Development and validation of a continuous variable QKD system using off-the-shelf coherent optical communications components
  • Development and improvement of suitable error-correcting codes to enhance key recovery
  • Enhancement of the baud-rates at which CV-QKD can be operated
  • Potential field trial in the Dutch dark-fibre network – SURF
  • The candidate for this position will with other post-docs and doctoral students within the Center for Quantum Materials and Technology at TU/e and will be located within the High Capacity Optical Transmission Laboratory.
  • The candidate will contribute to the project reporting, scientific publications and dissemination activities related to the preparation of new proposals for a grant to national and European projects.
  • The candidate is expected to interact with TU/e teams in efforts of establishing and operating the joint activities in the Eindhoven QKD testbed.


PhD Candidates should have a Master's degree or equivalent technical experience

The successful candidate is expected to have experience and expertise in one or more of the following subjects:     

  • Experience with classical optical communication systems
  • Experience in fibre-based quantum key distribution or cryptography
  • Experience with error correction techniques
  • Experimental and theoretical knowledge of quantum communication
  • Experience with high-speed coding and programming GPUs/FPGAs
  • Self-motivation in scientific research
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.


  • Work in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • Full-time employment for a minimum of four years (PhD)
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs for research and valorisation, professional development courses for PhD students, and didactical courses of the TEACH training program.
  • PhD: - A gross monthly salary of between €2,395 (first year) and €3,061 (last year)
  • Benefits are provided in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities.
  • This PhD position includes a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in places, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day-care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now' button on this page. The application should include:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Submit you curriculum vitae, including a list any of your publications and the contact information of two references.
  • A copy of your Masters Thesis
  • Copies of diplomas and course grades

Please note that you can upload 1 document of 10 Mb so if you have more than 1 document you will have to combine them.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. The screening will continue until the position has been filled.

Contact: Dr Chigo Okonkwo (cokonkwo[a] for more details - Applications by e-mail are not accepted!