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PhD Integrated Photonic Neurons

PhD Integrated Photonic Neurons

Electrical Engineering


This PhD position is within the Photonic Integration group of the Electrical Engineering Department and is part of a research line focusing on neuromorphic integrated photonics.

Information processing with artificial neural networks has re-emerged as the most important framework for data science and signal processing in recent years. Simulation of neural networks are performed with dedicated electronic hardware today which consumes a large amount of energy and are from an architectural point of view not well suited for neural computations. Photonics has been viewed as a promising hardware accelerator for certain types of neural computation, having the potential for huge speed improvements and energy savings. Semiconductor lasers show excitable temporal dynamics that equal that of biological spiking neurons and are able to simulate neuron behavior faster than electronics. Integration of such photonic neurons and scaling towards larger networks is thus very desirable but not yet well understood.

Research in the group has resulted in photonic circuit platforms which enable complex circuits and systems-on-chip for a wide range of applications. The work of the PhD researcher should use the technology as a vehicle to explore the integration of photonic neurons and its scalability. Lasers with optical feedback and injection have been demonstrated and studied before and their suitability to form photonic neurons is to be explored.

The following research questions shall be addressed:

  • How can nonlinear laser dynamics be used to simulate photonic neuron behavior?
  • What factors limit the scalability and cascadability of photonic neurons and how can we overcome those?


We are looking for candidates who meet the following requirements

  • MSc degree (or soon to defend) in (Applied) Physics, Optical Science, Electronics, Electrical Engineering,  or similar
  • Solid background in optics, opto-electronics and/or photonics
  • Knowledge in numerical simulations of physical problems is of advantage
  • Knowledge in semiconductor lasers or dynamical systems is of advantage
  • Ability to work independently with a systematic approach and originality, while under supervising guidance
  • Strong analytical and research capabilities
  • Affinity for interdisciplinary thinking
  • Fluently spoken and written English.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie


Questions regarding the academic content of the position can be directed to dr. W. Yao (w.yao[at], prof.dr. K.A. Williams (k.a.williams[at] or prof.dr. D. Lenstra (d.lenstra[at] 

More information on employment conditions can be found here.

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


If interested, please use the 'solliciteer nu'-button on this page. You should upload the following:

  • a brief letter motivating your interest and suitability for the position,
  • a detailed curriculum vitae including research experience,
  • transcripts of academic records indicating courses taken (including grades),
  • half-page summary of your MSc thesis,
  • contact details of two relevant references (email, phone number).

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

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