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Ph.D. positions on ultra-reliable intra-aircraft wireless communication

Ph.D. positions on ultra-reliable intra-aircraft wireless communication

Faculteit Electrical Engineering
Graduate Program(s)
Electrical Engineering


The Center for Wireless Technology Eindhoven (CWTe) of the Electrical Engineering (EE) department of TU/e has two open Ph.D. positions as part of the recently granted European project Horizon 2020 ADENEAS (Advanced Data and power Electrical Network Architectures and Systems). ADENEAS aims at developing advanced technologies for intra-aircraft data communication and power distribution.  One of the technologies for data distribution that ADENEAS will investigate is ultra- reliable wireless communication.

In the case of avionics, the most important advantages of wireless systems are weight reduction, resulting in less fuel consumption, flexibility, ease of layout, maintenance and modification. Despite their advantages, wireless technologies have been hardly adopted in aviation where most intra-aircraft connectivity relies on wired technologies. The use of wireless technologies is limited to in-flight online interconnectivity for the customers and to in-flight entertainment. The main reason for this is that current wireless technologies are not able to provide the reliability, security, and low-latency levels needed to effectively support the operation of the various aircraft functions.

ADENEAS will investigate techniques to guarantee high levels of reliability in wireless networks inside aircrafts, comprising robustness for interference, failure and attacks, and with high levels of availability, flexibility, and dealing with stringent latency constraints. The main idea is to combine in-network intelligence with diversity at several layers of the protocol stack. At the physical layer the approach is to rely on cognitive radio and software defined radio (SDR) technology for creating robustness, adapting and optimizing the radio communication to the channel conditions and, ensure interoperability and upgradability to new and evolving standards. Besides making use of well-known diversity techniques at the physical layer such as channel coding and multiple antennas, the project will investigate diversity techniques at the link and network layers. It is the intention to investigate intelligence mechanisms embedded in the network that, in addition to supporting self-configuration, self-organization and self-healing, will be able to detect, localize, analyze and predict connectivity disruptions and attacks and consequently take the necessary countermeasures. The proposed techniques will be validated using simulation tools and experimental set ups.

One Ph.D. position is intended to investigate multi-layer diversity techniques and in-network intelligence for ultra-reliable reliable wireless communication. This position will be embedded in the Electro-optical Communication (ECO) group. The second Ph.D. position targets software-defined radio and cognitive radio techniques and will be embedded in the Integrated Circuit (IC) group. The two Ph.D. researchers are intended to work closely together in the context of the CWTe.

Center for Wireless Technology Eindhoven (CWTe)

The CWTe is a collaboration of five research groups of the Electrical Engineering department of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e): Electromagnetics (EM), Integrated Circuits (IC), Signal Processing Systems (SPS), Electronic Systems (ES) and Electro-optical Communication (ECO).

The Center focuses on four programs: Ultra-High Data-Rate Systems, Ultra-Low Power and Internet-of-Things Communication, Terahertz Technology, and Radio Astronomy. Together, these programs cover a range of topics such as antenna design, wireless power transfer, data conversion, RF circuit design, signal processing, communications baseband algorithms, and optical and wireless access network design. CWTe continuously develops a vision for each of the programs, their applications, and supporting technologies.

The Ultra-High Data-Rate Systems program covers network architectures and system design for high-speed, high-capacity wireless communications aiming at solutions for pushing data rates toward terabits per second. The Ultra-Low Power and Internet-of-Things Communication program focuses on the spectrum and energy efficiency of the IoT, such as ultra-low-power circuitry and protocols. The goal is to develop enabling techniques for massive and dependable energy-efficient communication networks. The Terahertz Technology program is working on the next step to realize miniaturized and affordable terahertz systems. It will be these systems that will bring the wealth of terahertz applications from the laboratory to the real world where companies, medical centers and consumers will profit from the special detection and imaging properties of this frequency range. Finally, the Radio Astronomy program focuses on designing the next generation of radio telescopes. The universe has never been properly mapped at low frequencies (below 30 MHz), and this research contributes to a space-based radio telescope with the goal to look deeper into space.

The CWTe integrates various laboratories designed for research on wireless antennas covering an area of 700 square meters: from near-field scanning (the testing of antennas in a small space), to the testing of new chips on wafers. The facilities include a fully shielded metal room in which the most sensitive electronics can be measured. In a system integration lab, chips can be linked to other components.  There is a traditional anechoic chamber of 28m²facilitates antenna measurements from 500MHz till 40GHz. Next to classical far-field measurements it also supports planar near-field measurements of large connectorized antenna systems. In particular, the combination of the various laboratories and the clustering of the associated expertise in one place make the CWTe unique in Europe.


  • Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics or a related topic, with excellent grades (first class honors or equivalent).
  • Background in wireless and mobile communications.
  • Good understanding of network implementation and operation aspects.
  • Affinity with artificial intelligence techniques, microwave engineering and diversity techniques.
  • Interest in combining theory and experiments and well-developed analytic skills.
  • Have a creative and critical thinking attitude, an intrinsic motivation and an ability to cooperate with internal and external partners.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent proficiency (written and verbal) in 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 between € 2.395 and € 3.061 (on a fulltime basis), depending on experience and knowledge. The salary is in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities.
  • 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

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Prof. Dr. Ir. Sonia Heemstra de Groot, Sheemstradegroot[at] 

For information about terms of employment, please contact HR:

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

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

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.