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PhD Scientific Computing / Illumination Optics

PhD Scientific Computing / Illumination Optics

PhD project Scientific Computing / Illumination Optics 3D phase space ray tracing for the illumination optics industry
Faculteit Wiskunde & Informatica


The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of Eindhoven University of Technology has a vacancy for a PhD-student in its Centre for Analysis, Scientific computing and Applications (CASA). CASA comprises the chairs Scientific Computing (SC) and Applied Analysis (TA). CASA’s major research objective is to develop new and to improve existing mathematical (both analytical and numerical) methods for a wide range of applications in science and engineering.

In the lighting industry a revolution is taking place. Traditional light sources like incandescent, halogen and gas discharge are being replaced by (light emitting device) LED technology. This new source technology allows the use of more advanced optical solutions. It is the topic of this project to create new methodologies to compute optics that will further enhance the properties of LED lighting. For example, this project will allow the lighting industry to develop new optical designs with less glare, improved efficiency and new light effects. Theoptics applied in illumination is nonimaging,in contrast to,e.g.,a camera lens whichis imaging. In nonimaging optics we study the transfer of light from a source to a target.

Project Description
The standard simulation method for optical systems design is ray tracing. In this method, one computes the paths of a large collection of rays, subject to reflections and/or refractions, from source to target. From the distribution of the rays in target space one can compute the target distribution. Subsequently,raytracinghastobeusedinatrial-and-errorproceduretodetermine the optimal layout of the system giving the desired light output. Ray tracing is a rather slow procedure. However, employing the phase space representation of the optical system, one can considerably speed up the method. In this representation, each ray intersecting an optical surface is specified by one or two space and direction coordinates, thus constituting a four-dimensional phase space. In a previous project we developed phase space ray tracing for two-dimensional (one space and one direction coordinate) model systems characterised by a two-dimensional phase space, which proved to be much faster than classical ray tracing. Thepurposeofthisresearchprojectis,first,toextendthepreviouslydevelopedphasespace ray trace method to more realistic three-dimensional optical systems, characterized by a fourdimensional phase space, second, include Fresnel reflections, and third, parallelize the simulation code on a GPU. Finally, the code developed should be used for design optimization.

As a PhD student your tasks are the following:

  • Perform scientific research in the described domain;
  • Present results at international conferences;
  • Publish results in scientific journals;
  • Participate in activities of the group and the department;
  • Assist SC-staff in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses (at most 20% of the time). 


We are looking for talented, enthusiastic PhD candidates who meet the following requirements:

  • An MSc in (applied) mathematics, physics or a related discipline with a strong background in computational physics;
  • Experience with Matlab and preferably C or C++;
  • Creative, pro-active team player with good analytical skills;
  • Good communicative skills in English, both written and oral. 


We offer

  • A full-time appointment for a period of four years, with an intermediate evaluation after nine months;
  • A gross salary of  Euro 2325 per month in the first year increasing up to Euro 2972 per month in the fourth year;
  • Support for your personal development and career planning including courses, summer schools, conference visits, etc.;
  • A research position in an enthusiastic and internationally renowned research group;
  • A broad package of fringe benefits(e.g. excellent technical infrastructure, saving schemes, excellent sport facilities, and child daycare). 

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

  • About the project, please contact Jan ten Thije Boonkkamp (TUE), email: j.h.m.tenthijeboonkkamp[at], tel. +31402474123 or Wilbert IJzerman (Signify), email: wilbert.ijzerman[at], tel. +31610183927.
  • About employment conditions, please contact mrs. Karin Wels-Noordermeer, email:


The application should consist of the following parts:

  • A motivation letter;
  • A Curriculum Vitae;
  • Copies of diplomas and a list of grades of your studies;
  • Names and addresses of two referees;
  • Proof of English language skills (if applicable).

Deadline for application: April 3, 2020.

Please apply by using the 'Apply for this job' button on top of this page.

You can upload all the required documents in max. five pdf's (max. 10 Mb).