PhD Studentship - 1Tbps Optical and 5G Wireless for the Future Access Network

University of Hertfordshire

Funding amount: Annual tax-free bursary of £14,296

Applications are invited for a three year full-time PhD Studentship available from January 2017, located in the Optical Networks Research Group in the School of Engineering and Technology.  Further information on the Research Group can be obtained from

Outline of the Project:

The access networks of the future will consist of the combination of centralised processing, mixed macro and small cells deployments as well as new radio and optical fibre technologies in order to support very high data rates and traffic types.

This project will explore converged optical and wireless network solutions able to flexibly connect heterogeneous cells to the core network. In particular, dynamically programmable, high capacity, low latency, point-to-multipoint millimetre wave transceivers, operating with sub-6-GHz systems will be investigated. In addition, for dense small cell deployments, the information exchange between small cells and microcells, as well as between neighbouring small cells will be much more frequent because of issues such as increased number of handovers, interference management and load balancing. These data exchanges can lead to a huge backhaul signalling overhead. Consequently, small cells should be able to dynamically activate/deactivate different transceivers, and adapt according to favourable conditions so that the backhaul signalling overhead can be minimized. The project will focus on both the techniques for reducing this signalling overhead together with determining the future integrated optical and wireless network architecture(s) to cost effectively deliver the capacity requirements of the future access network.

Description of University:

The University of Hertfordshire (UH) is based in Hatfield only a short (30 minute) train journey away from central London. According to the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework 2014 over 90% of the submitted research at the UH was judged to be of international quality. The University of Hertfordshire is ranked among the Top 600 world universities according to the ‘Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016’.

Applicant Requirements:

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree in electrical/electronic engineering, applied mathematics, optical engineering or similar. The studentship which is focused on UK/EU students only will provide a bursary of £14,296 in 2016/17 and the two following years, together with payment of fees.

How to Apply:

Please download and complete an application form obtained from the following link:

Your completed application should be emailed to the email address below. You must also include with your application (in the section 11 personal statement/further information section of the application form) a 500 word summary indicating your motivation for wanting to undertake this project and a brief outline of your initial thoughts on the topic of research.

STRI Admissions email:

Research Degrees Office
University of Hertfordshire
College Lane
AL10 9AB

Interview dates: 8-16 December 2016

Studentship start date: 30 January 2017

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South East England