PhD Studentship: Long distance transport of analogue RF signals on digital optical networks

Aston University - School of Engineering and Applied Science

(3 years)

Applications are invited for a three year Postgraduate studentship, to be undertaken within the Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established group working on Optical Fibre Communications. The studentship is offered in collaboration with Pulse Power and Measurement, a fully independent privately owned company and market leader in fibre optic products and services for cellular, satellite, radio and RF antenna remoting

The position is available to start in April or July 2017 (subject to negotiation)

Financial Support

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home/EU fees rate plus a maintenance allowance (£15,850 in 2016/17). A further award may be available from the collaborating company for a suitably qualified candidate. This application is only available to Home/EU students.

Background of the Project

Digital optical fibre communications is the standard technology for high speed data transmission over all distance scales, but there are important applications in satellite communications and broadcasting where analogue RF over fibre transmission is the best choice from a technical and cost perspective. In this project, we aim to investigate and extend the capacity and reach of analogue RF signals over optical fibre for future applications in Ka band high throughput satellite systems and for long distance, amplified fibre links. The industrial partner, Pulse Power and Measurement, operates three distinct business units from its HQ near Swindon, with Vialite Communications responsible for the design, manufacture and distribution of RF over fibre links, RF switching, integrated, filter solutions and digital RF receivers.     

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Physics, Applied Physics, or Electrical/Electronic Engineering. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of electronics, RF, fibre optics, and practical laboratory working.  You will join a long-established research group in AIPT, and will acquire highly sought after skills in high speed RF electronics, analogue and digital optical fibre communications, system design, and system integration.  Evidence of relevant project work and creative thinking will be advantageous. 

We particularly encourage applications from women seeking to progress their academic careers.  Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recognised recently by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive working environment and family atmosphere.

Applicants should fulfil the eligibility criteria for EPSRC funding through UK nationality and/or residency status (see the EPSRC website for details) and be free to travel throughout the EU.

Enquiries about this project prior to application and other opportunities within the Optical Communications Research Group, contact Dr Paul Harper or Dr Wladek Forysiak: or

The online application form, reference forms and details of entry requirements, including English language are available here.

Applications should also include an explanation of how your knowledge/experience will benefit the project.

Details of how to write your project proposal are included in the How to Apply section.

Closing Date: 13th February 2017

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Midlands of England