Postdoctoral Research Associate – Quantum and Optical Technologies

University of York

Based in the prestigious National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in South West London, this Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) role offers an exciting opportunity to join the EPSRC funded Quantum Communications Hub led by the University of York.

The Role
You will establish the measurement infrastructure required for characterising quantum-optical hardware, i.e. quantum key distribution (QKD) systems operating in the single-photon regime, developed within the Hub consortium. You will develop new measurement techniques and use existing bespoke instrumentation to characterise Hub devices. These measurements will be used to test and verify the implementation security of the systems, which is crucial for cryptographic systems. You will also be responsible for establishing a quantum communications node at NPL as part of the optical fibre UK Quantum Network. This work will provide the skills and expertise required to test, validate, and ultimately commercialise new quantum optical technologies.

Main responsibilities
Your core duties will be to carry out individual and collaborative research projects and will include:

  • Design and performance of experiments,
  • Analysis and interpretation of research data,
  • Use of appropriate techniques and methods,
  • Writing up research results for dissemination,
  • Contributing to the identification of new research areas and to the preparation of research proposals.

Key requirements:

  • PhD in a research area relevant to quantum or classical optical communication technologies (from a Physics, Mathematics, Telecommunications, Computer Science, Engineering or related subject background)
  • An ability to write up research work for publication in high-profile journals
  • The ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals
  • Experienced in presenting at conferences or exhibiting work at other appropriate events
  • A background in carrying out both independent and collaborative research.

The quantum photonics team at NPL currently comprises 2.5 scientific staff members plus one Ph.D. student, working on a range of projects related to metrology for quantum optical technologies. You will also have access to NPL experts in electronic instrumentation, classical communications metrology, fibre optic measurements and optical power measurements.

Informal technical enquiries regarding this PDRA post may be made to: Dr Alastair Sinclair (

Informal enquiries regarding the Quantum Communications Hub may be made to: Professor Tim Spiller (, +44(0)1904 322254).

This is a full time role (37 hours a week) fixed term until 30 November 2019. The salary is within the range £31,604 - £38,832 a year.

Interview date: To be confirmed

The University of York is committed to promoting equality and diversity.

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