PhD Studentship – Developing Fast Interconnection with Fibre Lasers

Aston University - Aston institute of Photonic Technologies and Microsoft Research Cambridge

This fully-funded 3 ½ year iCASE studentship is designed to provide an outstanding graduate the opportunity to undertake research, leading to a PhD, as part of a research collaboration between Aston University and Microsoft Research Cambridge.

You should normally have been awarded, or expect to achieve, a first or upper second class honours degree in Electronic Engineering or an MSc in a subject related to optical communications, or from applicants holding similar qualifications, or a combination of qualifications and/or equivalent experience.

The position is available for an October 2018 or January 2019 start (subject to negotiation).

The project

Digital technologies support over 1.4M UK jobs, and directly impacts the lives of broadband households and smartphone users. These technologies rely on data centres, where growth rates are unprecedented. The traditional architecture is no longer scalable and alternatives which exploit the inherent parallelism of optics are required. The successful applicant will develop a high capacity, port scalable optical interconnect based on fast tuning of a novel laser designed during the project. They will develop an appropriate laser design, refine underlying technologies, demonstrate fast wavelength tuning and will demonstrate the system in a data centre environment. The activities will be divided into distinct phases, jointly supervised by Prof Andrew Ellis, Prof Lin Zhang (Aston University), and Dr Benn Thomsen (Microsoft).

The successful candidate will split their time between the Aston institute of Photonic Technologies and Microsoft Research Cambridge, enjoying the benefits of world leading grating fabrication and system test facilities at Aston, and the opportunity to develop and test data centre switching architectures at Microsoft. The successful candidate will be a member of the Aston Graduate School which provides a supportive environment for all research students across the University and will also be guided to a range of training and development opportunities. There is also the opportunity to apply for a paid internship (in addition to the scholarship bursary) in one of the Microsoft Research laboratories. Internships involve working on a project as part of a team of Microsoft researchers.

Financial support and eligibility

The studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home fees rate, plus an enhanced stipend of £14,777. Applicants must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.

Applications Process

Applications must be made using the online application form. This, reference forms and details of entry requirements, including English language are available here.

The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal”, detailing how your knowledge and experience will benefit the project and may be accompanied by a brief review of relevant research literature.

For informal enquiries, please contact Prof Andrew Ellis, andrew.ellis@aston.ac.uk and for further information about the application process, and funding eligibility, please contact the Research Admissions Officer seasres@aston.ac.uk.

We would particularly like to encourage applications from groups underrepresented in the Electrical Engineering research field, including 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.

Closing date for applications is 31 July 2018.

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Advert information

Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Midlands of England