UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


Fully–funded PhD Studentships – Optical Networks

Three x 4-year PhD Studentships available, starting September 2023

Fully–funded PhD Studentships – Optical Networks

Funding: The studentship covers Home tuition fees and an annual stipend of £20,198 (2023/2004)* , increasing annually with inflation. Additional support will cover consumables, books, professional memberships and travel to workshops and conferences.

* Estimated values, confirmed annually, usually in spring by UKRI and UCL.

Applications are invited for fully-funded PhD studentships, in the Optical Networks Group, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London (UCL).

The work of the ONG Group focuses on optical communications systems and networks, operating on all time and length scales. These networks underpin the global communications infrastructure and the Internet, and are increasingly being used inside data centres. This helps us understand what is needed to support the increasing broadband data demands of a modern, global society.

Through the study of future optical fibre network architectures and transmission physics our research and innovations will enable new applications, essential to our digital lives of today.

The ONG has close interactions with leading industry and research groups around the world with many coming to use our advanced, state-of-the art optical fibre transmission and network test-bed. We have a long track record of training very successful PhD graduate who have gone on to win multiple prizes and awards and are currently working in industry and academia world-wide.

Our current research directions:

We are interested in transforming how optical networks are designed to be adaptive and intelligent. This requires the understanding of all linear and nonlinear phenomena related to the propagation of multiwavelength optical signals in various media, including different types of fibres and free-space. In particular, we investigate ways to maximise optical fibre network capacity, though a combination of the use of new wavelength bands and fibres, and research in nonlinear optics, information theory, space division multiplexing, machine learning and digital signal processing. We also investigate advanced optical subsystems and integrated photonic systems for generating and detecting signals with high fidelity beyond the fundamental electronics limits. Applications include, but not limited to, datacentre interconnects, instrumentation and optical-wireless access networks.

We are currently looking for academically outstanding PhD students in the area of high-speed, ultrawideband and space multiplexing optical fibre transmission systems, focusing on the study of optical fibre nonlinearities and their mitigation. This research will also involve the implementation of novel digital signal processing algorithms and machine learning techniques, assisted bespoke hardware.

Candidates should have a first degree in physics or electronic & electrical engineering, and have some interest, experience and enthusiasm for hands-on experimental work and excellent scientific computing skills.

How to Apply

To make informal inquiries, please send a CV, including a list of any publications, with the contact details of at least two referees to Prof Polina Bayvel (p.bayvel@ucl.ac.uk) who will also be happy to answer any questions about these opportunities.

Students should also complete the UCL online application form for postgraduate admission:


Please clearly mark your application as: ONG

Closing date for applications : 31st August 2023