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PhD (MSCA) position: Implementation of neural networks and machine learning-based techniques for multi-core and multi-mode fiber systems

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    Aston University
    EngineeringCommunication engineering
    EngineeringKnowledge engineering
    EngineeringSimulation engineering
    MathematicsComputational mathematics
    MathematicsMathematical analysis
    MathematicsMathematical logic
    PhysicsComputational physics
    TechnologyCommunication technology
    TechnologyComputer technology
    TechnologyFuture technology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    30/06/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    United Kingdom › Birmingham
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


ASTON UNIVERSITY (UK) is pleased to announce ONE position for Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs) within the POST-DIGITAL - the European Training Network on Post-Digital Computing, an Initial Training Network funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019-860830). The successful candidate (ESR#7) will work on the ‘Implementation of neural networks and machine learning-based techniques for multi-core and multi-mode fiber systems’. The ESR will be part of of large network of 15 PhD (ESR) students acquireing cutting-edge scientific expertise coupled with a uniquely broad interdisciplinary education, complementary skills, and experience working in both academia and industry.

The position is available from the autumn 2020 for a maximum duration of 36months.

POST-DIGITAL is a pan-European doctoral-level training network that will educate a new generation of highly sought-after engineers and researchers in an emerging field of expertise: advanced optical transmission and signal processing, information theory, nonlinear physics, and machine learning/computer science. The consortium will implement a world-class advanced training programme for 15 Early Stage Researchers, affording them a uniquely broad interdisciplinary education and training which will enable them to design and develop unconventional signal processing elements based on the brain-inspired computing principles. Our 8 academic and 5 Industrial project partners will contribute to a bespoke training program to generate a unique, integrated, learning environment in which graduate students benefit from secondments, industrial links, employability and entrepreneurial skills, leaving them well suited for highly competitive future jobs within academia and industry.

The successful candidate (ESR#7) will work on the ‘Implementation of neural networks and machine learning-based techniques for multi-core and multi-mode fiber systems’. The project relates to new implementations of artificial neural networks and neuromorphic computing principles using multi-core fibres (MCF) and other space division multiplexing technologies for future optical high capacity communication systems. The MCF will act as effective “nodes” of a neural network, where the silica cores will imitate the neurons and synapses, and the signals between nodes (cores) will be transferred through coupling. In particular the project will exploit the effect of nonlinear signal coupling mechanisms to model the nonlinear transfer function of a neuron. Multiple types of interactions between nodes will be also explored to create different architectures of multi-layer neural networks. The successful candidate will aim to optimize the optical field and fiber parameters and various designs of MCF to achieve the best performance. The new system designs will be studied, first, theoretically, and then validated and investigated experimentally.

The successful candidate will join an established group working on advanced space and mode division multiplexing communication systems incorporating the machine-learning based signal processing elements under the general leadership of Prof. Sergei Turitsyn and with the co-supervision of a senior AITP member.

The ideal candidate

You will have have a Master of Science degree (or expected to be awarded one soon) in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or equivalent. You will have exceptional skills in the areas related to electronic engineering, physical science, nonlinear optics, photonics, applied mathematics and machine learning. Preferred skill requirements include experience of scientific programming, optical waveguide theory and communication theory. Knowledge in theory of linear algebra, mathematical physics, and numerical analysis are an asset. You will have a strong drive to carry out the cutting edge research for a doctoral degree.

More Information


  • Salary

£37,500 - £39,200 depending on the personal circumstances of the applicant.

The successful candidates will be employed on a full-time basis. The competitive salary will be in accordance with the MSCA rules (Living/Mobility and Family allowances as appropriate) and will depend on the personal circumstances of the applicant.

  • Family-friendly working conditions

Female applicants and applicants wishing to return to research after a period of absence are especially encouraged to apply.

  • Training

In addition to their individual scientific projects, all POST-DIGITAL ESRs will be collaborating with world-leading research groups within the Consortium through secondments. All ESRs will benefit from extensive and varied further continuing education, completing a series of carefully designed training modules and transferable skills courses; they will participate in symposia, workshops and international conferences and will have meaningful exposure to the industrial environment through POST-DIGITAL industrial partners.

Eligibility criteria

Usual MSCA Eligibility Criteria apply and will be verified during the application process:

  • MSCA Eligibility

Applicants must be (at the first day of their POST-DIGITAL employment contract) in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. This research experience is measured FROM the date when they obtain the degree, which formally entitles them to embark on a doctorate (either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited, even if a doctorate was never started or envisaged). Research Experience is measured TO the first day of the POST-DIGITAL employment contract of the researcher.

  • MSCA Mobility

At the core of the MSCA-ITNs is researcher mobility. At the time of commencing their employment, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their (recruiting) host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.


Selection process



  • POST-DIGITAL is explicitly committed to the principle of equal opportunities and a transparent recruitment process.
  • Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter http://www.ecu.ac.uk/equality-charter-marks/athena-swan. We pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly, supportive working environment and collaborative atmosphere.


Additional comments

  • PhD tuition fee:

The POST-DIGITAL Fellowship includes a bursary to cover UK/EU  PhD tuition fees


  • Acknowledgement

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860360.

Offer Requirements

    Other: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


  • Outstanding MSc qualification in Physics, Electrical Engineering, Applied/Numerical mathematics, Computer Science, or equivalent.
  • Experience in theoretical and/or experimental work, knowledge of scientific programming and computing, particularly in the
  • context of application to theoretical and experimental physics and photonics
  • English Language: Minimum requirements can be found in the section “English Language Entry Requirements” detailed here

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Aston University
United Kingdom
West Midlands
B4 7ET

EURAXESS offer ID: 509451


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