Post-Doctoral Position in Photonics. Laser dynamics induced by distributed optical feedback.

This job offer has expired

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    01/11/2020 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Belgium › Brussels


The complexity of the dynamical behaviour of lasers, and especially semiconductor lasers, have been intensively investigated in the past 40 years. Some of these efforts were made in order to suppress unwanted dynamics while others tried to exploit it e.g. for secure communication or random number generation. The impact of feedback on laser dynamics is arguably one of the most studied case, but in the last years, the use of distributed reflectors such as Bragg Gratings appeared as a new twist which is expected to open a lot of new opportunities and applications. Experimentally, the change is relatively small as we only need to exchange the commonly used mirror to a distributed reflector. However, the time distribution has a major impact on the theoretical modelling and renders some of the mathematical tools that have been used so far useless.

Being currently working on two distinct projects linked with distributed feedback – to trigger broad bandwidth optical chaos on-chip on one hand, for accurate optical sensing on the other hand -, we are now looking for an excellent Post-Doctoral researcher in photonics to join our team to bridge these two ongoing projects through further investigation of the effect and underlying mechanism of distributed optical feedback. The research work will therefore include:

  • Theoretical investigation of the impact of distributed optical feedback on semiconductor laser
  • Processing and analysis of experimental measurements made in the frame of the two ongoing projects
  • Setting up, in collaboration with the team, specific experimental setups or measurements to gain further insight.
  • Design of new photonic integrated circuit schemes, again in collaboration with the team, to perform dedicated measurements or investigations.

Beyond the scientific tasks, the post-doctoral researcher will be expected to take the following responsibilities:

  • Co-supervision of and collaboration with the two PhD students involved in the related projects.
  • Direct involvement as expert/advisor in the two ongoing projects
  • Active contribution to the writing of personal or collaborative project proposals. The post-doctoral researcher will indeed be given the opportunity to develop his own research activities and collaboration network.

The candidate will join the Brussels Photonics (B-PHOT) research group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium, www.b-phot.org. Chaired by Prof. H. Thienpont, the team composed of more than 45 internationally recognized researchers is widely known for its work in fundamental and applied photonics research covering the entire research cycle from modelling and fabrication, to characterization and Proof-Of-Concept. In the last 20 years, the group has built a significant expertise in the field of semiconductor laser – including modelling, design and on-chip implementation of new laser structures – but also in nonlinear dynamics and chaos-based applications. The candidate will therefore have the opportunity to contribute to the field in a vivid and fruitful environment.

Starting date: December 2020 – February 2021.

For more information, please contact Prof. M. Virte (martin.virte@vub.be).

To apply, please send your detailed CV, letters of recommendation(s), any supporting documents demonstrating technical skills (thesis or scientific paper) and an application letter to Prof. M. Virte (martin.virte@vub.be) by e-mail before November 1st, 2020.

If no suitable candidate has been found after the deadline, the position will remain open until it is fulfilled.

If your application is selected based on the CV and accompanying documents, you will be invited for a teleconference interview and online tests.

More Information


The work location will be the VUB Humanities, Science and Engineering campus, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium which is easily accessible by public transports, bike or car.

At VUB, your days will be spent in a dynamic, diverse and multilingual environment. Our main campus is set within green oases on the outskirts of the centre of the capital of Flanders, Belgium and Europe. This centre, with all its opportunities, is within your reach by public transport in under half an hour. As an employee of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, you will receive an attractive salary corresponding to one of the pay scales laid down by the government, depending on your experience and academic merits. Hospitalisation insurance and free use of public transport for travel to and from work are standard conditions of employment. If you would rather cycle to work, compensation is also available for that.

More information is available at www.vub.ac.be under the heading ‘future employees.

Selection process

The selection process will take place in two steps:

First, the file of each applicant will be carefully screened and reviewed. Well-suited candidates will be selected on this basis.

Second, selected candidates will be invited to a teleconference interview during which they will be asked a broad set of technical and non-technical questions.

Finally, all retained candidates will be ranked based on their academic records and their interview, and the candidate ranked 1st will be offered the position.

Additional comments

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is a dynamic university with 4 campuses in and around Brussels, one of which is dedicated to photonics research. The university has 8 faculties that accomplish the three central missions of the university: education, research, and service to the community. The faculties cover a broad range of fields of knowledge including natural sciences, classics, life sciences, social sciences, humanities, and engineering. The university provides bachelor, master, and doctoral education to over 15,000 students, 21% of which are international. It also is a strongly research-oriented institute, which has led to its #182 ranking among universities worldwide. With more than 150 internationally recognised research teams, VUB performs high-level fundamental and applied research. Thanks to the creation of more than 20 spin-offs in various domains, VUB plays a prominent role in attracting and instigating new economic activity in and around the Brussels-Capital Region.

Teaching and research at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are founded on the principle of unfettered inquiry to benefit the progress of mankind. This means rejecting dogmatic positions and guaranteeing the freedom to form opinions without interference; in this way the University aims to ensure the dispersal of the principle of unfettered inquiry throughout society.

The University is autonomous and democratically run. This means guaranteeing the exercise of the fundamental freedoms within the University, as well as the right of the University Community to participate in the decision-making process and scrutiny of University policy.

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: PhD or equivalent
    Physics: PhD or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


Research profile:

  • Candidates should possess a PhD degree in photonic integration, laser physics or nonlinear dynamics or a related field.
  • Expertise or in a strong interest in chaos theory, laser physics, nonlinear dynamics or signal processing is required.
  • Outstanding programming skills are required. Experience with Matlab, Scilab, R, Python or similar language and environment is a plus.
  • Good knowledge of numerical techniques and advanced simulation methods such as continuation is a strong plus.
  • Interest in photonic integration and experience working with Photonic IC is a plus.
  • The candidate is expected to be able to carry out your research activities independently and in a critical manner, whilst having excellent communication skills and a positive attitude towards collaboration.
  • Good time management skills are a must, along with the ability to meet tight deadline and work efficiently under pressure.
  • Proficiency in both spoken and written English (typically CEFR level C1 or equivalent) is required.
  • The candidates should be prepared to travel in Europe and potentially worldwide e.g. for participation to conferences or research stays at partner institutions.

This post-doc position is ideally for a relatively long-term collaboration > 3-4 years with possible opportunities for a more permanent position at a later stage. Nevertheless, excellent candidates willing to stay only for a shorter period of time (~ 2 years) are welcome to apply as this will not be considered during the evaluation process.

Candidates that have not yet acquired their PhD degree can apply and participate in the selection procedure but need to show that there are in the process of defending their PhD thesis in the coming months.

The candidate is expected to endorse the educational vision of the university (full text available on the university website).

Female candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Specific Requirements

Proficiency in both spoken and written English (typically CEFR level C1 or equivalent) is required.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2

EURAXESS offer ID: 558066


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