iPhD on Optical distribution networks to enabled 6G applications

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 21 Apr 2024

Prestigious industrial PhD student position on “Optical distribution networks to enabled 6G applications” in a collaboration with KPN.

Irène Curie Fellowship



Electrical Engineering

Graduate Program(s)

Electrical Engineering

Reference number


Job description

Join us on this research project in close collaboration to develop and demonstrate the next generation optical -enabled wireless communication systems. You will be employed by KPN and will work closely with experts in optical communication of Eindhoven University of Technology. Your work is embedded within the newly granted The Netherlands Growth Fund 6G-FNS
(Future Network Services).

Research challenges

Merging of metro and access transport network to into 6G network:
Preparation on novel intelligent photonic nodes for energy efficient optical bypass switch that will play a critical role in enhancing the performance of mobile transport networks and implement a novel distribution network with converged edge node supporting 6G heterogeneous applications. Energy reduction and/or a more sustainable mobile network, is a promising benefit of optical enabled wireless communication and should be taken into account when adding novel intelligent photonic nodes to a 6G network. In this task we focus on the novel intelligent distribution and communication between any access points (antenna base station, street bulb access points, passive optical access networks) and the edge computing resources located at the central offices. Novel optical network components tailored to support the novel 6G paradigm (higher transmission capacity, speeds, and lower latency) and further development for more cloudification/centralization of some parts of the baseband unit (CU/DU split) and a more open ecosystem on RAN (Open RAN). 

Novel intelligent photonic nodes with flexible, ultra-fast, high bandwidth and energy efficient optical bypass switch will play a critical role in enhancing the performance of mobile transport networks and implement a novel distribution network with converged edge node supporting 6G heterogenous applications. The key network functions offered by the photonic nodes are its ability to remove the access network ‘bottleneck’ by opening up an uncontended, ultra-high capacity, ultra-low latency optical pathway for mobile services from the cloud all the way to the antenna site, handle massive capacities arising from multiple connected Tb-scale antenna links, alleviate the critical jitter constrains of electronic switches crucial in time sensitive applications and enhance network availability by effectively providing a back-up link for protection.

About KPN

KPN is a leading telecommunications and IT provider and market leader in the Netherlands. With their fixed and mobile networks for telephony, data and television they serve customers at home and abroad. KPN focuses on both private customers and business users, from small to large. In addition, they offer telecom providers access to their widespread networks.

KPN Technology Office: The industrial PhD's will become an employee of KPN Technology Office. Technology Office is responsible of the long term vision, strategy, architecture and roadmaps of KPN Network & IT. Within Technology a divers team of thoughtleaders, experts, transformation leaders and planners work together of the state of the art future network of KPN. One thing connects all employees: the passion & enthusiasm on new technologies! Within KPN Technology Office there is  in a team where cooperation with Universities and innovating within KPN Fieldlabs is a day to day activity, building KPN as the Reference Telco of Europe . As an Industrial PHD you will become part of this team and meet your KPN Colleagues in Zoetermeer (at least) once a week.

Job requirements

Candidates for this challenging project must have:

  • Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, Telecommunication engineering or in Applied Physics.
  • Proficiency in data analysis or modeling specifically applied to the field of physics.
  • Solid knowledge of optical fiber communications techniques and/or for photonic devices and circuits.
  • Solid knowledge in physical layer transmission system for optical communication.
  • Familiarity with software simulation tools for optics and photonic integrated circuits.
  • Solid skills in one or two programming languages e.g. Python, C++
  • Proven team-working capabilities and communication skills
  • English proficiency (both verbal and written)
  • Willingness to start as soon as possible

Conditions of employment
  • An opportunity for a significant role in a rapidly evolving scale-up within the advanced optical communication systems sector, offering exposure to both the scientific and industrial communities.
  • Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of an employment contract.
    An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Normally this is followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met. As these PHD's are done as an employee of KPN you will be assigned a temporary contract of 1,5 year and afterwards a permanent contract.
  • You are expected to become part of the KPN family when starting the PHD and continue being part of KPN after finishing your PHD.
  • Salary and benefits are in accordance with the CAO of KPN, but also in line with Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The start salary will be € 2770 per month in the first year and rise according to KPN CAO. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Eindhoven. The TU Eindhoven provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

Information and application

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact prof.dr. Nicola Calabretta, [email protected] .

Visit our website for more information about the application process .


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button.

The application should include:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

Similar Positions