Doctoral Candidate, Metasurfaces for 6G Wireless Communications

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 31 May 2022

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and business. We are committed to identifying and tackling grand societal challenges and building an innovative future. Aalto University has been ranked the 9th best young university in the world (Top 50 under 50, QS 2018) and one of the world’s top technology challenger universities (THE 2017), for its outside-the-box thinking on research collaboration, funding and innovation. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and 4000 employees, of whom close to 400 are professors.

The Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering conducts research and arranges related courses in the field of electromagnetics, micro and nanotechnology, radio engineering, and space technology, featuring an international team of more than 150 Researchers and Research Assistants. The Department is part of the Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering (Aalto ELEC) with world-class research facilities and instruments.

The Designer Materials and Devices Group at the Department of Electronics and Nanoengineering is inviting applications for a

Doctoral Candidate (PhD) in the area of Metasurfaces for 6G Wireless Communications

Scientific context

6G will bring to the reality new ground-breaking technologies, such as internet of everything, 3D holographic communication, robotics, industry 4.0, and wireless brain-computer interactions. One of the biggest challenges for 6G communications operating at sub-THz frequencies is the high signal attenuation in the atmosphere and in most dielectric materials used in the urban environment (e.g., concrete walls). This circumstance implies that 6G wireless communications must rely on line-of-sight propagation and highly directive antennas. Probably the best candidates to solve this problem and improve channel quality without overloading the network with expensive active components are metasurfaces or so-called reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. Such surfaces represent reconfigurable but passive phased antenna arrays capable of deflecting electromagnetic waves into prescribed directions, not necessarily following the usual reflection law. They can be deployed in form of specific metallic patterns on flat or curved surfaces including walls, ceilings, and transparent windows. These metasurfaces will ‘tune’ the wireless propagation environment to ensure the most efficient communication, so that not only transmitters and receivers are optimized, but also the propagation channel itself.

Your role and goals

Our group focuses on theoretical, computational, and experimental research on metamaterials and metasurfaces with their specific applications for the next-generation wireless communications. The doctoral student will join a multidisciplinary project and conduct research on developing pioneering metasurface prototypes for 6G communications. The research will have strong theoretical and simulation components, where novel AI-based or inverse design tools will play an important role. Due to the strong industrial relevance, the project will also involve proof-of-concept experiments at microwave and/or sub-THz frequencies. The primary language of communication within the group is English.

The expected starting date for the position is September 2022, and it is intended for full-time work. The selected individual will work under supervision of Assistant Professor Viktar Asadchy . The successful applicant will have a possibility to cooperate with world-class researchers at the Department, publish in high-profile journals, contribute to teaching of students, and attend scientific conferences and meetings. Moreover, the research group provides strong support and academic freedom, with possibilities for interdisciplinary collaboration, both internationally and within Aalto University.

 As a doctoral candidate you will:

  • Publish in top journals and participate in scientific conferences
  • Participate in research proposal preparation
  • Guide master's students
  • Take advanced postgraduate courses
  • Participate as a teaching assistant for a minimum of three courses

Your background and expertise

As a successful candidate for this position, you should have:

  • An undergraduate degree and a master’s degree (or equivalent) with major in electrical or electronic engineering, optical engineering, electromagnetics, or a physical sciences subject.
  • Solid background in electromagnetics, microwave engineering, or wireless communications.
  • Excellent mathematical skills and background.
  • High proficiency in Matlab, Mathematica, or similar programming software.
  • High motivation and creativity.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication, including presentation skills.
  • Highly proficient English language skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to details and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Willingness to learn and work collaboratively in a research environment.
  • A strong commitment to her/his own continuous professional development.

Skills, knowledge, and abilities in the following areas are not required but highly desirable:

  • Proficiency in electromagnetic simulation software, such as ANSYS HFSS, CST Studio Suite, or COMSOL Multiphysics.
  • Solid background in Fourier optics and machine learning (in particular, in deep neural networks)
  • Experience with inverse design
  • Possible experience in PCB design and nanofabrication is a plus.

What we offer

The doctoral studies at Aalto University take approximately 4 years. The doctoral degree is granted after collecting required study credits, writing a doctoral thesis, and a public defense. Currently, the starting gross salary for doctoral students is approximately 2500€/month and salary will increase with responsibilities and performance over time and towards getting the doctoral degree to over 3100€/month.

Following the standard practice in the Department, the contract will be made initially for two years, then extended to another two years after a successful mid-term progress review. The contracts include occupational health care services (health insurance). Among European cities, Helsinki is special in being safe, clean, and close to nature, with a high quality of life. English is spoken everywhere, and the University offers free introductory courses in Finnish. Our Department is very international with professors and students coming from all around the world.

Ready to apply? 

Please submit your application through our eRecruitment system (link ‘Apply now’ below) by 31 May 2022, and include the following documents in English in a single PDF file:

1. CV (including list of publications, if any, and names of two references)

2. A summary of the master’s thesis and accounts for suitability of the candidate for this doctoral candidate position. Maximum one A4 page.

3. Certified copies of master´s and bachelor´s degree certificates (or equivalents) and their translations if the originals are not in English.

4. Official transcript of records for both master’s and bachelor’s degrees and their translations if the originals are not in English.

5. Proof of proficiency in English if the applicant is not a native speaker.

Please note: Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for the position via our internal system Workday -> find jobs (not external webpage of open positions) by using their existing Workday user account.

We encourage candidates to apply early, as we will start reviewing candidates immediately. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

If you wish to hear more about the position, you can reach out to Prof. Viktar Asadchy (viktar.asadchy at For questions related to recruitment please contact HR Coordinator Riina Hiirikoski (riina.hiirikoski at

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About Aalto University and Finland 

Our campus is located in the capital area of Finland. With 40% of our academic faculty coming from outside Finland, we are a highly international community with strong academic standing. We warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community. Finland is also an exciting place to live, renowned for its nature, its highly educated, family-friendly and life-work balanced society. For the fifth year in a row, Finland continues to be ranked as the happies country in the world .

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For more information about living in Finland, please see: .

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