Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow in Optical Networks: TRANSNET programme - 4 positions available - Ref 1809945

Employer: UCL
Job location
Job salary
Grade: 7/8
Research Fellow: Grade 7 (£35,328 - £42,701 per annum inclusive of London Allowance).
Senior Research Fellow: Grade 8 (£43,884 - £51,769 per annum inclusive of London Allowance).
Job term
The posts are available for 3 years in the first instance, although funding to support the posts for a longer period may be available
Job closing date

The Optical Networks Group at UCL’s Electronic & Electrical Engineering Department invites applications for Post-Doctoral Research Fellows to work on different aspects of the £6M EPSRC Programme Grant TRANSNET: Transforming networks - building an intelligent optical infrastructure (funded until 2024). TRANSNET is a UCL-led collaborative programme with Aston and Cambridge Universities and leading industrial/academic partners:

The group at UCL, is a highly collaborative, active & leading research team, integrating machine learning techniques into optical transmission systems and network architectures (see for example,

We are looking to make up to 4 appointments at Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow levels, and seek candidates with expertise in optical networks, network routing algorithms and graph theory, experimental aspects of high-speed optical transmission systems and digital signal processing, as well as learning algorithms for optical networking.

 The posts are available for 3 years in the first instance, although funding to support the posts for a longer period may be available. We expect the Post-Doctoral Research Fellows to lead cutting-edge research in this area, and more specifically, produce and present academic publications in top-tier conferences/journals, liaise with academic and industrial partners, and work with other researchers in the programme.

Main purpose of the job

To carry out world-leading research on the goals of the TRANSNET programme. The aim of TRANSNET is to create an adaptive, intelligent optical networks, to dynamically provide data capacity where and when it is needed. It is envisaged that advanced optical networks will be enabled by machine learning techniques, digital signal processing, advanced modulation formats and coding; all taking account of nonlinear optical channel properties. Research will focus on the optical networks underpinning the cloud infrastructure – from long-haul submarine networks to the shorter reach data centre and access networks and low-complexity, intelligent optical transceivers. The programme is composed of 4 research themes (RT) - each addressing key research challenges in building intelligent optical networks

  • RT1 Intelligent network architectures & topologies
  • RT2 Evolving transceiver intelligence & digital signal processing
  • RT3 Learning algorithms for optical networking
  • RT4 Experimental demonstration of intelligent networks

The research spans all the research themes with approximately one position per RT.   

Successful applicants should have a PhD (or about to submit) in Electronic Engineering/Physics or related disciplines, with an excellent research track record and high quality publications in one or more of the programme research areas. Preference will be given to candidates with expertise to work across multiple research themes (RT). Given that research will be disseminated at conferences and through journal papers, the applicant should have excellent written and spoken English, and presentation skills.

Duties and responsibilities

 RT1: Intelligent network architectures & topologies

Within RT1 the postholder will be expected to carry out research into design of intelligent networks topologies and architectures tailored to application requirements: throughput, scalability, latency and resilience. This requires expertise in wavelength routing algorithms, graph theory, integer linear programming techniques to:

  • Quantify fundamental limits to network-wide throughput, in the adaptive optically-nonlinear network regime
  • Develop scalable graphs that span across data centres, access, metro and core networks, embedding various optical functions and channel properties

RT2: Evolving transceiver intelligence & digital signal processing (DSP)

Within RT2 the postholder will be expected to develop DSP and simulation models in Matlab, Python and Tensorflow for high-speed optical communication systems operating in linear and nonlinear regimes

 RT3: Learning algorithms for optical networking

Within RT3 the postholder will be expected to develop machine learning algorithmic toolbox, using a broad range of probabilistic & statistical approaches and deep learning/reinforcement learning methods. The goal of RT3 is to deliver the next generation of machine learning techniques for all aspects of optical network infrastructure – optimal topologies & architectures (with RT1) and low-complexity, intelligent transceivers (RT2)

  •  Developing resource allocation algorithms (heuristics, evolutionary, machine learning) and schedulers for intelligent optical networks
  • Applying learning techniques in simplifying transceiver DSP, channel estimation and monitoring 
  • Dynamic network management inc aspects of network resilience and security

RT4: Experimental demonstration of intelligent networks 

Within RT4 the postholder will be expected to take the lead on developing an experimental high-speed transmission and network test-bed and the development of the TRANSNET VirtualLab – to make use of the data acquired from the cross-institution experimental infrastructure to be used in training of the RT3 developed machine learning algorithmic toolbox.

     Duties for all Research Fellow / Senior Research     Fellow positions

  • Collaboration with researchers within other parts of the programme across the 3 institutions and with project partners
  • Disseminating research findings by writing high quality, in depth journal articles and presentation of research at leading international conferences
  • Preparation of presentation materials for a variety of audiences, ranging from world-class researchers to general public and schools
  • Contribute regularly to project technical reports and the publication of research results in high impact conferences and journal publications and promotion of these through UCL press office/media
  • Assist in the supervision of project and research students
  • To support preparation of further research project proposals, interaction with project partners, and administrative support to both projects
  • As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and amended in consultation with the postholder. The postholder will carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job as requested by the line manager or Head of Department/Division.
  • The postholder will actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities and Race Equality policies.
  • The postholder will maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.


How to Apply

Interested applicants are encouraged to make Informal enquiries about the post to Professor Polina Bayvel

All applications should be submitted via UCL online

recruitment system at the following link:

Job Reference: 1809945

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Vicky Coombes at quoting reference 1809945

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