/PhD: Wireless Systems Researcher

PhD: Wireless Systems Researcher

Research & development - Eindhoven | More than two weeks ago

Internet-of-Things Department, Imec, Eindhoven, the Netherlands Electronic Systems (ES) Group, Department of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

Precise Positioning with RF

This position will be in the program line PL1 “Intelligent Components’ of the Dutch Growthfund 6G Future Network systems (FNS), and  you will be employed by Imec, in close collaboration with the Electronic Systems group of TU/e. The Dutch part of imec is located in Eindhoven and is part of Holst Centre, an independent open-innovation R&D center by imec and TNO. Imec the Netherlands works on technologies that create a comfortable and sustainable future by enabling applications in domains such as vitality & wellbeing, mobility, smart & intuitive spaces and environmental monitoring.  

Communication networks provide the bedrock for digital transition of our society and economy. In 4G and 5G mobile networks, the Netherlands is strong in RF semiconductor technologies and applications of mobile technology. 6G, the new generation for the 2030s, offers large economic opportunities for the Netherlands to extend this position to areas in the global 6G value chain. Securing such a position is crucial for the Netherlands to stay in control of its mobile networks. In the Future Network Services (FNS) program, leading ICT- and semiconductor companies and research institutions will jointly research specific parts of 6G: software antennas, AI-driven network software and leading 6G applications. By integrating these parts at the 6G software layer, FNS creates a powerful approach to make 6G a truly intelligent network. This innovation gives an important impulse to the Dutch economy and sustainable earning power, through advanced industrial activity and significant export opportunities. It will make 6G networks more energy efficient and drive digital autonomy. 

What you will do

The innovations in the FNS project are developed in four program lines: (1) intelligent components, developing software antennas for the new high (mm-wave and THz) frequencies in 6G; (2) intelligent networks, developing AI-driven software for 6G radio and core networks; (3) leading applications, developing new 6G applications in mobility, energy, health and other sectors that create value through new set-ups of the sector value chains; (4) ecosystem strengthening, integrating the FNS innovations in the national 6G testbed, stimulating start-ups and SMEs, developing and executing the human capital agenda and ensuring policy alignment. The consortium currently consists of a mix of 60 large and small telecom, semiconductor and ICT companies, universities, and public bodies:

 

  • PL1: TU/e (lead), Aircision, Altum-RF, Ampleon, AntenneX, Astron, Bosch (ItoM), Chalmers, CITC, Ericsson, IMEC, KPN, NXP, PITC, Prodrive, RobinRadar, Sabic, Signify, TheAntennaCompany, TNO, TUDelft, Twente University (UT), Viasat, VodafoneZiggo, VTEC; 
  • PL2: TUDelft (lead), Almende, AMS-IX, Ericsson, IS-Wireless, KPN, Nokia, NVIDIA, Solvinity, SURF, TNO, TU/e, Universiteit van Amsterdam, UT, Viasat, VodafoneZiggo, Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam); 
  • PL3: TNO (lead), Alliander, ASML, Comforest, Cordis, Drone Delivery Service, Ericsson, Future Mobility Network, gemeente Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Gomibo, KPN, Philips, Port Of Rotterdam, PWXR, Robin Radar, TenneT TSO, T-Mobile, Vialis; 
  • PL4: TUDelft (lead), BTG, Ericsson, ECP, EZK, Hanze Hogeschool, KOREWireless, KPN, Liberty Global, Nokia, OostNL, RDI, SURF, TU/e, T-Mobile , UT, Vodafone, Ziggo. 

PhD position on “Precise Positioning with RF”: 
Imec is bringing experience and established leadership in wireless positioning to the 6G_FNS project, including the use of multiple antennas, the combination of phase measurement, ranging and radar, and this research program aims to push the boundaries of precise positioning to meet the evolving demands of modern wireless communication systems and their users. 
The research program addresses positioning methods for wireless localization and sensing.  It is extremely useful to be able to sense and locate users, the surroundings and Internet-of-Things devices, and wireless technology is attractive and versatile.  But there are challenges to sense and localize precisely and robustly in 3D space, also estimating movement and orientation in indoor, automotive and outdoor environments with not only the direct propagation path between devices, but also many multipath signals bouncing off floors, walls, ceilings, and objects.  
The research will explore particular opportunities created by the possibilities of advanced transceiver concepts, multiple antennas (spatial arrays and different polarizations) and powerful signal processing, including the sharing of measurements made by and between multiple devices, and the measurement not only of signal timing, but also signal carrier phase. 
Carrier phase positioning has won great success in GPS/GNSS systems including the established techniques Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) and Precise Point Positioning (PPP), but there are challenges when applying such techniques towards indoor wireless sensors.   

  • Whereas GNSS uses beautifully engineered and monitored satellites orbiting in space with synchronised atomic clocks, practical indoor solutions have to use small devices, with low cost components and brief, time-multiplexed operations, to minimize spectrum occupancy and energy consumption.  However there is potential, as there can be lots of such devices, and they can be very sophisticated. 
  • Whereas GNSS systems are designed for worldwide navigation in the open, Internet-of-Things applications have to work mainly indoors, in complex multipath propagation conditions.  These give interference to the direct signals, but also the opportunity of more signals to measure and use.   
  • The indoor geometry can be complicated, on the one hand with many devices able to interact with each other, but on the other hand uncertainties and ambiguities in the phase measurement (repetitions of 2pi), which should be tackled, especially when only a single snapshot of carrier phase is present. 

What we do for you

By joining imec on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, you will be part of a team of disruptive innovators and thinkers. Imec is pushing the state-of-the-art in the design of ultra-low-power circuits and algorithms to raise the performance and intelligence of sensor systems, and with the researchers and engineers from our wireless systems group, you will create the next-generation platforms for wireless sensing. You will experience a dynamic and stimulating environment working with experts across the technology stack from antennas, mixed-signal integrated circuits, embedded software, and advanced algorithms.   
  
Imec The Netherlands, as an employer of choice, offers you an attractive compensation and benefits package including a 100% employer-paid pension plan and flexible working hours. Furthermore, imec-NL offers a wide range of training possibilities. For international candidates, we provide support in the relocation process. 

Who you are

  • Applicants should have, or expect to receive, a Master of Science degree or equivalent in a relevant electrical engineering, telecommunication engineering, or computer science discipline. 
  • The selection is based on the candidates’ application documents in combination with their performance during the interviews and possible assignments. 
  • Solid knowledge in wireless communications, signal processing, and radio wave propagation is essential. Practical experience is considered beneficial. 
  • Besides good subject knowledge, emphasis will be placed on creative thinking, motivation, ability to work in a team, initiative to work independently and personal suitability for research training. 
  • Proficiency in using scientific and engineering software packages such as Python, Matlab, C++,  are advantageous.  
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. 

Interested

Does this position sound like an interesting next step in your career and do you want to work on making societal impact? Don’t hesitate to apply today by submitting your full resume and motivation letter. Do you have any questions about this position? Then you can contact jobs@imec.nl  
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