PhD scholarship in Quantum Photonics Reservoir Computing – DTU Electro

at Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
Published March 6, 2023
Location Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  



Are you interested in quantum computing but bored to do it the "usual way"?  Two PhD positions are available at Technical University of Denmark on Quantum Photonics Reservoir Computing within the project QUARCOM, a collaboration between the DTU and Aarhus University.

The Machine Learning in Photonic Systems group at DTU Electro seeks two candidates for PhD projects on quantum photonics reservoir computing. The 3-year PhD positions are funded by Danish Research Council project `Quantum Photonic Reservoir Computing’ (QUARCOM). This PhD project is a collaboration between the Technical University of Denmark and Aarhus University that aims at developing a new neuromorphic computing platform with high-efficiency and low energy consumption by combining recent advances in silicon photonics chips and the quantum nature of light to realize the first quantum photonic reservoir computing platform.

Data is becoming the key resource of the 21st century and this is putting an enormous strain on computational capacity around the world. A slow-down in improving the efficiency of digital computers is now showing up as an alarming increase in energy consumption. This is particularly visible in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) applications that require massive parallelism. Not only may this limit access to computing power in developing parts of the world, it is also a glooming challenge due to the environmental impact of the big-data revolution. QUARCOM’s goal is to face such challenge by combining theory and experimental expertise to push the frontier of computing platforms and quantum technologies.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The PhD projects bridge between the field of quantum optics and machine learning, therefore a strong background on one of the two field is expected. Additional knowledge on the complementary field is an added advantage.

Your overall responsibility within the project will be developing numerical methods (PhD1) and experimental validations (PhD2) to address some of (but not limited to) the research topics listed below:

  • Integrated quantum photonic
  • Silicon photonic integrated circuits (PICs)
  • Design of linear and nonlinear integrated waveguides
  • Optimization of photonic circuits to achieve specific functionalities
  • Interaction with commercial foundry services for PIC fabrication
  • Optical characterization of PICs and quantum optics experiments

In general, you are expected to:

  • Help to develop numerical simulation code in Matlab/Python (proven coding experience in at least one of them)
  • Design PICs by using foundry-provided process design kits
  • Optimize PICs based on a combination of custom-developed code and commercial software (e.g. Lumerical)
  • Help to setup experimental testbeds for photonic chip characterization
  • Characterize quantum photonic chips in terms of basic properties and computing performance
  • Propose novel ideas and actively contribute to the project

Additionally, the candidates are required to have good communication skills in English (both written and spoken) and a proven ability to work independently, plan, and carry out complicated tasks.

The candidates are expected to describe their previous experience with numerical optical simulations, experimental quantum optics, machine learning in the cover letter.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Researcher Francesco Da Ros, Assistant Professor Davide Bacco and Dr. Caterina Vigliar.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. The starting date is expected approx. September 2023.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Francesco Da Ros (

You can read more about DTU Electro at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 31 March 2023 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Electro has 320 employees with competencies in optics and is one of the largest centers in the world based solely on research in photonics and electronics. Our photonics research is performed within optical sensors, lasers, LEDs, photovoltaics, ultra-high speed optical transmission systems, bio-photonics, nano-optics, and quantum photonics.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.