PhD Studentship: Advanced fibre laser sources and concepts for coherent beam

at University of Southampton
Published March 27, 2023
Location Southampton, United Kingdom
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


Project title: Advanced fibre laser sources and concepts for coherent beam combination

Supervisory Team: Johan Nilsson, Ben Mills

Project description

“Smart” phased-array lasers based on computer-controlled coherently combined optical fibre amplifiers promise to revolutionise materials processing and other important laser applications. Fundamentally, their advantages derive from rapid and flexible control of the beam shape and polarisation. Adding to this, computer control (notably through neural networks and machine learning) is now emerging as a means both to implement and to optimise the control. The Smart Fibre Optics High-Power Photonics (HiPPo) programme is a new £6 million EPSRC funded 5-year programme pursuing fibre-based phased-array lasers at the Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton

In collaboration with NKT Photonics, there is now an opening for a PhD student to research advanced fibre amplifiers and beam combination concepts within this ground-breaking programme. Research topics include low-noise fibre amplifiers and phase control, fibre nonlinearities and their mitigation, and polarisation management in challenging fibre systems. You will work together with a world-leading team with state-of-the-art high-power fibre amplifiers from NKT Photonics and/or amplifiers that you design and build with fibres fabricated in-house in ORC’s state-of-the-art cleanrooms and laboratories. Some of the work may be performed at NKT Photonics in Hamble (within commuting distance).

If you are seeking an industrially-relevant PhD project experimentally focused on fibre lasers and phased arrays with electronic and computer/neural network control then this opportunity is perfect for you.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Johan Nilsson, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 23 8059 3101 or +44 (0) 750 821 3021

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2023 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place. We may also make an appointment as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £23,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. In addition, there is a generous budget for training and travel. Non-UK students please contact the supervisor to discuss eligibility before applying.

How To Apply

Apply online: Search for a Postgraduate Programme of Study ( Select programme type (Research), 2023/24, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD ORC (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Johan Nilsson

Applications should include:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two reference letters
  • Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact:

The School of Zepler Institute is committed to promoting equality, diversity inclusivity as demonstrated by our Athena SWAN award. We welcome all applicants regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age, and will give full consideration to applicants seeking flexible working patterns and those who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities, and offers a range of benefits to help ensure employees’ well-being and work-life balance. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.