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PhD Studentship in Physics – Towards new paradigms in digital computing with metamaterials

School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Dr Victor Pacheco-Peña Friday, April 30, 2021 Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
Newcastle United Kingdom Electrical Engineering Geophysics Nanotechnology Optical Physics Theoretical Physics

About the Project

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2021 for 42 months.


The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics invites applications for a PhD position in Physics, under the supervision of Dr Victor Pacheco-Peña.

Like electrical signals in digital/analogue circuits, electromagnetic waves and light-matter interaction can be manipulated by spatially engineering geometries of different materials where the waves travel. This PhD project is focused on the development of new paradigms for computing using electromagnetic waves. The project involves the theoretical and numerical studies as well as experimental validations as proof-of-concepts of digital logic circuit elements (such as logic gates) widely known in digital electronics via artificial electromagnetic materials (metamaterials and metasurfaces). This PhD project aims to open new research avenues for future high-speed computing systems using light instead of electrical signals.

We are looking for an outstanding student to do research in theoretical physics for the control of light-matter interactions using metamaterials and metasurfaces. Postgraduate students at Newcastle University can also take part in a range of paid teaching activities, with training provided.

This PhD studentship is part of a recently awarded project from The Leverhulme Trust. The project will merge multiple expertise from Physics, Computing Science, Metamaterials and Engineering. The successful candidate will join the Metamaterials and Plasmonics group as part of the Emerging Technologies and Materials group within the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics at Newcastle University.


The Leverhulme Trust

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Victor Pacheco-Peña (Lead)

Professor Alex Yakovlev.

Eligibility Criteria

You must have or expect a First Class or high 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in Physics, Electrical and Electronic Engineering or closely related disciplines. Enthusiasm for research, ability to think and work independently, excellent analytical skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are essential requirements.

If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills).

The award is available to home applicants only.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system.

Please include the following information:

  • Insert the programme code 8821F in the programme of study section
  • Select ‘PhD Physics (FT) - (Theoretical)’ as the programme of study
  • Insert the studentship code MSP039 in the studentship/partnership reference field
  • Attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code MSP039 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.
  • Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.

Funding Notes

100% of home tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,609.

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