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Photonic systems metrology for quantum communications hardware, Dept of Physics, York

   Department of Physics

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  Prof T Spiller  No more applications being accepted

About the Project

Led by the University of York, the Quantum Communications Hub is a partnership of eight universities and numerous private sector companies The overall aim of the Hub is to develop a range of new, secure, quantum communications technologies. A PhD studentship, supported by EPSRC funding through York, is available to work on photonic systems metrology for quantum communications hardware, based at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington.

The student will participate in a large scale project, in which NPL is developing leading-edge instrumentation and techniques for the accurate characterisation of quantum communications hardware. The student will join the existing team at NPL to develop new techniques and bespoke instrumentation for state-of-the-art single-photon metrology; the research will focus on the parameters most relevant to quantum key distribution. With this capability, the student will characterise quantum photonic components and systems developed by Hub partners. The majority of the work will be conducted at NPL, but will also involve working with Hub partners to conduct measurement trials on Hub-developed hardware. Participation in field trials of these new technologies is also expected. The student will be able to gain valuable experience in the fast-growing field of quantum communications.

Initial quantum expertise is not essential for the role, although an interest in it would be beneficial, coupled with an enthusiasm for experimental work. Some software-writing skills for data analysis and simulation would enhance the role. Finally, the role will require strong interpersonal skills, as the activities will require considerable interaction with local colleagues and various partners.

Funding Notes

Eligibility: UK and EU students.
Funding: 3 years tuition fees plus stipend (£14,553 for 2017/18) for UK students. Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. Academic entry requirements: at least a class 2:1 MSc or MPhys degree in Physics.


This PhD project, funded by EPSRC, is available up to an October 2017 start. Please contact Professor Tim Spiller ( for further information about the Quantum Communications Hub, and Drs Alastair Sinclair ( and Christopher Chunnilall ( for further information about this specific PhD project.