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  Quantum Communications: Quantum digital signatures and quantum amplifiers

   School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

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  Prof G Buller  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Single-Photon Group at Heriot-Watt University offer a three year fully funded PhD position in partnership with the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Quantum Communications Technologies. This vacancy is open to suitably qualified individuals who are nationals of the UK or other EU countries.

We have a long-standing track record in researching ground breaking QKD systems: for example, work in the field led to a world record transmission distance quantum key distribution system, the first demonstration of a quantum key distribution system operating at a clock–rate of a gigahertz (and above) over an optical fibre link and the first experimental demonstrations of quantum digital signatures.
Our group has five laboratories with a total floor area of more than 105 m² and will shortly be joining a new collaborative facility leveraging the skills and technologies of the local Quantum Communications Technologies Hub colleagues. The research group has direct ownership of world–leading state–of–the–art equipment with a total value in excess of £3 million and shared access to the national network of resources from the Quantum Communications Technologies Hub. Access to these resources and expertise will allow a successful candidate to drive the rapid development of world–leading experimental systems and test–beds and lead to publications in high impact journals.

The UK Quantum Technology Hub for Quantum Communications Technologies is a partnership of eight UK Universities (Bristol, Cambridge, Heriot-Watt, Leeds, Royal Holloway, Sheffield, Strathclyde, and York), numerous private sector companies (BT, Toshiba Research Europe Ltd., Adva, amongst others) and public sector bodies (Bristol City Council, National Physical Laboratory, National Dark Fibre Infrastructure Service), that have come together in a unique collaboration to exploit fundamental laws of quantum physics for the development of secure communications technologies and services. Funded through EPSRC and led by the University of York, the five-year, £24m Quantum Communications Hub aims to deliver quantum encryption systems that will in turn enable secure transactions and transmissions of data across a range of users in real-world applications: from government agencies and industrial set-ups to commercial establishments and the wider public. The project is part of the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, which aims to ensure the successful transition of quantum technologies from laboratory to industries.

We are now looking for a talented individual to join us at this exciting time. A suitable applicant will have a 1st class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a physics or engineering course and be strongly motivated with the drive required to pursue three or more years of intensive practical and theoretical work. The project will require both individual and group work and a successful candidate must be capable of operating effectively in both environments. Any candidate must have a good grounding in the theories of quantum optics and some experience of laboratory work is expected. Experience of computer programming in C/C++ and/or MatLab would highly advantageous but knowledge of other programming languages will be considered. A relevant undergraduate project would assist in selection of a candidate.


Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and considered until the position is filled, so early application is encouraged. To apply please email your detailed CV and the names and addresses of two academic referees to

 About the Project