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Quantum machine learning for communication network optimization and security

   Research Support Unit

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  Dr D Kilbane, Dr B Butler  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Waterford Ireland Computational Mathematics Computer Science Physics Quantum Mechanics

About the Project

Post summary

Applications are invited for a PhD position funded by WIT. The candidate is expected to be highly self-motivated, and willing to work in future emerging topics in Quantum Technology.

Position: Quantum machine learning for communication network optimization and security.

Description: 6G is envisaged to be a massively connected complex network capable of rapidly responding to user requirements through real-time learning of the network state as described by the network edge (base station location and cache content), air interface (spectrum range and propagation channel), and client side (battery life and location of user devices). Optimizing this multi-domain, multi-dimensional network state can be viewed as a quantum uncertainty problem. Real-time optimization of complex networks is most suited to machine learning, and the combination of ‘quantum computing algorithms and machine learning’ (QML). As such, QML can be considered as a novel 6G communication enabler. The main aim of this project is to develop QML for optimization and security for a range of networks including low earth orbit (LEO) satellite and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) networks. LEO cubesat constellations offer several advantages such as global coverage, small size, cost-effectiveness, low energy consumption, short development time and rapid deployment. UAVs/drones are operated remotely by automation and fly autonomously. The PhD candidate will identify the most promising QML for classical communication network optimization and security and develop the software to realize it. The candidate will implement QML on real quantum computers using software such as IBM Qiskit, and apply it on classical 5G/6G network testbeds.

Person specification



• First- or second-class honours degree in physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics or related relevant discipline.


• MSc degree or equivalent postgraduate qualification in physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics or related relevant discipline.

Knowledge & Experience


• Strong background in quantum computation/quantum algorithms or artificial intelligence/machine learning.

• Strong skills in coding e.g. python, matlab.

• Highly analytical.


• Expertise in data analysis and machine learning.

• Keen interest in quantum computation/quantum algorithms.

• Familiarity with communication network management.

• Demonstrated capability in the delivery of research projects at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Skills & Competencies


• Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

• Highly motivated, demonstrate initiative and ability to work within multi-disciplinary project team to achieve results.

• Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

• Good academic record of excellence and writing skills.


• Prior experience working with/in industry, scientific paper and report writing.

Funding Notes

Research Group: Walton Institute
Department / School: Department of Computing and Mathematics
Duration: 48 months PhD
Status: Full Time
Funding information: WIT Scholarship 2020/2021
Value of the scholarship per annum.: Stipend: €15,000 Fees: €4,500 Research costs: €2,000
Teaching requirement: Two hours of academic development activities per week during the academic year in line with scholarship requirements.
Closing date and time: Advertisement Period 15/10/2021- 08/11/2021 This Competition will close at 4pm Irish time on the 8th of November 2021.
Interview date: TBC –
Commencement date: December 2021 / January 2022


Further information
For any informal queries, please contact Deirdre Kilbane by email on
For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.
Application procedure
Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form and return completed applications to, quoting WD_2020_35_WSCH_2
in the email subject line. Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.
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