Studentship-Underwater optical wireless communications

Project title: Underwater optical wireless communications

Project summary: Optical wireless technologies provide secure, highspeed, and resilient communication for challenging environments such as underwater. Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics and the University of Strathclyde are offering a joint PhD position for research and development of new optical technologies for underwater communication.  

Opens: 17/05/2023

Deadline: 31/05/2023

Duration: 3.5 years

Funding: funded

Funding towards: Please omit any of the below that aren’t relevant to the opportunity:

·       Home fee

·       Stipend

·        Travel costs

Funding details: UK tuition fees + stipend (£18,662 per year) + research training support.

It may be possible to cover international tuition fees for exceptionally talented international students.

Number of places: 1

Number of places extra: 0

RCUK eligibility: Yes






Eligibility: To be considered for the project, candidates must possess an undergraduate MEng, first-class BSc/BEng Honours or postgraduate MSc degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, or similar. The candidate must have a strong background in physics, mathematics, and digital communication systems and be able to demonstrate the ability to lead the project independently.

Study modes eligibility: full-time

Fee Status: What fee status applies to applicants? Please omit any of the below that do not apply:

§  Home (Scottish)

§  Rest of UK

§  The Channel Islands & Isle of Man

Project Details: Free-space optical communications is an emerging field that is likely to form a key strand of the next generations of communications protocols. The development of micro-LED’s and visible laser diode sources has enabled high data rate demonstrations for through water optical communication.

The emergence of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), combined with the expansion of underwater infrastructure including surveying and monitoring demands robust communication channels between systems and control bases.

This project seeks to exploit advances in sources and detectors together with optical design to develop robust optical communications in real world underwater environments. Challenges will include fundamental optical communication channel modelling combined with a system engineering approach to integrate these systems onto practical devices with a view to real world deployment and demonstrations.

Working within the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics alongside researchers, engineers, and other students, the student shall also have the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams within project consortia spanning academia and industry.

Academic support will be provided through University of Strathclyde whose world-leading LiFi research and development centre specialise in optical wireless communication. The candidate will gain expertise in a wide range of optical technologies and will work with researchers and engineers. Experimental proof-of-concept demonstrations is an important aspect of this project, and the candidate will learn details of prototyping during this project. The candidate will also be involved in a wide range of activities from several national and international projects. Research findings will be published in high impact journals with the opportunity to present at flagship international conferences.

Primary Supervisor: Prof Harald Haas

Additional Supervisor/s:  Dr John Macarthur, Dr Iman Tavakkolnia

Further information: Support will be available for international conference attendance and Industry placement.

Contact Details: Interested candidates should first contact Dr Iman Tavakkolnia (email: or Dr John Macarthur (

Publication Date: ASAP