Post Doctoral Research Associate in Millimetre Wave Wireless Transceiver Design

We are looking for a post-doctoral researcher to undertake research into millimetre wave wireless communications systems for use in future fifth generation (5G) systems. This post is of three years duration and will involve carrying out mathematical performance analysis combined with software evaluations. The researcher will study the use of one bit quantization schemes to reduce energy consumption in such systems. They will also evaluate channel estimation and signal processing algorithms, and evaluate how the analogue-to-digital converters can be integrated effectively into millimetre wave transceiver systems. This is a joint research project which will involve close collaboration with researchers from Queens University Belfast working towards an integrated demonstration of key technologies.

1. Job Details

Job title: Post Doctoral Research Associate in Millimetre Wave Wireless Transceiver Design

School/Support Department: Engineering

Unit: Institute for Digital Communications

Line manager: Prof John Thompson

2. Job Purpose

The researcher will study novel concepts for millimetre wave wireless communications systems in conjunction with researchers from Queens University, Belfast. The researcher will study the use of one bit quantization schemes to reduce energy consumption in such systems. They will also evaluate channel estimation and signal processing algorithms, and evaluate how the analogue-to-digital converters can be integrated effectively into millimetre wave transceiver systems.

3. Main Responsibilities

1. Co-ordinating own research work within the framework defined by the project and investigator (Approx 80% of time)

2. Interact with other project researchers at Queens University, Belfast (Approx 5% of time)

3. Organise his or her own work and time in order to meet the deadlines and milestones as defined within the project (Approx 5% of time)

4. Keep the Investigator, project leader and other relevant individuals informed of progress and attend progress meetings (Approx 5% of time)

5. Support the development of a code database for their own work (Approx 5% of time)

4. Planning and Organising

The researcher will be responsible for planning and conducting research and writing up the results in papers on a regular basis. The researcher will also interact with and give presentations and reports to the project consortium, including researchers from Queens University, Belfast as requested. The researcher may be asked to assist with organising progress meetings and workshops during the project.

5. Problem Solving

The researcher will be responsible for conducting novel research into the major aspects of the project using all of the resources available to them. At Edinburgh, the research is anticipated to involve mainly mathematical analysis, development of software and simulation studies. It is also likely to involve some joint work with Queens University Belfast on hardware based experiments. They will be expected to write up reports and papers on the key findings of the research and to disseminate this work in major conferences and archival journals.

6. Decision Making

The researcher will be responsible for conducting their research in a timely fashion that enables them to meet the major milestones and deadlines of the project.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

The research associate will be supervised by Prof John Thompson in the Institute for Digital Communications. They will also engage with other post-doctoral researchers and PhD students within the institute. They will also work closely with the project partners in Queens University Belfast, Dr Michalis Matthaiou and Prof Vincent Fusco and their research team.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


• Hold a PhD, or be able to demonstrate equivalent research experience


• Demonstrated research ability in wireless communications and signal processing
• Demonstrated ability to publish in major international journals in the field.

• Track record of research that clearly demonstrates wider academic or industrial impact

Knowledge, Skills and Competencies

• Excellent mathematical skills in devising new procedures in wireless communications and evaluating their performance
• Software programming skills appropriate for simulation work and algorithmic development

• Experience in the design and evaluation of low resolution sampling techniques
• Detailed Knowledge of millimetre wave wireless communications systems and channel modelling

Personal Attributes

• Ability to carry out independent research
• Ability to work in a team
• Excellent written and oral presentation skills

• Experience of working with in a research project involving academic and industrial partners

9. Dimensions

This project will require the researcher to attend progress meetings and workshops to present their research results. They will also be expected to attend conferences to present their findings to the wider research community. The researcher may be asked to become involved in the supervision of MSc student projects and PhD students if appropriate.

10. Job Context and any other relevant information

This three year post is part of a joint wireless communications research project with Queens University, Belfast on new technologies for future fifth generation (5G) wireless. Specifically, the project aims to find low-complexity solutions suitable for future millimetre-wave frequency communications using large numbers of antenna elements. This is an exciting new frontier for research in wireless communications technology. The very small wavelength at millimetre-wave frequencies, e.g. between 10-100 GHz means that it is feasible to implement many antennas even in small form factor mobile terminals. However, major challenges remain in operating viable communications at these frequencies due to the adverse propagation effects and the high power consumption of transceiver components. This project will address novel solutions to enable commercial development of 5G systems at these frequencies in the next 5-10 years.

In this project the researchers will consider two very promising pathways to achieve this challenging objective: i) perform part of the energy-intensive digital signal processing in the analogue domain and; ii) replace high-precision Analogue-to-Digital Converters (ADCs) with low-cost, low-complexity 1-bit ADCs. Although both solutions will deteriorate the system performance, we anticipate that the large degrees-of-freedom offered by using multiple antennas can compensate for this. The research at the University of Edinburgh will focus on the design and evaluation of ADC technology, using a computer simulation approach. Meanwhile, the researchers in Belfast will study novel algorithms and components for analogue signal processing. Both groups will integrate their work to ensure that the project is able to present an overall technology solution for future systems. There are also a number of related projects and activities in the University of Edinburgh and the researcher will be encouraged to discuss and collaborate with the relevant researchers.

This research associate position will be based in the Institute for Digital Communications (IDCOM). IDCOM comprises 15 academic staff, 20 postdoctoral research associates, and around 40 PhD students and is currently led by Professor Michael Davies. The Institute has a long history of signal processing and communications research. The Institute was commended in the recent 2014 REF assessment for carrying out high quality research. The Institute has a research grant turnover of over £4M per annum.

IDCOM is internationally renowned for its contributions to signal processing and wireless communications. In the relevant field of wireless communications and sensor research spans the major areas, including:

• Compressive Sensing Techniques and Their Applications
• Radar and Synthetic Aperture Radar signal processing
• Wireless system performance analysis
• Cooperative multihop/relaying communication
• Interference avoidance/mitigation and radio resource allocation and scheduling
• Biomedical Signal and Image Processing
• Optical wireless communications, and in particular Visible Light Communications

The research staff have strong multidisciplinary interests in all aspects of communications, signal and image processing, and the environment encourages interaction between members of the group and other institutions. In particular, IDCOM collaborates closely with Heriot-Watt University, also located in Edinburgh, through the Joint Research Institute in Signal and Image Processing (JRI-SIP).

The Institute occupies the first 2 floors of the purpose-built Alexander Graham Bell Building which was completed in 2004 with £2.8M from the Science Research Infrastructure Fund.

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on 21 September 2016.

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website

If you are not currently eligible to work in the UK, the University has the authority to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa) in accordance with current UK Visas and Immigration rules.

For applicants interested in sponsorship information is available on our Working in the UK website

However, if you have previously been sponsored by an employer within the UK but your leave has expired or lapsed and you are no longer in the UK, according to Home Office Visa Immigration rules you cannot apply for sponsorship under any category of Tier 2 for a period of 12 months after the date your visa expired and/or you left the UK.

If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts and come from outside the EEA, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa.

The Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa route offers a greater flexibility in your employment compared to other UK immigration routes, meaning you can, for example, move organisation, location and/or job role. By contrast with, a Tier 2 visa where you are ‘tied to a UK sponsor’. Tier 1 provides greater flexibility in undertaking additional engagements, such as collaborations and is intended as a route to settlement. Allowed absences from the UK are up to 180 days per year without losing the eligibility to qualify for settlement, with no restriction on the reason for absence (unlike Tier 2, where any absences from the UK must be for a purpose consistent with the person’s employment or economic activity, including paid annual leave, or for serious or compelling personal reasons).

You would initially need to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK).

Tier1 (Exceptional and Exceptional Promise) Endorsement Criteria

Once successfully endorsed, you are able to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. More information on this entry route is available at UKVI Website.

Conditions of Employment

Pension Scheme

This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our Pensions website.


The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £31,656 to £37,768 for 35 hours, each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month.

UoE Vacancy Ref: 


Closing Date: 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Contact Name: 

Prof John Thompson

Contact Email: 

Contact Telephone: 

+44(0) 131 6 505585