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Cavendish Astrophysics


Applications are invited for an ESA/NPL/Cambridge funded PhD studentship in the area of applied electromagnetic metrology with a wide range of applications (eg. space exploration and technology, wireless communications, radio cosmology, etc). 

The next generation radio cosmology instruments, the current and upcoming communication systems (e.g. 5G/6G), the rise of the Internet of Things and Energy Harvesting, as well as the future ultra-sensitive payloads for space exploration and space-based systems, all have something in common: the need to measure and characterise extremely low levels of electromagnetic emissions. Whether it is to be used in the optimal design of sensor networks in the presence of interference or in the calibration of highly sensitive payloads, the future of most wireless technologies relies on the use of very low levels of radiated power. In this project the student will join a growing team with experts from three key players in the field: the European Space Agency (, the National Physics Laboratory ( and the Cavendish Astrophysics group at the University of Cambridge (  

The student will be based in the Department of Physics. The research involved will take a multi-disciplinary approach to tackle some of the fundamental bottle necks in the measurement of very low levels of radiated electromagnetic emissions, with a special focus on topics such as the development of new sensor technology (e.g. quantum sensors) or research of state-of-the-art calibration algorithms and techniques, amongst others. The project funding is complemented by a suite of opportunities for specialized training in the 3 institutions and a comprehensive learning program in applied electromagnetism with a variety of applications in physics and engineering.

The applicant should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2:1 (and preferably a Masters degree) in engineering, physics or a related subject, strong mathematical ability and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential. 

This is a 3.5-year PhD studentship with effect from 1st October 2021, covering: the University Composition Fee for Home candidates only and a tax-free stipend for those with a UK resident status. For informal enquires please contact Dr de Lera Acedo (email: ) or Prof Tian Hong Loh (). 

Students from overseas are not eligible for this studentship and should not apply. 

Applications should be submitted via the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions web pages

with Dr de Lera Acedo identified as the potential supervisor. 

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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