Postdoc in Experimental Analysis of Photonic-Hardware for Machine Learning

Tuesday 11 May 21

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The current digital implementations of machine learning algorithms are limited in speed and energy consumption by the electronics hardware platform they are implemented on. Moving towards all-optical implementations can overcome these challenges. 

The Machine Learning in Photonic Systems group at DTU Fotonik seeks a highly motivated postdoctoral candidate for a 2 years postdoc position within the field of photonic-hardware for machine learning. The position is funded by the Villum Foundation through the Villum Young Investigator Programme: ‘OPTIC-AI – Optical processing unit for high-speed AI applications’.

You will join the OPTIC-AI team consisting of 3 PhD students, yourself and the PI. 

The position will allow you to break new ground in the very active field of optical reservoir computing, and more in general on machine learning on a photonic hardware platform. 

You will further be able to hone your skills in co-supervising PhD students, as well as MSc and BSc students. 

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your overall responsibility will be to set up experimental testbeds, contribute to numerical simulations and supervise students on (but not limited to) the research topics listed below:

  • Photonic neural networks
  • Optoelectronics and all-optical implementations of reservoir computing
  • Machine-learning models for characterization of photonic components
  • Techniques for training optical and optoelectronic networks

In general, you are expected to:

  • Investigate machine learning implementations on photonic hardware
  • Propose complex networks of photonic components to implement photonic reservoirs
  • Implement new experimental setups for analyzing the performance of photonic neural networks and reservoir computing
  • Contribute to the development of numerical models (Matlab/Python) and help to maintain the existing frameworks using Git
  • Investigate the benefit of photonic reservoir computing for optical communication applications, e.g. equalization, classification, end-to-end learning
  • Supervise BSc and MSc student projects, and be co-supervisor for PhD students

Candidates are expected to have experience in setting up, characterizing, and automatizing experimental optical test beds, free-space and/or fiber-based, as well as with numerical modeling of physical problems and machine learning algorithms.

Additionally, the candidates are expected to have good communication skills in English (both written and spoken) and a proven ability to work independently, to plan, and carry out complicated tasks.

The candidates are expected to describe in the cover letter their previous experience with student supervision and project management, as well as their experimental skills. 

Moreover, the following skills will receive additional consideration: 

  • Experience with software for version control such as git
  • Theoretical understanding of extreme learning machine and/or reservoir computing
  • Theoretical understanding of nonlinear optics
  • Experience with numerical implementations of machine learning algorithms
  • Experience with machine learning frameworks such as Tensorflow and Pythorc
  • Experience with design and characterization of photonic circuits
  • Experience with supervising students
  • Innovative skills and the ability to generate new ideas

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent).

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 2 years with expected starting date in September 2021. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here. 

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Francesco Da Ros (

You can read more about DTU Fotonik on

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 30 June (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications
  • Copy/list of 5 peer-reviewed publications that are relevant to experimental work in optics and/or machine learning
  • Name and e-mail addresses of 2 references

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Fotonik has 210 employees with competencies in optics and is one of the largest centers in the world based solely on research in photonics. Research is performed within optical sensors, lasers, LEDs, photovoltaics, ultra-high-speed optical transmission systems, bio-photonics, nano-optics, and quantum photonics.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.