Jobs & study

Study with AiPT

The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies (AiPT) brings together over 100 academics, postdoctoral researchers, PhD students, visitors, technicians and administrators working on research projects in:

  • Optical fibre communications
  • Non-linear photonics
  • Fibre lasers
  • Biomedical optics
  • Optical fibre devices
  • Nanophotonics

Supported by £28m in research grants, the Institute comprises a mixture of theoreticians, modelers and experimentalists with facilities housed in more than 30 laboratories, built in 2017 with an investment of over £7m. We collaborate with more than 100 institutions, all over the world.

As a postgraduate you will join a cohort of approximately two dozen PhD students in this supportive research environment, which encourages excellence and a collaborative (often interdisciplinary) approach to solving the major research problems. Our research students and postdoctoral researchers have progressed to work in industry and in academia around the world as professors, senior managers and industrial research leaders.

Funded opportunities

Programme overview

SMARTNET is a collaborative two-year (120 ECTs) joint master degree,funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, with the goal to provide training in the inter-disciplinary fields of photonic and 5G wireless technologies for data communication, sensing and big data processing. It will be accomplished by leading European Universities with distinctive and complementary academic qualities and strong educational and research traditions, namely:

  • Aston University (Birmingham, UK), Aston, Coordinator (Areas of expertise: wireless and optical communications network systems, optical sensing)
  • Université Paris-Saclay (France), UPSaclay, through its member institution Télécom SudParis (Évry, France), TSP and Télécom ParisTech, TPT (Areas of expertise: physical layer of telecom and sensing networks, electromagnetic, nano-photonics, antenns design, microwave technology)
  • University of Athens (Athens, Greece, UoA) (Areas of expertise : digital signal processing, machine learning, Big data management systems, security of networks)

The programme complies with the ERASMUS mobility rules. Incoming students will start from any of the three institutions where they will spend the first two semesters of their studies and receive the core part of their training. The third semester will be carried out in a different institution and will include specialization courses that enhance the interdisciplinary of the offered degree. The fourth semester will be devoted to an independent project that will be reported in the Master’s thesis. Students will carry out their MSc project in close collaboration with industrial partners.  

SMARTNET has received the strong support of
17 industrial partners, who will provide internship opportunities to students and contribute to their training experience: 

Airbus, UK; OTE, Greece; Orange Labs, France; FAZ Technology, Ireland; Coriant R&D, Germany; AIT, Greece; Arden Photonics, UK; Keopsys, France; Orange Polska, Poland; CEMENTYS, France; EKINIOS, France; KTN, UK; EPIC, France; Network Rail, UK; Branscan, UK; Thales, France; Nokia Bell Labs, France; Phoenix Photonics, UK.

Key facts
Start date: October 2018
Duration: 2 years, 120 ECTs
Delivery: Lectures, workshops, small group seminars, individual and group presentations and projects, MSc dissertation
Qualification:International Multiple Master Degree
Study type: Full-time

For the initial contact, please email:

Professor Sergei Turitsyn: (AIPT Director, ERASMUS SMARTNET Coordinator)
Dr Stelios Sygletos: (AIPT MSc Programme Director)

SMARTNET website

Programme overview

PIXNET is a collaborative two-year (120 ECTs) joint master degree, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, that aims at training talented students to become capable of designing, realizing and assessing innovative Photonic Integrated Circuits for optical communication applications.PIXNET is supported by a consortium of leading universities from Europe and Japan, namely:

  • Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna (Pisa, Italy), SSSA, Coordinator
  • Aston University (Birmingham, UK), Aston University
  • Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (The Netherlands), TUE
  • OSAKA University (Japan), OSAKa

PIXNET exploits a significant complementarity of the expertise of the consortium partners and well defined mobility paths that bring practical and specific competence to the perspective students. All partners have strong expertise on optical communication theory and techniques and extensive system and network experimental facilities. The programme is intended for candidates that have a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Telecommunication Engineering, Physics, or related discipline.

All academic partners have strong relationships with industry or private/public research centres focused on technology transfer. In fact, in PIXNET is bringing a “dowry” of 19 companies/research centres who will support the programme as associated partners: 

  • 2 Large multinational companies: Ericsson, STMicroelectronics
  • 3 Large national companies operating in different sectors: TIM, Trenitalia, Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (Italy)
  • 5 International Research Institutes: Inter-universitary Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT, Italy) KDDI R&D Lab (Japan), Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), National Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (NICT, Japan), SurfNet (The Netherlands)
  • 10 Small Medium Enterprises: EFFECT Photonics (The Netherlands), Bright Photonics (The Netherlands), VTEC Lasers & Sensors (The Netherlands), Phoenix Software (The Netherlands), Lumerical Solutions (UK & Canada), PILOT Photonics (Ireland), Smart Photonics (The Netherlands), Genexis (The Netherlands), Phoenix Photonics (UK), InFibra Technologies (Italy)

Key facts

Start date: October 2018
Duration: 2 years, 120 ECTs
Delivery: Lectures, workshops, small group seminars, individual and group presentations and projects, MSc dissertation
Qualification:International Joint Master Degree
Study type: Full-time

For the initial contact, please email:

Professor Sergei Turitsyn: (AIPT Director)
Dr Stelios Sygletos: MSc Programme Director)

If you are interested in completing a PhD programme in this area please contact us by email to discuss your proposal or find out more about current opportunities.   

We offer 12-month, full-time postgraduate programmes relating to telecommunications, photonics, Internet and data network technologies commencing annually in October. Our Masters Level programmes have been designed in partnership with the UK's leading telecommunications organisations, our programme has the full support of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Federation of the Electronics Industry (FEI) Telecommunications and Radio Council. 

MSc in Wireless Communications and Wireless Networking prepares students for an intellectually challenging career as a qualified engineer

We also offer Distance and Part Time Masters  Study  options for our MSc programmes.

We can supervise projects in the following areas

Possible projects in photonics:

  • Laser technology for blood pressure measurement 
  • Cardiorespiratory sensing 
  • Fibre-optic sensing technology for the oil and gas industry 
  • Sensing for aerospace 
  • Low loss polymer fibre grating sensors 
  • Composite material sensing with embedded sensors 
  • Gas sensing 
  • Nonlinear pulse shaping for pulse generation and optical processing 
  • Advanced microstructured waveguides for optical networks 
  • Nonlinear signal processing for telecommunications 
  • Super-channel transponders for ultra-high speed long-haul transmission 
  • Advanced multi-mode fibre transmission systems for data centre applications 
  • Femtosecond laser induced diamond nanostructures for photonics 
  • applications 

Possible projects in wireless communications:

  • Quantitative analysis of failure in Wireless Sensor networks. 
    Wireless sensor networks will form a backbone for the "Internet of Things" vision for the future. As the applications develop there will be a need to consider the network characteristics as part of the overall functional safety design of systems. The aim of this project is to study how node failures in a wireless sensor network affect an overall system failure rate for different network topologies and protocols.
  • Linear Topology Wireless Sensor Networks
    There are numerous applications for wireless sensor networks which require linear network topologies. These include the monitoring of oil pipelines, power lines and railway and roadside monitoring. The aim of this project will be to examine how well current network protocols operate in these scenarios and to develop and optimise a protocol optimised specifically for them.

Possible projects in Nanotechnology:

  • Diamond based electronic devices for harsh environments
  • Nanodiamond particles for biomedical applications
  • Femtosecond laser induced diamond nanostructures for photonics applications

Possible projects in Applied Physics:

  • Numerical modelling of femtosecond laser-matter interaction

How to apply  

How to apply

How to apply



Scholarships and funding options

SMARTNET Erasmus Mundus Programme

SMARTNET Erasmus Mundus Programme

SMARTNET EMJMD is a two-year (120 ECTS) joint master degree program with the mission to provide unique training opportunities to a cohort of talented young engineers and scientist in the inter-disciplinary fields of photonic and 5G wireless technologies for data communication, sensing and big data processing. First call opens on 1st December 2017.