PhD in Programmable and Flexible 5G and Beyond Networks

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Job description


imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create ground breaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer.

University of Antwerp – imec IDLab Research group

The Internet & Data Lab (IDLab) is an imec research group at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University. IDLab focuses its research on internet technologies and data science. IDLab is a joint research initiative between Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. Bringing together 300 internet experts, we develop technologies outperforming current solutions for communication subsystems, high speed and low power networking, distributed computing and multimedia processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence and web semantics. Within Antwerp, where you will work, the overall IDLab research areas are machine learning and wireless networking. IDLab has a unique research infrastructure used in numerous national and international collaborations.

IDLab collaborates with many universities and research centers worldwide and jointly develops advanced technologies with industry (R&D centers from international companies, Flanders’ top innovating large companies and SMEs, as well as numerous ambitious startups).

For further development of the IDLab Flexible Networking group, we are looking for a PhD candidate in the field of programmable and flexible 5G and beyond networks, as described in the next paragraphs.

The Job

  • You will work actively on the preparation and defence of a PhD thesis in the field of programmable and flexible 5G and beyond networks, focusing on the design, development and validation of innovative mechanisms for enhancing radio and core network functions towards supporting user mobility in challenging and heterogeneous smart city environments.
    • The work in this field will create a strong expertise in end-to-end 5G ecosystems that span a wide variety of network functions and virtualized resources, starting from the radio access networks, via network edge and transport, to the network core, thereby exploiting their openness and flexibility. In particular, 5G ecosystems are based on the 5th generation of the cellular communication system, which is gaining momentum while being deployed in the network infrastructure of mobile operators, thereby promising ultra-low latency and high bandwidth communication to mobile users, but also to vertical industries (e.g., automotive, transport and logistics, and e-health) that have stringent requirements for Quality of Service (QoS). As Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are the fundamental technologies for such systems, there is still an enormous potential to exploit when it comes to managing and orchestrating virtualized network infrastructure, i.e., functions and resources that 5G ecosystems are built upon.
    • The research will focus on designing and creating i) advanced techniques for distributed data collection from smart city environments (including sensors, edge computing nodes, radio and core networks, and users), ii) innovative mechanisms for managing virtualized 5G and beyond resources and service functions by leveraging on NFV and SDN technologies, the aforementioned data collection systems, as well as network intelligence with the use of machine learning techniques, and iii) optimized mobility algorithms that are enabling programmability of network flows that ultimately leads to improved mobility and service continuity. The use cases that will be designed for validation of such advanced mechanisms will focus on connected vehicles and vulnerable road users (VRUs), with an extremely strong component of hands-on experimentation within the available testbeds, such as CityLab and Smart Highway, as well as the in-house 5G testbeds.
  • You publish scientific articles related to the research project.
  • You carry out a limited number of teaching and research support tasks for the Electronics-ICT department at the Faculty of Applied Engineering and the IDLab research group.

Job requirements

The Job Requirements

  • You hold a Master’s degree in (Applied) Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Physics or equivalent, or you will have obtained it by the time you start working.
  • You can demonstrate excellent study results.
  • You have programming skills in any of the following programming languages: C, C++, Java, and Python. Moreover, experience with Bash, Matlab, Perl, and R, is a plus.
  • You have base-knowledge of computer networks, the protocol stack, and communications in general.
  • Knowledge about wireless systems (Wi-Fi, 4G, 5G, and beyond) and standardization bodies will be a plus.
  • Your teaching competencies are in line with the University of Antwerp’s educational vision.
  • Your research qualities are in line with the faculty and university research policies.
  • You act with attention to quality, integrity, creativity, and cooperation.
  • You are a team player and have strong communication skills.
  • Your English is fluent, both speaking and writing.

More information on the PhD topic: dr. Nina Slamnik-Krijestorac – and dr. Carlos Moreira e Silva –

HR-related questions: Michelle Nietvelt –


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