Our interconnected and automated world increasingly demands ways to monitor objects in a contactless way. With a variety of wireless sensing and monitoring technologies readily available, a number of crucial applications still lack adequate solutions due to highly challenging operating requirements, e.g., when there is a need to operate in extremely cluttered environments, such as at sea or underground, or when the object of interest is very small. In such cases, conventional tracking methods with active, battery-powered, tags or tag-less approaches using regular radar or camera sensors often prove to be inapplicable and there is a pressing need for alternative solutions. A possible answer is offered by the nonlinear radar technology.

In contrast to conventional radar, in a nonlinear radar system the object of interest produces a nonlinear (e.g., harmonic or intermodulation) response. This is typically enabled by attaching a passive, battery-less, harmonic transponder tag to the target. The main advantage of nonlinear operation is that the background clutter is greatly reduced, since RF reflections from most objects are linear. This enables sensing functionality in situations where traditional methods perform poorly. Another advantage is that the tag can be made fully passive (no battery) which facilitates its miniaturization, reduces its price and removes maintenance challenges typical for active tags. These attributes make it an attractive technology for such applications as insect tracking, search and rescue, and buried infrastructure control.

The goal of this project is to develop innovative solutions for nonlinear radar systems that maximize the operational range, ensure accurate tag localization and enable multitarget tracking.

The main tasks in this position will be to

  • develop a theoretical framework for a distributed multi-node nonlinear radar system that utilizes low-cost, low-power transmitters;
  • investigate tag localization algorithms and design an optimal localization strategy;
  • design and test a system prototype, e.g., based on the software-defined radio.


  • You are a highly motivated, enthusiastic and curiosity-driven candidate who has a passion for application-oriented research that combines theoretical analysis with algorithm development and hardware/software implementation, as well as experience and interest in one or more of the following areas: radar system design, microwave design, signal processing.
  • You have, or will shortly acquire, a M.Sc. degree in the field of Electrical Engineering, or a closely related study program.
  • You have good team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment.
  • You are proficient in English, both spoken and written.


  • We offer an exciting temporary research position in a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high societal relevance.
  • As a PhD student at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment;
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU);
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.541,- (first year) to € 3.247,- (fourth year);
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.


Are you interested to be a part of our team? Please send your application before 15th of July 2022 via the “apply now” button and include:

  • an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and relevance of your experience and qualifications for this position
  • a detailed CV (resume) including a publication list, if applicable
  • academic transcripts of B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees
  • proof of sufficient knowledge of English language, e.g., TOEFL, IELTS test results (not required if English is your mother tongue or you did your MSc in English).

For more information please contact Dr. Ing. Anastasia Lavrenko via a.lavrenko@utwente.nl


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