imec is a 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 groundbreaking 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 4000 brilliant minds from over 97 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.

Ghent University – imec IDLab Research group
The Internet Technology & Data Science Lab (IDLab) is an imec research group at Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. IDLab focuses its research on internet technologies and data science. Bringing together more than 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. 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 start-ups).
The IDLab NetModel team where this vacancy is offered consists of engineers and scientists who are building models for wired Internet architectures and optical networks. The NetModel group investigates network control mechanisms, network optimization and performance-related aspects of networks. The group has a strong track record in the domains of algorithm design, optical networks, network resilience and sofware-defined networking.
Novel multi-processor network architectures for high performance computing
Today’s top-notch high-performance computing (HPC) systems are technologically very advanced, providing unprecedented resources for e.g. big science, artificial intelligence, deep learning, climate modelling and big data. Together with our partners in research projects, we are investigating network architectures for deterministic and high-speed interconnection between the distributed processors of these HPC systems. In these projects, the IDLab NetModel team is responsible for the design of novel routing and network control algorithms. The PhD research will encompass a very broad exploration of topologies in the link- and networking layer. This includes varying design parameters as well as comparing a range of multi-stage switching or multi-layer network architectures. The PhD research will also examine the design of network control algorithms in support of HPC workloads by involving the setup and scheduling of connections and/or broadcasting trees, considering the underlying (electrical or optical) network and the bandwidth, data access, and timing requirements defined by the applications. These algorithms will allocate resources, optimizing performance while accounting for power saving techniques, such as managing sleep mode for various components of the network.
In order to face the different research challenges in this domain, we are looking for a researcher with strong modelling and algorithmic skills needed to advance this field.

Job description
The job

  • You will prepare a PhD dissertation over a duration of about 4 years, under the supervision of professors in the team.
  • You perform cutting-edge research in the domain of network control algorithms for novel multi-processor networks.
  • You design novel routing algorithms, scheduling mechanisms and architectures for these networks
  • You publish and present results both at international conferences and in scientific journals.
  • You validate your research through adequate quantitative measurements in a statistically meaningful manner
  • You will assist the research group with limited educational tasks.
  • We offer a full-time position as a Ph.D. scholarship recipient, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which –upon positive evaluation– can be extended to a maximum of 4 years

Job profile

Job requirements

  • Holder of a Master degree in Engineering, preferably Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or Photonics.
  • Strong mathematical and analytical skills for designing and implementing abstract models.
  • Strong interest in network modelling, algorithms and optimization.
  • Strong programming skills (e.g. Python, or C/C++, Java, …)
  • You work independently, have a strong feeling of responsibility and are able to commit to timing and milestones set forward by different research projects.
  • You are a team player and have strong communication skills.
  • A good knowledge of English (oral and written) is a must.

This PhD position is available immediately and is open until the vacancy is filled. The position is not open for post-docs.

How to apply

Apply by sending an email to prof. Mario Pickavet ( and prof. Wouter Tavernier ( Your application should include

  • your resume (curriculum vitae)
  • motivation letter (indicating both your research background/interest as well as any specific research skills)
  • a copy of your diploma and diploma supplement (with overview of all courses followed)

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