Our modern society depends entirely on global networks for high-capacity data communications, in which almost all data is carried by optical fibers. The physical layer algorithms in such communication systems are traditionally optimized for transmitting bit streams and are not optimal for modern packet-oriented applications. The aim of this project is to bridge this gap by designing innovative coding and decoding algorithms, inspired by a similar paradigm shift in wireless communications. The project is led by Professor Erik Agrell (IEEE Fellow) and funding is provided by a prestigious grant from the Swedish Research Council.

Information about the project and the division
Fiber-optic channels usually have a long memory due to the physical properties of lightwave propagation in combination with signal processing algorithms in transmitters and receivers. The traditional approach to such channels is to make them virtually memoryless by interleaving, and then apply classical physical-layer techniques optimized for memoryless channels. In this project, we will instead omit the interleaver and design channel-aware physical layer algorithms. Specifically, innovative coding, decoding, and channel estimation techniques are expected. The performance will be evaluated in terms of packet error rate theoretically and in simulations (no experiments), when applied to simplified optical channel models with memory.

At the Department of Electrical Engineering, we conduct internationally renowned research spanning many fields and including information and communication theory, machine learning, and signal processing. We offer a dynamic, supportive, international research environment with about 150 employees from more than 20 countries and an extensive national and international collaboration network that encompasses both other academic partners and industry. Our working language is English.

You will belong to a strong team of researchers in optical communications, organized in the research center FORCE. This center brings together researchers in communications, photonics, and electronics to solve hard problems in optical communications through a cross-disciplinary approach. The collaboration bridges traditional discipline boundaries and includes the whole chain from components to networks, from analysis to experiments.

Major responsibilities
Your main responsibility as postdoctoral researcher is to perform research and to present your results in major journals and conferences. You will have the freedom to independently formulate and solve research problems, within the general scope of the project. A limited amount of teaching and supervision may also be included in the position, depending on your preferences. Another important aspect involves collaboration within academia and with society at large. The position is meritorious for future research roles within academia as well as industry/the public sector.

  • Ph.D. degree (or close to completion) in digital communication systems, with focus on physical-layer algorithms
  • The Ph.D. degree should normally not be older than three years, excluding periods of parental leave, sick leave, and similar circumstances
  • Courses and experience in error-correcting coding
  • High grades in relevant Master’s and Ph.D. courses
  • Knowledge of optical or wireless communication systems (not necessarily both)
  • Experience in mathematical analysis and numerical optimization
  • Experience in implementing and simulating communication systems
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills in English
  • Publications as first author in IEEE and/or OSA journals
  • An open, creative, and collaborative mind


  • Courses and experience in coded modulation, shaping, information theory, and estimation and detection theory
  • Courses and experience in signal processing, fiber-optic communications, networks and protocols, and stochastic processes
  • Experience in cross-layer system design
  • Experience in channel modeling
  • Experience of channels with memory, for example bursty channels
  • Other publications
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Research visits, conference participation, and other international experience

Swedish language skills are not required for this position.

Contract terms
This postdoc position is a full-time temporary employment for two years with a competitive monthly salary and full social benefits. The starting date is late 2023 or early 2024, somewhat flexible. We hope for a diverse applicant pool.

We offerChalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg. Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure and documents
The application consists of an application form (use the button at the bottom of the page) and attachments. The following attachments are required and should be included as PDF files (not Word or Zip). The deadline is June 25 (may be extended). Do not send applications by email.

1. CV (Please name the document as: CV_Surname_20230336)
  • Educational and professional background
  • Awards and distinctions
  • Teaching and pedagogical experiences
  • Complete list of publications
  • Two reference persons whom we can contact, including if possible the your Ph.D. supervisor (give name, title, email, and relation to you)

2. Personal letter (Please name the document as: Letter_Surname_20230336) of 1–2 pages (not more) where you:  • Briefly introduce yourself.  • Describe how you intend to approach the problem of communications and coding for channels with memory. If possible, describe a specific research problem within the scope of the project described above and the methods you will use to solve it.
  • Cite 1–3 of your publications that you consider most relevant for your work in this project.
Applications with a generic personal letter and no reflections on this particular position or project will be rejected.

3. Ph.D. transcripts and degree certificates (Please name the document as: PhD_Surname_20230336)

4. Master’s transcripts and degree certificates (Please name the document as: Master_Surname_20230336)

5. Bachelor’s transcripts and degree certificates (Please name the document as: Bachelor_Surname_20230336)

For questions, please contact:
Prof. Erik Agrell
Communication Systems Group

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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