PhD Position: Wireless Communication with Ambient Light

Research / Academic

For almost a century, radio frequency has monopolized wireless communication. Only recently, we have started to use visible light to transmit information. Key to this major development is the ability to modulate LEDs (similar to the concept of turning a flashlight on/off to send Morse codes, but at such high speeds that no flickering effects are created). But not all lights can be modulated. For example, we cannot modulate the sun, but it would be transformative if we could untap that vast amount of optical energy to carry out massive wireless communication. You will be part of team that is working towards creating a radically different wireless channel: one that relies solely on ambient light and operates in a sustainable (no batteries) and privacy-preserving (no cameras) manner.  

You will develop a new communication platform based on smart materials that can control the amount of light passing through them (similar to the concept of using a mirror to communicate via light reflections). You will build novel hardware, model the platform mathematically, develop new wireless protocols and evaluate the overall system on real outdoor scenarios. The ultimate goal is to transform the ‘dead’ surfaces in our cities into wireless transmitters: ambient light will impinge over the exposed surfaces of buildings, cars, tram stops, etc., and these surfaces will reflect back light but with embedded information.


Applicants must have a Master's degree in computer science, electrical engineering or a closely related field. A good knowledge of wireless communications and embedded systems is required. The position demands strong analytical and programming skills, as well as eagerness to build new systems and perform experimental work. The successful applicant should have good English language proficiency and a team player personality. Prior knowledge on Visible Light Communication is a plus.

Salary Benefits:

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Work Hours:

38 - 40 hours per week


Mekelweg 2