Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Electrical and Computer Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 October 2022 or later.

Reconfigurable Intelligent Surface for Wireless Sensing (RISing)

Research area and project description:
Reconfigurable intelligent surface (RIS) is a surface with controllable phase shifts that can manipulate wavefronts in real time. RIS enables the environment to be engineered, and thus creates a new paradigm for communication and sensing. While the concept of RIS has a long history in the electromagnetic literature, little work has been done analyzing the application of RIS in signal processing areas. For instance, RIS can be used for wireless sensing, a recent promising direction that explores the application of wireless signal to sense the environment. This includes for example, positioning/localization, human activity detection and environment monitoring.

Wireless sensing exploits characteristics of measured wireless channels for activity sensing, it is of importance for a variety of applications such as activity monitoring, security surveillance, crowd counting, elderly and children care. The current state-of-the-art suffers from significant performance loss when there are no line-of-sight (LOS) paths. This can be solved by placing an RIS in appropriate locations to create virtual LOS paths. In this project,  the objective is to obtain a better understanding on how RIS can be used for sensing and to fully utilize its potential. The goals of this PhD project is to (i) develop models for the signal propagation with RIS and analysis its fundamental limits; (ii) design sensing signals from both the transmitter and the RIS ; (iii) develop low complexity algorithms for positioning and tracking with the aid of RIS; (iv) detect human activities and track movements using RIS in non-line-of-sight scenarios.

The Network Computing, Communications and Storage (NETX) Group operates at the intersection of theory and implementation of communication and computation, machine learning, distributed systems, and Cloud/Edge technologies. For this reason, we encourage applicants with a strong theoretical profile or a strong implementation/programming profile (or ideally both) to apply. Our group also counts with a new and well-funded laboratory to deploy large storage server pods, computing servers, ARM micro-servers for energy efficient edge operations, GPU work station, Jetson TX2 boards and a number of end-user devices.

Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences:
We are looking for highly motivated and independent students willing to take the challenge to do a successful 3-year PhD programme in Aarhus University. The ideal candidate will have the following profile (but not all items are required for a successful application):

  • Relevant Master’s degree (e.g., Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Electrical Engineering), although exceptional candidates from related disciplines (e.g., Applied Mathematics) will also be considered.
  • Excellent undergraduate and master degree grades are required.
  • Background on signal processing, machine learning, information theory or communication systems is highly desired, but candidates from other disciplines will be considered based on their merits and potential.
  • Background on linear algebra, mathematics and statistics is desired.
  • Strong background on programming, particularly C++ or python, is required.
  • Good English verbal and written skills are required.

Place of employment and place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Turing Building (5341), Åbogade 34, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application. Application deadline is 01 August 2022 23:59 CEST. Preferred starting date is 1 October 2022.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.