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Microwave photonics: Waveform Generation and Applications PhD


Course facts

  • Name: Microwave photonics: Waveform Generation and Applications
  • Qualification: PhD

A fully funded PhD studentship to start September 2019 is available in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering.

The three-year studentship, supported by Bangor University’s Great Heritage Fund, will cover the UK/EU tuition fee, provide a maintenance stipend in line with UKRI rates (provisionally £14,553 per annum for full time award holders) and funding for research costs. The primary supervisor will be Dr Yanhua Hong, with co-supervision from Prof. Paul Spencer and Prof. Chris Hancock.

Frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) microwave signals have special properties, which may be applied to new and novel applications.  The prime application for FMCW microwave signals is in continuous-wave radar systems to simultaneously measure target distance and moving speed. FMCW microwave signals have also been used in biomedical applications.

The aim of this project is to use photonics to assist FMCW microwave generation and investigate their application to medical and biological uses, for example identifying tissue layers within the body.  The project will involve numerical and experimental investigation of the generation of FMCW microwaves based on nonlinear dynamics of optical injection semiconductor lasers.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Entry Requirements

This project is suitable for students with a good undergraduate degree in physics, engineering or a related subject and an interest in experimental and simulation studies leading to the real-world application of technology.

Prior experiences of one or more of the following areas is advantageous: 1) Optical components, including semiconductor lasers, SOAs and VCSELs; 2) Nonlinear dynamics of semiconductor lasers; 3) MATLAB; 4) LabVIEW.


Applications are invited from candidates who have, or are about to obtain, a minimum of a 2i Honours degree, or an appropriate Master’s degree in Electronic Engineering, Physics, or a related discipline.  The closing date for applications is 31 March 2019. Interviews will be held approximately four weeks after the closing date.

Apply via the University’s on-line Direct Applications System.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Yanhua Hong.

The University values diversity and equality and encourages applications from all sections of the community. International students must satisfy English Language Requirements, in this case English Language Competency 6.0 IELTS minimum will also be needed.

Bangor University is a vibrant research-led institution, uniquely situated between the mountains of Snowdonia and the sea. The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering has over 30 academic staff and support staff. Core research interests include: optoelectronics, organic electronics, laser micromachining, optical communication, medical devices, materials for extreme environments, nuclear engineering, data science and visualisation and modelling graphics.

Closing date for Applications: 31st March 2019.

Note: Applicants must provide a CV (including the names and addresses of two referees) and a letter of motivation explaining why they want to apply for the project and detailing any relevant experience they have,

Application advice

Applications for research degrees differ substantially from applications for taught courses such as Masters degrees. Although the application form is the same, the way in which you approach your application can make all the difference.

Applying for a self-funded or externally-funded Research Degree

As with all of our courses, you can apply to fund yourself through a PhD/Mphil at Bangor, or you may already have sourced external funding (e.g. from your employer or government), and we warmly welcome all expressions of interest in so doing. However, rather than simply filling in an application form, there are a few steps that you can take in order that your application stands a greater chance of being successful.

All PhD/Mphil students require supervision from at least one academic member of staff at the University, and if you are considering a PhD/Mphil, you will already have a good idea of the specific area or theme that you want to research. In order to ascertain that we hold sufficient expertise in your chosen topic to provide supervision, you should first look at our staff pages. This will provide you with a breakdown of each staff member’s area of academic focus.

Once you have found a member of staff whose research interests broadly accord with your own, you should contact them directly with a concise research ‘brief’ that outlines your proposal and ask whether s/he would consider supervising your project. If the academic expresses his/her interest, you may then further discuss your ideas and develop a full PhD/Mphil research proposal.

At this stage, you should formally apply online for the PhD/Mphil programme. You should fill the form out thoroughly, including academic references, your research proposal and the name of the academic member of staff under whose supervision you intend the research to be conducted.

Your research proposal

A good research proposal is essential if you are applying for a PhD or MPhil. The proposal should include:

  1. Overview – give a brief abstract of the subject area you wish to research and include information on the key theoretical, policy or empirical debates that will be addressed.
  2. Planning – you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the research timescales and have a plan in place to conduct your work. You need to demonstrate that the research is manageable in the given time period.
  3. Literature references – you need to show that your planned area of research has not been studied before. Provide references to key articles and texts relevant to your area of study.
  4. Methodology – you need to show that you are aware of the methodological tools available and have identified which ones would be suitable for your research.

More advice about preparing a research proposal

Applying for funded PhD studentships advertised by Bangor University

Funded PhD studentship opportunities arise frequently throughout the year, and are advertised as specific opportunities for which you must formally apply. The application process for funded PhD studentships may differ according to the academic School in which the studentship opportunity is held, so please check the relevant School’s homepage and follow the application advice therein. If you are unsure of any part of the application process, please contact the individual School for advice, or e-mail

Online applications can now be made by prospective applicants for all postgraduate taught programmes and postgraduate research programmes at the University (with the exception of the PGCE, Diploma in Occupational Therapy and DClinPsy).

Home/EU students

Apply Online here...

Apply online

  • Please read through the Guidance Notes before you begin the online application form
  • Apply online yourself through our online application system.

Home/EU students with admissions queries please contact...

Postgraduate Admissions:, telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717 or write to:

Postgraduate Admissions Office.
Academic Registry
Bangor University
Gwynedd UK
LL57 2DG

International students

  • Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here.  For further guidance click here

International students with admissions queries please contact...

International Education Office: or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028

When do I Apply?

The University will accept applications throughout the year. We would generally advise that you submit your application in enough time for you to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application.This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer (e.g. in the case of overseas students, taking an IELTS or TOEFL test to meet the English Language requirement).

Further information

Next steps