Research Associate in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics

Imperial College London Department of Mathematics

Job summary

We are looking for a Research Associate to contribute to the theoretical component of a collaborative project aimed at the development of network lasers made of III-V semiconductors. This post is theoretical and will be embedded within a larger project involving close collaboration with experimentalists and theoreticians at Imperial and IBM. The post will focus on the development of mathematical and modelling techniques across domains using a...

Job listing information

  • Reference NAT00795
  • Date posted 5 November 2020
  • Closing date 17 December 2020

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington Campus (map)
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £40,215 – £47,579 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Mathematics
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

We are looking for a Research Associate to contribute to the theoretical component of a collaborative project aimed at the development of network lasers made of III-V semiconductors. This post is theoretical and will be embedded within a larger project involving close collaboration with experimentalists and theoreticians at Imperial and IBM. The post will focus on the development of mathematical and modelling techniques across domains using a combination of Maxwell-Bloch equations on one hand and network theory on the other. The aim is to design optimised network structures that will inform experimental studies in close iteration. This is a joint project between Prof Mauricio Barahona (Applied Mathematics), Prof Ortwin Hess (Condensed Matter Theory Group) and Dr Riccardo Sapienza (Experimental Solid State Group) at Imperial College London. Our team encompasses expertise in nano-photonics and lasing spectroscopy, both experimental and theoretical, as well as on the theory of network dynamics and graph-based machine learning. This project is also supported by a close collaboration with the group of Kristen Moselund at IBM Zurich, an expert in III-V semiconductor lasers. The successful candidate should expect to be involved in both modelling and design, using both electromagnetic models and network theory and will collaborate with an extended group of theorists and experimentalists, including other postdocs and several PhD students both in London and Zurich.

This is a fixed-term post to work on unconventional III-V lasers integrated on chip. Mirrorless and nanostructured lasers are an exciting and novel research avenue, with great technological potential. When many lasers are coupled, the complexity grows and often the lasing operation becomes uncontrolled. Our project aims to develop coupled lasers on a network for on-chip and neuromorphic applications. 

You will study light transport and lasing from (i) coupled nano lasers and (ii) nanoscale networks formed of interconnected sub-wavelength waveguides, in order to understand how the network topology determines the lasing process and how we can control it. You will therefore design, simulate and analyze nanolasers or arrays of lasers organized in different topologies by relating the physical equations describing lasing dynamics to graph properties of the networks. You will exploit state-of-the-art simulation and machine learning tools to find the excitation profile to unbalance the lasing dynamics and achieve control of the lasing properties. Ongoing experiments and theoretical proof of concept are in place.

Some references:

  • A nanophotonic laser on a graph, M Gaio, et al. Nature Communications 10, 226 (2019)
  • Determining random lasing action, R Sapienza Nature Reviews Physics, 1-6 (2019).
  • Suppressing spatiotemporal lasing instabilities with wave-chaotic microcavities S Bittner, et al. Science 361, 1225-1231 (2018)
  • Scale-dependent measure of network centrality from diffusion dynamics, A Arnaudon, RL Peach, M Barahona Physical Review Research 2, 033104 (2020)
  • Semi-supervised classification on graphs using explicit diffusion dynamics, RL Peach, A Arnaudon, M Barahona Foundations of Data Science 2 (1), 19-33 (2020)
  • Multiscale dynamical embeddings of complex networks M T Schaub, J-C Delvenne, R Lambiotte, M Barahona Phys. Rev. E 99, 062308 (2019)

Duties and responsibilities

You will contribute to independent and original research within the Group, submit publications to refereed journals and assist with the administration of the Research Group. You will be self-motivated and be able to work alongside and aid graduate students.

Essential requirements

You will have a PhD (or equivalent) in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering or a closely related discipline.

Interdisciplinary research and collaboration with theoreticians and experimentalists in other groups of the Department of Physics and Mathematics are an important aspect of this project.

Further information

The post is joint between the Department of Mathematics and Department of Physics.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £35,477 - £38,566 per annum.

More information about the Department of Physics and the Department of Mathematics, as well as staff benefits that we offer can be found on the linked webpages.

More information about the Experimental Solid State Physics Group, the Applied Mathematics and Mathematical Physics Section, and IBM research Zurich can be found on the linked pages and at  http://sapienzalab.org.

This post is available for up to 24 months, commencing as soon as possible.

Queries relating to the position should be directed to Dr Riccardo Sapienza, email r.sapienza@imperial.ac.uk

Please complete the online application form including:

  • A college application form
  • A full CV
  • A 2-page research statement (in addition to the supporting statement on the application form) indicating what you see are interesting research issues relating to the above post and why your expertise is relevant

Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Mrs Juraci Didone, Section Administrator, email: j.didone@imperial.ac.uk

For technical issues when applying online, please contact: recruitment@imperial.ac.uk.

The Department of Physics is an IoP JUNO Champion and an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research