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 PhD Position/Research fellowship 
in Radio Astronomy Instrumentation

This position is filled.     

Thesis title: Cryogenically integrated Ultra-Wideband(UWB) antenna and LNAs for the next generation radio-astronomy receivers.

Supervisor: Dr Shahram Amiri (POAM Electronics Ltd)

Co-Supervisor: Dr Lucio Piccirillo (University of Manchester)

Recruitment Institution: POAM Electronics Ltd, Manchester, UK

Doctoral School: University of Manchester, UK

Mobility: The ESR will spend six months of secondment at the University of Manchester.



Thesis Description:

The future development of radio astronomy requires large decade-bandwidth telescopes. Cryogenically cooled broadband receivers allow for higher sensitivity in the study of celestial objects and astronomical phenomena. They also have a practical advantage in that fewer receivers are needed to cover the operating band of a telescope. The development of high-sensitivity receivers presents several challenges. Wideband feed horns typically suffer from poorer spillover and aperture efficiencies. Beam symmetry and cross-polar performance are also typically degraded. Wideband Low noise amplifiers (LNAs) with noise figures equal to their narrowband counterparts are difficult to produce, and these LNAs must be highly linear in order to avoid second-order interference products. A significant challenge in the development of a cryogenic wideband horn and LNA covering the 10:1 bandwidth is achieving a low noise figure while maintaining a high return loss.


The thesis aims to the system design of a cryogenically Ultra-Wideband (UWB) feed, and LNAs are considered with emphasis on their application in future wideband radio telescope systems. The design requires careful integration of various sub-designs in order to realize cryogenic operation. The various sub-designs include the electrical design of the Horn antenna, alternative solutions for integrating the horn antenna with low noise amplifiers (LNAs), mechanical and cryogenic design and tests, and system noise temperature estimation and measurements. The objective of this work is to present a good front-end candidate that is well-suited for next-generation radio telescope receivers.


The thesis is part of the ACO network, whose ultimate goal is to reconstruct the early history of the Solar System by comparing presently forming solar-type planetary systems with its small bodies. The comparison will be based on the most advanced astrochemical knowledge, which will be developed by the interdisciplinary ACO team.

Requested background: The successful applicant must be a highly motivated individual with a Master’s degree in Physics or RF Engineering by the time of enrollment and a strong focus on laboratory work. Excellent undergraduate and Master's degree grades are expected as well as a high level of written and spoken English. Previous experience in antenna design, Cryogenic systems, and a programming language (CST Microwave C++, Labview) will be appreciated. Team workability is essential.


Salary: The gross amount of the Research fellowship is paid as follows:

- 36 months: £ 34,773 to £ 47,823 per annum, including family and mobility allowance where applicable.

See details on the financial aspects of Marie Sklodowska-Curie-ITN in the Guide for applicants Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks (ITN) 2018, published at


How to apply:

Send an email to the address; The mail should include a letter of interest, a CV in pdf format and at least one recommendation letter.

Closing date for application:  Sep. 2019

Expected date of recruitment: between 1 September and 1 November 2019.


This position has already been filled.

Radio Astronomy

 instrumentation specialist


Your job: Work on the next-generation radio telescope design. 


Required qualifications:

  • Good background in radio astronomy instrumentation and RF engineering

  • Fluent in English

  • Able to work in a fast-moving organization

  • Decision maker

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

Working time: Full-time. But flexible and with home office possibilities.

Student / Thesis Opportunity: Yes

How to apply:

Send an email to the address: The mail should include a letter of interest and a CV in pdf format.

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