Dear Potential Students,

The Nanophotonics group at the National University of Singapore is recruiting for a total of ten fully-funded five-year PHD fellowship positions this year, and we are recruiting for multiple funded positions at our US organization at the University of Delaware.

Please note there is a December 15, 2012 deadline for some applicants- though it is possible for us to be flexible for strong applicants in some cases. See the end of this message for more information. If you have any questions about the deadline or the requirements, please contact us.

Our research concerns silicon photonics – essentially, re-designing computer chips so that they can manipulate photons as well as electrons. Some years ago, we founded one of the leading companies in this field (www.luxtera.com), and over the past several years silicon photonics has turned into an area of very rapid growth, both academically and commercially.

Our team at NUS is a new lab group that will be directed by myself and my colleague Prof. Tom Baehr-Jones, and will be closely affiliated with the UD Nanophotonics Lab in the US (http://nanophotonics.ece.udel.edu) and the OpSIS foundry multi-project wafer (MPW) service (http://www.opsisfoundry.org). This is an effort funded by the defense department and Intel, among others, to open up advanced processes to the world research community.

The US group and the Singapore group will be operating as a combined, distributed team, and there will be multiple opportunities for interactions between the two groups. Some of our senior students are transitioning from the US to Singapore to help ensure the success of this new organization.

Our research focuses on developing the field of integrated Silicon photonics. This includes research aimed at device development - making better modulators, detectors, and optical components. It also includes developing the techniques needed to design and build complex photonic systems. At present, most silicon photonics systems involve only a few components, but this is sure to change, as yields rise and the complexity available to designers increases. Our group in the US was instrumental in helping to develop one of the most advanced integrated photonics processes in the world, the OpSIS-IME platform. This platform is currently offered to the optics community, including both university and corporate researchers, in an MPW shuttle service. For more information on why we founded the OpSIS effort, and our long-term goals, please see our articles in Nature Photonics about the need in the field for such a service.

http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v6/n4/pdf/nphoton.2012.66.pdf?WT.ec_id=NPHOTON-201204
http://www.nature.com/nphoton/journal/v4/n8/full/nphoton.2010.172.html
All of our papers can be viewed at http://nanophotonics.ece.udel.edu/publications.html

Also, here is an open-access article that appeared in Nature about our efforts on OpSIS: http://www.nature.com/news/photonic-chips-made-easier-1.10264

Due to our affiliation with OpSIS, our students can expect to have access to the most advanced photonics processes in the world, including the OpSIS-IME platform and the Luxtera platform (http://www.luxtera.com). We will also have access to the facility at IME, which is one of the leading organizations in the world for semiconductor development, and which houses hundreds of millions of dollars of leading-edge tools. (http://www.ime.a-star.edu.sg)

Incidentally, we have started three companies over the past few years, and we encourage our students who have an interest in entrepreneurship to pursue similar activities. More information can be found on the group biography pages (http://nanophotonics.ece.udel.edu/people.html)

Our research philosophy is based on a back-to-basics approach; we believe that the best way to do original research is to know the rules of the game well - this is necessary to know which rules can be bent, and when. Accordingly, our main entrance requirement is a solid knowledge of math and physics. We have traditionally given out an entrance exam to potential students, composed of three or four problems testing fundamental skills - in an unusual way. Those who do well on the entrance exam - and there are usually only a couple every year who get all of the problems correct - are almost always given offers, even if their grades have not been at the top of their class. We also take into consideration other factors like research experience, but these are not required for admission to the group.

For an example of a previous year's exam, please see (http://nanophotonics.ece.udel.edu/problems_2009). Please note: this is _not_ this year's exam! There will be new problems this year. Do not solve the problems linked above. This year's exam will be made available around Jan 1, 2013, with a deadline Jan 20 2013.

We recruit students from multiple backgrounds, including ECE, EE, CS, Physics, Applied Math, and others. Basically, if you can do our test problems, you’re qualified to do world class work in our field; we’ll teach you the rest of what you need to know. Our students are in very hot demand, and it’s not unusual for them to be approached with outside job offers as early as their second or third year of graduate school. We are particularly proud to say that the first two postdoctoral scholars to emerge from our group have both found excellent positions: Ali took a position at Luxtera, and Jeremy has an excellent faculty position at a leading university in Germany (http://www.iph.rwth-aachen.de/?p=360)

We would encourage all interested potential students to take this exam, even if their experience is not directly photonics related. We will give strong consideration to any candidates who do very well on this exam, regardless of their grades or past experiences.

To be considered for our lab group, you must do the following things.

Most importantly:

1) Send an email to Prof. Tom Baehr-Jones (baehrjt@udel.edu) indicating you wish to be sent our entrance exam when it is ready. You will be sent the exam by email on Jan 1 2013. Please provide some information on your interest in the NUS and UD groups. We very strongly encourage all applicants to apply to both NUS and UD, since we have different projects in the different places. Make sure to include your CV with this letter.

Some of our fellowships have specific conditions for the country of origin for the applicants. As a result, please read the following carefully:

If you are from an ASEAN country (China, India, and others - Wikipedia Article on ASEAN Nations):

2) Apply to the National University of Singapore ECE department (http://www.gse.nus.edu.sg/research_based_august.html) by December 15, 2012. However, special exceptions can be granted for strong candidates and applications received as late as Jan 15 2013 can be considered in certain cases. These will be the "manual applications" as the online deadline has passed. In addition, you must send a copy of your application by email to Tom Baehr-Jones. We have a very strong preference for receiving these before Dec 15. If you are unable to submit the complete set of materials (for example test scores), send in what you have completed by that date.

If you are not from an ASEAN country (USA, Europe, middle east):

2) Apply to the National University of Singapore ECE department (http://www.ece.nus.edu.sg/academic/graduate/thematic.html) by December 15, 2012. However, special exceptions can be granted for strong candidates and applications received as late as Jan 15 2013 can be considered in certain cases. These will be the "manual applications" as the online deadline has passed. In addition, you must send a copy of your application by email to Tom Baehr-Jones. We have a very strong preference for receiving these before Dec 15. If you are unable to submit the complete set of materials (for example test scores), send in what you have completed by that date.

If you are not from an ASEAN country (USA, Europe, middle east):

3) Please also apply for the SINGA fellowship, deadline Jan 1, 2013. (https://www.singa.a-star.edu.sg/howtoapply.php) This is a hard deadline and extensions cannot be granted.

All candidates are also invited to apply to the University of Delaware at www.ece.udel.edu.

To summarize the deadlines: the last possible date to submit an application to NUS is Jan 15, 2013 for students from ASEAN countries. Students from other countries have a Jan 1, 2013 deadline due to the SINGA fellowship. However, it is preferable if applications can be submitted by Dec 15 2012.

Please note that the admission process for our lab group is in addition to the application process for the departments at UD and NUS. You must complete these applications in order to work with our group. We have significant latitude to admit students who do well on our exam, but you do have to complete the formal application forms, in addition to our group’s exam. We will conduct interviews of top candidates after the exam is complete.

Lastly, please note that our exam is not a requirement for admission to other groups at either NUS or UD. The exam is pertinent only to admission to the Nanophotonics group.

Thank you for your interest in our lab group. Please contact us with any questions.

Sincerely,
Prof. Tom Baehr-Jones
baehrjt@udel.edu

Prof. Michael Hochberg


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