PhD vacancy on Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning for Future Mobile Networks (5G and beyond)


Job description

Ghent University

Ghent University is one of the major Belgian universities founded in 1817. It has over 49,000 students and 15,000 employees. It has 11 faculties that offer more than 230 high-quality courses in various scientific disciplines, each inspired by innovative research. It is also the first European University in the Songdo Global University Campus in South Korea. It has participated in several highly competitive European FP7 and H2020 research projects. Ghent University has a QS ranking of 147 and times higher education ranking of 96. It has seen many eminent scientists, ministers and even Nobel Prize winners among its staff and alumni.


​imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies. The combination of its widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes imec unique. By leveraging world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, imec creates groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.

As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities imec brings together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer.

imec IDLab Research group

The Internet & Data Lab (IDLab) is an imec research group at Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. IDLab focuses its research on internet technologies and data science. IDLab is a joint research initiative between Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. Bringing together more than 300 internet experts, IDLabs develops technologies outperforming current solutions for communication subsystems, high speed and low power networking, distributed computing and multimedia processing, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and web semantics. IDLab has a unique research infrastructure used in numerous national and international collaborations.

IDLab collaborates with many universities and research centers worldwide and jointly develops advanced technologies with industry (R&D centers from international companies, Flanders’ top innovating large companies and SMEs, as well as numerous ambitious startups).

The IDLab wireless team at Ghent University consists of more than 30 researchers and has gained profound scientific expertise and knowledge on wireless networking with a prime focus on end-to-end connectivity solutions covering all layers in the end-to-end protocol stack. For the AI wireless team, which is a cluster of the IDLab wireless team, we are looking for a Ph.D. candidate in the domain of AI/ML for Future Mobile Networks (5G and beyond).


Beyond 5G (B5G) wireless systems are expected 1) to increase data rates significantly, 2) to provide ultra-low latency and ultra-high reliability for business-critical and mission critical communications, 3) to support massive number of devices, and 4) to bring improvements in resource efficiency (energy, spectrum, and cost). Moreover, this new generation of networking systems aims to be fully Autonomous Networks (ANs) with management capabilities such as self-configuration, self-healing, self-optimizing, and self-evolving, aspects that today’s networks do not support as their management is mainly pre-engineered.

Advances in AI and ML during the last 5-10 years have provided a new set of algorithms and tools to solve challenging problems in multiple domains by learning complex relationships directly from data. These algorithms are also very promising to empower the new generation of intelligent decision engines that present self-dynamic capabilities to create smart business and network operations in a closed-loop fashion. In our group, you, in collaboration with other PhDs students and Senior Researchers, will design, develop, implement, and evaluate novel AI/ML solutions for Radio Access Network (RAN) and transport network optimization for 5G and beyond. The developed and implemented solutions will be analyzed and evaluated in an end-to-end fashion in our test bed ( A new O-RAN compliant 5G/6G testbed supporting multiple RATs will be available in our testbed in Q1 of 2022.

Job requirements

  • You have (or will receive within a few months) a Master in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical, Electronic Engineering, or equivalent.
  • You have a keen interest in doing research on Future Mobile Networks (5G and beyond)
  • You have a good knowledge on Mobile Networks architectures.
  • Prior experience with developing and testing of 5G RAN and Core Network (CN) software stacks (e.g., srsLTE, OAI, SD-RAN, etc.) ranging from PHY layer to MAC, RRC, RLC, and PDCP layers on the RAN side and the functional blocks of AMF, SMF, UPF, and others of the 3GPP 5G Core Network is an advantage.
  • Experience in Reinforcement Learning and multi-agent learning is an advantage.
  • You have excellent programming skills in C++, MATLAB, and Python.
  • Experience in linux for networking and experimentation is also an advantage.
  • You have a good grip on Machine Learning libraries e.g., TensorFlow and scikit-learn.
  • Having published in high-ranking conferences and journals in the field is an advantage.
  • You are well-organized and able to autonomously plan and execute tasks.
  • You have strong analytical skills to interpret the obtained research results.
  • You are a team player and have strong communication skills.
  • Your English is fluent, both in speaking and writing.

The job

  • Under the supervisor of Prof. Ingrid Moerman, Prof. Eli De Poorter and Dr. Adnan Shahid, you will prepare a Ph.D. dissertation on AI/ML for RAN and transport network optimization for 5G and beyond.
  • You will do research in the AI wireless team which is a cluster of the IDLab Wireless team.
  • You will design, develop, implement, and evaluate novel AI/ML solutions for RAN and transport optimization and compare with existing state-of-the-art-methods.
  • You will publish and present results both at international conferences and in scientific journals.
  • You will participate in the framework of national and European research projects and collaborate on a technical level with research partners from industry.
  • You will assist in limited educational tasks of the research group

Our offer

  • We offer a full-time position as a Ph.D. scholarship recipient, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which –upon positive evaluation– will be extended to a maximum of 4 years
  • We offer a dynamic and international work environment with a competitive salary and ample training and self-development opportunities.
  • The PhD position is available starting from March 2022


For further information, please contact Dr. Adnan Shahid –

How to Apply?

Please apply via:

Your application should include the following documents:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV, including diploma and transcript of records (bachelor and master) and contact information of 3 reference persons.