Postdoctoral Research Associate in Quantum Communication

University of New South Wales


Postdoctoral Research Associate

Apply now Job no: 500676
Work type: Full-time
Location: Sydney, NSW
Categories: Post doctoral research fellow

  • One of Australia’s leading research & teaching universities
  • Vibrant campus life with a strong sense of community & inclusion
  • Enjoy a career that makes a difference by collaborating & learning from the best

Quantum communication is a translational technology that will make an impact on society long before quantum computation will. First commercial offerings of secure quantum communication solutions based on heavily attenuated laser pulses are already on the market, but devices that make use of true quantum single-photon (discrete variable) sources can still only be found in university laboratories. In this project, we plan to deliver a compact quantum key distribution prototype based on discrete variable technology. We aim to demonstrate quantum key distribution with a secure bit rate based on polarization-encoded optical photons.

The project aims to develop a free-space optical quantum communication prototype based on single-photon sources. The Research Associate will work on the aspect of setting up and programming the emitter and receiver to implement polarization-encoded quantum key distribution protocols. A good understanding of experimental optics is desirable. Some theoretical understanding of quantum communications is also desirable. This project offers the Research Associate the opportunity to work on an exciting and emerging quantum technology that is positioned at the border of university research and industrial translation.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will develop a full working prototype of a quantum key system based on polarised single photons at optical frequencies. Starting with compact optical assemblies for the transmitter and receiver, you will then develop and code the control electronics and implement all steps (quantum and classical) of the quantum key distribution protocol. The photon source will be supplied to you and its development will not form part of the project.

About the role

  • $96K - $104K plus 17% Superannuation and annual leave loading
  • Fixed Term – 18 months
  • Full time (35 hours)

The role of Research Associate reports to Professor Robert Malaney and has no direct reports.

Specific responsibilities for this role include:

  • Assist with setting up and programming the emitter and receiver to implement polarization-encoded quantum key distribution protocols Complete maintenance, benchmarking, trouble-shooting and repair work on laboratory infrastructure systems including gas delivery systems.
  • Conducts research and project objectives in the area of developing a full working prototype of a quantum key system based on polarised single photons at optical frequencies.
  • Contribute to the writing of scientific papers and reports for international journals and progress reporting to other researchers and industry partners.
  • Assist with the coordination of research activities and actively contribute to research outputs to meet project milestones.
  • Assist with administrative functions primarily connected with the area of interests of the academic
  • Contribute to the preparation of research proposal submissions to funding bodies and actively seek collaboration with industry partners as appropriate.
  • Participate in and/or present at conferences and/or workshops relevant to the project as required.
  • Comply with all the UNSW research policies including the UNSW Intellectual Property Policy
  • Align with and actively demonstrate the UNSW Values in Action: Our Behaviours and the UNSW Code of Conduct.
  • Cooperate with all health and safety policies and procedures of the university and take all reasonable care to ensure that your actions or omissions do not impact on the health and safety of yourself or others.

Selection Criteria

To be successful in this role you will have:

  • A completed Master’s or PhD degree in physics or electrical engineering.
  • Demonstrated research capability in physics or electrical engineering (not necessarily in quantum physics), as evidenced by a Master’s/PhD thesis, journal publications, conference proceedings, or internal reports.
  • Demonstrated experience in the construction of experimental setups in either an electronics or physics laboratory, as well as the computer control of scientific instruments.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research with limited supervision.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team, collaborate across disciplines and build effective relationships.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to communicate and interact with a diverse range of stakeholders and students.
  • An understanding of and commitment to UNSW’s aims, objectives and values in action, together with relevant policies and guidelines.
  • Knowledge of equal opportunity principles in a diverse, multi-cultural environment.
  • Knowledge of health and safety responsibilities and commitment to attending relevant health and safety training

You should systematically address the selection criteria listed within the position description in your application.

For informal queries, please see the below contact details. 

Otherwise, please apply online - applications will not be accepted if sent directly to the contact listed.

Rober Malaney

Applications close: January 20th, 2021

Find out more about working at UNSW at

UNSW aspires to be the exemplar Australian university and employer of choice for people from diverse backgrounds. UNSW aims to ensure equality in recruitment, development, retention and promotion of staff and that no-one is disadvantaged on the basis of their gender, cultural background, disability, sexual orientation or identity or Indigenous heritage. We encourage everyone who meets the selection criteria to apply.

UNSW partners with Australia’s leading diversity organisations, networks, and campaigns. Please refer to UNSW’s diversity offerings for further information on our flexible work and leave options, and support for carers (childcare, parent rooms, parental leave).

Position Description

Advertised: 14 Dec 2020 AUS Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: 20 Jan 2021 AUS Eastern Daylight Time

In your application, please refer to


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