University of Luxembourg

PhD candidates in MetaCognitive Radar: Next generation of Cognitive Radar

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The Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) is carrying out interdisciplinary research in secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT systems and services, often in collaboration with industrial, governmental or international partners. The SPARC group in SnT is pursuing research on radar signal processing in partnership with national and international academic and industrial collaborators.  Updated information about SPARC is available here:

We’re looking for people driven by excellence, excited about innovation, and looking to make a difference. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place!

Your Role

During the past two decades, enabling cognition in radar has heralded a new era of radar system design and engineering. Cognitive radars (CRs), offer advanced sensing capabilities by simultaneously optimizing both transmit and receive processing in response to the changes in the target environment. In general, a cognitive radar is designed to apply a single specific framework or algorithm to achieve its desired performance based on a pre-determined criteria. Since radars perform a multitude of tasks such as detection, estimation and tracking, in practice, a single cognitive radar framework is insufficient to address changes in the system hardware and channel environment over long periods of time. In such cases, there has been recent efforts on going beynd the current cognitive framework leading to the emerging concept of metacognitive radar.   Similar to cognition, the concept of metacognition is also borrowed from neurobiology where it denotes the process of knowing and controlling cognition. This confluence of control and learning theories in cognitive radars is a more recent development driven by the challenges in implementing advanced detection, estimation, and classification features.  Considering the importance of metacognition in radar, the SPARC group has envisaged a research project and managed to acquire research funding for a PhD position.

In the aforementioned project, SPARC research group will focus on the radar signal processing, cognitive frameworks and their selection in a metacognitive framework. It is in a unique position towards realizing the objectives of the project having exposure to the different elements through ongoing collaborative research projects, industry exposure and test-bench development activity.

This project is funded by the European Office of Aerospace Research & Development, part of the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the candidate would be working with Senior Personnel from the US Airforce Research Laboratories. Related information about this project is available here

Position Description:

The research project focusses on:

  • Understanding the current cognitive radar frameworks including the data-driven (ML/ DL) based and model (optimization) based approaches to cognition and their feasibility in dynamic scenario
  • Evaluating the performance of identified cognitive frameworks for radar tasks in chosen dynamic scenarios. This would include the of transmit waveform,  receiver and cognitive process
  • Devise the metacognitive framework by developing involve optimization and data-driven approaches strategies to select appropriate cognitive framework based on the scenario; the goal is to minimize the learning latency while enhancing the performance
  • Evaluate the metacognitive framework in simulated and real environments

Your Profile

Qualification: The candidate should possess (or be in the process of completing) a master degree or equivalent in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computer Science or Applied Mathematics or Physics with electromagnetic background.

Experience: The ideal candidate should have good theoretical background in a number of the following topics:

  • Radar Systems and Signal Processing
  • Machine Learning/ Deep Learning for Radar
  • Optimization methodologies
  • Information Theory

Development skills in MATLAB/ python/ LabView is required and exposure to latest communication and radar technologies, linear algebra and Tensors are desirable.  

Language Skills: Fluent written and verbal communication skills in English are required.

Here’s what awaits you at SnT

  • A stimulating learning environment. Here post-docs and professors outnumber PhD students. That translates into access and close collaborations with some of the brightest ICT researchers, giving you solid guidance
  • Exciting infrastructures and unique labs. At SnT’s two campuses, our researchers can take a walk on the moon at the LunaLab, build a nanosatellite, or help make autonomous vehicles even better
  • The right place for IMPACT. SnT researchers engage in demand-driven projects. Through our Partnership Programme, we work on projects with more than 45 industry partners
  • Multiple funding sources for your ideas. The University supports researchers to acquire funding from national, European and private sources
  • Competitive salary package. The University offers a 12 month-salary package, over six weeks of paid time off, health insurance and subsidised living and eating
  • Be part of a multicultural family. At SnT we have more than 60 nationalities. Throughout the year, we organise team-building events, networking activities and more

But wait, there’s more!

Students can take advantage of several opportunities for growth and career development, from free language classes to career resources and extracurricular activities.

In Short

  • Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract 36 Month - extendable up to 48 months if required
  • Work Hours: Full Time 40.0 Hours per Week
  • Location: Kirchberg
  • Employee and student status
  • Job Reference: UOL04611

How to apply

Applications in English should be submitted online and include:

  • Full CV, including list of publications, bachelor/master thesis and names (and contact information including email addresses) of references
  • Transcript of all modules and results from university-level courses taken
  • Research statement and topics of particular interest to the candidate (300 words)

All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.

Early application is highly encouraged, as the applications will be processed upon reception. Please apply formally through the HR system. Applications by email will not be considered.

The University of Luxembourg embraces inclusion and diversity as key values. We are fully committed to removing any discriminatory barrier related to gender, and not only, in recruitment and career progression of our staff.

About the University of Luxembourg

University of Luxembourg is an international research university with a distinctly multilingual and interdisciplinary character. The University was founded in 2003 and counts more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 employees from around the world. The University’s faculties and interdisciplinary centres focus on research in the areas of Computer Science and ICT Security, Materials Science, European and International Law, Finance and Financial Innovation, Education, Contemporary and Digital History. In addition, the University focuses on cross-disciplinary research in the areas of Data Modelling and Simulation as well as Health and System Biomedicine. Times Higher Education ranks the University of Luxembourg #3 worldwide for its “international outlook,” #20 in the Young University Ranking 2021 and among the top 250 universities worldwide.

Further information

For further information, please contact us at or


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