The PhD programme in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona aims to train its students to conduct research on their chosen topic. It promotes the development and innovation that are needed to make significant advances in our scientific and technological understanding,  of electronic and telecommunication systems in the wider sense: from the conception, design, production and testing of micro-nano devices, antennas and microwave systems, to the research and development of related applications.

This wide range of activities involves both ground-breaking knowledge and interdisciplinary research, in which these systems and technologies form the basic nucleus of development. Some clear examples of this are micro-nano-biosystems, devices used in the space industry, signal processing and the design of telecommunication networks.

Furthermore, as a PhD programme in an engineering school, the application of results from basic research is in itself a final objective. Graphene, carbon nanotubes, multi-micro sensors and actuators, embedded systems, microtechnologies, micro-nano-biosystems, nanoelectronics, robotics, neurotechnology, signal processing, information theory, etc. are some of the most important areas of leading-edge science and technology that this PhD programme deals with.

Implementing, maturing and using these technologies and systems in combination gives rise to a great number of applications that directly or indirectly further knowledge, technological progress, innovation, and, ultimately, social well-being.

Candidate profile

The specific requirements of this PhD programme aim to establish a student profile that maximises the chances of success on the programme. Applicants should have a thorough knowledge of the basic concepts and tools in electronics and telecommunication, an ability to assimilate new knowledge and a command of English.

The recommended qualifications for joining the PhD programme in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering are the UAB's Master's Degree in Telecommunication Engineering, and Master's Degree in Nanotechnology and Materials Science, and the Master's Degree in Research into Technologies for the Information Society (scheduled to begin in 2014-2015 at the UAB), or related qualifications.

Professional opportunities

This PhD programme provides the following principal career options.

  • Heads of R&D departments working with micro- and nanoelectronic technologies and electronic and telecommunication systems.
  • Researchers in private or public research centres.
  • Consultants helping to develop research projects (preparation of proposals, search for financial support, management of patents, etc.).
  • University teaching.

Objectives and justification

The main objective of the PhD programme in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering is to equip its students to choose, redefine and conduct the research, development and innovation necessary to achieve significant advances in our scientific and technological understanding of electronic and telecommunication systems, in the wider sense, from the conception, design, production and testing of micro-nano devices, antennas and microwave systems, to the research and development of communication systems.

As specific objectives, the programme offers academic and professional specialisation in different fields related to electronic systems and their applications: micro-nano technologies, micro and nano-electronics, printed electronics microsystems, electronic mechanisms, design and analysis of integrated circuits and systems, electronic systems and instrumentation, communication circuits and systems, signal processing, networked information theory, design of antennas and microwave systems, and their applications in a wide range of sectors, from embedded devices to robot systems or space control systems, always in accordance with the principal research lines pursued at the UAB.

Research infrastructure

Besides the physical resources for teaching and research that the UAB provides for all its PhD programmes, students on this programme can also make use of the following research infrastructures, thanks to agreements with various centres, such as the Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics, IMB-CNM, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Centre for Networked Biomedical Research into Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine, CIBER-BBN, the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia, IEEC of the CERCA, etc.

  • White room with equipment for wet etching, dry etching (RIE), thermal processing by oxidation, annealing and deposition, chemical deposition (CVD), atomic layer deposition (ALD), ion implantation, metallization, photolithography, etc.
  • Clean room for nanolithography, with the following equipment. Electron beam lithography (EBL), AFM lithography, nanoimprint lithography (NIL), Focalised Ion Beam (FIB) and electron microscopes.
  • CNM-CIBER platform for making micro-nanosystems.
  • Equipment for NTCS growth and functionalisation.
  • Facilities for making microsystems on polymer substrates (COP, SU-8, silicon, polyamide, methacrylate, etc.).
  • Manufacture of Al, Ni, Au and Pt electrodes and selective coatings with Silicon Oxide, Silicon Nitride, and black Platinum.
  • Microsystems Laboratory with wet-etching and lift-off technologies. Anisotropic processes and KOH and HF vapour etching. Metallisation with aluminium, chrome, titanium, nickel, platinum and gold.
  • Technology for growth, etching and metallisation on polymers: COP, SU8, silicon, methacrylate and polyamide.
  • Equipment for reverse engineering and physical characterisation.
  • Chip and device packaging.
  • Impedance measurement instruments - officially recognised for medical laboratory use.
  • CAD software: Cadence, HSpice, Synopsys, Ansys, Suprem3, Tsuprem4, COMSOL, Medici, etc.
  • System of electrical characterisation of devices at wafer level. Composed of probe stations (manual and semi-automatic, RF up to 40 GHz) and the corresponding instruments (semiconductor parameter analysers, impedance analysers, connections matrix, pulse generators, etc.).
  • Atomic force microscope. Adapted for electrical characterisation (CAFM, KPFM and E-CAFM prototype) and controlled-environment characterisation.
  • LPKF H100 milling machine for fabricating PCB prototypes.
  • Setup for characterisation of antennas up to 3 GHz, composed of a TEM WaveCell, an Agilent N5182A signal generator and an Agilent N9020A signal analyser with an RFID module.
  • High Performance Computing cluster, equipped with 80 processors and a total of 184 Gb of RAM Memory.
  • GNSS equipment with 4 GNSS receivers (Ifen SX-NSR multi-GNSS real-time-navigation software receiver, High-sensitivity GNSS software receiver [GPS-L1/L5, Galileo-E1/E5a], NordNav R25 GPS-L1 receiver and uBlox EVK-5H GPS-L1/Galileo-E1 receiver) and 5 GNSS signal acquisition and sampling plates.
  • Networks of sensors based on 802.15.4 and 802.11.
  • Wireless communication equipment: WiMax Network, Yellowjacket WiFi analyser and reconfigurable radio cards (software-defined radio: SDR).
  • Measurement instruments: Agilent E4407B ESA-I, 9 kHz-26.5 GHz spectrum analyser, Agilent N5242-A PNA-X, 10 kHz-26.5 GHz network analyser with options for differential measurements and in time management. OML V10-VNA2 T/R and V10-VNA2 R, 75-110 GHz millimetre-wave measurement heads, Cascade Microtech M150 probe station, Hewlett Packard Infinium Oscilloscope, 500 MHz, 2 GSA/s.
  • Automation equipment: FESTO mixing station, FESTO processing station, Device Net network for industrial communications.


Asier Ibeas Hernández



School of Engineering - Building Q



This PhD programme obtained the prestigious Mention for Excellence of the Ministry of Education for the RD 1393/2007, which enabled the program could be submitted to calls for mobility grants for students and teachers, and that had other advantages in public calls.
Number of places available: 20
Fees: aprox. €540 per year View detail of the PhD's fees

Languages in which the thesis may be written:
Catalan, Spanish and English
Organising universities and institutions:
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Associated departments or institutes:
Department of Electronic Engineering
Department of Microelectronics and Electronic Systems
Department of Telecommunications and Systems Engineering

Collaborating institutions:
Institut de Microelectrònica de Barcelona-Centre Nacional de Microelectrònica (IMB-CNM) del CSIC.
Centre d'Investigació Biomèdica en Xarxa en Bioinginyeria, Biomaterials i Nanomedicina, CIBER-BBN del ISCIII.
Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya, IEEC del CERCA.
Centre d'Accesibilitat i Inteligència Ambiental (CAIAC) de la UAB.
Technological Sciences

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