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Department of Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Edison - Faculty: Technical Sciences

Postdoc position on design and modelling of spintronic devices

Deadline 31 Dec

Expected start 1 Mar

  • Department of Engineering - Electrical and Computer Engineering, Edison Finlandsgade 22 8200 Aarhus N

  • Fixed term full-time position 1 Mar 2021 - 28 Feb 2023 ID: 4744

The Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, invites applicants for a 2-year Postdoc position offering applicants an exciting opportunity to join a new research project on weighted spintronic-nano-oscillator-based neuromorphic computing system assisted by laser for cognitive computing. The successful applicant will be part of a FET-OPEN project called SpinAge funded by European commission under Horizon 2020. 

We are looking for an enthusiast researcher (post-doctoral researcher) who wishes to investigate in design and modelling of the spintronic parts of a neuromorphic computing system assisted by laser for cognitive computing. It includes the design and modelling of weighted spin Hall effect nano-oscillators, spin torque nano-oscillators, magnetic tunnel junctions and memristors in Verilog-A language to be used in Cadence Virtuoso.

The position is available from 1 march 2021 or as soon as possible hereafter.

Research area and project description:
Artificial neural networks are already having a very tangible effect in society. CMOS implementation of artificial neural networks has been researched and some progresses have been achieved. However, the CMOS implementation of neural networks is still not energy- and area-efficient [1].

  These issues have driven a significant effort on investigation of non-CMOS implementations of neuromorphic computing systems, which include synapses implemented using memristors [2,3], Magnetic Tunnelling Junctions (MTJs) etc., and artificial neurons using MTJs, Spin-Torque Nano-Oscillators (STNOs) [4], mutually synchronized Spin-Hall Nano-Oscillators (SHNOs) [5], etc.

Spintronics is a strong contender as it is compatible with CMOS, multifunctional, extremely versatile with features like non-volatility, plasticity and oscillatory behaviour, which can be exploited to implement artificial neural components to develop energy-efficient neural networks.

 Despite some progress in spintronic neuromorphic computing system (NCS) [4, 6], challenges such as lack of proper artificial neuron and synapse implementation resembling biological neural components, low speed, lack of any forward-looking architecture implementation, lack of proper algorithms for spintronic networks, lack of any simulation platforms that combine libraries from several emerging technologies together for a better assessment of larger networks, have hindered scaling of complex architectures [7].
Within an interdisciplinary project, SpinAge, funded by H2020 [8], we aim at development of a brain-inspired (neuromorphic computing) networks using synchronized spintronic oscillators [9] together with other European research teams [8] leading to orders of magnitudes improvement in performance. 

For this position, we aim at development of analytical and numerical models for spintronic devices (oscillators) [10-12] and bringing them into a simulation platform enabling simulation of larger neural networks, which requires a good understanding of the physics behind the spintronic oscillators, and skills in development of analytical models for such devices.

[1] J. Kim et al., Proc. of the IEEE, 103 (1), 106-130, (2015).
[2] S. Ambrogio et al., Nanotechnology 24, 384012, (2013).
[3] S. Saïghi et al., Front. Neurosci. 9:51, (2015).
[4] J. Torrejon, , et al., Nature 547.7664, 428-431, (2017)
[5] A. Awad et al., Nature Phys. 13, 292, (2017)
[6] H. Farkhani, et al. Frontiers in Neuroscience 13 (2019).
[7] Grollier, J., et al. Nature Electronics (2020): 1-11.
[8] https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/899559
[9] M. Zahedinejad, et al. Nature Nanotechnology 15.1, 47-52, (2020).
[10] S. G. Ramasubramanian, et al. ISLPED. IEEE, (2014).
[11] D. I. Albertsson, et al. IEEE Transactions on Magnetics 55.10, 1-8, (2019).
[12] J. Pelloux-Prayer, and Farshad Moradi. IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices (2020).

Work description
You are expected to contribute to the design and modelling of the spintronic parts of a spintronic-based neuromorphic computing system including:
  • Spintronic device characterization and modelling for implementing the neuron functionality including spin Hall effect nano oscillators and spin torque nano oscillators.
  • Modelling  and characterization of magnetic tunnel junctions and memristors for implementing the synaptic functionality.
Applicants should hold a PhD in physics, electrical engineering or other related disciplines. (the degree should have been completed within the last 5 years at most). Candidates, who will complete and defend their PhD thesis by December 2020, are welcome:
  • The candidate should have excellent verbal and writing skills in English with very good communication skills,
  • A solid publication track record in peer-reviewed journals and conferences,
  • Concrete knowledge in Cadence, MatLab and Verilog-A,
  • Experience in spintronic,
  • Background in electronic,
  • Background in modelling
About the Electrical and Computer Engineering Section
Electrical and computer engineering are closely related engineering disciplines that focus on the development of hardware and software for intelligent units and networks. This includes hardware at system and component levels as well as many different types of software for controlling electronic devices and networks.

The research areas within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Section at the Department of Engineering support the development within this area. The outcome greatly influences our daily lives as advanced technologies are incorporated into an increasing number of products, for example in industrial processes, at hospitals and in information infrastructures.

A process has been initiated in terms of reorganizing of engineering at Aarhus University. Read more here: https://eng.au.dk/en/news-and-events/news/show/artikel/new-organisation-to-strengthen-engineering-at-aarhus-university-1/

Place of Employment and Place of Work
The place of work is Finlandsgade 22, 8200 Aarhus N, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments. 

Further information about the position may be obtained from: Assoc. Prof. Farshad Moradi, moradi@eng.au.dk and  Assist. Prof. Hooman Farkhani, farkhani@eng.au.dk.  

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in ques-tion before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.

Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Questions about the position?

Farshad Moradi

Farshad Moradi Associate professor, Department of Engineering - Integrated Nanoelectronics +4541893344 moradi@eng.au.dk

Questions about application and proces?

Nat-Tech Administrative Centre - HR Department +4587151306 Nat-Tech.HR.Emply@au.dk


Deadline: Thursday 31 Dec 2020 at 23:59 CET