The derivation and analysis of the fundamental capacity limits of large intelligent surface (LIS)

The main aim of this project is to study and derive the fundamental capacity limits of LIS systems.

Start date
1 January 2021
36 months
Application deadline
Funding information

All tuition fees and stipend.

£22,000 p.a. for tuition fees and approx £14,296 p.a for stipend.

Funding source
Huawei/5G Innovation Centre
Supervised by

Fabien Heliot
Lecturer in Wireless Communications


We are recruiting a PhD student with the drive and vision to be a part of this exciting new venture. The student is expected to develop innovative and collaborative research that is world leading and addresses the challenges associated with current and future wireless communications networks. One of these challenges being the derivation and analysis of the fundamental capacity limits of large intelligent surface (LIS)

Large intelligent surface (LIS) is an emerging paradigm in multi-input multi-output (MIMO) transmission technology going beyond the massive MIMO concept. More specifically, LIS is envisioned as an energy-efficient cost effective alternative to relays/small cell to improve both the wireless capacity and coverage (hotspot/blindspot) of future cellular communication systems. Technically speaking, LIS is a planar array consisting of a large number of nearly passive, low-cost and low energy consuming, reflecting elements, with reconfigurable parameters. In addition, according to some recent theoretical works related to LIS, it seems to share some similarities with nonregenerative multi-antenna relay systems in terms of re-configurability and modelling.

The main aim of this project is to study and derive the fundamental capacity limits of LIS systems. First, the PhD candidate will have to gain in-depth understanding of LIS, MIMO/distributed MIMO and relaying techniques, to understand how to model LIS in different typical cellular system scenarios, before deriving and analyzing the fundamental limit of LIS in these scenarios and comparing it with current relevant technologies (e.g. massive MIMO, small cell, relay). Finally, the design of practical algorithms for optimizing LIS in some of these scenarios will also be of interest for this project. Consequently, due to the nature of this project, we require the PhD candidate to have a strong/very strong mathematical and communication theory background.

Eligibility criteria

The studentship is available to UK, EU and overseas candidates.

If English is not your first language, you will be required to have an IELTS Academic of 6.5 or above (or equivalent), with no sub-test score below 6.

Candidates should hold a first or upper-second class Bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at distinction level (or equivalent experience/qualifications) in an appropriate discipline.

They will have an aptitude and suitable background for conducting research in the field of future wireless communications systems in areas related to communication theory, multiple antenna communication systems, signal processing for wireless communications, and cellular systems.

In addition, they must have a very good understanding of mathematics for wireless communication and strong/ very strong mathematical abilities.

How to apply

Applications should be made through the Institute for Communication Systems PhD course page before the deadline of 30 July 2020. Applications should include:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. Outline research proposal
  4. Contact details of two academic referees
  5. Copies of academic transcripts and qualification certificates.

Application deadline

Contact details

Fabien Heliot
08 CII 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689492

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