Aalborg University, Department of Electronic Systems

Location:  Denmark


One or more PhD Stipends in Network Audio Signal Processing (Marie Skłodowska-Curie) (8-21005)

At the Technical Faculty of IT and Design, Department of Electronic Systems, one or more PhD stipends in Network Audio Signal Processing are available within the general study programme Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The stipends are open for appointment from April 15th, 2021, or soon as possible thereafter. In the area of electronics engineering, Aalborg University is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the societal relevance of its research programmes.  The Department of Electronic Systems employs more than 200 staff, of which about 40% are international, and about 90 enrolled PhD students. The Department hosts 620 students. The Department's excellent research infrastructures and facilities accentuate its global position in teaching and research. Department research centres around communication, antennas, control systems, signal processing, cyber security and acoustics. The Department plays an active role in translating discoveries and results in practical applications with industrial partners and through IPR. Within its subject field, the Department provides teaching for several BSc and MSc programmes using a problem- and project-based learning model.

Job description

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD stipends are within the frame of the H2020 MSCA European Training Network “Service-Oriented Ubiquitous Network-Driven Sound (SOUNDS)”.

The PhD students employed at AAU will be fully embedded in the SOUNDS research and training network, and will carry out theoretical and applied research in the interdisciplinary fields of signal processing, audio processing, communication networks and machine learning. The topics of the open PhD positions are related to the following fields:

PhD1: Learning, compressing, and distributing acoustic changes in networked environments

When people or objects are moving in a room, the room's impulse responses between the loudspeakers and the listeners change and the sound field produced by the loudspeakers is therefore also affected. The objective of this ESR project is to be able to jointly account for variations due to changes in the room impulse responses as well as the spatiotemporal dynamics of multichannel audio, when reproducing the sound field using stationary loudspeakers. A number of wireless microphones in the room, transmit a compressed model of the local sound field in near real-time to a centralized or distributed sound rendering engine. This allows for constructing accurate sound zones for home entertainment, online gaming, quiet zones, multiple listener spaces, etc. It is necessary to take into account the combined quality degradation due to modelling errors of the local sound fields acquired at the individual sensors, compression artefacts, and the estimation error due to using delayed models of local sound fields, when rendering the global sound field.

Research stays are planned at our academic partner KU Leuven in Belgium and our industrial partner Bang & Olufsen in Denmark.

PhD2: Real-time distributed speech compression and enhancement in wireless hearing aids.

State-of-the-art hearing aids are equipped with several microphones and furthermore able to transmit and receive compressed signals via radio communications. The objective of this project is to perform low latency joint compression and enhancement of speech in wireless hearing aids. Low latency is important in order to avoid distortions due to a direct path acoustic signal reaching the eardrums earlier than the hearing aid output, but also to facilitate lip synchronicity in a real-time communication situation. The compression as well as the enhancement will be jointly optimized and based upon machine learning and information theoretic ideas.

Research stays are planned at our academic partner University of Oldenburg in Germany and our industrial partner Oticon A/S in Denmark.


The SOUNDS European Training Network (ETN) revolves around a new and promising paradigm coined as Service- Oriented, Ubiquitous, Network-Driven Sound. Inspired by the ubiquity of mobile and wearable devices capable of capturing, processing, and reproducing sound, the SOUNDS ETN aims to bring audio technology to a new level by exploiting network-enabled cooperation between devices. We envision the next generation of audio devices to be capable of providing enhanced hearing assistance, creating immersive audio experience, enabling advanced voice control and much more, by seamlessly exchanging signals and parameter settings, and spatially analyzing and reproducing sound jointly with other nearby audio devices and infrastructure. Moreover, such functionality should be self-organizing, flexible, and scalable, requiring minimal user interaction for adapting to changes in the environment or network. It is anticipated that this paradigm will eventually result in an entirely new way of designing and using audio technology, by considering audio as a service enabled through shared infrastructure, rather than as a device-specific functionality limited by the capabilities and constraints of a single user device.

To attain this paradigm shift in audio technology not only requires additional research but also calls for a new generation of qualified researchers with a transdisciplinary and international scientific profile, strong collaborative research and research management skills, and the intersectoral expertise needed to carry research results from academia to industry. It is believed that the SOUNDS ETN will offer the best possible framework for achieving these goals, by organizing advanced interdisciplinary research training, developing solid transferable skills, and providing intersectoral and international experience in a network of qualified and complementary industrial and academic institutions.

The SOUNDS ETN strongly values research integrity, actively supports open access and reproducible research, and strives for diversity and gender balance in its entire research and training program. The SOUNDS ETN adheres to The European Charter for Researchers and The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Profile of the candidate:

The candidate has a Master degree in audio processing, acoustics, information theory, statistical signal processing, estimation theory, adaptive signal processing, or machine learning.

Excellent proficiency in the English language is required, as well as good communication skills, both oral and written.

Candidates must satisfy the eligibility conditions for MSCA Early Stage Researchers, i.e., they must have obtained their Master degree in the past 4 years and must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the past 3 years

You may obtain further information from Professor Jan Østergaard, Department of Electronic Systems, phone: 99408693, email: jo@es.aau.dk , concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.

The qualifications of the applicant will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee, the Dean of the Technical Faculty of IT and Design will make a decision for allocating the stipend.

For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Lisbeth Diinhoff, The Technical Faculty of IT and Design, email: ld@adm.aau.dk , phone: +45 9940 0589.

For more information of The Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design: www.phd.tech.aau.dk

The application is only to be submitted online by using the “Apply online” button below.

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.

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