Open PhD positions

We are looking for people interested in joining the Networked Embedded Systems Lab to pursue a PhD. The Networked Embedded Systems Lab conducts research at the intersection of embedded systems and wireless networking, with the overarching goal of making cyber-physical systems and the Internet of Things (IoT) more dependable and sustainable. General areas of research include:

  • Battery-free and energy-harvesting systems
  • Low-power wireless communication and networking
  • End-to-end guarantees in cyber-physical systems

Example PhD projects include but are certainly not limited to:

  • Measurements and data analyses to understand ambient energy environments
  • Embedded machine learning to improve efficiency and reliability
  • Analysis and design of low-power physical layers using software-defined radios
  • Protocol design and modeling to verify end-to-end properties
  • Constructing and deploying cyber-physical and IoT systems together with experts from other domains, such as robotics, control, materials or environmental science

Our research is mostly driven by curiosity, and focuses on methods and tools that are applicable to real cyber-physical and IoT systems. In the past, we have developed techniques that enable unprecedented predictability and efficiency, some of which have been widely adopted by academia and industry.

The Networked Embedded Systems Lab is led by Marco Zimmerling, who joined the University of Freiburg in April 2022. Applicants will have the unique opportunity to work in and shape a young and ambitious research group with a proven track record of highly successful national and international collaborations. The lab is embedded into an excellent environment for research at the intersection of computer science and electrical engineering, with the University of Freiburg being routinely ranked among the top ten universities in Germany. The city of Freiburg is an intellectual center and has a diverse cultural life. It is located in one of the most scenic corners of Southern Germany, the Black Forest, right between France and Switzerland, which gives the city an international and Mediterranean touch. The quality of life in and around Freiburg is one of the best in Central Europe.


Please consider applying if you:

  • Have obtained or will soon obtain a master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, electrical engineering, or related subject
  • Have strong engineering skills and practical experience in embedded programming, hardware design, machine learning, wireless networking, etc. and/or strong analytical skills and a theoretical background in data science, signal processing, wireless communication, real-time scheduling, etc.
  • Are creative and able to come up with fresh ideas to attack deep technical challenges
  • Like to read and write technical texts in English
  • Enjoy working with students on all levels
  • Are highly motivated, persistent, and willing to dedicate several years of your life to a project that will make you experience hopefully many highs but definitely also some lows
  • Like to present your work to academic audiences (e.g., at international conferences)

To better understand our research and whether it may fit your background and interests, please take a careful look at some of our recent papers before you apply.

Additional information

The goal of applicants should be to pursue academic research at the highest level and to obtain a PhD degree within four to five years. Knowing German is not required but helpful to enjoy life outside of the lab. PhD candidates at the University of Freiburg have the opportunity to take courses but are not required to do so. The positions will be filled as soon as we find suitable candidates. PhD students are paid a competitive salary according to TV-L E13 (i.e., gross salary of about 4200 Euro per month, which increases to about 4500 Euro after one year). The University of Freiburg has a large interest in increasing the number of female researchers, and hence particularly encourages female candidates to apply. Applicants with a degree of disability of 50% or more will be preferred in case they are otherwise equally qualified to the other candidates. It is generally possible to work part time.

How to apply

Please send your application as a single PDF file including a succinct letter of motivation (one page), CV, and transcripts of your grades to . There is no deadline. We are continuously looking for excellent people to join our team.