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I optimized the transmitter in an optical communication system by looking at its physical characteristics and then compensating for its impairments through digital signal processing. Many components are not of the highest quality, but you can still use them to transmit a lot of data if you know what you’re doing. My designs are now used in experiments and have been published. Soon, I’m starting a PhD project on ultrawideband communications – using the full bandwidth of continent-spanning data cables – that uses some of the same ideas.
TU/e is a very pleasant university with a lot of opportunities. Through my study association, I took part in activities about optical communication, for instance visiting an optical fiber company and taking a look in a data center. The CWT track combines telecommunications courses from many different research areas, which is really interesting.