Assistant Professor

Chigo Okonkwo

Over 99% of all data generated will go through an optical fibre. Optical transmission systems form the foundation of the Internet and are slowly running out of capacity. We need a paradigm shift in how we design and test our systems to develop next-generation low-energy, robust and high capacity photonic networks

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Research Profile

Chigo Okonkwo is an Assistant Professor leading the high capacity optical transmission laboratory of the Electro-Optical Communications Group at the Institute for Photonics Integration, TU/e. He currently works on 2 key areas: Firstly, he is working to maximise the capacity of currently deployed single-mode fibre systems by employing advanced-coded modulation schemes and Probabilistic/Geometrically shaped signals and low complexity digital signal processing. More importantly, he is working on future proof transmission systems based on Space Division Multiplexing, and developing the novel optical components required to scale the capacity of the optical transmission systems towards Petabit/s transmission. This can be done by exploiting the various spatial channel of a multi-mode fibre or multi-core fibre. Chigo’s research is also focused on the development of new measurement systems and his work has led to a provisional patent and several key publications in Nature Photonics, JLT and Optics Express. Since 2010, Chigo has built up a world-class high capacity optical transmission laboratory and collaborates with several industrial partners.

Academic Background

Chigo Okonkwo graduated in 2002 with a Masters Honours degree in Telecommunications and Information systems at University of Essex, United Kingdom. After earning his PhD in Optical signal processing at University of Essex, he joined COBRA TU/e as a Post-doctoral researcher in 2010. In that period, he worked on schemes and architectures for High Capacity In-Building and Dynamic Optical Access Networks within the EU ICT projects (ALPHA, POF-PLUS and EURO-FOS) and a joint research framework project with South Korean research organization ETRI. Between 2011 and 2015, Chigo worked on the EU project MODEGAP, his research focuses on Ultra-high capacity space division multiplexed transmission systems. From advanced multi-dimensional modulation formats to the optical and digital signal processing schemes required for such systems. Chigo is a Technical program committee member for European conference on optical communications (ECOC) since 2014. In 2018, he is the Sub Committee Chair for Digital Signal Processing track at ECOC and the General Chair for OSA Advanced photonics congress conference on signal processing for photonics. As a Senior Member of the professional organization IEEE, he serves as a reviewer and has (co)authored more than 180 publications in conferences and journals.

Educational Activities

  • Research set-up
  • Optical fibre communication technology

Ancillary Activities

No ancillary activities