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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

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.

Education/Academic qualification

Electrical engineering, Doctor, University of Essex

1 Feb 20051 Feb 2009

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Projects 2008 2021

5G-MOBIX

van Hout, J., Tafur Monroy, I., Kurtic - Brajic, M., Kurtic - Brajic, M., Calabretta, N., Johannsen, U., Okonkwo, C., Heemstra, S., Dubbelman, G., Kiss, D., Rommel, S., Cimoli, B., den Ouden, J. H. V. & Sanders, R.

1/11/1831/10/21

Project: Research direct

5G PHOS

van Hout, J., Tafur Monroy, I., Tafur Monroy, I., Kurtic - Brajic, M., Kurtic - Brajic, M., Witteveen, F., Johannsen, U., Okonkwo, C., Raddo, T., Kiss, D. & Sanders, R.

1/09/1731/08/20

Project: Research direct

METRO High bandwidth, 5G Application-aware optical network

Calabretta, N., Okonkwo, C., van Hout, J., Calabretta, N., Yan, F., Cavalcanti Magalhães, E., van Mil, J. & van Mil, J.

1/06/1731/05/20

Project: Research direct

Testbed Setup with ECI

Okonkwo, C., Calabretta, N., Croes, S., Chen, B., van Mil, J. & van Mil, J.

1/01/1731/12/19

Project: Research direct

Graduate Programme COBRA Photonics - Positie ECO

Koonen, T., Gerrits, E., Okonkwo, C., van Mil, J. & van Mil, J.

1/01/141/01/21

Project: Research direct

Research Output 2006 2019

11,700 km transmission at 4.8 bit/4D-sym via four-dimensional geometrically-shaped polarization-ring-switching mModulation

van der Heide, S., Chen, B., van den Hout, M., Liga, G., Koonen, T., Hafermann, H., Alvarado, A. & Okonkwo, C., 1 Jul 2019, OECC/PSC 2019 - 24th OptoElectronics and Communications Conference/International Conference Photonics in Switching and Computing 2019. Piscataway: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 3 p. 8817687

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Dense wavelength division multiplexing
Erbium doped fiber amplifiers
format
Amplification
Modulation

11,700 km Transmission at 4.8 bit/4D-sym via four-dimensional geometrically-shaped polarization-ring-switching modulation

Heide, S. V. D., Chen, B., Hout, M. V. D., Liga, G., Koonen, T., Hafermann, H., Alvarado, A. & Okonkwo, C., 29 Apr 2019, In : arXiv. 3 p., 1904.12561

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademic

Open Access
File
format
modulation
rings
polarization
1 Citation (Scopus)

Beyond 5G - wireless data center connectivity

Rommel, S., Raddo, T. R., Johannsen, U., Okonkwo, C. & Tafur Monroy, I., 1 Feb 2019, Proceedings of SPIE: Broadband Access Communication Technologies XIII. SPIE, Vol. 10945, 10 p. 109450M

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
File
Innovation
Millimeter waves
Costs
Optical fibers
Wireless networks
1 Citation (Scopus)

Chromatic dispersion analysis and compensation in a large core-count few-mode multi-core fiber based on optical vector network analysis

van Weerdenburg, J., Rommel, S., Delgado Mendinueta, J. M., Klaus, W., Sakaguchi, J., Vegas Olmos, J. J., Koonen, T., Awaji, Y., Tafur Monroy, I., Okonkwo, C. & Wada, N., 22 Apr 2019, 2019 Optical Fiber Communications Conference and Exhibition, OFC 2019 - Proceedings. Optical Society of America (OSA), 8696547

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
File
network analysis
fibers

Eight-dimensional polarization-ring-switching modulation formats

Chen, B., Okonkwo, C., Hafermann, H. & Alvarado, A., 24 Sep 2019, In : IEEE Photonics Technology Letters. 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
File
format
nonlinearity
Modulation
Polarization
modulation

Prizes

Asia Communications and Photonics Conference(ACP) 2018 Best Paper Award

Bin Chen (Recipient), Yi Lei (Recipient), Domaniç Lavery (Recipient), Chigo Okonkwo (Recipient) & Alex Alvarado (Recipient), 28 Nov 2018

Recognition: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

Adaptive modulation
Photonics
Communication

European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) 2018 Student Paper Award

Sjoerd van der Heide (Recipient), J.J.A. van Weerdenburg (Recipient) & Chigo Okonkwo (Recipient), 27 Sep 2018

Recognition: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

students
optical communication
receivers
fibers

Optoelectronics and Communications Conference (OECC 2019) Best Paper Award

Sjoerd van der Heide (Recipient), Bin Chen (Recipient), Menno van den Hout (Recipient), Gabriele Liga (Recipient), Ton Koonen (Recipient), Hartmut Hafermann (Recipient), Alex Alvarado (Recipient) & Chigo Okonkwo (Recipient), Jul 2019

Recognition: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific

Optoelectronic devices
Modulation
Polarization
Communication

Activities 2015 2018

  • 2 Contributed talk
  • 1 Hosting an academic visitor

A.M. Velázquez-Benítez

Chigo Okonkwo (Host)
6 Oct 2018

Activity: Hosting a visitor typesHosting an academic visitorScientific

Towards Higher Density Space Division Multiplexed Transmission Systems

Chigo Okonkwo (Speaker)
21 Nov 2015

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

High density space division multiplexed transmission systems

Chigo Okonkwo (Speaker)
13 May 2015

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

Courses

Research set-up

1/09/18 → …

Course

Press / Media

Photonic Integration and Transmission Systems for the Future Internet

Chigo Okonkwo

30/01/17

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Hoe machtig zijn Nature en Science?

Chigo Okonkwo

4/11/14

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Researchers push 255 Tbps over multi-core fiber

Chigo Okonkwo

3/11/14

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Meer glasvezel per kabel, dankzij handige gaatjes

Chigo Okonkwo

30/10/14

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

255 Terabits/s: Researchers demonstrate record data transmission over new type of fiber

Chigo Okonkwo

27/10/14

1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Student theses

Channel Coding Gains in High Throughput and Long Reach Optical Transmission Systems

Author: Sillekens, E. & Okonkwo, C., 25 Jul 2015

Supervisor: Okonkwo, C. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master

Mode selective, full mode mixed launching in multi-mode fiber transmission systems

Author: van Weerdenburg, J., 31 Aug 2015

Supervisor: Okonkwo, C. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master