Who we are

SAWtrain puts together leading groups from Europe, Asia, and North America working on SAWs including universities, research institutions, companies, and non-academic players. They join efforts to create an interdisciplinary structured PhD programme on SAW-related phononics, photonics, and electronics.

The PhD programme relies on PhD co-supervision and secondments (internships) at different academic and non-academic hosts to cover state-of-the-art research in the interdisciplinary areas of basic physics, materials, technology, and device concepts related to SAWs.

The consortium

The SAWtrain consortium consists of 25 members including 10 leading European groups acting as beneficiaries (9 universities or research centres and one private-sector laboratory) and 15 partners from Europe, Asia and North America (see Figure 1), all working on surface acoustic waves (SAWs) on semiconductor and related nanostructures.

Research training is complemented by training in transferable skills such as communication, entrepreneurship, intellectual property rights, as well as dissemination and exploitation issues. The network encourages innovation by strengthening the bridge between basic research training and applications via the knowledge-based industrial partners of the consortium.

The synergy resulting from the complementary expertise of the SAWtrain members promotes research excellence and provides students with a superior PhD programme with outstanding training opportunities. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary character of the programme and its innovation-oriented mind-set enhances the career perspectives of the students in both the academic and non-academic sectors.

SAWtrain has an extensive outreach and dissemination programme to increase the visibility of the research field. In particular, the partner Deutsches Museum, which is one of the world’s largest science and technology museums, will contribute its invaluable expertise to dissemination and communication to the public. The consortium also creates a discussion forum on materials, technology, human resources, and policy-making issues associated with SAWs on semiconductors and related novel materials.

In conclusion, the SAWtrain research programme is designed to form entrepreneurial researchers capable of contributing effectively to the knowledge-based economy and society. In addition, the consortium aims to set up the basis for a long-term technological platform for basic studies and applications of acoustic materials and devices, thereby establishing a new paradigm and consolidating the existing European leadership in the area.


The SAWtrain phd programme

SAWtrain engages 15 fellows in a joint and structured PhD programme involving 10 leading European research institutions. The program offers excellent research topics in an interdisciplinary environment and internships at different institutes. The research training is complemented by a variety of workshops, schools and courses. A personal career development plan regulating the PhD training fosters the PhD’s career as a highly skilled state-of-the-art researcher with opportunities in science and industry.

The Training section briefly explains our understanding of a contemporary structured PhD programme. To find out more about surface acoustic waves and the projects’ PhD research topics, please take a look at the Research section.



These are the institutions hiring the early stage researchers, where the major part of the research activities is carried out. Among them are a private-sector laboratory, six universities, and three research centres. These institutions have been responsible for several scientific and technological breakthroughs in the field of SAWs in semiconductors made since the late 1990s, which have led to a European leadership in the area.

Some of these centres are also actively involved in the development of advanced materials and technologies for SAW devices (such as TWENTE, PDI, UPM, and CHALMERS) as well as with their integration with Si-CMOS technology (TWENTE). Altogether, the beneficiaries are hosting 15 individual research projects for ESRs. They are in charge of the academic and the interdisciplinary training, supported by the associated partners.

You can find more information on the beneficiaries in the individual research project section.

Associated partners

SAWtrain includes as associated partners five universities, two large companies and six small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). EPCOS, a worldwide leading company on acoustic devices for signal processing, and NTT-BRL (as well as the beneficiary TREL) are key players in SAW-based applications for quantum information processing.

NTD, Mach8Lasers and SolMateS are SMEs in the fields of SAW materials and technologies, which are strongly involved in research activities. VLC Photonics brings expertise in integrated photonics while PicoQuant and Protemics provides know-how on optical and THz spectroscopy. The associated partner HU Graduate School provides training in soft skills. Deutsches Museum, one of the world’s largest science and technology museums, contributes invaluable expertise in dissemination and communication to the public.

large-scale enterprises:

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs):




Nippon Telephone & Telegraph Corporation – Basic Research Labs, Japan

Mach8lasers B. V., The Netherlands


PicoQuant GmbH, Germany

Protemics GmbH, Germany

SolMateS B. V., The Nederlands

VLC Photonics S. L., Spain

University, Finland

Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain

Queen’s University, Canada

University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

Deutsches Museum

Humboldt Graduate School, Germany