Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna - Photonic Integrated Circuits, Sensors and NETworks (PIXNET) Consortium

PIXNET aims at training talented students to become capable of designing, realizing and assessing innovative integrated devices based on photonic technologies. The set of learning outcomes include the theoretical design of the system/network device, the design and simulation of the device in terms of a photonic integrated circuit, the fabrication in a clean room facility, the packaging and the final testing of the prototypes by characterization and demonstration in relevant environment.

Top reasons to study here

  • Three fabrication facilities: silicon photonics and device packaging available at SSSA, Indium Phosphide technology available at TU/E.
  • Added value of Osaka University, keeping the contact of the most up-to-date innovation coming from Japan, among the leader in the area of consumer electronics.
  • Extremely rich teaching program, comprising traditional classes, experience in clean-room facilities and interaction with a very wide choice of associated partn

Master's Programmes



The Institute of Communication, Information and Perception Technologies of SSSA was created in 2001 as Centre of Excellence and does research in optical communication networks through the use of photonic technologies, also in the fields of sensors and biophotonics. The Aston Institute of Photonic Technologies pursues studies in high-speed optical transmission and processing, fibre-based optical devices and components, nonlinear photonics, and fibre optic sensors. The Department of Electrical Engineering at TU/E , founded in 1957, works on three main areas: Developments in Communication; Smart and Sustainable Society; Electrical Engineering in the Healthcare Sector. Osaka University has been one of key photonics research centers in the world for a century.


Over the years, the TeCIP Institute has developed different educational programmes (Master’s degrees, Master’s diploma and PhD degrees) and transferred the knowledge emerging from its research activity into advanced training initiatives. It is considered a leader for training activities linked with the economic and production system. The AiPT have a large number of students taking both PhD and Masters level courses. It offers both research and taught masters with some distance learning options. The TU/E Department offers Undergraduate, Master's and PhD degrees, where trade and industry participate, providing an opportunity to acquire and share knowledge. Osaka University offers graduate and undergraduate programmes and entrance examinations are held to select students.


TeCIP Institute research is highly interdisciplinary. Its laboratories are equipped with the utmost leading edge instruments and technologies. The recent national Quality of Research Evaluation located it in 1st position for Industrial and Information Engineering. The AiPT pursues a diverse range of device-and-system-level topics.  It has recently expanded its activities in femtosecond pulsed laser techniques, medical sensing devices, and planar integrated optical circuits. The TU/E Department collaborates with industry in each of the research fields, focusing on electrical engineering aspects that have a major impact on future society. Osaka University attempts to fuse different areas with a base of the photonics field, towards the next generation of high-speed, large-capacity, and highly-efficient photonic networks.


PIXNET encompasses a wide range of topics and expertise related to the development of highly-skilled “photonic engineers for communication and sensing”. At the end of the learning activities, students will have acquired advanced optical networking skills and will be fully able to plan, design, manage and support photonic device technologies. Students will be capable of developing proper interdisciplinary connections between the areas of telecommunication networks, micro-opto-electronics, and systems design. They will acquire skills for the operation and maintenance of network systems and device fabrication. The exposure to different fabrication facilities will allow students to understand both the different technologic steps and the environment in which production platforms of integrated devices are standardized.

University Ranking

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Student services

Requests made by students are specifically addressed by dedicated offices at each partner institution. Prior to admission, each student is assisted by the Master’s Secretariat through a dedicated email account ( All institutions are highly experienced in welcoming and addressing student requirements upon their arrival. In particular, an international Office is available at each institution for those students needing to undergo a visa process and to obtain a subsequent permit of stay or to complete a process of registration with local authorities. Students admitted who may have a family or special needs will be welcomed and assisted, via specific measures, by the international affairs structures in each institution. Students will be provided with support and advice concerning their study and daily life. 

Housing services

Each Institution helps students in finding an accommodation in town. At Pisa, the SSSA International Relation Office helps students to find the best accommodation in student colleges or private rooms. At Aston, the International Student Recruitment and Development team is ready to help and advise international students for finding an accommodation in the city or reserve a room in its buildings. In Eindhoven, thanks to the arrival of the two apartment blocks, Luna and Aurora, the TU/E campus has now 700 apartments for (international) students and people working on the campus. Osaka University welcomes international students through a deputy office, where various support can be provided.

Library services

The Sant’Anna Library is a reference point for the teaching and learning needs. Aston modern facilities include a Library open seven days a week, lecture theatres and studying rooms. A completely renewed TU/e Library was inaugurated in the MetaForum building in September 2012. The Osaka University Library, an all-discipline organization essential in realizing world-leading research, serves as a solid body of knowledge in the fundamentals of academic information.

ICT services

In each institution, a Wi-Fi service is offered for all students attending the PIXNET programme, as well as personal mailboxes and other IT services.

Medical services

The Consortium ensures students are adequately insured while participating in the PIXNET Master’s. The coverage is compliant with the European Commission’s minimum requirements and includes all worldwide travel required. The insurer provides high-quality services in relation to risks such as: illness, pregnancy, accident (including doctors’ fees, costs of medicines and examinations), and other supplementary assistance services.

Student Life

Campus life

The Sant'Anna School is an institution well rooted in the city of Pisa that over the years has redeveloped many facilities for the benefit of the quality of academic life. The Aston University campus is located on a green 60 acre, self contained site in the centre of Birmingham, within 5-10 minutes walk of the main shopping, business and entertainment areas of the city. TU/e Campus is an open and accessible community for technology education, scientific research and knowledge valorization. With three different campus (Suita, Toyonaka and Minoh), Osaka offers an amazing environment for its students.

Sports facilities

In Pisa, the University Sports Center aims to promote and develop the university's amateur and competitive sport activities, spreading the sport culture and values. Whether you are looking to get fit, lose weight or maintain health and wellbeing, Sport Aston’s gym and sport facilities has something for everyone. The Student Sport Center Eindhoven is the most extensive of all Dutch universities, offering all students and staff of TU/e, Fontys Hogescholen Eindhoven and Design Academy Eindhoven sport (70 sports), recreation, health and relaxation. For the purpose of promoting sports-related extracurricular activities and the various sports groups, the Osaka University Sports Union was set up. Currently, the Sports Union has approximately 6,000 members.

Student clubs

Sant’Anna School students’ association organizes cultural, scientific and social events and promote community and intercultural student connections. In Aston, a Student Union represents and supports around 14,000 students, providing a number of commercial and non-commercial services. TU/e has Common Rooms where international and Dutch staff and students can meet for a drink, to chat or study together. At Osaka University students have an extremely wide choice of extracurricular activities; for this purpose various student groups work in the campus.


  • Project Reference: 586665-EPP-1-2017-1-IT-EPPKA1-JMD-MOB
  • EU Grant: 3334000 EUR
  • Programme: Erasmus+
  • Key Action: Learning Mobility of Individuals
  • Action Type: Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees

Student Reviews

Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

I would strongly recommend Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna because it is a unique place where a student receives room, board and a wide range of chances to enrich his academic, cultural and social life.

Studied at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa (Italy)
Anonymous rated 4 out of 5 stars

I've been a Honors student in Juridical Science at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna for 5 years. Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Pisa is a Honors College of University of Pisa, which grants full scholarship to students who, after passing a selective national competition, maintain outstanding academic performance and attend extra interdisciplinary classes. Along with being...

Anonymous rated 5 out of 5 stars

Because it is such a lovely city.