1 February 2022

Vacancy: CISCO / University of Twente – Fully funded PhD position on distributed reliable and secure distributed applications

Are you interested in a PhD position in a collaborative research project between Cisco and the University of Twente, and do you want to focus on various aspects on reliability and security of distributed IoT/OT/cloud applications? Read below for further details!

The research project

Today, applications are primarily written for cloud infrastructures, GitHub or other (social) coding platforms are used as source repository, and plenty of open source tools and frameworks exist to quickly innovate, build out new OT/IoT and IT applications: this is the cloud native computing era.  Unfortunately, many of these cloud applications turn out to be fragile and the slightest change, or the simplest of hacks can disrupt their operations.  For instance, with cloud-native application development, parts of applications are easily rebuilt and redeployed, and while this is a good for feature velocity, it has serious side effects: over time applications may become less reliable instead of more reliable.  This can have serious consequences for today’s operational systems (think: health-care systems, IoT solutions, manufacturing sites and more) and web-based systems (think: web-enterprises). 

We believe the fragility is caused by our lack of understanding what the effects are of modern application development on the stability of OT/IoT and IT systems – often we don’t know how these (distributed) applications are created, how their original and derived requirements evolve, how these applications and application parts are maintained throughout their lifetime, and what dependencies (implied and explicit) exist within the applications and their changing environment.  In other words: can we define and built a framework and platform that helps developers and application maintainers build better applications and systems? How can federated cloud infrastructures, software elements and services ensure trust and governance while maintaining the flexibility and ease-of-use of the cloud native era? 

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher with a background in, or affinity with, researching, designing, and building, reliable and secure distributed OT/IoT and IT applications and systems.  The aim of the PhD assignment is to analyze the reliability issues and based on the analysis and research, design and develop a prototype system that addresses these deficiencies. 

The candidate is expected to work at the University of Twente jointly in a larger team of other PhD students through the TUCCR program and Cisco (Netherlands, France, and USA) simultaneously while working with colleagues at Ecole Polytechnique Paris.

About the University of Twente and the TUCCR program:

The University of Twente (UT) is located in the east of the Netherlands. It offers a dynamic campus, excellent facilities and the possibility to work in- and with- famous research groups. The Twente University Centre for Cybersecurity Research (TUCRR) program is a public-private partnership between research institutions, government agencies and industry partners.  TUCCR research investigates, innovates, and realizes data and network security problems and solutions. By doing this TUCCR develops solutions with a direct impact on the cybersecurity of society.

Our offer

As a PhD student at the UT, you will be appointed on a fulltime position for four years, within a very stimulating scientific environment. You will be working under the supervision of prof.dr Paul Havinga (University of Twente) and dr. Peter Bosch (Cisco).

The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues. Salary and conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities. A training program in which you and your supervisor will make up a plan for additional suitable education and supervision. We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff. 

Information and application

The vacancy will be open on a very short notice. You are required to apply via the vacancy website of the university (https://utwentecareers.nl/) before we can process your application. For more information about this vacancy, please contact our secretary Nicole Baveld: v.i.baveld@utwente.nl

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