PhD position on Advancing IoT and OT Security for a Resilient Society

University of Twente
November 24, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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IoT/OT systems represent the fusion of cutting-edge technology with the critical operations of businesses and industries. The consequences of system outages due to cyberattacks can be financially devastating and jeopardize the very existence of enterprises. Ensuring the perpetual availability, reliability, and security of these systems is paramount, even in the face of determined adversaries.

Your research will center around the identification of anomalies in IoT/OT system execution, a complex task with far-reaching implications. These anomalies may stem from software glitches, sensor malfunctions, or security breaches, and your work will be instrumental in guaranteeing the trustworthiness of these systems. You will be tasked with monitoring intricate, heterogeneous, and autonomous modules, tracking their interactions to fortify the reliability, security, and performance of these systems.

Our project's goal is to improve the dependability of critical digital infrastructures. CAL strives to unravel the intricacies and complexities of IoT/OT systems, culminating in the development of early warning systems capable of detecting anomalies and quantifying their potential consequences.

As a PhD student, you will be part of a dynamic team, both within and beyond our department, collaborating closely with Cisco Systems Inc. across multiple locations (Netherlands, France, and the USA). Your mission is to push the boundaries of science, developing practical, real-world solutions that will form the basis of your doctoral dissertation.

Your PhD assignment is a unique opportunity to dissect the reliability challenges inherent in IoT/OT systems. Drawing from your analysis and groundbreaking research, you will craft a prototype system designed to overcome these deficiencies. Your journey will require a deep understanding of distributed systems, expertise in AI/ML techniques, and familiarity with operating system architectures.

Your profile

We are seeking a highly motivated and qualified PhD student to contribute to our cutting-edge research in the security of IoT and OT systems. The ideal candidate should possess the following qualifications and attributes:

  • A master's degree in a relevant field such as Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Cybersecurity, Information Technology, or a related discipline is required. A strong academic record is essential.
  • Demonstrated research experience or a clear affinity for research, including prior coursework or projects related to IoT, OT systems, cybersecurity, distributed systems, or a related area.
  • Proficiency in programming languages and tools commonly used in the field, such as Python, C/C + +, or Java. Familiarity with IoT/OT protocols, security frameworks, and networking concepts is a plus.
  • A solid understanding of distributed systems architecture, principles, and challenges. Experience with designing, developing, or analyzing distributed systems is highly valued.
  • Familiarity with artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques is advantageous, as these may be employed in anomaly detection and system improvement.
  • Knowledge of operating system architectures and concepts, as well as the ability to work with different operating environments.
  • The ability to collaborate across disciplines and work effectively in a multidisciplinary team is crucial, as this research involves collaboration between academia and industry.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are essential, as the PhD student will be expected to publish research findings, present at conferences, and collaborate with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated creativity and problem-solving abilities are highly desirable, as the research involves addressing complex and novel challenges in IoT and OT security.
  • A strong work ethic, self-motivation, and a passion for addressing real- world security challenges in IoT and OT systems are fundamental qualities we are seeking.
  • The ability to work collaboratively within a team of PhD students, researchers, and industry partners, including Cisco Systems Inc., is essential for the success of the project.
  • The candidate should be committed to pursuing a PhD and successfully completing their doctoral dissertation within the stipulated timeframe.
  • Our offer
  • As a PhD candidate at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment;
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU);
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.770,- (first year) to € 3.539,- (fourth year);
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • The flexibility to work (partially) from home;
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a 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

    Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before November 24, 2023 , and include:

  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, and motivations to apply for this position.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references.
  • For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact Peter Bosch via [email protected], Alex Chiumento via a.chium[email protected] or Stefano Simonetto via [email protected].

    About the organisation

    The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more? Bosch, H.G.P. (Peter)

    Associate Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Peter for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues Bosch, H.G.P. (Peter)

    Personal page

  • Chiumento, A. (Alex)
  • Personal page LinkedIn

  • Simonetto, S. (Stefano)
  • Personal page

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