PhD Candidate in Path Verification in Future Internet Infrastructures
University of Twente Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

Job description

Your challenge

Enable users to validate the properties of the paths through which their data travels through an inter-domain network like the Internet using open programmable networks.

Your project

The faculty of EEMCS of the University of Twente is looking for a Ph.D. student for the project “User-driven Path Verification and Control for Inter-domain Networks” (UPIN). The project is a close collaboration with the Multi Scale Networked Systems group (MNS) at the University of Amsterdam, where another Ph.D. student will work on the same project. UPIN is financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and industry partners NLnet Labs, SIDN, and SURF. It is also related to CONCORDIA, one of the 4 EU-funded flagship projects to set up a leading European cybersecurity competence network.

The goal of UPIN is to develop and evaluate a scalable distributed system that enables users to cryptographically verify and easily control the paths through which their data travels through an inter-domain network like the Internet, both in terms of router-to-router hops as well as in terms of router attributes (e.g., their location, operator, security level, and manufacturer). UPIN will thus provide the solution to a very relevant and current problem, which is that it is becoming increasingly opaque for users on the Internet who processes their data (e.g., in terms of service providers their data passes through as well as what jurisdictions apply) and that they have no control over how it is being routed. This is a risk for people’s privacy (e.g., a malicious network compromising a user’s data) as well as for their safety (e.g., an untrusted network disrupting a remote surgery).

You will:

  • develop and evaluate a scalable system to verify network paths using open programmable networks. Your peer in Amsterdam will focus on path control and their work will be complementary to yours.
  • implement your solution and experiment with it on the national P4-programmable network operated by the 2STiC consortium
  • work with service providers and other stakeholders to demonstrate the added value of path verification functions for specific applications
  • present (preliminary) results at appropriate meetings and conferences
  • publish results in scientific workshops, magazines, and journals
  • contribute to teaching on topics related to your work
  • represent and promote UPIN in collaboration with the project partners

Your profile

  • You’re a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher
  • You recently obtained an M.Sc. degree in computer science or related field
  • You have a background in computer networks, preferably in network security
  • Affinity with the concept of “digital sovereignty” for Europe
  • You’re an independent and original thinker with a creative mindset
  • You have excellent analytical and communication skills
  • You enjoy working in a team
  • Willingness to regularly visit your peer at the University of Amsterdam
  • Interested in (helping with) teaching
  • You’re fluent in English and willing to learn Dutch


Additional information about this position can be obtained from dr. Cristian Hesselman (e-mail: For questions regarding the application process, please contact Anouk Bos (+316-41374015). The process will be coordinated via an external recruiter.

Please submit your application before April 19th, 2020 (choose “apply now” below). Your application must include (i) a motivation letter clearly stating how you meet the selection criteria and (ii) a detailed CV with references.

The application process typically comprises two rounds. After a positive selection, we will finish the process by discussing terms and conditions of employment. We strive to complete the interviews and assessment within 4 weeks.


Design & Analysis of Communication Systems (DACS) is a research group of the faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) at the University of Twente. DACS was established in 2003 and encompasses a diverse and international staff of 5 tenured faculty and around 10-15 Ph.D. students and postdocs. DACS’ mission is to contribute to the design and implementation of dependable networked systems, as well as methods and techniques to support the security of such systems. More information:


UPIN is part of 2STiC (“Security, Stability, and Transparency for internetwork Communications”), the Dutch research program on future internet infrastructures. 2STiC’s objective is to establish a leading center of expertise in this exciting new field of research and to contribute to the Netherlands’ and Europe’s “digital sovereignty”. The partners in 2STiC are: University of Twente, University of Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology, Amsterdam Internet Exchange, SURF, NLnet Labs, and SIDN Labs. More information at


UPIN is related to CONCORDIA (“Cyber security cOmpeteNce fOr Research anD Innovation”), one of the 4 EU-funded flagship projects to set up a leading European cybersecurity competence network. CONCORDIA brings together 50+ partners from academia and industry and integrates various dimensions of cybersecurity, such as research, pilots, education, and business. CONCORDIA is related because it also addresses network-centric security in programmable networks and because three of the UPIN partners participate in CONCORDIA (the UT, SIDN, and SURF). More information at

Our offer

We offer an inspiring multidisciplinary and international academic environment that focuses on building a safer, smarter, and more sustainable Dutch and European society. The university is the heart of a dynamic and vibrant ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of our strategic agenda.

You will be employed fulltime for four years. Your salary and working conditions will be in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement (CAO-NU) of the Dutch Universities.

  • A starting salary of € 2,325.00 in the first year and a salary of € 2,972.00 in the fourth year, gross per month.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%
  • A solid pension scheme.
  • A minimum of 29 leave days in case of fulltime employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A fulltime employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Professional and personal development programs.
  • Costs for moving to Enschede may be reimbursed.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. The research which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+, CTIT and MIRA.

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