PhD Position in Secure Trustable Cognitive IOT
University of Twente Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

Job description

The project

Sensors are now applied to almost everything. This indicates that more data can be collected from any transaction or process in real-time. The ability to capture data through sensors and IoT and use this data with advanced machine learning algorithms is an evolution that has attracted significant interest over the last few years, and has opened many new possibilities. Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) is the natural convergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). With AIoT organizations can capture all the meaningful data surrounding their processes and problems to develop solutions for real challenges within the organization, improving efficiency, reliability, and sustainability.

These new possibilities have been accompanied by new concerns and threats associated with privacy and security. The high level of risk has also brought in newer and more responsibilities that accompany the increased capabilities. AIoT poses a significant impact on security: on the one hand, AIoT can be used to build reliable and robust systems; on the other hand, AI might be exploited to launch more effective attacks. Thus, building robust AIoT systems that are immune to external threats and interference is essential.

The main research question in this research is therefore on how to make the AIoT systems robust and trustable.

To answer this research question and address the challenges involved, the University of Twente, together with 49 key partners from 12 countries, aim at creating Intelligent Secure Trustable Things (InSecTT) to provide comprehensive cost-efficient solutions of intelligent, end-to-end secure, trustworthy connectivity and interoperability for industrial applications such as smart infrastructure, building, manufacturing, automotive, aeronautics, railway, urban public transport, maritime as well as health. The project is funded the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The outcomes would enable products and services based on AI compliant to European values and “Made in Europe”.

We are seeking candidates for two fully-funded PhD positions. The PhD candidates will work at the Pervasive Systems Research group, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. The prospective PhD candidate is expected to perform high quality and internationally visible research that gets published at top tier conferences and journals.

We are seeking candidates for two full-time 4-year PhD projects on the following strongly related topics:

* Secure trustable cognitive localization systems. This PhD project aims to provide a cognitive localization system for in large indoor environments (like hospitals), that can wisely adapt to unexpected interferences, and can self-monitoring and self-diagnosing of possible security attacks or failures. AI will be used for multimodal localization techniques and methods, providing localization services in heterogeneous environments with optimal performance, while integrity protection such as the location of the device/people has been jeopardized in the whole process.

* Robust trustworthy cognitive wireless communication. This PhD project focuses on providing a robust secure cognitive communication in IoT for people, devices and equipment. AI is used to identify wireless communication patterns, identify possible threats, and to predict the resources required for robust and trustworthy monitoring and diagnosis tasks. Based on these predictions, network resources will be efficiently allocated to achieve a trade-off between trust, availability, capacity, and quality of service.

Your profile

  • The ideal candidate has a Master's degree in either Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Computer Science.
  • You have experience in telecommunication, signal processing, embedded systems, cyber-security-systems, data analysis, statistical analysis and/or machine learning.
  • Interested candidates should be interested in solving analytical tasks, combined with intermediate programming skills (e.g. in R, Python or C-something)
  • Prior experience in corresponding software frameworks is a plus (e.g. Tensor-flow, Keras, PyTorch).
  • Moreover, we are looking for a strong personality to defend your research ideas not only at university but also in an industrial context.
  • You have good communication skills and you have a strong interest in operating at the crossroads of different disciplines
  • You have an excellent command of English (C1; above IELTS 7 or equivalent)
  • You are able to do independent research and have publication skills


Do you want to work at the Best Technical University in The Netherlands, praised by the Keuzegids in 2019? Please send your application before 1 June 2020 via the 'Apply now' button, and include:

  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, motivations to apply for this position and research ideas for the PhD project;
  • A full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications;
  • A short description (maximum 1 page A4) of your MSc research.

The selection procedure includes an interview and scientific presentation. And an assessment may be part of the selection procedure. 

For additional information about these positions, you are encouraged to contact Prof. Dr. Paul Havinga:, Pervasive Systems Research group, Department of Computer Science, University of Twente

Our offer

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the University of Twente. Your work location is Enschede, but you will spend a part of your time at the Philips offices.

  • A fulltime 4 year PhD-position
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You are offered a professional and personal development program within the Twente Graduate School;
  • A starting salary of € 2.325 gross per month in the first year and a salary of € 2.972 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;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.

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 leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

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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