PhD Studentship (Wireless Signal Authentication) University College Cork, Department of Computer Science Ireland

PhD Studentship


Job Posted: 22 Mar 2019

Closing Date for Applications: 26 Apr 2019

Department: Department of Computer Science

College: College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time

Job Type: Research

Salary: See advert for details

PhD Studentship (Wireless Signal Authentication)

Title: Wireless Signal Authentication for the Internet of Things


The Security Group at the Department of Computer Science at UCC ( is looking for a PhD student to contribute to our security research in the Internet of Things (IoT) domain. The focus of the PhD work will be on the development of novel wireless signal authentication methods for long range wireless networks.


Research Program:

It has been shown in principle, and for specific setups, that wireless devices can be identified via their unique signal characteristics. The research will aim to develop a generic system which can support a variety of communication standards and is not limited to a specific setup. The goal is to build a system which profiles wireless signals of selected devices and identifies changes that indicate (i) device replacement (ii) device movement. This work will focus on wireless devices commonly used in IoT deployments (e.g. based on NB-IoT, LoRa, Sigfox). The work will significantly advance the state of the art in wireless signal authentication, combining analysis of a variety of signal features and applying these techniques to a variety of device types. Wireless transmission characteristics change if a device is replaced or moved. In many deployments device replacement and/or movement is not expected and detection of such activity indicates unauthorised tampering with the communication system. Hence, wireless signal characteristics can be used as additional authentication feature; if signal characteristics have changed a received message should not be processed. Environmental changes may alter wireless transmission characteristics too and it is a challenge to distinguish these events clearly from tamper events.


Required Experience:

Applicants should have an understanding of digital signal processing, wireless communications and computer networks. An interest in computer security and experimental computer science is required. Applicants must demonstrate good inter-personal skills, and a high standard of spoken and written English. The positions are open to applicants of any nationality.


Funding Details:

The PhD position is funded for 4 years, including a monthly stipend and a travel budget to present research outcomes at international conferences. Access to communication devices and testbeds to carry out necessary experimental work will be provided. The studentship will cover EU fees and conference travel and pay a stipend of €18,500pa (tax free)for up to 4 years. Non-Eu candidates may apply but they will have to cover extra fees themselves.


To Apply:

Interested candidates should apply by email to James Duggan (,  cc’ing the Department of Computer Science ( Enquiries before application should be directed to James. The closing date for applications is Friday 26th April 2019.


Applications should include:

  1. a cover letter (1 page) explaining their interest in the project topic and mentioning any relevant experience;

  2. a Curriculum Vitae.

Academic transcripts and two academic references will be required when requested.

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