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PhD Research Project

Software Defined Networks (SDN)

More Info

Institution Location

Related PhDs

University of Sheffield
Department of Computer Science
University of Edinburgh
School of Informatics
University of East Anglia
School of Computing Sciences

Prof G Pavlou
No more applications being accepted
Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

A PhD studentship in Software Defined Networks (SDN) is available, supported jointly through a UCL Impact Scholarship and through the European Union FP7 Network of Excellence (NoE) FLAMINGO – Management of the Future Internet. Given that there is an award of 3 years home fees and stipend costs, we are looking to recruit a very high calibre home or EU PhD student to work in this emerging area of crucial importance. Note that overseas applicants are NOT eligible.
The Internet architecture was originally designed without in-built functionality for network management while management protocol interfaces were add-ons. As a result, automated closed loop control from external management systems has always been difficult to realise. This has led to distributed in-network approaches, termed “autonomic”, which though suffer from distributed decision making, convergence, oscillations, etc. More recently, it has been proposed to separate the control and date plane through Software Defined Networks, in which a centralised controller can manipulate programmable switches through a protocol such as OpenFlow to enable quick management decisions. This opens new avenues for future management functionality that will be closely integrated with the network, driving it to a close to optimal operating state. The Communications and Information Systems Group at UCL EEE has always been at the forefront of developments in programmable networks, from the mid-1990s until now, and is also worldwide known for its expertise in network management.

Given the group’s involvement in the EU FLAMINGO NoE on Management of the Future Internet (, we are able in conjunction with the UCL Impact Scholarship Scheme to fund a very high calibre home/EU PhD student in SDN. This area involves intelligent approaches for configuration management, driven by high-level operational objectives in the form of policies and using input from scalable distributed network monitoring; these are all areas in which UCL has world-renowned expertise. The applicability target will be content networks on the one hand and energy efficiency in data centres on the other, which are both research areas of intense interest by the global research community at present. The PhD student will work in the context of an existing world-class team in this area and will benefit from the relevant ongoing research in FLAMINGO which will provide additional stimuli.

Applicants must fulfil the normal academic requirements for postgraduate study. In order to accelerate the process, a detailed CV including qualifications, experience and the names of two referees to be potentially contacted together with a one page research statement should be sent by email to Prof. George Pavlou (, see also ) with subject “FLAMINGO PhD studentship”. The selected applicant will be instructed to apply formally through admissions.

Funding Notes:

We are looking for candidates with excellent computer and/or electronic engineering background while strong analytical/mathematical skills will also be a significant advantage. Experience of design/development and evaluation of networking or management systems and also simulation, Linux, Java, C/C++ or similar would be an advantage.

The studentship is available for three years covering tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, plus stipend at c. £15,500 pa (tax free), increasing with inflation. We prefer for the prospective student to start in April 2013 or earlier, selection may be made before the closing date of 31 March 2013.

Please see for full details


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