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Comprehensive Risk & Vulnerability Identification within an Industrial Control System

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 27, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

*This is a KESS 2 East scholarship opportunity. Please note the eligibility information in the advert text or contact the team for further information.*

Here is an exciting opportunity to study a system and its associated technology which could lead to entirely new approaches in Command and Control Systems. The selected candidate will apply their skills and ambition to construction of an advanced prototype system that can perform command and control over a SCADA system via a 5G network. This project will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of networking and command and control research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science at the University of South Wales. KESS is a programme funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) awarded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) in the Welsh Government. The project will focus on validating the feasibility of conducting command and control over a SCADA system via a 5G network. This will be achieved via the construction of an advanced prototype system. This project is backed by THALES is a large multi-national national company with locations in Wales and the UK.

To read the full project description please visit:

Programme of Research:

Traditional risk assessment and vulnerability identification approaches take a component-based approach. This approach can miss other classes of risks & vulnerabilities inherent in the system that arise from interfaces, dependencies, and socio-technical interactions. A combination of assessment techniques including system-driven approaches such as STPA and fault tree analysis would be more comprehensive.
A toolbox approach using more than one methodology could increase the confidence that all significant safety and security risks and hazards have been identified. This in turn could lead to the creation of a joint safety and security accreditation process.

The project seeks to develop and validate a toolbox approach through which a comprehensive risk & vulnerability identification within an Industrial Control System can be performed. In particular, the aims of this project are as follows:

• To develop a risk and vulnerability model for Industrial Process Control Systems that is socio-technical in nature.
• To create a toolbox of methods that utilise the risk and vulnerability model to perform a comprehensive risk & vulnerability identification within an Industrial Control System.
• To support the security accreditation process for CNI systems.
• To execute/validate that toolbox through a series of case-studies drawn from a variety of Industrial Process Control Systems.

The studentship will cover the fees for a full-time PhD programme and pay a stipend of circa £14k p.a. There is also around £9k project support costs available for consumables, travel, minor equipment, training (including the KESS Grad School) and conference attendance.

The position is available from 1st April 2019.

Eligibility of Student:
To be eligible to hold a KESS studentship, you must:
• have a home address in East Wales area (details below)* at the time of registration.
• have the right to take up paid work in the East Wales area* on completion of the scholarship.
• be classified by the University as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ for tuition fees purposes according to the University’s guidelines.
• satisfy University of South Wales’s admissions criteria: see below, qualifications and experience and application process

* East Wales area covers: Vale of Glamorgan / Cardiff / Newport / Monmouthshire / Powys / Wrexham / Flintshire

Qualifications and experience:

Eligible applicants will:

• Have a degree (2i or higher) in an appropriate computer science discipline
• Possess a reasonable understanding of:
o Networks and networking and in particular mobile networks;
o Programming in languages such as JAVA, C++, C and Python;
o SCADA based industrial process control systems and Industrial IOT.
• Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop new techniques in the areas of Comprehensive Risk & Vulnerability Identification within an Industrial Control System.
• Have well-developed and positively collaborative interpersonal skills
• Have an ability to deliver technical reports and communicate findings
• Be willing to travel and work in industrial / clinical / community support settings

Application Process:

To download an application package, please visit:

For any queries on eligibility, please contact: KESS Team at Research and Innovation Services, University of South Wales: Tel: 01443 482578

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Professor Andrew Blyth ()

Closing date for applications: 27th January 2019
Interviews will be held w/c (TBC)

Funding Notes

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) programme for East Wales.

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