Fully funded Engineering Doctorate: Cyber Defence and Data Processing - sponsored by and working on research with BT

   Department of Computer Science

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  Dr S O'Keefe  Applications accepted all year round

About the Project

Applications are invited for a student to work on a research project in Cyber Defence. The research project is fully funded and will be carried out in conjunction with studying for an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Large Scale Complex IT Systems (LSCITS). The programme is a full time, 4-year doctoral level research degree involving a taught component, similar in scope to an MSc, and a research component requiring the Research Engineer (RE’s) to work closely with a sponsoring organisation.

More about the Sponsoring Organisation - BT

The successful candidate will be based at British Telecoms Research and Technology Innovation labs at Adastral Park, Ipswich, and will be assigned an industrial supervisor from BT Group Engineering Services and an academic supervisor from the University of York.

The Research Project: Cyber Defence and Data Processing

Quickly, accurately and comprehensively processing vast quantities of data is essential to BT’s ability to identify cyber threats before they materialise. This means making use of reliable, highly scalable processing systems that transform data into useful security events for human analysis.

For example:
• High-speed real-time processing systems such as IDSes (Intrusion Detection Systems)
• Distributed processing grids such as Hadoop clusters
• Data visualisation endpoints such as Splunk dashboards and graph visualisation systems
• Heuristic analysis systems for analysing network metadata

This project involves researching and developing new capability to enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of these systems, with a focus on processing (although it is likely there will be some crossover with other related projects).

Within the processing space, examples of specific work include:
• algorithmic and architectural software design and implementation for many core architectures such as Intel MIC (e.g. Xeon Phi), Tilera and CUDA
• discovering innovative new ways to extract useful information from network telemetry such as NetFlow
• implementing graph processing software on computing cluster
• researching distributed heuristic data analysis (e.g. using machine learning).

The objectives of the research are to develop a system to present an integrated view of potential cyber threats, to raise early warnings of possible attacks, and to assist human experts in analysing patterns of security events.

About you:

The ideal candidate should have a good mixture of practical experience in software development, understanding of micro-kernel or operating systems theory, and an interest in both distributed computing and security combined with very good communication skills as research will involve regular contact with stakeholders at BT at Adastral Park (Ipswich) and London.

You should be highly motivated and have a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree in Computer Science or a cognate discipline (e.g., Electrical Engineering, Physics or Chemistry). Prior relevant industrial experience would be advantageous.

Find out more about the Engineering Doctorate at http://www.cs.york.ac.uk/engd/-Research-Vacancies-

Informal enquiries can be made to the Engineering Doctorate Centre:

Professor Richard Paige, Centre Director, [Email Address Removed]
Mrs Dawn Forrester, Centre Administrator; email: [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will receive a tax-free stipend from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council (EPSRC) of £16,746 p.a. Additional support to cover travel to conferences and lectures will also be available.


Please note the start date for this project is negotiable. We would like the successful candidate to be able to start as soon as possible but no later than 30th September 2013.

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