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Methods and Practices for Automotive Penetration Testing

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, June 25, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship, in the areas Methods and Practices for Automotive Penetration Testing.

Academic context

Penetration testing is a popular and well understood technique, and is employed by many businesses as a means of testing their IT systems. However, automotive cyber security is an underexplored area. Individual attacks on vehicles have been published but these are diverse and follow an ad-hoc process. As yet no agreed methodology has emerged.

Broad Industrial Context

The most important reactive methodology for assurance of a sufficient level of security of a system under Test is penetration testing. An object under test can be anything from a whole system over a certain function down to a specific component of soft- or hardware.
Whereas the methodology of penetration testing is well experienced, penetration testing today is still done mainly in a manual way. Although there are first approaches in the direction of automation, for example fuzz testing, there is a lot of potential in this field to further automate penetration testing.

Industrial context

FEV has experience in both security as well as automated testing. They seeking to further develop their testing competences and are striving to include penetration testing as additional field into their portfolio of automated testing of systems in the automotive industry.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD

• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
• a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

For further details see:

Additional candidate specification

Experimental, modelling or analytical experience
• Knowledge and/or experience in the subject of hardware or software testing
• A good general knowledge of security
• Experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn about) vehicle systems

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact

To apply on line please visit:

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: June 25th 2019

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Enquiries may be addressed to:

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