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P2-08: AI-enabled Cybersecurity Of UAVs In 6G: (Ref: WD_2021_09_SPONS)

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  Dr Bernard Butler, Dr Steven Davy, Dr Aisling O'Driscoll  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited to apply for a position as funded PhD scholar at the Walton Institute, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. The candidate is expected to be highly self-motivated, and willing to work in emerging topics in UAV-enabled edge networking, AI and cybersecurity.

Description: 6G is envisaged to comprise a massively connected complex network with highly mobile edge nodes, such as those in vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which have great potential to transform the logistics, delivery and transportation sectors. However, the security of such highly mobile networked systems needs further research before their utility can be fully realized. Indeed, as more intelligence is delegated to capable devices like UAVs, so too does the possibility of using them for malicious purposes. The research will focus on the security assessment of intelligent UAVs in a range of settings, including remote monitoring and transportation. Specifically, it will investigate how autonomous security, where security procedures adapt to the threat landscape in real-time and adjust their operation in order to detect and mitigate any attacks, can be deployed to UAV-based systems. We will use deep learning-based techniques like GANs and GNNs to make threat detection more robust, to analyse the security state proactively, and thereby to improve make UAV operation and management more reliable and efficient.

Person specification



·       First- or second-class honours degree in physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics or related relevant discipline.


·       MSc degree or equivalent postgraduate qualification in physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics or related relevant discipline.

·       Professional security certification like Security+ or CEH

Knowledge & Experience


·       Strong background in embedded system development or artificial intelligence/machine learning.

·       Strong skills in coding e.g. python, Matlab.

·       Highly analytical


·       Expertise in threat modelling

·       Expertise in formal specification and system characterisation

·       Familiarity with communication networks and their management.

·       Demonstrated capability in the delivery of research projects at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Skills & Competencies


·       Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

·       Highly motivated, demonstrate initiative and ability to work within multi-disciplinary project team to achieve results.

·       Strong interpersonal and communication skills.

·       Good academic record of excellence and writing skills.


·       Prior experience working with or in industry, scientific paper and report writing.

Funding Notes

Research Group : Walton Institute
Department /School: Computing and Maths
Duration: 4 years (structured PhD)
Status: Full-time
Funding information: Funded through SFI Connect (Phase 2 project P2-08)
Value of the scholarship: €18,500 stipend per year
€4,500 fees per year
€2,000 per year research costs
Teaching requirement : None required
Closing date and time: 17 August 2022 (4pm Irish Time )
Interview date: To Be Confirmed- September 2022
Commencement date: December 2022


Further information
For any informal queries, please contact Bernard Butler at email:
For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email or telephone
+353 (0)51 302883.
Dr Bernard Butler(SETU), Dr Aisling O'Drisoll ( UCC) and Dr Steven Davy ( Formerly Walton Institute)
Application procedure
Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form and return completed applications to, quoting (WD_2021_09_SPONS) in the email subject line.
Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.
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