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PhD Studentship - Game theory for optimal sensing and jamming in electronic warfare


   School of Mathematics

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Operational Research Group, School of Mathematical Sciences

Project description

This project falls within the framework of electronic warfare, specifically electronic attack and electronic surveillance in the radio frequency region of the electromagnetic spectrum, with the scope of interest covering communications, active sensing (such as radar), and passive sensing. The aim of the project is to develop and study game theoretic models for finding optimal strategies for sensing and jamming in the presence of devices to be surveyed or jammed, while considering the multi-objective nature of the problem as well as the ability of devices being surveyed/jammed to change their behaviour.

We are thus interested in finding the best sensing/jamming strategies, given a limited set of transceiver nodes (for sensing and jamming) all with finite range and bandwidth. For example, if the sensors employ different frequencies, greater probability of detection is obtained. If the sensors are on the same frequency, detection probability is lower, but geolocation is easier. What strategy should be used in terms of transceiver position, frequency band occupancy, and scan/hopping patterns to ensure different sensing and jamming goals are met? Jamming may degrade sensing performance, and this must also be taken to account in the construction of any optimisation cost function. It is likewise important to study how strategies adapt over time with further sensing information available.

Sponsor: The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) providing world class expertise and delivering cutting-edge science and technology for the benefit of the nation and allies. It is one of the principal government organisations dedicated to science and technology in the defence and security field. Dstl supplies specialist services to MOD and wider government, working collaboratively with external partners in industry and academia worldwide, providing expert research, specialist advice and invaluable operational support. Because of the agency’s expertise and facilities, particularly in the wider area of UK defence and security, it works across government with more than 40 government departments and agencies. Students recruited on this project will form a virtual cohort, where Dstl will organise physical and virtual joint meetings with its researchers to discuss research progress and share experiences.

Informal enquiries: If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof Joerg Fliege, Operational Research Group, School of Mathematical Sciences, Email:

Entry Requirements

First or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in a discipline with strong quantitative background (e.g., mathematics, computer science, electronical engineering, physics, statistics, economics).

Other qualifications can be considered in special situations; in these cases, candidates should send full details of their training in mathematics with their application. Even though applicants are assumed to have a strong background in mathematics, the project is designed to meet the varying needs of students who have previously studied mathematics as a minor subject within some other discipline.

Closing date: Applications will be considered until the positions are filled.

How to apply

Applications should be made online (see link below). Select programme type (Research), 2022/23, Faculty of Social Sciences, next page, select PhD Mathematical Sciences (Full time). In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor as Joerg Fliege/Alain Zemkoho. 

Applications should include

  1. A personal statement discussing any experience that you may have around optimisation, operational research, game theory, and/or programming, your mathematical background, and any details of experience that you might have in working with business or industry clients (free form, 1-page A4)
  2. Curriculum vitae - including academic study, work experience and any publications if available
  3. Names and institutional email addresses of two academic referees
  4. All your degree transcripts to date

Apply online: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/courses/how-to-apply/postgraduate-applications.page

For further information please contact:

Host Institution

You will be based at the University of Southampton, a research-intensive university, and a founding member of the Russell Group of elite British universities. Besides being recognised as one of the leading research universities in the UK, Southampton has achieved consistently high scores for its teaching and learning activities. In the 2021 Research Excellence framework, 100% of Mathematics research impact and research environment was specifically rated as of internationally excellent or world-leading quality. The broad range of Mathematical Sciences at Southampton gives Southampton a unique ability to contribute to the scientific and social challenges facing society. 

Statistics and Operational Research groups have existed within Mathematical Sciences since the 1960s. In the early 2000s, the broad multidisciplinary nature of Southampton activity in these areas was recognised through the establishment of the Centre of Operational Research, Management Sciences, and Information Systems (CORMSIS), which spans Mathematical Sciences and Southampton Business School. Operational Research at the University of Southampton is ranked 34rd in the world, and 7th in the UK, according to the latest QS World Rankings. You will be a member of CORMSIS for the duration of your PhD studies.


Funding Notes

The project is fully funded by Dstl and covers full tuition fees at UK rates, and a stipend of £15,285 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

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