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Virtual Reality for Cyber Defence and Situational Awareness

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  • Full or part time
    Prof A Blyth
    Dr Eric Llewellyn
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • 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 situational awareness and virtual reality. The selected candidate will apply their skills and ambition to construction of an advanced prototype system that can create situational awareness via the application of virtual reality. This project will allow the student to develop transferable knowledge and skills in this most exciting and active field of computer network defence research.

This Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) project will be held in the Faculty Life Sciences and Education/ Computing, Engineering and Science/ Business and Society 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 constructing and operating a Virtual Reality Computer Network Defence capability. This will be achieved via the construction of an advanced prototype system.

This project is backed by ITSUS. ITSUS was created in 2008 by communications engineers with a powerful pedigree in the defence industry, where they spent many years designing, testing and implementing secure systems for the most challenging environments. ITSUS is a specialist network consultancy which delivers that crucial combination of security and efficiency, both expertly and cost-effectively, to clients in the most demanding environments. Its highly-experienced and agile team designs, integrates, tests and implements innovative and tailored network solutions for government, the military and defence industry, financial services, the health service, energy firms and utilities.

Programme of Research:

This project aims to develop novel state of the art capability in the application of virtual reality to cyber defence and situational awareness. In particular, to address the challenge of navigating big data for cyber defence via an immersive environment that facilitates user interaction and collaboration for situational awareness. The project seeks to validate the hypothesis that it is possible to create situational awareness for cyber defence in a Virtual Reality platform utilizing the Unity Game engine. In particular the aims of this project are as follows:

1. To design and develop a virtual reality capability for cyber defence and situational awareness;
2. To utilise COTS products for Virtual Reality and Big Data Analytics to implement the Virtual Reality Platform.
3. To validate via a technology demonstrator

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 October 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 Programming in languages such as JAVA, C++, C and Python;
o Virtual Reality and the Unity Game Engine;
o Computer Network Defence.
• Be highly self-motivated, with capacity to learn and develop new techniques in the areas of VR and Situational Awareness.
• 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 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: [Email Address Removed] Tel: 01443 482578

For informal enquiries or further programme information, please contact: Dr Eric Llewellyn [Email Address Removed]

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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