Fully-funded PhD studentship in ‘Secure Ontologies for IoT Systems (SOfIoTS)’

University College London

Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (UCL STEaPP)

Project Description

An opportunity has arisen for a 4-year PhD studentship within the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London, under the PETRAS Centre for the Cybersecurity of IoT Systems. The PETRAS Centre is a 7-year, £24m EPSRC funded initiative administered by UCL in collaboration with 15 other universities, with UCL, Imperial College, University of Oxford, Lancaster University and University of Warwick as the hub. PETRAS is unique in its cross-disciplinary approach, blending social and physical sciences research to explore privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability and security of socio-technical systems at the edge of the internet. The SOfIoTS doctoral studentship will offer opportunities to collaborate with 20+ researchers operating across the PETRAS community, and with our external partner concerning ontology, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

The proposed theme of research centres on the application of ontological methods to provide a framework for securely integrating real-time data streams, typically from Internet of Things (IoT) devices, with static Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS). This theme has direct relevance to the creation of secure and futureproof Digital Twins, with application in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Product Data Modelling. Research outcomes will contribute to developments of ‘dashboard’ and preventative maintenance systems for industrial and building management systems, as well as identifying socio-technical issues that include security, acceptability and trustworthiness, and how these may be addressed through policy and practice.

Funding Information

The studentship will cover Home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend (tax free) of no less than £17,432, increasing annually with inflation. The studentship is funded for up to 4 years on a full-time basis.

Applicants must have no restrictions on their right to live in the UK permanently, and must meet the EPSRC eligibility and residency requirements. They must have been resident in the UK for three years immediately prior to the studentship commencing. EU Citizens who have not been residing in the UK for the past 3 years may be eligible.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants should hold a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in in Computer Science, Data Science, Ontology/Information studies or a related discipline, and with an interest in the intersection of physical science / engineering with social and behavioural sciences. The successful candidate will be a dedicated student capable of working effectively on their own as well as in a collaborative environment. A strong aptitude and enthusiasm for research is a must.

Application Process

This studentship is available starting from September 2021. Applicants should submit their application using the UCL postgraduate study application form (see web site) and mark for the attention of Prof Jeremy Watson CBE, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy. For further information, interested candidates may contact Prof Watson ([email protected]) with a covering letter and a CV (including marks/grades achieved on current courses).

Closing date: 31st August 2021 (or until filled).

Supplementary Information

About UCL and the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

University College London (UCL) founded in 1826, was the first university in England to admit students of any race, class or religion and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men. UCL is organised into 11 constituent faculties, within which there are over 100 departments, institutes and research centres. UCL has 983 professors and more than 7000 academic staffs who are dedicated to research and teaching of the highest standards. Its student community is almost 36,000, one of the largest in the UK. There are 29 Nobel Prize winners and three Fields medallists amongst UCL’s alumni and current and former staff. UCL is one of the top four universities in the UK for research excellence (REF2014). It has a strong tradition and large knowledge base in medical research with a dedicated institute on Healthcare Engineering and 10+ hospitals. UCL has world-class support for researchers and has been voted the best place for postdoctoral researchers to work for consecutive years by The Scientist magazine. The main campus of UCL is located in central London, close to British Museum, West-End and Thames River.

The Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at UCL was established by two ex-Chief Scientific Advisers in 2013 and, in addition to a very strong research culture, runs a highly-reputed Masters in Public Administration (MPA) programme.

Further information regarding UCL may be found at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/

Information about the department may be found at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/steapp/

To apply for this PhD, please email jeremy.watson@ucl.ac.uk.

Before sending your email, please double check you have followed all guidelines in this listing and have included a reference number if asked to do so.