PhD Position in Signal Processing for Privacy-Preserving Distributed Learning in IoT

Trondheim, Norway
09 Oct 2018
End of advertisement period
05 Nov 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow position at the Department of Electronic Systems (IES). The PhD position is for up to 4 years with 25% work assignments for NTNU IES.

The position reports to Head of Department. 

Job description

The pervasion of the Internet of Things (IoT), which connects numerous sensors, actuators, appliances, vehicles etc., has a strong impact on the evolution of smarter and greener cities as well as on environmental monitoring.

A basic tenet underlying all key functionalities of the IoT is situational awareness, i.e., the ability to capture events and derive accurate critical information for decision making that enable timely action in a heterogeneous and highly dynamic environment. This calls for an intelligent infrastructure that is autonomous, dependable, and resilient to natural or man-made disturbances.

A critical component of such an infrastructure comprises myriads of information-gathering sensors deployed at many points of concern in the city. The sensors deployed in smart cities' IoT constitute critical data sources, on which the ensuing analytics and control actions depend. Those sensors are interconnected through the internet, forming an important part of IoT, and most likely powered only by batteries.

To ensure that the sensors function effectively, we need to take a holistic approach to designing secure sensor networks with energy-efficient functional algorithms starting with sensing, followed by data processing and communication to ensure reliable decision making to enable timely actions that make possible long lasting secure and dependable functionality.

The PhD projects will be around developing and analyzing new efficient statistical learning algorithms for distributed inference to improve data quality, reliability, privacy and security of the physical-layer signals in IoT. The aim is to go beyond state-of-the-art solutions, embrace a secure-by-design philosophy by exploiting additional information available at the physical layer, and take a holistic approach that starts with smart sensors, smart inference, and secure two-way communication among all the devices in the network, and energy-efficiency. The PhD candidates will have the opportunity to visit and collaborate with research scientists from the University of Notre Dame and Aalto University.

Qualification requirements

PhD candidate:

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Electrical Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, or other relevant disciplines with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

We seek a highly-motivated individual who has

  • strong mathematical background and a research-oriented master thesis in a related field, e.g., signal processing, information theory, statistical machine learning, applied mathematics, or optimization
  • experience with programming

Publication activities in the aforementioned disciplines will be considered an advantage but is not a requirement.

Personal characteristics

The successful candidate should

  • be creative, independent, and self-motivated
  • possess good skills to deliver oral and written presentations of research results

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidate:

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 4 years with 25% work assignments. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Electronics and Telecommunication, (

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Stefan Werner, e-mail

About the application:

An eligible candidate should have acquired MSc degree by the application deadline.

Please submit an application letter describing your motivation, relevant experience, skills and qualifications, and a brief research vision for the position (maximum 2 pages) along with a CV, publication list, letters of reference and proof of fluency in the English language (if applicable) and certificates from both bachelor and master’s degrees.

In summary, the application must contain:

  • CV with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas
  • Application letter describing your motivation, relevant experience, skills and qualifications
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree
  • Brief research statement (max. 2 pages) for the position
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF).

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2018/6712 when applying.

Application deadline: 05.11.18

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering is Norway’s largest university environment in ICT, electrical engineering and mathematical sciences. Our aim is to contribute to a smart, secure and sustainable future. We emphasize high international quality in research, education, innovation, dissemination and outreach. The Faculty consists of seven departments and the Faculty Administration.

Deadline 05.11.2018
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Jobbnorge ID 158760