PhD Candidate in Integrated Safety and Security Design for Autonomous Systems

Expiring today

Trondheim, Norway
27 Jun 2022
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD Candidate at the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. The project title is Integrated safety and security design for autonomous systems against cyber-physical attacks.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.  

Technology renewal has led to unprecedented connectivity, driving a colossal number of autonomous systems with sensing, computation and communication capabilities linked to the network and working online. Under the circumstance where the security issues and the safety issues have become deeply intertwined, novel defense schemes are in urgent need. An attack not only harness the virtual cyber world but can also manipulate the safety-critical devices to cause actual damages in the physical world. This kind of cybersecurity issue has gone beyond the scope of ICT technologies and it is necessary to provide control-level safety warnings and stability guarantees when the attackers have broken into the network and intercepted the network-transmitted data.

The PhD position consists in studying concepts, methods, and tools to novel design and implementation approaches to the detection and resilient control against attacks in cyber-physical systems. More specifically, the objective is to explore what can be done by:

  1. Characterize different types of attacks and represent typical attacks in a unified form
  2. Determine the condition of stealthy integrity attacks in closed-loop systems
  3. Design auxiliary diagnosis systems against various typical integrity attacks
  4. Attack-resilient control of the autonomous cyber-physical systems.

To achieve this, the patterns in the colossal amount of data generated from autonomous systems need to be identified.

Your immediate leader is Head of research group.

Duties of the position

  • take part in the mandatory PhD research education program
  • conduct independent research and publish the result in recognised scientific journals
  • participate in project management
  • participate actively in the series of PhD seminars
  • take part in lab works and experiments, e.g., autonomous systems

Required selection criteria

  • you must have a professionally relevant background in Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety, or Cybernetics, or Information and Communications Technology, or similar
  • your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • you must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education
  • you must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • knowledge about machine learning, and a strong will to learn more
  • good written and oral English

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • familiar with Python programming and MATLAB, SIMULINK
  • familiar with mathematical modelling methods, modern control theory and the observer theory, signal processing, and typical data-driven approaches
  • good project management and programming knowledge and experience
  • strong competence in data-driven modelling and anomaly detection

Personal characteristics

  • dedicated to the work
  • creative – Creating new ideas and new technologies/methods
  • critical – Asking the right questions
  • respectful – Care about your colleagues
  • emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities

We offer

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 491 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • CV and certificates
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Project plan describing your research objectives and how you will link your research to the planned position (2-3 pages)
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality. (tas bort hvis ikke aktuelt)

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Shen Yin, telephone +4746503034, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Linn-Cecilie Felle, e-mail:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 15.08.2022

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.

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

We educate graduates who can create new products, operate and maintain products, and manage projects. The Department has a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. We conduct wide-ranging research in fields such as technology, energy, product quality and development, and productivity. The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering

Deadline 15th August 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Dept. Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

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