PhD in Understanding Resilience of Software-Defined Industrial Control Networks

Gjøvik, Norway
15 May 2018
End of advertisement period
01 Jun 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

NTNUs Department of Information Security and Communication Technology (  invites applications for a fully funded Ph.D. position in Understanding Resilience of Software-Defined Industrial Control Networks with a duration of 3 years.

About the Department

The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology has 33 permanent scientific staff members, and in total approximately 80 employees. 50 persons work at NTNUs campus in Gjøvik and 30 at NTNUs campus in Trondheim. IIK carries out internationally competitive research organized in seven cross-disciplinary labs covering the academic areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Applied Cryptology, Intelligent Transport Systems, Quantifiable Performance and Dependability of Communication Systems, Biometry, Digital Forensics, and Information Security. The department provides teaching in BSc in IT Operations and Information Security, MSc programmes in Communication technology and Information Security, and PhD programmes in Telematics and Information Security. The department hosts and operates NTNUs Center for Cyber and Information Security, a public-private partnership with 25 members.

Work description

The appointment is for a term of three years. This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree.

The project is to address the threats to reliability, resilience, and security that may arise from moving from a well-understood, simple network environment to a dynamic and virtualised software-defined network (SDN) for industrial control networks that are substantially more sensitive to performance and quality of service compared to regular information networks such as in electrical power system automation.

The overall objective of the project is to develop models of resilience and automated means of discovering efficiency bounds for attacks against the SDN control plane, particularly for cases where attackers will know or can learn about ICN protocols entering critical operations or transactions and of resilience mechanisms such as fail-over protocols used by defenders.

This also links to related projects in the security of control systems networks at IIK, particularly targeting the energy sector (and thereby addressing the NTNU strategic research area Energy), and the successful candidate will be part of a newly formed research group studying aspects of SDN security also encompassing two post-doctoral researchers.


  • A master's degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, or Electrical Engineering with very good results is required - average grade B or better, or education at the equivalent level, with sufficient mathematical maturity.  
  • A strong background in at least one of the domains highlighted above, and should have excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • High motivation for research work and ability to work independently
  • Good organisation and communication skills with interest in wider context of own research and ability to engage in cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Eager to disseminate research results through publications and presentations at international  conferences.  
  • Written and oral fluency in English.

Language requirements

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Living and working in Gjøvik:

Suggested links to information about Gjøvik and the region.

 See here for regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts:


The preferred candidate would hold Norwegian citizenship or of a NATO member state and must be able to secure a residency and work permit in Norway.

The university is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in employment practices, and we particularly would like to encourage female candidates to apply.

The regulations for PhD programs at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies is required. The average grade must be A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc, and C or higher of the (three first years) BSc. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

General terms of employment

The appointment of the PhD researcher will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges and to the general regulations regarding university employees. Applicants must agree to participate in an organized doctoral study program within the period of the appointment and have to be qualified for the PhD-study. The appointment is subject to the conditions in effect at any time for employees in the public sector and assessments regarding the legislations regulating export control and knowledge transfer.

The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology wants to attract outstanding and creative candidates who can contribute to our ongoing research activities. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good, inclusive working environment. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of the gender, disability or cultural background.


The position is in code 1017, salary grade 50 in the Norwegian Government salary scale, gross NOK 436. 900 per year, before tax. A deduction of 2% is made as a statutory contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent. NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply.

To apply

Applications will be processed through the university online application system which will direct you to The application must include:

  • Motivation letter (500 words).
  • Curriculum vitae including a list of publication and the names and contact information of 2 references.
  • Copies of academic certificates and transcripts.
  • A brief research proposal addressing the topic of the research project (500-1000 words).
  • English proficiency results if applicable.

All this must be sent electronically via with information about education and relevant experience (all in one combined PDF file).

Mark the application IE-108/2018.

Incomplete applications will be rejected.

For further information about the position, please contact Prof. Stephen Wolthusen + 47 611 35 289,

Deadline for applications: 01.06.2018

Under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants.

About this job

  • Deadline Friday, June 1, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Gjøvik, Trondheim
  • Place of service Gjøvik
  • Jobbnorge ID 152759
  • Internal ID 2018/13159
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!