Funded PhD Opportunity BTIIC-08: Novel cryptographic solutions for IoT

This opportunity is now closed.

This project is funded by: BT Ireland Innovation Centre (BTIIC) Invest NI

Subject: Computer Science and Informatics


BT Ireland Innovation Centre:

This studentship is one of twelve such PhD studentships, offered in collaboration with British Telecom and tenable in the School of Computing, Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment at Ulster University based at the Jordanstown campus. The studentships relate to different research topics in future telecommunication networks and services with a particular emphasis on Intelligent Systems, Future Big Data Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Cyber Security, Fixed and Mobile Network Services. They are part of the recently funded BT Ireland Innovation Centre (BTIIC) which is a collaborative project between BT and Ulster University, with a large presence in BT Belfast. BTIIC is an ambitious research and engineering project, initially running for 5 years, and funded by Invest Northern Ireland. It comprises two Research Workstreams: (i) Intelligent Systems, and (ii) IoT – Trust, Security and Dependability. The research topics proposed for the 12 studentships are in these broad areas.

Project summary: The Internet of Things (IoT) can be considered as a network equipped with sensing and processing devices. These devices can have vastly differing hardware and software capabilities ranging from LED lights to industrial SCADA systems, and can make use of many different communication protocols. They may also be connected to each other and exchange data through the Internet. Therefore, it is becoming important to ensure the security of IoT, through investigation of areas such as: IoT Roots of Trust; Identity and key management; Secure communications; Secure data sharing; Data protection; Secure data portability; and Compliance to regulatory standards like GDPR. Heterogeneity in the IoT domain poses additional challenges in researching these topics.

There is a significant need to explore many topics in the context of IoT, including but not limited to, lightweight and end-to-end cryptographic schemes for constrained devices; identification, enrolment and mutual authentication of devices and IoT gateways; and standardisation and integrated management of cryptographic services for major protocols. In particular this project will identify IoT security challenges that are relevant to IoT privacy, data protection and communication security and assess how novel cryptographic solutions can be applied to address these challenges.

Additional Application Information: On the application form applicants should select one main BTIIC project and a maximum of two further project titles in which they are interested. During the lifetime of the project there will be opportunities to work with BT Belfast Global Development Centre and there also may be openings to spend a period of time as part of a related Internship at BT Adastral Park Research Laboratories in Martlesham, Suffolk, UK (see (  Arrangements for the internship / visits will be made by the supervisory team of the PhD project in conjunction with BT, subject to satisfactory student academic performance on the project.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • First Class Honours (1st) Degree
  • Masters at 70%


This project is funded by: BT Ireland Innovation Centre (BTIIC) Invest NI

The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of not less than £14,777 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Friday 17 August 2018
Interview Date
Late August 2018

Contact Supervisor

Dr Zhiwei Lin

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #242420 when applying for this PhD opportunity