PhD Candidate on Software Reliability for Critical Water Infrastructures@University of Twente

by Marieke Huisman, Jan. 31, 2024

The reliability of software systems in critical infrastructures is more crucial than ever in times of escalating climate change impacts. The STORM_SAFE project aims to advance software resilience in vital water structures like storm surge barriers. You will contribute by developing and implementing algorithms and tools that focus on quantitative verification and validation. This will enhance the dependability and reliability of these systems and addresses critical challenges posed by aging software and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events. Your work will be instrumental in safeguarding communities and reducing potential socio-economic damages caused by infrastructure failures.

In an era where climate change is escalating, the robustness and resilience of software systems in critical water infrastructures have become increasingly essential. The STORM_SAFE project, a European consortium centred around the North Sea region and coordinated by Rijkswaterstaat – the Dutch authority for public works and water management – aims to bolster the software resilience of essential infrastructures such as storm surge barriers, locks, and sluices.

In this project, you will develop algorithms and tools in quantitative modelling and verification – that in turn help create more reliable water infrastructure software that can withstand the unpredictability of climate change. You will build and analyse formal mathematical models of the infrastructures and their software to enhance performance and dependability, ensuring that these key assets remain robust in the face of environmental threats.

As the successful candidate in the STORM_SAFE project, you will play a pivotal role in building a safer, more resilient future. You will work alongside a diverse, international team of academic and industrial experts, on a mission to protect communities and preserve key economic infrastructures. This role offers a rich, hands-on experience, placing you at the intersection of software engineering and mathematics with societal needs. Your contributions will add valuable insights to the field, aiding in the ongoing efforts to enhance climate resilience strategies.

Join our team at the University of Twente and contribute to an innovative approach in safeguarding critical water infrastructures. Be a part of an initiative that is not just about technological advancement but also about fostering a more secure and sustainable future.

* Your profile *

- You are an enthusiastic and highly motivated researcher.
- You have, or will shortly, acquire a master's degree in the field of Computer Science, Mathematics, or comparable.
- You have a demonstrable interest in formal specification and verification.
- You have strong software engineering and programming skills and enjoy pushing the limits of algorithms and data structures.
- You are interested in working at the intersection of computer science and mathematics, with a particular emphasis on probability theory.
- You have a good team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment.
- You are proficient in English.

* Our offer *

- As a PhD candidate at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment.
- You will be a member of the Formal Methods and Tools research group, a strong research group on formal verification with an open and welcoming atmosphere.
- The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues.
- Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU).
- You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.770,- (first year) to € 3.539,- (fourth year).
- There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme.
- The flexibility to work (partially) from home.
- A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
- Free access to sports facilities on a green campus.
- A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
- You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision.
- We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.

* Information and application *

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via before 29 of February, and include:

- A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your motivation to apply for a Ph.D. trajectory in general as well as for this specific position.
- A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications.
- A PDF version of your Master’s thesis or comparable work of your own.
- The names of 2-3 references who can be contacted for additional information about you.