PhD on Low-Rate Error-Correcting Codes for Security Applications

Updated: about 12 hours ago
Deadline: 30 Apr 2023

Irène Curie Fellowship



Electrical Engineering

Reference number


Job description

Security of embedded systems and digital platforms is paramount in the deployment of the Internet-of-Things. The ability to securely generate and store secrets in electronic environments and over communication networks is an essential requirement for all modern security applications. State-of-the-art methods for secret key generation and storage have been developed which are based on fuzzy sources, e.g., physically unclonable functions or PUFs, and quantum channels. These key generation methods offer greatly enhanced levels of security but rely on the use of error-correcting codes. Compared to their use in classic communication channels, the needed codes have stricter requirements in terms of much lower rates, restricted block lengths, and the ability to securely deal with non-uniform sources.

In this project, the PhD candidate will work on the development of new codes meeting these requirements. The expected focus will be on modern coding frameworks using soft-decision probabilistic decoders, such as polar codes and LDPC codes. Several outbranching research directions are possible, such as: integration of new decoders with pre- and post-processing techniques for fuzzy sources, optimization of decoder complexity, working on innovative decoder architectures, prototyping of new decoders, development of new processing techniques for dealing with non-uniform sources, etc. Based on the interest of the candidate, specific research directions can be chosen.

The main host for this position will the Information and Communication Theory Lab (ICT Lab) of the Signal Processing Systems group (SPS) at TU Eindhoven, but it is co-hosted by Intrinsic ID , an Eindhoven-based industrial partner, and by the Coding and Cryptography group (COD) at TU Munich headed by professor Wachter-Zeh , which is a partner in the EuroTech consortium. Parts of the project are scheduled to be performed on-site at Intrinsic ID and TUM. In that way, the candidate will get the opportunity to collaborate with international experts in coding theory both at TU/e and TUM, but also to explore the practical impact in an innovative company which is a world-leader in this technology. For this reason, a candidate with a good mix between strong analytical abilities and hands-on practical skills is preferred.

Job requirements
  • A Master degree in Electrical Engineering or Computer Science, or equivalent
  • A good understanding of coding theory and information theory
  • Experience with scientific programming environments, e.g., Matlab or Python
  • A fluent level of spoken and written English
  • Experience with embedded system security or cryptography is a plus
  • Experience with embedded system development (HW and/or SW) is a plus

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Candidates who are passionate about education are specially welcome to apply and will have the opportunity to obtain a full-time employment for *five* years, where the additional year will be allocated to educational tasks (spread over 5 years) within the EE faculty.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process .
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr. Alex Alvarado, a.alvarado[at] or dr. Roel Maes, r.maes[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services Flux, HRServices.flux[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page .


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position. Please also mention if you are interested in a 5 year contract with increased educational activities and your motivation and qualifications for that.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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