PhD positions for Industry 4.0 Laboratory Initiative at University of Southern Denmark

Updated: 8 months ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

The SDU Software Engineering at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute , University of Southern Denmark , invites applications for four 3-year PhD positions in Software Engineering. The positions are available starting February 1, 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter, and are located in Odense.

The PhD positions are parts of two projects within the Software Engineering section: RUST – Unifying Framework for Reliability, Usability and Security Assessment of Cyber-Physical Production Systems, and EF-CPS: Error-Free Cyber-Physical Systems.  Both projects support the Industry 4.0 Laboratory Initiative at University of Southern Denmark, a long-term strategic initiative created to support research, teaching, and industrial collaboration and experimentation. The four PhD students will collaborate closely across the disciplines encompassed by the projects.

The University invests more than 15 Mill. EUR over the next five years in the Industry 4.0 initiative.

SDU Software Engineering is a relatively new and growing section focusing on many aspects of software engineering and production from requirements to test as well as data and security across many domains. SDU Software Engineering collaborates intensely with industry, and it is expected that a large part of the research is in collaboration with companies across various domains. We are focusing on building a strong collaborative environment and we are currently expanding with many new positions.

Candidates will have to attach a 1-page document describing their PhD project proposal. The 1-page project proposal must be in line with either of the four descriptions below. The candidates must clearly indicate, which position(s) they apply for. 

PhD position #1:
Title: Data-based Assessment of Reliability of Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS)
Objectives: The goal of this doctoral project is to design and develop tools and methodology that learn reliability models from data that is generated in CPPS. The project will incorporate development of Fault Detection and Diagnosis capabilities, along with methodology for learning causal fault models. Simulation methods will be developed and utilized to analyze reliability and availability of CPPS. Developed models and simulations will be utilized as decision support for preventive maintenance scheduling and optimization of CPPS configuration.
For more information, please contact Associate Professor Sanja Lazarova-Molnar at email

PhD position #2:
Title: Security Assessment of Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS)
Objectives: This doctoral project aims to help improve the security of CPPS in relation to Smart manufacturing (Industry 4.0). The research will include threat modeling, program analysis and penetration testing, as well as implementing and validating controls measures for preventing and mitigating risks. The overarching goal of the research is to contribute to the RUST framework to enable the development of safe and secure CPPS.
For more information, please contact Associate Professor Ronald Jabangwe at email  

PhD position #3:
Title: Safety & Security-Critical Cyber-Physical Robotic Manufacturing Systems.
Objectives: The aim of this project is to provide a comprehensive model-based design and formal analysis technology for the development of safety and security-critical manufacturing systems with advanced Cyber-Physical features. This research will focus on developing tool-supported methodologies for integrating various verification & validation (V&V) techniques suitable for both modeling CPS applications and supporting automatic formal analysis within an Industry 4.0 platform. The research topics cover: Foundation for CPS, Model checking, Simulation, Machine learning, Model-based development. Proficiency in programming (Java/C/C++/Python) and a strong background in system V&V is highly desirable.
For further information, please contact Associate Professor Eun-Young Kang at email . 

PhD position #4:
Title: Property-Based Testing of an I4.0 Infrastructure
Objectives: This doctoral project aims to apply modern automated testing techniques from property-based testing within the Industry 4.0 domain. This will involve developing a combination of model-based tests and investigating relevant domain-specific properties to ensure a trustworthy software stack for the laboratory’s I4.0 platform, thereby ensuring a solid foundation for the I4.0 infrastructure to build on. The ideal candidate for this position has previous experience with functional programming.
For more information, please contact Associate Professor Jan Midtgaard at email . 

Job description:

  • You will conduct research in the corresponding research area.
  • You will develop an open-source software prototype.
  • You will publish and present your work both at international conferences and in scientific journals with high impact.
  • You will assist in teaching activities.

Profile and requirements:

  • MSc degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Informatics or equivalent (equivalent to a Danish master's degree)
  • Comfortable learning new programming languages if needed
  • Experience (or a genuine interest) in doing research in one of the four areas
  • Strong communication skills
  • Comfortable working both independently or within a team
  • Interested in longer term commitment in a growing research group
  • Fluent in English, both spoken and written

Important information before applying

Applicants are required to have a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment.

Employment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position . Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the PhD Committee has approved the candidate for admission to the PhD school. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period.

A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment , while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment is governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information about salary and conditions of employment.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link "Apply online". The Faculty expects applicants to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students and the SDU information on how to apply before applying.

The application must be in English and all non-Danish documents must be translated into English.

The candidate must clearly indicate, which position(s) they apply for. 

The applications must include the following - the required forms must be found at the above mentioned Faculty website:

  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants
  • Motivational application stating position(s) and reasons for applying. Elaborate how your experience and background fit the corresponding position(s). Upload in the field called “Other relevant material” 
  • 1-page PhD project proposal as mentioned above, which must be in line with either of the four PhD position descriptions. Upload in the field called “Project description” 
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae, describing research, publication and teaching experience, computational skills and including personal contact information
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams in professional English translation or in Danish
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Upload in one of the fields called “Publication” 
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called “Publication” 
  • An official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution, if the thesis/examination project is evaluated by approved/passed. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • References, if any. You're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications, in case you have any publications.

If shortlisting is used, only shortlisted applicants will be assessed by an assessment committee.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

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