PhD position on algebraic techniques for risk analysis under uncertainty

Research / Academic

Do you want to do research on the intersection of mathematics and computer science, using algebra to create fast and widely applicable algorithms? We have the following offer:

The challenge
The safety and security threats faced by high-tech systems are assessed via mathematical risk models. As systems grow more complex, so do risk models, and developing model checking algorithms for fast and rigorous risk analysis is an important subfield of computer science.

Two prominent models are fault trees (for safety) and attack trees (for security). For these, existing algorithms are fast, but require all parameters to be known exactly. This can be a problem as precise data can be hard to obtain, especially in cybersecurity.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop new risk analysis model checking methods that can handle various types of uncertainty, such as random variables and fuzzy numbers. These algorithms will be rooted in polynomial algebra; your challenge is to exploit this algebraic structure to create fast algorithms. To make these algorithms as widely applicable as possible, you will develop a general algebraic framework to express different types of uncertainty in different metrics.

You will:

  • You will perform daily PhD-level research
  • Publish results in scientific workshops, conference proceedings, and journals, and present these at (inter)national workshops and conferences.
  • Contribute to teaching activities related to your work
  • Be a part of an excellent and internationally renowned research group.


  • You are proficient in English
  • You have, or will shortly acquire, a MSc in Mathematics or Computer Science
  • You have a thorough theoretical background, e.g. in formal methods
  • You have experience with at least one of the fields of algebra, model checking, uncertainty frameworks
  • You have excellent analytical and communication skills
  • Interested in teaching at university level

Salary Benefits:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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 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.
Work Hours:

40 hours per week


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