UK: PhD Studentship in Wireless Sensor Cloud Computing

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The following PhD project has been created under the auspices of the India-UK Advanced Technology Centre (IU-ATC) of Excellence in Next Generation Networks Systems and Services (www.iu-atc.com). During the lifetime of the project there may be opportunities to spend a period of time as part of a related internship at BT Adastral Park in Martlesham, UK. Further opportunities may exist to visit research partners in India (as part of IUATC initiative) and UAE (as part of BT’s EBTIC initiative, see www.ebtic.org). The successful candidate should therefore be willing to travel and spend some time overseas as part of the research project. Arrangements for the internship / visits will be made by the supervisory team of the PhD project.

Project Specification:
As nations strive to develop their digital economies to take advantage of cost efficiencies and new services afforded by Next Generation Networks and associated Internet Applications
, there is increased pressure to provide adequate communications transport infrastructure that will deliver these new services at appropriate levels of performance, security, carbon footprint and financial cost. The strategies used for the design and deployment of these services across fixed and wireless physical communications infrastructure and providing for their distribution, storage and processing requirements does result in variations of customer acceptability and experience. These differences can be brought about due to vendor equipment, geography, availability, access rights, security considerations, resilience, fault tolerance and performance/cost of maintaining the underlying network links, elements, data centres, base stations and exchanges. Moreover, the method of access over fixed or wireless infrastructure can cause major fluctuations in service delivery and end-user QoE. Coupled with these issues are mitigations against underlying threats and faults in the physical elements themselves and their power supply.

Research Aims:
Wireless Sensors Networks can be deployed to assist in the monitoring function to detect and report faults and SLA-flapping as part of the Network Management Control Plane functions. Such WSNs can be integrated across major critical communications infrastructure to form a Wireless-Sensor Cloud that exchanges performance and component health status data in a virtualised environment.

Within this project there will be a key focus on the design of WS-Cloud architectures and light-weight middleware to provide for the on-demand and autonomic message passing protocols in support of data fusion techniques.

Key design targets will provide for efficient real-time data transfer between ad-hoc-WSNs that form in the wireless access cloud and for fixed deployments that form part of the metro/core infrastructure. A key outcome of the research will be a unique architecture that can be scalable to large number of SNs with differing data capture and exchange/fusion protocols.

Whilst the techniques designed will have direct application for critical communications infrastructure, it is hoped that aspects of the new design will have application and relevance to other utilities such as the distribution networks for gas, oil, water and power.

Applications Process and Candidate Eligibility:
All applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering or a cognate area. It is desirable that candidates will have a Masters degree in a subject related to Telecommunications Networking and have a good understanding of statistical / mathematical modelling and telecommunications protocols. Suitable candidates will preferably have an MSc in Telecommunications or a related area. Experience of Wireless Sensor Networking (WSN), distributed and parallel computing and real-time networks communications protocols
would be desirable as will be skills on modeling, simulation and multi-modal data fusion and development languages such as Java and/or C++.

Whilst this PhD Award is open to local and international candidates, in the context of the IU-ATC we would especially welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates from India. Successful candidates will enrol on a full-time programme of research studies leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

The studentship will comprise fees and an annual stipend of £13,290. It will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress and is tenable in the School of Computing and Information Engineering at the Coleraine Campus, Northern Ireland, UK.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 28th February 2010.

Further, it will be necessary for candidate to be eligible to obtain an appropriate visa to the UK as defined by the UK Borders Agency: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

For further information on the application process please visit our website: http://www.compeng.ulster.ac.uk/rgs/. Please follow the guidance notes regarding the completion of the application form.

For further information on the project please contact Professor Gerard Parr, Chair in Telecommunications Engineering, University of Ulster – gp.parr@ulster.ac.uk.

Application materials are available from:
Research Office,
University of Ulster,
Cromore Road,
Coleraine,
BT52 1SA,
Tel: 028 7032 4729,
e-mail; hj.campbell@ulster.ac.uk,
Web: http://research.ulster.ac.uk/info/prospective/apply.html

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