[ecoop-info] 2 PhD positions @University of Luxembourg: Software Engineering

Michail PAPADAKIS michail.papadakis at uni.lu
Tue May 2 11:14:51 CEST 2017

The University of Luxembourg is a multilingual, international research University.

University of Luxembourg (UL) is offering a fully funded student bursary in Software Engineering to start as soon as possible. The funding provides fees and living support for full four years, subject to standard University of Luxembourg terms and rates, and will be awarded to the student who meets the UL admissions criteria for the Department of Computer Science PhD programme.

The University of Luxembourg and its Interdisciplinary Centre of Security and Trust (SNT) are looking for:

2 PhDs in Software Engineering:

• Fixed Term Contract up to 3 years, pending satisfaction of progress milestones (CDD), full-time (40 hrs/week)

• Number of positions: 2


The University of Luxembourg seeks to hire an outstanding PhD Candidate at its Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT). SnT is a recently formed centre carrying out interdisciplinary research in secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) systems and services, often in collaboration with industrial, governmental or international partners. SnT is active in several international research projects funded by the EU framework programme and the European Space Agency. For further information you may check: www.securityandtrust.lu<http://www.securityandtrust.lu>

Research Context

In software development, developers need automation in order to improve the quality and productivity of the software they produce. Software quality assurance is particularly one of the most time-consuming tasks, in which developers can take advantage of automated tools and techniques. According to IDC reports, most of software development organizations spent more than $5 million annually on fixing bugs and vulnerabilities. In addition, the number of reported bugs and vulnerabilities outnumber available human resources, as software systems are getting more complex and larger. Developers even release programs with known bugs. This is pervasive both in many open/closed source software projects. Therefore, this project seeks for a talented candidate who can focus on designing and developing several tools and techniques for automated software engineering and in particular for software and security Testing. The successful PhD candidate will extensively explore and develop software engineering techniques that include the feasibility, practicality and success evaluation of prototype implementations.


Computational Intelligence in software testing

Software faults constitute the main source of software failures. This fact makes fault identification and fault removal techniques very important. Software testing evaluates a piece of software by checking whether a collection of requirements has been successfully fulfilled. To this end, a set of test cases that cover the posed test requirements has to be created and exercise the program under test. Research on this area is focussed on two main directions. The first one is the automated test case generation while the second one is about setting the test requirements in a cost-effective way. This topic will aim at developing automated testing techniques, integrated within the development process by leveraging computational intelligence techniques.

Software Testing - Testing Software Product Lines

Software product lines are sets features that are combined into software products that satisfy a specific need from a customer or a specific market. The number of products that can be generated range from a few to thousands of products. Due to the tangled components and complex configuration, verification and validation of product lines is challenging. Testing is one approach to verification and validation of the products and/or the product line. The challenges in testing product lines that have to be faced and solved are that it may not be possible to test each possible product individually and that there exist no possibility to test a product line independent of products. This topic will aim at developing an efficient testing approach for software product lines.

Security Testing

Automated security testing research seeks for solutions that assist developers to identify, understand and avoid the weaknesses of software. This is performed by identifying the potential locations of vulnerabilities and by providing information on their root causes. This information is then used by some testing technique (for example fuzzing) for generating and analyzing crashes that can lead to vulnerabilities. Thus, there are interesting open questions on how to “smartly” generate program inputs that exercise the program under test and how to analyze the code under analysis for identifying such issues. The present topic will develop static/dynamic analysis techniques for identifying and exposing security vulnerabilities.

Automated software testing and machine learning in Agile Development

As Agile software development methodologies are getting mature and mainstream it becomes important to understand the implications they introduce on organisations and individuals. Thus, it is vital to study and assess the scope effectiveness and applicability of these techniques. The project involves work with practitioners in their working place with the aim of gaining insights, identifying problems and designing solutions. The PhD thesis will be done in collaboration with an Industrial partner and will involve the use of agile methodologies and automation of software engineering tasks. The successful PhD candidate will extensively explore and develop software engineering techniques that include the feasibility, practicality and success evaluation of prototype implementations.

The team you will be working with:

• Yves Le Traon: Primary advisor

• Mike Papadakis: Co-advisor

• Marinos Kintis: Co-advisor

Your Role

Under the direction of a PhD Supervisor, you will carry out research activities and write a thesis, the main goal being to obtain a PhD in the area of Automated Security Testing. You may be tasked with developing novel testing techniques, conducting literature surveys and establishing state-of-the-art; developing necessary experimental and simulation facilities where required; planning,

executing, and analysing experiments and simulations; conducting joint and independent research activities; contributing to project deliverables, milestones, demonstrations, and meetings; disseminating results at international scientific conferences/workshops and peer reviewed scientific publications.

Your Profile

• A master’s degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering.

• A proven interest on Software Engineering, Software Testing and Software Security.

• Commitment, team working, a critical mind, and motivation are important characteristics of successful candidates.

• Fluent written and verbal communication skills in English are mandatory. Fluent written and verbal communication skills in French are considered as plus.

• Excellent programming Skills (e.g. Java and Python).

• Expertise in at least one of these topics: Software Testing, Meta-heuristic optimization, Security Testing and Program Analysis.

We offer

The University offers a Ph.D. study program with a Fixed Term Contract up to 4 years in total, pending satisfaction of progress milestones (CDD), on full time basis (40hrs/week). The University offers highly competitive salaries and is an equal opportunity employer. You will work in an exciting international environment and will have the opportunity to participate in the development of a newly created university.

Further Information

Applications, written in English should be submitted online and should include:

• Curriculum Vitae (including your contact address, work experience,


• Cover letter indicating the research area of interest and your motivation

• Transcript of all courses and results from the highest university-level

courses taken

• A short description of your Master’s work (max 1 page)

• If possible, contact information for 3 referees

—> Application deadline 31st of May (submissions received after that date are welcome and will be considered as long as the position will still be available).

—> Please apply by email to: michail.papadakis at uni.lu<mailto:michail.papadakis at uni.lu> and yves.letraon at uni.lu<mailto:yves.letraon at uni.lu>

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Mike Papadakis, PhD
Research Scientist
SnT, University of Luxembourg

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