3.5 year PhD Project: “Cryptographic Key Generation Algorithms for Wireless Security over Physical Layer”

University of Glasgow

The School of Engineering is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5 year PhD project “Cryptographic key generation algorithms for wireless security over physical layer.

Petros Karadimas

Cryptographic key generation exploiting physical layer attributes of the wireless communication medium is a quite promising scientific domain in terms of low energy consumption and absence of centralized public key infrastructure. The main idea is the exploitation of the inherent temporal, spatial, and frequency variations of wireless propagation channels for symmetric key generation (identical keys at the transmitter and receiver sides). Ongoing research deals with several features of such cryptographic algorithms, including quantization of channel response for generating bit strings and information reconciliation in order the bit strings generated at the transmitter and receiver to become identical. However, wireless channel features affecting the aforementioned variations have been partially incorporated and without a comprehensive manner in terms of adaptability and scalability, i.e. applicability to every wireless propagation setting ranging from 5G cellular to vehicle-vehicle communications for intelligent transportation systems. It is exactly the purpose of this project to investigate on different quantization and information reconciliation techniques, study on their feasibility and assess their performance through key performance indicators such as key entropy and key generation rate and bit mismatch probability. The analysis should incorporate in a comprehensive statistical manner all the physical wireless channel attributes that can affect key generation including, for example, three-dimensional multipath propagation and scatterers’ mobility (e.g. mobility of vehicles, pedestrians, etc). The target is to end up with configurable cryptographic algorithms having parametrically defined quantization and information reconciliation modules. Moreover, embedding such a key generation routine to real world wireless receivers requires in the beginning a channel estimation module from which accurate channel responses will arise. It is also the purpose of this project to investigate on different channel estimation techniques, propose new ones, and study on their feasibility. The PhD candidate will become a member of a research cluster with partners across UK and Europe and with significant track record in this field and a recently funded project by UK’s Ministry of Defence. Basic knowledge of software engineering, stochastic processes, digital communications, and information theory is required, however the essential features are: interdisciplinary PhD research, strong self-motivation, and passion for cutting edge knowledge that pushes forward the current trends and bounds of engineering science. Due to the wide scope of this project, while candidates with background in electrical/electronic engineering and telecommunications are welcome to apply, those with background in mathematical sciences and algorithms will also be considered.


The studentship will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,296 per annum for 3.5 years.

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must have ‘settled status’ in the United Kingdom and been ‘ordinarily resident’ for the past three years. For full details about eligibility please visit: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx.

How to apply

Please apply using the online system at the following link:


It should be noted that this application is to gain admission to our PGR programme. An offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.


For an informal discussion or further information on this project, please contact: Dr Petros Karadimas (email: Petros.Karadimas@glasgow.ac.uk).

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