PhD Studentship: Usable Security for Industrial Internet of Things

University of Bristol

Closing date 31 August 2018

The project:

A fully funded PhD studentship is available within the Bristol Cyber Security Group, led by Professor Awais Rashid. The group forms part of the Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) at Bristol. The successful candidate will join a major programme of research on human aspects of cyber security in industrial infrastructures, specifically Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The vision of an Internet of Everything is expected to deliver transformational benefits. Industry estimates project 25–50bn connected devices by the year 2020. Yet such figures hide major complexities with regards to usability of current security configuration mechanisms for such devices and the cognitive load of understanding information flow both within and between IoT devices. This PhD will pursue an ambitious programme of research – studying how information flows in IIoT environments, what are the limitations of existing security user interfaces and experimenting with a range of novel mechanisms to improve users’ experience of managing security of such environments. Novel interfaces will include adaptations of existing screen-based approaches through to highly innovative mechanisms that employ physically-dynamic shapes and visual output to convey information and support direct manipulation via touch and physical deformation. The PhD, therefore, has the potential to radically transform the landscape for security interfaces for IIoT.

Further Particulars

You will work in collaboration with a critical mass of researchers working on human aspects of cyber security. The Group participates in several major initiatives, including leading projects as part of two UK Research Institutes in Cyber Security (RISCS and RITICS) and co-leading the Security and Safety stream within the UK Research Hub on Cyber Security of Internet of Things. There is a strong expectation that you will actively contribute to the strong profile of Cyber Security at Bristol through participation in the development and publication of research results.

The successful candidate will also have access to an extensive industrial control systems testbed, an IoT lab and prototyping equipment.

How to apply:

Prior to application candidates should email a CV and a cover letter highlighting their research interests and suitability for this studentship to Professor Awais Rashid.

Please make an online application for this project at Please select < Computer Science> on the Programme Choice page and enter details of the studentship when prompted in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form with the name of the supervisor

Candidate requirements: 

We are looking for an enthusiastic student with either a first-class honours or Master’s degree (with distinction) in Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction or computer security.


The studentship is funded by HM Government and offers a stipend of £22K per annum as well as covering fees at the Home/EU rate.  The successful candidate will need to be eligible for and willing to apply for DV clearance.  Funds are also available for travel to conferences and collaborative visits to international research centres and industry collaborators.


Please contact Prof Awais Rashid,

For general enquiries, please email



Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:



South West England