Research Associate in Security Analysis of Graphics Drivers

Imperial College London - Department of Computing

Salary range: £36,800 - £39,800 per annum*

Full time, fixed term appointment up to 30 months with possibility of extension

The Department of Computing is looking to hire a motivated Research Associate interested in applying a range of techniques from program analysis, testing and verification to investigate security issues affecting graphics drivers. The project will be supervised by Dr Alastair Donaldson, in the Multicore Programming research group, and will feature engagement with project partner Google. 

Graphics drivers are embedded in practically all consumer devices, and technologies such as WebGL allow high performance graphics computations to be performed client-side to aid in the rendering of feature-rich websites. As well as providing immense opportunities for the development of exciting applications, the pervasiveness of graphics drivers also presents an attack vector: defects in graphics drivers can potentially be exploited for distributed denial of service attacks, attacks that exploit information leaks to gain access to private data, and in the worst case remote execution attacks.

This project will focus on the design of novel techniques to identify graphics-related security vulnerabilities ahead of time, using a variety of testing methods based on randomized program transformation and manipulation. This is inspired by recent successes in finding serious security vulnerabilities affecting graphics drivers. There is also scope within the project to investigate methods for formally verifying components of open source graphics drivers.

A particular focus of the project will be on looking at vulnerabilities associated with graphics rendering in web browsers, and the project will involve interaction and collaboration with the Google Chrome GPU team.

To apply, you will need to have:

  • A strong background in computer science with experience in building and working with large software systems and tools
  • Significant expertise in at least one of security, testing or program analysis.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and be able to organise their own work with minimal supervision and prioritise work to meet deadlines.
  • A proven research record and publications in the relevant areas.

Applicants are also expected to hold (or shortly expect to receive) a PhD degree in Computer Science or a related field. We will also consider exceptional pre-doctoral applicants. 

For informal inquiries about this position please contact Dr. Alastair Donaldson. For further information on the Multicore Programming research group see

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £32,380 - £34,040 per annum.

How to apply:
For further details on this opportunity visit our Jobs website and search using vacancy reference number ENG00196. In addition to completing the online application, candidates should attach:

  • A full CV, with a list of all publications
  • A two-page research statement indicating what you see are interesting research issues relating to the above post and why your expertise is relevant
  • Transcripts of all degree results

Should you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Georgina Tennant:

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