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PhD student position in "Next-generation Ultra-wideband Localization and Communication for the Internet of Things" at University of Trento, Italy

Applications are invited from those interested in pursuing a PhD on the Internet of Things (IoT) at the University of Trento, Italy, in the D3S group. D3S is a cross-institution research group focusing on dynamic, decentralized, distributed systems.

The focus of the proposed research will be on ultra-wideband (UWB) radios. These recently came to the forefront of IoT technology thanks to their high communication data rate (6.8Mbps) and especially their ability to estimate distance with great accuracy (<10cm error). As such, in addition to communication, UWB enables countless applications based on proximity and localization, even in GPS-denied environments like indoor.

Specifically, the research goal for the PhD is to design techniques and protocols to improve the data rate, energy efficiency, reliability and scalability of UWB-based solutions. The proposed research will explore both communication and localization, as well as their integration in a single networking stack.

The D3S group has a long-standing track record in the field of low-power wireless technologies for IoT, and has been particularly successful in bringing research results into real-world, long-term, operational deployments. Examples include the structural health monitoring of a medieval tower, the closed-loop control of lighting in a road tunnel, and geo-referenced proximity monitoring of wildlife. The scientific results of these projects received numerous best paper awards, e.g., at IPSN (2009, 2011, 2015) and PerCom (2012).

More recently, D3S established itself as one of the leading groups on UWB, with published papers at top conferences (EWSN'18, IPSN'19, SECON'19). At EWSN'18, it received the best paper award for a novel technique enabling distance estimation towards multiple nodes, called concurrent ranging. This technique is based on the simultaneous transmission of packets whose time of arrival is reconstructed at the receiver from the channel impulse response (CIR) provided by UWB chips. In general, concurrent transmissions will be one of the key techniques exploited by the proposed research.

The D3S group favors a mix of curiosity-driven and application-driven research. New PhD students are invited to participate in ongoing projects to gain experience and insights into real systems, and to identify novel, challenging problems whose solution breaks new grounds. Examples of ongoing (funded) projects applying UWB and the related research include 1) a navigation system for planet exploration and 2) an asset tracking system for logistics.

The language of the research group is English.

The D3S group, and Trento at large, provide a fertile environment for high-quality research: two of our students received the Best Ph.D. Thesis Award at EWSN in 2009 and 2012.

The Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI) is a leading and fast-growing research institution, characterized by a young and international faculty and by a large, international student population. Indicators for scientific production place the department among the top in Europe. The department and the PhD school closely collaborate with, and operate in, a rapidly growing research and innovation environment characterized by top-class research centers and an increasing number of industrial research labs.

Trento is a vibrant city with a beautifully preserved historic center, consistently ranked among the best cities for quality of life in Italy. It offers a variety of cultural and sports opportunities all year around, as well as excellent food and wine.

Applications must be filed *online* before May 20, 2019 (at 16:00, Italy time) at the link below.

In the application, you must select the "Project specific grant" (Reserved Topic Scholarship) with the title mentioned above, and denoted by the label B2. Failure to do so results in ineligibility for the position described here.

It is strongly advised to contact Prof. Gian Pietro Picco (gianpietro.picco@unitn.it) well before submitting the application, by providing a curriculum vitae including three references.


Call for application: https://ict.unitn.it/education/admission/call-for-application
Online application submission: https://www.unitn.it/en/apply/dott
Prof. Gian Pietro Picco: http://disi.unitn.it/~picco
D3S group and projects: http://d3s.disi.unitn.it
PhD school: http://ict.unitn.it
DISI: http://disi.unitn.it