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PhD student positions in wireless sensor networks and the Internet of Things at University of Trento, Italy

Applications are invited from those interested in pursuing a PhD on wireless sensor networks (WSNs) and 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.

Wireless sensor networks are considered one of the key technologies enabling the Internet of Things vision. In this context, the D3S group 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 awards, e.g., at IPSN (2009, 2011, 2015) and PerCom (2012).

Although we emphasize real-world applications as a motivation and a concrete opportunity for the validation of our research, the latter is not limited to the immediate needs of deployments. We perform a mix of curiosity-driven and application-driven research. The research challenges tackled by D3S span a broad set of topics, ranging from low-layer issues concerned with the characterization and design of communication protocols to higher-layer issues related with programming platforms and software architectures.

New PhD students are invited to participate in ongoing projects to gain experience and insight into real systems, and to identify novel, challenging problems whose solutions break new grounds. Examples of potential research topics, broadly defined, include:

  • communication protocols and abstractions for new wireless technologies that are disrupting the current landscape of WSNs and IoT, e.g., by enabling long-range communication (LoRa), low-power ranging (UWB), or commonplace proximity detection (BLE);
  • programming models, middleware, and protocols to efficiently disseminate, store, and retrieve information in a context-aware fashion in a smart city IoT scenario;
  • exploiting synchronous wireless transmissions for efficient and predictable actuation in large-scale control infrastructures.

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 PhD students received the Best Ph.D. Thesis Award at the European Conference on Wireless Sensor Networks (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 26, 2016 (at 16:00, Italy time) at the link below.

In the application, under "Research areas of Interest" you must select BOTH "area B (Computer Science)" AND "area D (Telecommunications)" as your preferred ones. **Failure to do so may result in ineligibility for these positions** It does not matter which one you chose as first and second choice, and you can use the same statement of purpose for both. The keyword of reference for area B is "Systems and Networks", while for area D is "Distributed Sensing".

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: http://ict.unitn.it/application/ict_doctoral_school
Online PhD Application: http://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