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PhD candidates on the Mercedes project: "Smart Reliability of Concurrent and Distributed Software

University of Twente (UT). Enschede (Niederlande), 11.04.2017

2 PhD candidates on the Mercedes project: "Smart Reliability of Concurrent and Distributed Software"


Function types
Scientific fields
Job number
About employer
PhD positions
38.0 hours per week
€ 2191 - € 2801
University Graduate
University of Twente (UT)

Job description

In the Formal Methods and Tools (FMT) research group, formal techniques and tools are developed and used as a means to support the development of software. Formal methods are mathematical techniques for the construction and analysis of software systems. Our central goal is to increase the reliability of the software that we rely on, as individuals and as society. We primarily target complex concurrent ICT systems, embedded in a technological context or in a distributed environment.

The FMT group is part of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) at the University of Twente. The FMT group also participates in the research institute CTIT.

We have 2 PhD positions (for 4 years) on the Mercedes project in Twente (Netherlands): Maximal Reliability of Concurrent and Distributed Software.
University of Twente
Group: Formal Methods and Tools
Contact: Prof.dr. Marieke Huisman (
Project webpage:

The challenge
You will be working on the Mercedes project, a 1,5 million euro personal grant for Marieke Huisman, funded by NWO.

Goal of the Mercedes project is to develop techniques to ensure the maximal reliability of concurrent and distributed software. This is achieved by developing a technique to construct an abstract mathematical model from a concurrent or distributed application, such that program logics can be used to prove the formal connection between the software and its abstraction.

The framework will be general, capturing many different concurrent and distributed programming paradigms. An important goal of the project is to support automated reasoning, by developing techniques to automatically generate the necessary additional annotations.

The project will also investigate the use of the abstraction theory in the opposite direction, to derive a correct program via refinement.

We are looking for two PhD students to work on the following subprojects:
  • Abstraction theory: a general compositional abstraction theory for models of concurrent and distributed software
  • Code-level Verification: algorithms for automated verification of non-trivial program properties
All results of the Mercedes project will be integrated in the VerCors tool set for verification of concurrent software, which is a result of Marieke Huisman's earlier ERC project on verification of concurrent software.

For more information about the concrete subprojects, please contact Marieke Huisman.


We are looking for enthusiastic students that hold a MSc degree in Computer Science (or equivalent). The candidates should have a thorough theoretical background, a demonstrable interest in program verification and some knowledge about multithreaded programming (in Java/C/C++).

As a research outcome we expect publications, (prototype) tools and a PhD thesis.

Your application should consist of:
  • a cover letter (explaining your specific interest and qualifications);
  • a full Curriculum Vitae;
  • a list of all courses + marks and a short description of your MSc thesis;
  • references (contact information) of two scientific staff members.
Deadlines: May 1, 2017, or until the positions are filled. Earlier applications are welcome and an early start date is an advantage.

Please submit your application via before May 1, 2017.

Further information:
FMT group:
Prof.dr. Marieke Huisman (
Project webpage:

Conditions of employment

The University of Twente offers excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment and a green and lively campus. We offer:
  • Two PhD positions for four years (38 hrs/week).
  • A stimulating scientific environment.
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits.
  • Gross salary PhD student: ranging from € 2.191,00 (1st year) to € 2.801,00 (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%).
  • Excellent facilities for professional and personal development.
  • Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.
  • A green and lively campus, with lots of sports facilities and other activities.
Starting date of the position:
as soon as possible, preferably before June 1, 2017.

The PhD students will be members of the Twente Graduate School in the research programme ’Dependable and Secure Computing’. The research programme offers advanced courses to deepen your scientific knowledge in preparation to your future career (within or outside academia). We provide our PhD students with excellent opportunities to broaden their personal knowledge and to professionalise their academic skills. Participation in national and/or international summer schools and workshops, and visits to other prestigious research institutes and universities can be part of this programme.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over six faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. The research which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+, CTIT and MIRA.

Bewerbungsschluss: 01.05.2017