School of Computing

Funded PhD in Blockchain security

We invite applications for a three year, funded PhD degree in the area of Blockchain security for large scale distributed systems and internet-based infrastructures.

With the emergence of new technology paradigms such as Cloud computing, Software Defined Networking, Virtualized Network Functions, Edge Computing and Internet of Things, managing device trust, accountable auditing, integrity of software, policies and configurations and non-repudiation at a scale are key to building reliable services.

Blockchains and related technologies are making waves across multiple industries, with its promise in creating value through systemic cooperation. Modern distributed ledger technologies have already shown how layering models of trust with a purpose can create new transactional communities across the internet. With large number of network functions, virtual and physical network devices deployed and managed by telecom operators such as BT, Blockchain may provide a framework to create distributed and localised solution to securely manage devices and configuration changes at scale.

The aim of this research is to study and demonstrate the potential of creating and managing at a large scale transaction-based identities and accountable security management solutions where the integrity of critical information relating to the configuration, logs, audit trail and policy management of network functions and devices can be easily verified and cannot be repudiated.

The research will be contacted in the context of an industrial CASE studentship between the University of Kent and British Telecom (BT). The PhD student will be supervised by Professor Theo Dimitrakos and Dr Julio Hernandez-Castro at the University of Kent and by Dr Joshua Daniel at BT. The PhD student is expected to share their time between the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent and BT Adastral Park (near Ipswich).

Applicants should be a UK or EU national.

Applicants should have a 2:1 in an undergraduate degree as a minimum. Master’s or equivalent professional or research experience with Cryptography, FinTech or Computer Networks is an advantage. 

For more information, contact the acting Head of the Security Group, Dr Julio Hernandez-Castro

The School of Computing, University of Kent

The School of Computing has a reputation for high-quality research, with over 40 current PhD students. Our research activity is wide ranging and takes place within focused Research Groups which provide a vibrant research community for all members, staff or student.

The School of Computing was ranked highly in the recent government run Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. Our research intensity was ranked 12th out of 89, with superb impact – 100% of our research impact ranked world leading or internationally excellent.

The University of Kent is a leading university with a commitment to excellence in teaching and research. As the UK's European university, it is committed to creating a global student and staff community that advances knowledge and stimulates intellectual creativity, and performs at the highest levels.

Kent is ranked 21st in the Times Higher Education (THE) ‘Table of Tables’ 2017 and it has twice been awarded the highly prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
The School is committed to the Athena Swan Scheme. This is a national scheme whereby universities commit to advancing and promoting the careers of female scientists.

Start Date and Funding

The expected start date is 1 September 2017.

The studentship would cover home fees plus a stipend of £14,553 in 2017/18, increased in line with Research Council advice each year. Additional travel costs for visits and stay at Adastral Park will be covered by BT.

The studentship would cover home fees plus a stipend of £14,553 in 2017/18, increased in line with Research Council advice each year, and costs for visits and stay at BT Adastral Park.

How to Apply

Deadline: 30 June 2017

Applications should be made through the: University of Kent online admissions form with the PhD Project text, given above, pasted into the "Reasons for study" section.


For technical queries about the project, contact: Dr Julio Hernandez-Castro
For queries regarding the application procedure, email the PG-Research admissions officer: Stefan Kahrs


School of Computing, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824180 or contact us.

Last Updated: 17/05/2017