As the world becomes more and more connected and the number of systems (robots, software, drones, wearable technology) expands, so does the amount of data. With this data comes the promise of our collective ability to sense potential changes far earlier than ever before, to make sense of the trillions of bits of data, and then intervene. The persistent risks and threats that either deliberately or inadvertently could cause catastrophic harm (to life, to the economy, to society) are - for those very same reasons - also increasing. Currently, different parts of this interconnected whole still mostly speak different languages, use different methods, adopt different technologies and measure success differently. These ‘domains’ are increasingly looking for software solutions to come together and work out how they can operate as an integrated whole. From what to automate, what to separate, what to protect, what to keep forever in the hands of human decision makers and what to put into the hands of artificially intelligent systems, are at the heart of a number of the challenges MASS (the industrial partner for this PhD) are solving. Solving these problems in ways that use software, architecture and data analysis, has applications from democratising fintech and improving how Air, Land, Sea, Cyber and Space come together, to accelerating the time-to-value in pharmaceuticals and streamlining diagnostics in healthcare.
Topic options could include, among others:
Similar topics, a combination, or other novel software-intensive approaches to multi-domain integration problems are all welcome.
General skills include: Elicitation, analysis, specification, and validation of requirements for software. Problem solving. Responding well in a fast-paced environment. Creating and developing new ideas. Solving problems algorithmically. A good grounding in programming and systems analysis. Logical thinking. Ability to adapt and evolve. Guiding skills development to achieve research goals.
Knowledge of several computer languages and multi-domain integration is desirable, but not required. The candidate should have practical skills and experience in implementing their own ideas.
Depending on the particular topic proposed by the candidate, particular additional skills may be required, e.g. user experience design, AI/ML, cloud computing, blockchain.
There is an opportunity in the first year of the PhD to refine the topic, giving the candidate an opportunity to develop skills in a chosen area, as well as making a significant contribution to a gap in this field of research.
We are looking for a candidate who can excel in the world of software and who has interest and passion for all things architectural. The PhD work will be carried out in collaboration with and under co-supervision of MASS, which offers the opportunity to engage in both academic and a commercial setting to develop research ideas related to software development, engineering and architectural approaches.
MASS are a data and technology company with expertise across multiple sectors including defence and security, digital services, training, cyber-security and research and development. We have over 35 years of heritage and have worked with numerous universities and industries to make the most out of customers’ data. MASS will be an integral partner for the PhD work, offering skills and expertise within a commercial setting and providing the student with the opportunity to ‘get their hands dirty’. MASS are also keen to offer a job opportunity upon successful PhD completion for the right candidate.