AISB opportunities Bulletin Item

PhD studentship in Intelligent Improvements to Ethernet for Safety Critical Systems, School of Engineering, University of Warwick


PhD studentship in Intelligent Improvements to Ethernet for Safety Critical Systems, School of Engineering, University of Warwick
PhD Studentship
Information and Communication Technologies Research Group
School of Engineering, University of Warwick
£16,000 per annum tax free stipend.
Applications are invited for a full-time 3.5 year Industrial CASE PhD studentship available from 1 January 2010 or as soon as possible thereafter. The studentship is co-funded by FTI Communication Systems ltd (, the market leader in airport communications for air traffic control, and the EPSRC (
The aim is to research the application of Ethernet for Safety Critical Systems to advance high reliability digital communications. The work will entail simulation of solutions developed and their testing at FTI, which is located on the Warwick Science Park.
The Warwick School of Engineering is one of the largest of its type in the UK. It is research led and achieved excellent results in the 2008 RAE with 70% of its output ranked as internationally excellent and 95% of international standard. This performance puts the School in the top ten departments in the UK.
Candidates should possess at least a good 2.1 or MSc in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics or a related subject. Applicants must be UK students or others with indefinite leave to remain in the UK issued by the Home Office, held for at least 3 years.
Informal enquiries should be directed to: Dr Mark Leeson (email; tel 024 7652 3908).
The industrial collaborator, FTI, is currently the market leader in Airfield Communications connecting Navigational aids to Control Towers. Navigational Equipment Manufacturers have chosen the Ethernet communication interface that is not at first suited for safety critical applications because Ethernet as currently defined cannot provide the robust and deterministic service required.
It is the variation in the delivery time of communication packets (the jitter) that causes a major problem for real time applications that wish to employ Ethernet. The management of the traffic on the network such that jitter is reduced thus forms an important part of any likely solution. The work will encompass what might be described as traditional traffic prioritisation techniques and also fuzzy logic.
Ethernet has built in restoration properties but they can take up to 30 seconds to work, which is much too long for real time applications, so another important element of the project will be the investigation of resilience and rapid restoration methods. The utilisation of fuzzy logic will be analysed here also since this an area of particular strength for the technology, where there may be several imprecise inputs needing a rapid decision for robust operation.
Once the optimum approach is identified, it will be implemented in software using MATLAB for the algorithm development and a simulator such as LabView to test algorithm performance in a simulated network.
Short listing will begin on 30 November 2009 and applicants will also need to apply formally to the School of Engineering via the Graduate School of the University of Warwick
and mention Dr Leesonís name plus the project area on the application form.