PhD studentship: Model-Based Safety and Reliability Engineering

Department of Computer Science

University of York

The project

The primary aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of using model-based systems engineering (MBSE), to support safety and reliability analysis for high-integrity systems. Previous work in domains such as civil aerospace, has demonstrated success in automating the generation of safety analyses, e.g. fault trees, from design descriptions. This project will consider the application of such an approach in the context of control and protection of nuclear power plants. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the feasibility both of a more flexible approach to analysis, and the novel ability to link analysis to design, including generating derived safety requirements from analysis models.

This project forms part of a programme of work funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at a number of Universities, including Cambridge and York.

Research supervision

If successful, you will conduct your research under the co-supervision of:

Professor John McDermid is a world leading international expert on the development and assessment of high integrity computer-based systems.

Dr Richard Hawkins is an expert in software safety assurance and safety cases.

You will be part of the High Integrity Systems Engineering (HISE) research group but with strong links to the Enterprise Systems (ES) group, who have considerable expertise in model-based development, particularly using Eclipse and related tools.

Funding requirements

To be considered for this funding you must:

● meet the entrance requirements for a PhD in Computer Science
● be a UK citizen
● be able and willing to develop tools, based on platforms such as Eclipse, in order to demonstrate the approaches being studies.
● have an interest and experience in MBSE

We will look favourably on applicants that can demonstrate knowledge of safety engineering and/or safety critical systems.

Funding information

Funding applies to:
UK applicants only
Funding notes:

£14,553 (2017/18 rate) per year stipend, Home/EU tuition fees.

Contacts and how to apply

Academic contact:

Dr Richard Hawkins, email: tel: +44 (0)1904 325463.

Administrative contact and how to apply:

1. Apply to study
- You must apply online for a full-time PhD in Computer Science
- You must quote the project title (Model-Based Development for Critical Systems) in your
- There is no need to write a full formal research proposal (2,000-3,000 words) in your application to study as this studentship is for a specific project.

2. Provide a personal statement
As part of your application please provide a personal statement of 500-1,000 words with your initial thoughts on the research topic.

Interviews are expected to take place within 14 days of the relevant closing date. The studentships will begin in October 2017.

Application enquiries, email: tel: +44 (0)1904 325404.

Application deadline:

28 July 2017