[Elsnet-list] PhD Positions in Design and Verification of Embedded Software

Marco Roveri roveri at fbk.eu
Thu Feb 24 19:12:48 CET 2011

         [[[ Apologies for multiple copies of this message ]]]
		 Doctoral Student Positions Available

	     Design and Verification of Embedded Software
		    Embedded System Research Unit
                      Fondazione Bruno Kessler                       
 (formerly part of IRST - Centro per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica)
                           Trento, Italy                             
	Deadlines:  March 16th, 2011, 13:00 (GTM+1)

The Embedded System Research Unit (http://es.fbk.eu) of the Bruno Kessler Foundation, Trento, Italy, is seeking several candidates for Ph.D positions.

The Ph.D. studies will be held at the International Doctorate School in Information and Communication Technologies
(http://www.ict.unitn.it/) of the University of Trento, Italy.

The research activity will be carried out within the Embedded Systems Unit of the Center for Scientific and Technological Research of the Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

The research activity will aim at techniques, methodologies and support tools for in the following areas:

Formal Requirements Engineering: Often bugs discovered in the code can
  be traced back to flaws and defects in requirements.  This project
  addresses the problem of providing effective techniques for the
  elimination of defects in requirements.  The approach to Formal
  Requirements Engineering will be based on techniques for temporal
  logics (e.g., validation of formal system requirements, requirements
  refinement and evolution, realizability and synthesis) and the
  related formal problems (e.g., satisfiability for first-order
  temporal logic, discretization of hybrid temporal formulas).

Verification of Critical Systems: The quality of critical systems must
  be guaranteed with effective analysis tools.  The activity will aim
  at the development of formal techniques for model-based verification
  and safety assessment of critical systems, including techniques
  based on model checking and temporal logics for Fault Tree Analysis
  (FTA), Failure Model and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Fault Detection,
  Identification and Recovery (FDIR), Particular Risk Analysis (PRA).
  The specific research directions will be identified within the
  fields of formal safety assessment for hybrid systems and for
  autonomous systems; techniques for finding an optimal installation
  of components in 3D environments, complying with functional,
  geometrical and safety constraints; certification of safety critical

Intelligent Monitoring: Autonomous systems such as planetary rovers
  and satellites require the ability to act in unpredictable and
  hostile environments.  The ph.d. study on Intelligent Monitoring
  will address the problem of identifying hidden parts of the state,
  and to integrate them within a model based planning and scheduling
  architecture, based on formal verification techniques.

The activities will be part of on-going and future projects sponsored by EU-FP7, EU ARTEMIS-JU, European Space Agency, Microsoft Research, and carried out with major industrial players

The selected candidates will be initially enrolled in a stage and, if they pass the selection of the Ph.D. school, they will be enrolled as Ph.D. students. Ph.D. courses will start in Autumn 2008, and the thesis must be completed in three or four years. People enrolled in a stage and subsequent Ph.D. courses are expected to move to Trento, and will receive monetary support during both phases of their activity.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate should have an MS or equivalent degree in computer science, mathematics or electronic engineering, and combine solid theoretical background and software development skills.

The candidate should be able to work in a collaborative environment, with a strong commitment to reaching research excellence and achieving assigned objectives.

Background knowledge and/or previous experience in the following areas, though not mandatory, will be considered favorably:
- Symbolic Model Checking,
- Propositional Satisfiability,
- Satisfiability Modulo Theory,
- Constraint Solving and Optimization,
- Formal Requirements Analysis,
- Software Verification,
- Software Synthesis,
- Embedded System Design Languages (e.g. Verilog, VHDL, System C, and
  System Verilog),
- Safety Analysis (FTA, FMEA).

Applications and Inquiries

Interested candidates should inquire for further information and/or apply by sending email to <jobs[at]fbk[dot]eu>.

Applications should contain a statement of interest, with a Curriculum Vitae, and three reference persons. PDF format is strongly encouraged.

Emails will be automatically processed and should have

       'RIF: ES/phd' 

as subject.

See http://ict.unitn.it/application for more details.
THE DEADLINE FOR THE APPLICATION IS March 16th, 2011, 13:00 (GTM+1).

The Embedded System Research Unit

The Embedded Systems Unit consists of about 15 persons, including researchers, post-Doc, Ph.D. students, and programmers. The Unit carries out research, tool development and technology transfer in the fields of design and verification of embedded systems. 

Current research directions include:

* Satisfiability Modulo Theory, and its application to the
  verification of hardware, embedded critical software, and hybrid
  systems (Verilog, SystemC, C/C++, StateFlow/Simulink)

* Formal Requirements Analysis based on techniques for temporal logics
  (consistency checking, vacuity detection, input determinism,
  cause-effect analysis, realizability and synthesis)

* Formal Safety Analysis, based on the integration of traditional
  techniques (e.g. Fault-tree analysis, FMEA) with symbolic
  verification techniques.

The unit develops and maintains several tools:

* the NuSMV symbolic model checker (http://nusmv.fbk.eu)

* the MathSAT SMT solver (http://mathsat.fbk.eu)

* the Kratos software model checker (http://es.fbk.eu/tools/kratos)

* the Formal Safety Analysis Platform FSAP (http://fsap.fbk.eu)

* the Requirements Analysis Tool RAT (http://rat.fbk.eu)

The unit is currently involved in several research projects, funded by the European Union (FP VI and FP VII), the European Space Agency, the European Railway Agency, as well as in industrial technology transfer projects. The projects aim at applying research results to key application domains such as space, avionics, railways, hardware design and mobile embedded applications.

The Embedded Systems Unit is part of Fondazione Bruno Kessler, formerly Istituto Trentino di Cultura, a public research institute of the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy), founded in 1976. The institute, through its center for the scientific and technological research, is active in the areas of Information Technology, Microsystems, and Physical Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces. Today, FBK is an internationally recognized research institute, collaborating with industries, universities, and public and private laboratories in Italy and abroad. The institute's applied and basic research activities aim at resolving real-world problems, driven by the need for technological innovation in society and industry.


Trento is a lively town of about 100.000 inhabitants, located 130 km south of the border between Italy and Austria. It is well known for the beauty of its mountains and lakes, and it offers the possibility to practice a wide range of sports. Trento enjoys a rich cultural and historical heritage, and it is the ideal starting point for day trips to famous towns such as Venice or Verona, as well as to enjoy great naturalistic journeys. Detailed information about Trento and its region can be found at http://www.trentino.to/home/index.html?_lang=en.

Contact Person

* Alessandro Cimatti
  mailto: <cimatti[at]fbk[dot]eu>

Marco Roveri
E-Mail: roveri at fbk.eu
Tel: +39 0461314326
Cell: +393666023955
Fax: +39 0461302040
Address: Fondazione Bruno Kessler - irst
         Via Sommarive 18
         38123 Povo (TN) -- Italy
Url: http://es.fbk.eu/people/roveri

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