Full-Time Research Assistant Position (PhD or Postdoc) in Dependable Embedded Systems

Job Description

At the Cybersecurity Research Centre we have an opening for a PhD student or Postdoc researcher to explore the use of Trusted Execution Environments in the context of dependable systems engineering, specifically for fault tolerance in mission-critical and life-critical scenarios. You will conduct strongly positioned research in an enthusiastic and interdisciplinary team in the heart of Europe, and develop relevant expertise in security and dependability, specifically for crucial domains such as safety-critical systems and space.

Employment Options

  • For PhD candidates: 4-year employment subject to an evaluation after one year.
  • For Postdoc researchers: 1.5-year initial employment.

Department and Research Group

Located in the heart of Europe, in a dynamic area, the Brussels School of Engineering offers a multicultural, friendly and green working environment. In partnership with the Bioengineering Schools, it offers no less than three bachelor, 11 master, advanced master and two doctoral programmes. Each year, more than 200 civil engineers and bioengineers are graduating and able of playing an active, responsible and critical role as citizens in a changing world. Involved at the local, regional and international levels, the School actively contributes to the progress and well-being of society through applied and fundamental research at the highest level.

The Brussels School of Engineering collaborates with the Faculty of Sciences (computer sciences department) to offer a Master degree in Cybersecurity and the International Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Cybersecurity (France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Estonia). The courses that are taught by the department are mainly in the field of digital electronics, microcontroller systems, networks, Internet of things, embedded systems, and regarding security and privacy aspects of these systems. Bachelor courses are taught in French, Master courses are taught in English.

The BEAMS-EE department (Bio, Electro and Mechanical Systems – Embedded Electronics) is specialised in the security of microprocessor architectures, embedded systems security, and networks. The ULB Cybersecurity Research Centre is a federation of four well-established research groups in the domains of network security, embedded systems security, quantum cryptography, and quantum transmission. Each group has strong international experience and collaborations with the industry.

Your Position and Research

We are looking for a skilled and enthusiastic candidate to conduct research linked to topics around Trusted Execution for cyber security and dependability in space and related domains, but always with an eye on applicability in critical infrastructures in general. Earlier research in this domain developed hardware/software co-designs for secure real-time processing and notions of availability. In your research project you will build upon these ideas and explore extensions that enable flexible notions of fault tolerance and approaches to maintain dependability properties in intermittent scenarios where systems have to deal with frequent power outages. Your research will have a focus on technical aspects of dependable systems engineering but invites reflections on topics around sustainability (in particular in the context of extending the secure lifetime of equipment) and infrastructure governance.


The position is open to graduates (120 ECTS master’s degree) in electrical, electromechanical or computer engineering, or computer science (or equivalent), complying with the enrolment conditions to the PhD programme in Engineering. Students who are about to graduate during the 2022 summer are encouraged to apply.

Required skills

  • Strong interest or experience in (embedded) systems security, and a desire to do research in this domain
  • Microprocessor architecture and programming in C/C++
  • Digital system design using HDLs (VHDL and/or Verilog)
  • Linux OS and scripting using different languages is a plus
  • Good scientific writing skills
  • Autonomy, reliability, high motivation
  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary teams
  • B2 level in English is required, C1 level in English and working knowledge of French will be appreciated
  • Innovative and creative thinking is a must


For more information, please contact Prof. Jan Tobias Muehlberg or (jan.tobias.muehlberg@ulb.be) Prof. Jean-Michel Dricot (jean-michel.dricot@ulb.be). Please mention reference ULB-CYBER-202306 in the subject of all communication about this opening.

Applications should be sent by Friday the 9th of June, 2023-06-09 AoE, to Prof. Jan Tobias Muehlberg and (jan.tobias.muehlberg@ulb.be) and Prof. Jean-Michel Dricot (jean-michel.dricot@ulb.be). Please mention reference ULB-CYBER-202306 in the subject of all communication about this opening. Applications must include the following:

  • a motivation letter (up to 2 pages)
  • your curriculum vitae including a list of publications.
    • you may complete a standard form via our website. Once completed, the form must be downloaded and attached to the application file.
  • a note on your research experience highlighting past work and achievements (up to 4 pages)
  • your study curriculum and diplomas
  • the names and contact information of two referees, and the nature of your contact wit them

Equal Opportunities Policy

ULB’s personnel management policy is geared towards diversity and equal opportunities. We recruit candidates on the basis of their skills, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, origin, nationality, beliefs, disability, etc. Would you like to be provided with reasonable accommodation in the selection procedure because of a disability, disorder, or illness? Do not hesitate to contact Marie Botty, the Gender and Diversity resource person of the Human resources Department – SPES (marie.botty@ulb.be). Be assured of the confidentiality of this information.

More details on the ULB gender and diversity policy are available online. The regulations relating to research careers are also available online.