Funded PhD CASE Studentship in Interactive Visualisation for the Discovery of Cyber Security Threats

University Partner: Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing, University of Surrey

Industrial Partner: BAE Systems Detica

The funded EPSRC PhD studentship covers tuition fees and a maintenance grant of £13,590 per annum for 3.5 years. There is also an industrial contribution to the project of £8,500 including £5500 enhanced stipend to the student and funds to cover travel and equipment. Note that both grant and stipend are exempt from tax.

Cyber crime is ever increasing and the tools used in its execution are becoming ever more sophisticated. At the same time, the volume of data transported by networks and requiring analysis is growing rapidly. Analysts must constantly refine and evolve methods of detection. This project will combine rule identification, data mining and machine learning with interactive data visualisation. It is believed that only through the unique combination of these tools can efficient methods for data exploration and behaviour identification be created. The visualisation will not only provide the output of learning but, through interactive manipulation, also form the input or control to the embedded machine learning tools.

Both the Centre for Vision Speech and Signal Processing and BAE Systems Detica’s cyber operations are located in the Guildford area, allowing easy collaboration between the two sites. The student will commence their studies with a 4-6 week placement at BAE Systems Detica as soon as security clearance is obtained. Following this the student will be based primarily at the University but with regular meetings with the company. Further placements at BAE Systems Detica will be scheduled at the beginning of years 2 and 3 with the student hopefully joining the BAE Systems Detica team full time upon completion of his studies.

The Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing is one of the UK’s premier research centres in Computer Vision with over 120 people working in vision, machine learning and related disciplines. It has an international reputation for the excellence of its research and, in the last Research Assessment Exercise; the Department (of Electronic Engineering) was rated as second in the country with the highest return of staff for any institution. The studentship is available from Oct and covers both tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years plus a top up payment from the sponsoring company for 3 years. The funding is only available to UK students and they will need to obtain security clearance which will be sponsored by the company.

Candidates should hold a high-level (first class or 2:1) degree in a relevant engineering, software, mathematics or science subject, and should have strong GCSEs including As or Bs in English and Maths; as well as at least 3 A-levels at grade A and B (equating to 320 UCAS points) or equivalent. Prior experience in graphics, vision, datamining or machine learning would be advantageous. Only those with the permanent and unrestricted right to live and work in the UK will be considered for this position.

The post will remain open until filled. For further information please contact Prof Richard Bowden. Applicants should send a CV and covering letter to Prof Bowden – r.bowden(at)