PhD position on Zero-waste computing in the device-edge-cloud continuum

PhD position on Zero-waste computing in the device-edge-cloud continuum

Published Deadline Location
14 Feb 31 Mar Enschede

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 31 Mar 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

Computing is increasingly present in our lives, and we rely on digital services and applications for most daily activities, from work to entertainment, and from education to society services and governance. It is predicted that, by year 2030, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) might consume as much as 30% of the worldwide energy. As such, ICT raises significant sustainability concerns and research is needed to increase the energy efficiency of applications and digital services.

One major contribution to increasing the sustainability of ICT is to reduce waste in computing. Informally, we define waste in computing as the inefficient use of computing resources. In this project, we aim to (1) define metrics and methods to measure computing waste reliably and systematically in different applications and systems across the computing continuum, (2) propose and prototype tools to reduce such waste (depending on its causes and target system), and (3) demonstrate our approach (and its impact on ICT sustainability) on several case-studies.

Do you want to join our efforts to increase ICT sustainability? The Computer Architecture for Embedded Systems (CAES) group at the University of Twente invites applications for a 4-year PhD position on the topic of "Zero-waste computing". We are looking for a talented and focused researcher with knowledge in using/programming distributed systems, cloud/edge computing, experience with empirical research in deploying and analysing real applications running on real (large) heterogeneous systems, and experience with performance and energy measurement and prediction models and tools.

The successful applicant will join University of Twente as PhD student, supervised by Dr. Ir. Ana-Lucia Varbanescu, and will work as part of the CAES group, also in collaboration with a second PhD student working, in the context of the Graph-Massivizer EU project, on high-performance, energy-efficient graph processing applications deployed in the computing continuum. The student will also collaborate closely with VU Amsterdam, the EnergyLabels project at University of Amsterdam, and with SURF; we expect to address the sustainability of applications ranging from machine learning (from UvA, Radboud University) and big science (UvA, Nikhef).

The PhD student will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge by joining international exchange programs, participating in national and international conferences and workshops, and visiting other research institutes and universities in the project and beyond.

Concretely, the project is foreseen to include the following activities:
  • Define metrics (and evaluation processes for these metrics) for quantifying waste in the computing continuum
  • Analyse 5-7 case-study applications, including dense and sparse matrix computation, machine-learning workloads, scientific applications, and graph processing workloads. Quantify their energy waste.
  • Propose methods to reduce waste across the computing continuum and evaluate them empirically (in simulation, emulation, and/or in the lab).
  • Assess trade-offs between functional and non-functional properties, and their impact on zero-waste computing.
  • Propose methods to reduce compute waste and assess their efficacy on the selected case-studies.
  • Assess the impact of reduced-waste computing on sustainability of ICT.
These steps are further expected to be disseminated in open publications and accompanied with proof-of-concept tools as demonstrators.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You are an enthusiastic and highly motivated researcher.
  • You have, or will shortly have, acquired a MSc degree in the field of computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, big data analysis, or similar.
  • You have good programming skills, and some experience with programming and/or deploying applications on heterogeneous parallel and/or distributed systems.
  • (optional) You have some experience/practice with performance and energy models in computer systems
  • You enjoy empirical research and have some experience in running experiments on real (large-scale) hardware and/or simulators.
  • You are proficient in English, for both writing and oral presentations.
  • You have a good team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment.

Conditions of employment

  • As a PhD student at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment;
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU);
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.541,- (first year) to € 3.247,- (fourth year);
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • The flexibility to work (partially) from home;
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis;
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.


You will work in the CAES chair of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Sciences (EEMCS), University of Twente. The CAES Chair conducts research and education in computer architecture and computing systems, with a particular emphasis on embedded systems. For more information about CAES, click here.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1067


University of Twente (UT)

Learn more about this employer


Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you