Postdoc position on advanced inter-domain routing security

Postdoc position on advanced inter-domain routing security

Published Deadline Location
8 Jan 19 Feb Enschede

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Job description

Your challenges
  • Develop and evaluate new inter-domain routing security concepts that go beyond existing routing security protocols. For instance, to enable users to validate the properties of the paths through which their data travels through the Internet.
  • Act as the technical coordinator of the project “User-driven Path Verification and Control for Inter-domain Networks” (UPIN), closely work with a group of 3 Ph.D. candidates on routing security, and potentially supervise 1-2 M.Sc. students

Your project

You will conduct research that advances the security of the Internet’s routing system, with a particular focus on the project “User-driven Path Verification and Control for Inter-domain Networks” (UPIN). The goal of UPIN is to develop and evaluate a scalable distributed system that enables users to cryptographically verify and easily control the paths through which their data travels through the Internet, such as in terms of router-to-router hops or router attributes (e.g., their location, operator, security level, and manufacturer). This new level of transparency and control over Internet data paths is particularly important for future safety-critical applications, such as remote control of wind farms at sea, tele-robots, and autonomous driving. This is unlike how the Internet works today, where users have no detailed insight into who processes their data (e.g., in terms of service providers their data passes through as well as what jurisdictions apply) and have very little control over how it is being routed. This is a risk for people’s privacy (e.g., a malicious network compromising a user’s data) as well as for their safety (e.g., an untrusted network disrupting a remote surgery). One potential direction to solve this problem is through the concept of a “Trusted Topology” that the IETF's RATS Working Group is developing and how this concept may be used to provide "high trust" data paths across Autonomous Systems.

You will carry out the work in the Design and Analysis of Communications Systems (DACS) group at the University of Twente. You will closely collaborate with two Ph.D. candidates at DACS who are working on multi-criteria-based routing security and routing hijacks. You will also work with a Ph.D. candidate at the Multi-Scale Networked Systems (MNS) group at the University of Amsterdam, who focuses on path control mechanisms for inter-domain routing. Finally, you will work with our industry partners in UPIN and beyond, such as NLnet Labs, SIDN, and SURF.

You will also act as the technical coordinator of UPIN, which means that you will keep monitor and guide the technical direction of UPIN and find synergies with the work carried out by the three Ph.D. candidates. You will report to prof. Cristian Hesselman, who leads UPIN and the chair Trusted Open Networking. You will also supervise 1-2 M.Sc. students

The UPIN project is financed by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and industry partners NLnet Labs, SIDN, and SURF.

You will:
  • Conduct research into new routing concepts and mechanisms that increase insight in and control over the trustworthiness of Internet paths, such as for critical applications.
  • Implement and evaluate your ideas, for instance using BIRD or the national P4-programmable network operated by the 2STiC consortium.
  • Work with service providers and other stakeholders to demonstrate the added value of concepts like path verification functions.
  • Present (preliminary) results at appropriate meetings and conferences.
  • Publish results in scientific workshops, magazines, and journals.
  • Contribute to teaching on topics related to your work.
  • Represent and promote UPIN in collaboration with the project partners.
  • Closely work with a group of 2 Ph.D. candidates at DACS and 1 at MNS.
  • Act as the technical coordinator of UPIN, reporting to the project lead.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You’re a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher.
  • You have a Ph.D. in computer science or related field.
  • You have a proven track record in computer networks and network security.
  • Affinity with the concept of open strategic digital autonomy for Europe.
  • Workshop and conference publications are a must.
  • You’re an independent and original thinker with a creative mindset.
  • You have excellent analytical and communication skills.
  • You very much enjoy working in a team
  • You’re interested in teaching at university level.
  • You’re fluent in English and willing to learn Dutch.

Conditions of employment

  • You will be appointed for a period of maximum 2 years full-time within a very stimulating 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);
  • Gross salary between € 3877,- and € 5090,- per month depending on experience and qualifications;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme;
  • The flexibility to work partially from home;
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus;
  • 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.
  • Excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development.
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff.
  • We are a family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid) and career support for partners.


DACS was established in 2003 and encompasses a diverse and international staff of 8 tenured faculty and around 15-20 Ph.D. candidates and postdocs. DACS’ mission is to contribute to the development of the trusted and resilient Internet that our society needs to address its future challenges. We focus on network security, energy-efficient networking, and mobile and wireless networking. We strongly believe that scientists truly excel when they work in and as a team. We therefore closely cooperate within our group, across scientific disciplines, and with our partners in academia, industry, and government. More information about DACS. The chair Trusted Open Networking is about increasing the security of the Internet’s communications substrate through measurement-based insights in its structure and operation, control actions to mitigate incidents or risks based on these insights, and changes to the Internet itself for enhanced insights or new control capabilities.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €3877—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1602


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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