PHD Scholarship - Advanced Authorization Infrastructures for Distributed Autonomic Systems

Monday, 28 August 2017

A PhD scholarship opportunity is available for a student to study the advanced authorisation infrastructures for distributed autonomic systems under the supervision of  Professor Vijay Varadharajan.

Autonomic computing – or equivalently, self-adaptive computing – is concerned with supporting dynamic system evolution in response to changing internal or external circumstances, by endowing systems with automated self-management capabilities, thereby turning ordinary software systems into autonomic systems (or equivalently, self-adaptive or self-managing systems).

One of the core properties whose enforcement leads to supporting such self-management capabilities is self-protection, which can be defined as a system’s ability to anticipate, to prevent, to detect and guard itself against cyber security threats.

A significant problem with self-protection is how to constrain and control system actions, which involves aspects such as specification of privileges to perform actions, propagation of privileges in a distributed environment and their enforcement in heterogeneous systems and devices, ranging from cloud servers to mobile Internet of Things.

The project is expected to investigate cryptographically enforced access control models and distributed capability-based models.

The research will consider how access classes and capabilities with different privileges can be specified, keys and capabilities can be securely propagated in distributed, heterogeneous environments, how access to services and to devices/nodes should be enforced in a decentralized context, and what adaptation mechanisms should be applied in response to changing system/operational conditions.

The project will involve the design of security architecture, development of new algorithms as well as the development of proof-of-concept implementations or case studies to validate the developed models and techniques in simulated or real-life scenarios.

It is envisioned that the outcomes and outputs of the project will be specifically applicable to both IoT and autonomous cyber defence scenarios, and all case studies and/or application examples will be drawn from these areas.


The scholarship provided through the Defence Science and Technology Group is for a period of three and a half years. The scholarship value is $26,288 p.a. indexed each year.


This scholarship is for domestic students. The applicant must have Australian Citizenship, good GPA (at least over 5.5), and be motivated and committed to doing research.  Knowledge of cryptography and security techniques will be helpful.


If you have any questions about your application, please contact Professor Vijay Varadharajan (

Contact: Professor Vijay Varadharajan
Phone: +61 02 4921 8687

APPLICATIONS CLOSE 1st February 2018

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