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PhD position on Component-Based Testing (part of the NWO-funded TiCToC project)

The organization

In the Formal Methods and Tools (FMT) research group, formal techniques and tools are developed and used as a means to support the development of software. Our central goal is to increase the reliability of the software that we rely on, as individuals and as society. We primarily target complex concurrent ICT systems, embedded in a technological context or in a distributed environment. The FMT group is part of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) at the University of Twente. The FMT group also participates in the Digital Systems Institute (DSI).

Our institute was ranked first at the most recent research national assessment. 

Job description

We are looking for a PhD candidate for a 4-year project on Formal Methods for Component-Based Testing, as part of TiCToC (Testing in Times of Continuous Change), a collaborative, NWO-funded project with the Radboud University (Nijmegen). 

You will be working on the TiCToC project, funded by NWO and carried out in collaboration with dr ir. Jan Tretmans (Radboud University).

The overall goal of TiCToC is to investigate methods and tools to manage and reduce the combinatorial explosion of testing complex high-tech systems – an explosion that arises due to the fact that these systems evolve over time to adapt to changing requirements and contexts, resulting in a very high number of possible different variants. The approach of TiCToC is to extend existing methods for model-based testing to systems of the kind above, which are both component-based and feature-oriented. Topics that are addressed include: modelling and decomposition of a system into components and features, compositional testing, impact analysis of system modifications, minimization of re-testing after a change, automatic test generation from models and usage data, and representation of models and testing concepts in an intuitive and human-accessible form in domain-specific languages. The full project description is available on demand.

The PhD candidate hired at the University of Twente will be supervised by Arend Rensink and Mariëlle Stoelinga and will work especially on the component-based aspects of testing, in close collaboration with two further PhD candidates at the Radboud University.

Your profile

We are looking for enthusiastic students, skilled in exact and abstract thinking, that hold a MSc degree in Computer Science (or equivalent). You should have a thorough theoretical background and a demonstrable interest in program development. 

As a research outcome we expect publications, (prototype) tools and a PhD thesis. 


Your application should consist of:

  • A cover letter (explaining your specific interest and qualifications);
  • A full Curriculum Vitae;
  • A list of all courses + marks and a short description of your MSc thesis;
  • References (contact information) of two scientific staff members.

Deadlines: March 15, 2020 or until the position is filled.

Further information:

Our offer

The University of Twente offers excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment and a green and lively campus. We offer:

  • A PhD position for four years (38 hrs/week).
  • A stimulating scientific environment.
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits.
  • Gross salary PhD student: ranging from € 2.325,00 (1st year) to € 2.972,00 (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%).
  • Excellent facilities for professional and personal development.
  • Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.
  • A green and lively campus, with lots of sports facilities and other activities.

Starting date of the position: as soon as possible, to be discussed.

As a PhD student, you will be a member of the Twente Graduate School, in the research programme on Dependable and Secure Computing. The TGS programme offers advanced courses to deepen your scientific knowledge in preparation to your future career (be it within or outside academia). You will have excellent opportunities to broaden your personal knowledge and to enhance your academic and professional skills. Participation in national and/or international summer schools and workshops is expected, and visits to other prestigious research institutes and universities can be part of this programme.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. The research which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

PhD position on Component-Based Testing (part of the NWO-funded TiCToC project)
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