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Deadline: June 20, 2021

Delft University of Technology invites applicants for a PhD position in the Distributed Systems Group in the Department Software Technology of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Job Description

Consensus is a key component of Blockchains that is either implemented using a proof-of-X mechanism or using Byzantine fault tolerant state machine replication (BFT-SMR). One of the major steppingstones for a wide adoption of fault and intrusion tolerance techniques is their performance and modularity.  It has been recently shown that some of the transactions a Blockchain system processes do not have to be implemented using consensus, and can rely on lighter mechanisms.

The key tasks of this project are: (i) leveraging recent lightweight mechanisms to automatically process the transactions they can be applied on; (ii) defining the abstractions that will allow the modular composition of BFT-SMR or Blockchain systems; (iv) opening the membership of BFT-SMR protocols to securely use them in permissionless Blockchain systems.

Additional Information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Jérémie Decouchant ([log in to unmask]).
For information about the application procedure, please contact Sophie den Hartog ([log in to unmask]).

The Distributed Systems Group

The Distributed Systems group (, under the leadership of Prof. Dick Epema, performs world-class research in the design, implementation, deployment, and analysis of large-scale, Internet-based computer systems. It currently has two research lines: distributed machine-learning systems (e.g., federated learning and performance optimization) and cooperative systems (blockchain technology, trust and reputation systems). Its research is fundamental, aimed at the development and evaluation of new generic concepts in systems software, and application-driven, motivated by important application areas. Much of it is experimental, validating the proposed new concepts by means of implementation and deployment in prototypes that are used in the real world.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Jérémie Decouchant
Assistant Professor - Distributed Systems
TU Delft / EEMCS

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