Generation of security requirements using systems engineering

Eligibility: UK/EU graduates with the required entry requirements

Reason for eligibility restriction: Funder requirements and timescale

PhD funding award: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/ EU only)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 25 June 2019

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2019

To find out more about the project please contact Jeremy Bryams.

The Project

Academic context: Model Based Systems Engineering is becoming an increasing popular technique in the automotive industry, in which models are developed to describe artefacts. The focus of these models tends to be “what the system/artefact will/should do” rather than “what it will not/should not do”, and so cyber-security requirements are often not explicit. A suitable cyber-security methodology could then be used in parallel with the artefact model to generate a rigorous and comprehensive set of cyber-security specific requirements.

Broad Industrial Context: The established way of series product creation is based on a decent and detailed set of requirements, the base for both development and. A promising way to reduce friction between creators and users of product requirements is the approach of system engineering. System engineering has potential to automatically generate substantial requirements for the field of automotive security. This emerging field in automotive world does not yet have an established methodology of requirement creation, and system engineering can support in filling this gap.

Industrial context: FEV has experience with system engineering and security. They are seeking to merge and extend their compentences and capabilities to be able to more profoundly create security requirements for products in the automotive industry.


Fully funded to UK/EU fee equivalence plus stipend.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average
    • Plus the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
  • Experimental, modelling or analytical experience
  • Knowledge and/or experience in the subject of hardware or software testing
  • A good general knowledge of security
  • Experience of (or a willingness to quickly learn about) vehicle systems

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Jeremy Bryans.

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Apply to Coventry University