PhD position on Zero-waste computing in the device-edge-cloud continuum

University of Twente
April 01, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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Computing is increasingly present in our lives, and we rely on digital services and applications for most daily activities, from work to entertainment, and from education to society services and governance. It is predicted that, by year 2030, ICT (Information and Communication Technology) might consume as much as 30% of the worldwide energy. As such, ICT raises significant sustainability concerns and research is needed to increase the energy efficiency of applications and digital services.

One major contribution to increasing the sustainability of ICT is to reduce waste in computing. Informally, we define waste in computing as the inefficient use of computing resources. In this project, we aim to (1) define metrics and methods to measure computing waste reliably and systematically in different applications and systems across the computing continuum, (2) propose and prototype tools to reduce such waste (depending on its causes and target system), and (3) demonstrate our approach (and its impact on ICT sustainability) on several case-studies.

Do you want to join our efforts to increase ICT sustainability? The Computer Architecture for Embedded Systems (CAES) group at the University of Twente invites applications for a 4-year PhD position on the topic of “ Zero-waste computing ". We are looking for a talented and focused researcher with knowledge in using/programming distributed systems, cloud/edge computing, experience with empirical research in deploying and analysing real applications running on real (large) heterogeneous systems, and experience with performance and energy measurement and prediction models and tools.

The successful applicant will join University of Twente as PhD student, supervised by Dr. Ir. Ana-Lucia Varbanescu, and will work as part of the CAES group, also in collaboration with a second PhD student working, in the context of the Graph-Massivizer EU project, on high-performance, energy-efficient graph processing applications deployed in the computing continuum. The student will also collaborate closely with VU Amsterdam, the EnergyLabels project at University of Amsterdam, and with SURF; we expect to address the sustainability of applications ranging from machine learning (from UvA, Radboud University) and big science (UvA, Nikhef).

The PhD student will have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge by joining international exchange programs, participating in national and international conferences and workshops, and visiting other research institutes and universities in the project and beyond.

Concretely, the project is foreseen to include the following activities:

  • Define metrics (and evaluation processes for these metrics) for quantifying waste in the computing continuum
  • Analyse 5-7 case-study applications, including dense and sparse matrix computation, machine-learning workloads, scientific applications, and graph processing workloads. Quantify their energy waste.
  • Propose methods to reduce waste across the computing continuum and evaluate them empirically (in simulation, emulation, and/or in the lab).
  • Assess trade-offs between functional and non-functional properties, and their impact on zero-waste computing.
  • Propose methods to reduce compute waste and assess their efficacy on the selected case-studies.
  • Assess the impact of reduced-waste computing on sustainability of ICT.
  • These steps are further expected to be disseminated in open publications and accompanied with proof-of-concept tools as demonstrators.

    Your profile
  • You are an enthusiastic and highly motivated researcher.
  • You have, or will shortly have, acquired a MSc degree in the field of computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, big data analysis, or similar.
  • You have good programming skills, and some experience with programming and/or deploying applications on heterogeneous parallel and/or distributed systems.
  • (optional) You have some experience/practice with performance and energy models in computer systems
  • You enjoy empirical research and have some experience in running experiments on real (large-scale) hardware and/or simulators.
  • You are proficient in English, for both writing and oral presentations.
  • You have a good team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment.
  • Our offer
  • As a PhD student at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting 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);
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.541,- (first year) to € 3.247,- (fourth year);
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • The flexibility to work (partially) from home;
  • 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;
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.
  • Information and application

    Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before April 1st , and include:

  • A motivation letter emphasizing your specific interest and motivation to apply for a PhD position in our group.
  • A full Curriculum Vitae including your publications, awards, and working experience. Your CV should demonstrate the scope of your work and education and indicate a good fit with the stated requirements for the position.
  • An academic transcript of BSc and MSc education, including grades.
  • A short description of your MSc thesis/final project.
  • References (contact information) of two scientific staff members (one of whom should be the supervisor of your BSC or MSc thesis/final project) who are willing to provide a recommendation letter at our request.
  • The first interviews are scheduled on April 11-18, please take this into account.

    For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact (Ana-Lucia Varbanescu, [email protected])

    About the department

    You will work in the CAES chair of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Sciences (EEMCS), University of Twente. The CAES Chair conducts research and education in computer architecture and computing systems, with a particular emphasis on embedded systems. For more information about CAES, click here.

    About the organisation

    The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more? Varbanescu, A.L. (Ana-Lucia)

    Associate Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Ana-Lucia for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues Varbanescu, A.L. (Ana-Lucia)

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  • Chen, K.H. (Kuan)
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  • Gerards, M.E.T. (Marco)
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