PhD Research Topics in Network Engineering

Topics for PhD research include (but are not limited to) the following areas. Feel free to contact the staff members to discuss your research interests, and review there personal websites for more detailed description of their research interests and projects.

Internet and Internetworking

The Internet has grown substantially and evolved from its original purpose of connecting computers and mobile devices to connecting almost anything foreseeable, giving rise to the Internet of Things, and more recently, the Internet of Everything. In order to connect the billion of devices to the Internet, new protocols and technologies are needed. Concurrently, the network fabric itself has also evolved with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) emerging as the latest technological thrusts. In our group, we have a strong interest in NFV/SDN, working closely with the local NZ industry as well as with international partners to develop the latest 5G network technologies, and conducting research to develop new algorithms and protocols motivated by NFV/SDN for the Internet of Things, Mobile Edge/Fog Computing. Staff members actively working in this area include: Dr Bryan Ng, Dr Alvin Valera and Prof Winston Seah.

Wireless Networks

We aim to address challenging issues with environmentally friendly energy efficient algorithms and protocols for different forms of wireless networks operating in day-to-day as well as extreme conditions. We develop algorithms, techniques, protocols and systems with the ability to adapt to the changing network conditions, by sensing/observing/measuring network conditions, and applying knowledge that have been made available or acquired previously, to address the dynamically changing network environment. Our latest research also focuses on wireless nanoscale sensor networks using TeraHertz communications that presents a fundamentally new paradigm in networking.

Specific areas of research and expertise include wireless multihop (ad-hoc, mesh and sensor) networks, quality of service support for multimedia traffic, cognitive networks, and application of theoretical methods to network design and analysis. Staff members actively working in this area include: Prof Winston Seah, Dr Alvin Valera and Dr Bryan Ng.

Distributed Systems

Current research on Distributed Systems is centred on Grid and Cloud computing. A typical Grid user (Astronomy, Bioinformatics, Environmental Science, Particle physics, etc.) will use the grid system to automatically perform massively parallel computations primarily for data analysis. While the overall Grid goal of providing scientists access to massive amounts of computational power seems at first a simple one, the underlying technologies are the focus of much research in Computer Science and offer many interesting problems that requiring novel research. Cloud computing is an instantiation of the principles of Utility computing, and we are doing research on the federation of Clouds using economic, or market oriented and autonomic principles. We also use artificial intelligence technologies to improve the performance and manageability of distributed systems, e.g. multi-agent systems and agent coordination technologies. We also have interests in eScience, sensor information processing, self-organized information discovery and service provisioning control in peer-to-peer networks. Staff members actively working in this area include: A/Prof Kris Bubendorfer, Dr Aaron Chen and A/Prof Ian Welch.

Network and Operating System Security

The focus of our current research in Network and Operating System security is how to improve security for the users who access resources via networks. We contribute to the international Honeynet project and share their goal of learning the tactics and motives involved in computer and network attacks, and sharing the lessons learned. We are interested in the problems of how to monitor and analyse data collected from observing such attacks and using this information to try and prevent future attacks. We also study BotNets and how SDN can be applied to isolate/counter BotNet traffic. Staff members actively working in this area include: A/Prof Ian Welch, Dr Bryan Ng and Prof Winston Seah.

Our current work revolves around PC platforms but we are extending our work to include Smartphones and sensors.