DC03 - Privacy preserving and anonymisation technology for farming data to allow data sharing

The objective for this position is addressing the technical challenge of weak verification and provenance of the data by developing a privacy preserving technology for agri-data. Engineering offers access to MLOps; a set of practices that aims to deploy and keep reliably and efficiently machine learning models.

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Host Organisation: ENGINEERING Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A., Italy

PhD awarding University: Università Degli Studi Di Palermo (UNIPA), Italy

Engineering Group is the Digital Transformation Company, leader in Italy and expanding its global footprint, with around 12,000 associates and with over 60 offices around the world. It integrates best-of-breed market solutions, managed services, and continues to expand its expertise through M&As and partnerships with leading technology players. With significant investments in R&D (€ 40 million per year), Engineering Group plays a leading role in Research, coordinating national and international projects thanks to 6 R&D laboratories and a team of 450+ researchers and data scientists and a network of scientific and university partners across Europe.
Engineering Group actively participate in international initiatives aimed to foster innovation in different areas: BDVA/DAIRO, FIWARE Foundation, International Data Space Association, Gaia-X.

The Group has strong presence on outsourcing and cloud computing market via an integrated network of 3 data centres equipped with infrastructure aligned to the best technological, quality, security standards .

For his individual project, Doctoral Researcher will use and properly extend a research asset by Enginnering Group , which is an Edge-Cloud Data Science and ML platform for rapidly prototyping, deploying, executing and monitoring AI-based big data analytics applications. It is built on advanced frameworks and open-source technologies. Thanks to an integrated asset catalogue, it is possible to manage datasets, trained AI models, data processing services or parts of workflows.

The PhD will have the opportunity to research in the field of privacy preserving technologies, with the aim of protecting the privacy of individuals and data coming from the agricultural domain. He will be trained on MLOps best practises to be able to deploy the developed algorithms and models according to the industry standards. The student is expected to carry out and independent research activity, coordinate activity with other experts on research/development projects and carry out communication activities at an international level.

Eligibility

The applicants need to meet several requirements to be eligible for this position.

Mobility rule: Researchers can be of any nationality, but they are required to undertake physical, transnational mobility (i.e., move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. Consequently, applicants for this position will have to move their centre of life to the greater area of host beneficiaries’ country. Additionally, researchers shall not have resided or carried out their main activity in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention97 will not be considered for the mobility rule.

Doctoral Researchers (DRs) rule: Applicants at the date of recruitment, must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Criteria

  • Possession of a Master’s degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, or a related field.
  • Meet the admission requirements of the doctorate degree program of the Università degli Studi di Palermo.
  • Language Skills: Applicants should have professional knowledge in (Scientific) English language.
  • Working knowledge of the following will be considered preferential: Big Data, Cloud Edge Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Data Privacy preserving technologies.

How to apply?

All Candidates must apply electronically and follow the instructions to fill the details and compile the documents in one pdf file, following the order:

  • Completed application form (available at above online link)
  • Cover Letter
  • A detailed Curricula Vitae (CV) of maximum 3 pages
  • Master’s degree transcripts that are validated
  • Any additional documents that prove the eligibility for the corresponding doctorate degree program
  • Proof of sufficient English language skills
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Proof of current residency/residence country (i.e., official document with the applicant’s name, surname, and address).

Note 1: Please be informed that the application must be written in English.
Note 2: Applicants can apply for up to a maximum of three Doctoral positions.

Employment

All Entrust DCs will be internationally recruited for a period of 36 months, will receive full-time employment contracts, will be enrolled in a PhD programme and actively participate in the Entrust Training Programme. Entrust will provide training equivalent to 30 ECTS over the duration of the programme.
The candidate is supposed to study and pass successfully numerous of doctoral courses and to design and execute an advanced research project that will constitute the doctoral dissertation

Supervisors:

Dr. Susanna Bonura, ENGINEERING Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A.
Mr. Vito Morreale, ENGINEERING Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A.

Secondment Plan:

Secondment to National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM) in month 12 for 3 months to define and implement metrics and to validate compliance among farmers’ needs.

Intersectoral Secondment supervisors:

Associate Professor Thomas Bartzanas, Athens University of Agriculture (AUA), Greece
Dr. Peter Mooney- National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM), Ireland

Contract Type: Fixed term – 36 months
Contact Term: Full-time

Opening of the Online Application: 14 March 2023
Application Deadline: 07 May 2023
For more information, please contact Salvatore Cipolla via salvatore.cipolla@eng.it