PhD position in Big Data Management: Auto-tuning for modern hardware
Studentship: Untaxed bursary of £16,553 per annum (2017/18 figure including London weighting plus home/EU fees)

The Department of Computing is a leading department of Computer Science among UK Universities, and has consistently been awarded the highest research rating. In the 2014 REF assessment, The Department was ranked third (1st in the Research Intensity table published by The Times Higher), and was rated as "Excellent" in the previous national assessment of teaching quality.

Applications are invited for a PhD student in Big Data Management with focus on Auto-tuning for modern hardware under the supervision of Dr. Holger Pirk .

The user of modern hardware such as GPUs, FPGAs or RDMA for data processing promises orders of magnitude better performance than state-of-the-art techniques. However, it is not trivial: making effective use of such hardware involves the analysis of the hardware, the development of accurate cost models as well as new (often massively parallel) algorithms and processing strategies. Once these new components are in place, it is hard to decide when to use which due to the proliferation of hardware designs.

The goal of this project is to develop an approach that automatically determines the right data processing strategy for a given hardware architecture -- ideally without any human input. There are a number of approaches to this problem, ranging from accurate modeling and optimization to machine learning. There will be freedom for an excellent candidate to explore the problem space according to their specific interests.

To apply for this position, you will need to have a strong background in at least one of the following areas: data management, compilers, computer architecture or high-performance computing.

Applicants are expected to have a First Class or Distinction Masters level degree, or equivalent, in a relevant scientific or technical discipline, such as computer science or mathematics. Applicants must be fluent in spoken and written English.

The position is fully funded, covering tuition fees, travel funds and a stipend/bursary. The position is available to home and EU students.

To apply for this position, please follow the application guidelines .

In the application form, please write Big Data Autotuning in the “Proposed Research Topic” field, and Dr. Holger Pirk in the “Proposed Research Supervisor” field.

Early applications are encouraged. Informal inquiries about this position are also encouraged and can be directed to Dr. Holger Pirk. For further information see

This position will be based at the South Kensington campus in central London.

Applicants are advised to visit the PhD homepage for general information on becoming a PhD student in the Department of Computing.

We are committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Two Ticks Employer, and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

Position Title
PhD position
Research areas
Big Data Management: Auto-tuning for modern hardware
£16,553 per annum
Application Deadline
19 January 2018, 23 March 2018
Start Date
October 1st, 2018
Dr. Holger Pirk