PhD Student (m/f/d) for applied Post-Quantum Cryptography in Automotive

Eching, Germany


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Company Description

DENSO is a globally active and leading supplier for components and systems in the automotive industry, developing and providing components and systems for heating, air conditioning, motor cooling, exhaust gas aftertreatment, automotive electrics and electronics and instrumentation. Our 700 employees at 7 German locations are the core to facilitate the development of modern, safe and energy-efficient vehicles. 

Job Description

In future, Quantum Computers are expected to be able to effectively threaten established cryptographic algorithms used in automotive systems. To counter such threats, NIST launched a competition to decide and standardize post quantum cryptography algorithms (PQC). In 2022, this competition resulted in the selection of the first set of PQC algorithms to standardize, providing the automotive industry (and others) a good foundation to increase their efforts in readying their systems against future quantum attacks. 

The focus of the work is researching how to integrate post-quantum cryptography (PQC) into complex vehicle architectures with their highly diverse computing devices and long-term cybersecurity maintenance requirements from the viewpoint of an automotive component supplier. 

The PhD Student (m/f/d) is expected to advance the state-of-the-art approaches of how to apply cryptography in automotive systems with focus on interactions in the supply chain. Additionally, the student will research new technical security controls to protect vehicular systems against malicious attacks. 

This work will be conducted as within the project “PARFAIT: Post-Quanten-Kryptografie für Automotive-Komponenten”, which is a new research project co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 

The associate's tasks include 

  • Conduct research that is related to the introduction of PQC in automotive systems where the topic fits the scope of PARFAIT. 

  • Collection of requirements based on relevant use cases and risk assessment to specify where established cryptography needs to be updated. 

  • Analysis of technologies and management processes to enable switching established cryptographic primitives and solutions for key management covering the while product lifecycle. 

  • Development of concepts on how to integrate PQC in existing and future automotive electronic architectures. This includes migration concepts ranging from component level to vehicle ecosystem level. The integration of non-migratable, legacy systems is an additional requirement to consider. 

  • Analysis and extension of established secure communication protocols used in automotive regarding crypto agility and PQC. 

  • Evaluation of the developed solutions on existing automotive microcontrollers including analyzing optimizations and performance impacts. 

  • Discuss with DENSO-internal R&D teams to collect feedback and help applying project results in product development and related research. 

  • Collaborate and coordinate research activities with partners in academia and industry in Germany. 

  • Assist administrative tasks in PARFAIT, when occasionally assigned by the project manager. 


  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, engineering, or related disciplines.
  • Highly motivated and keen on working in an international and interdisciplinary team.
  • Experience/Knowledge in the following fields is preferred:
    • Formal methods / Software Engineering
    • Secure communication protocols (e.g., TLS, IPsec)
    • Application of cryptographic algorithms
    • Automotive in-vehicle systems
  • Programming skills in at least one programming language, e.g. C/C++ or Python.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English. Knowledge of German is not required but preferred.

Additional Information

  • International company with various development opportunities
  • Open and diverse corporate culture
  • Wide range of trainings and education opportunities
  • 13 monthly salaries and optional allowances
  • 30 days of vacation and a flextime model for flexible working hours
  • Opportunity for home office
  • Generous daily allowance for business trips
  • Modern offices, canteen onsite and free parking for employees
  • Free coffee, tea and water
  • Employee benefits, such as attractive leasing offers, net salary optimization, additional private health insurance, free employee advice assistance hotline and much more.
  • Company events

It has come to our attention that various individuals have contacted people offering false employment opportunities with DENSO. Such scams are fraudulent and intended to steal from the victims.

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* Salary range is an estimate based on our InfoSec / Cybersecurity Salary Index 💰

Tags: C Computer Science Crypto Cryptography NIST PhD Python R&D Risk assessment TLS

Perks/benefits: Flex hours Flex vacation Health care Home office stipend Team events

Region: Europe
Country: Germany
Job stats:  9  0  0

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