PhD Position Testing Blockchain Applications – TU Delft – Delft

  • Delft

TU Delft

Job description

Blockchains are the backbone technology of many critical systems, including cryptocurrencies. However, the implementation of blockchain systems and applications is fraught with challenges. They are susceptible to software bugs arising from unexpected executions involving asynchrony, message delivery delays, and network or process faults.

Ensuring the correctness and reliability of source code implementing blockchains and smart contracts is paramount, and this hinges on effective software testing. Given the complexity and scale of these systems, detecting software errors through manual testing is often impractical and insufficient.

This PhD project seeks to develop advanced automated software testing techniques specifically tailored for smart contracts and blockchain systems, with a particular emphasis on the XRP Ledger framework. The testing techniques will rely on evolutionary intelligence, fuzzing, and learning-based testing to automate the process of finding software errors and identifying buggy program statements.


  • Design and implement automated testing methodologies for blockchain systems.
  • Address challenges posed by asynchrony, message delays, and network/process faults.
  • Develop a methodology to pinpoint the root cause of concurrency errors/faults

This Ph.D position is part of the University Blockchain Research Initiative (


We are seeking a candidate who meets the following criteria:


  • Holds a Master’s degree in computer science with a focus on Software Engineering and Software Testing
  • Possesses a strong background in programming using Python, C/C++, or Ruby, with a potential portfolio demonstrating contributions to open-source projects
  • Shows proficiency in writing comprehensive documents and seamlessly integrating production-level software
  • Demonstrates excellent verbal and written English skills


  • Prior knowledge of blockchain applications and consensus algorithms
  • Prior knowledge of dynamic and static analysis techniques

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the .

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from €   2770 per month in the first year to €   3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

T he TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution . Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the   . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a    for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core  and we actively  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three scientific disciplines. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we all use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make completely sustainable and future-proof. At the same time, we are developing the chips and sensors of the future, whilst also setting the foundations for the software technologies to run on this new generation of equipment – which of course includes AI. Meanwhile we are pushing the limits of applied mathematics, for example mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. In other words: there is plenty of room at the faculty for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1000 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click  to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before July 21, 2024 via the application button and upload your:

  • Motivation
  • CV
  • Transcripts
  • Reference Letters

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.