I very much enjoy working with research students, I have experience in guiding student research, and I am available to supervise new research students at the University of Glasgow.

Next deadline: The next general application due date for our Computing Science PhD program at the University of Glasgow is January 31, 2024.

Research Student Opportunities at UofG

For a first idea of degree options, research areas, entry requirements, fees, and funding opportunities, I recommend having a look at this overview of postgraduate research degrees in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow.

Funding opportunities: Each year there are a number of studentships/scholarships available to support postgraduate research students, who want to pursue a PhD in Computing Science at the University of Glasgow. Please have a look at the information for prospective PGR students on the School's website (particularly at the funding opportunities that the School of Computing Science Studentships, Minerva Scholarships, and the Scholarships of the College present).

Application process and guide: The School website explains the application process and requirements (such as the requested research proposal). Moreover, my colleague Richard McCreadie prepared an application guide that might be helpful, too.

Research Area and Relevant Skills

My research revolves around resource-efficient distributed computer systems, aiming to make computing more sustainable. Please have a look over my lab (for my current focus), research statement (for the general motivation and approach of my work), and previous publications (for examples of concrete results).

Research methodology: I am mostly interested in empirical systems research. That is, new ideas are usually implemented prototypically, integrated with open-source software systems, and evaluated in experiments with real-world applications, datasets, and compute infrastructures. Some of my work also makes use of simulations.

Relevant skills: I consider the following competencies and skills particularly important for my area of research:

  • a sound understanding of computer systems (e.g. operating systems, distributed systems, database systems, systems programming)
  • good knowledge of cloud computing basics (system virtualization, containers, management of virtual resources, scalable systems)
  • basic knowledge of data analysis, machine learning, and optimization methods
  • a solid command of mainstream programming languages (e.g. Python, Java, C/C++)
  • confident handling of Linux (shell usage and scripting, basic administration of servers)

Much of the basics for my area of research are taught in classic systems courses. The computing environments targeted are usually distributed and virtualized. Data analysis, machine learning, and optimization methods are also commonly applied (to make systems more adaptive – where performance data can, for example, stem from dedicated profiling runs or previous executions of recurring jobs).

More important than any specific knowledge or skill is a high level of motivation, related research interests, and the ability to work independently and learn new skills along the way.

Slides: I prepared a slide set on my research and the environment for it at the University of Glasgow (in November 2022):

A recording of me presenting an earlier version of these slides can be found on youtube.

Past and Current Student Advising

I have only just begun to act as a primary supervisor of a PhD student for the first time, but I have experience of closely collaborating with students at all levels in postdoc/senior researcher roles. Moreover, the PhD students I have worked closely with in the years since I was awarded my own PhD are all on track to earn their PhDs, and I believe they would attest to my qualities as a mentor and collaborator.

PhD student supervision: I currently supervise Kathleen West in the School of Computing Science at Glasgow. Previously, as a postdoc and senior researcher at TU Berlin as well as a guest professor at HU Berlin, I have worked closely with around a dozen PhD students and RAs in roles such as project supervisor in funded research projects and (co-)lead in collaborative team efforts without funding (including ARM and diselab).

PhD thesis committees: I am currently part of the PhD Thesis Advisory Committees of Jonathan Bader, Fabian Lehmann, and Vasilis Bountris in the DFG Collaborative Research Center FONDA. I have also acted as the internal examiner of Yousef Alhaizaey at the University of Glasgow.

Final year project supervising: I have supervised a dozen dissertation projects at the University of Glasgow. In addition, I (co)-supervised over two dozen bachelor and master theses (equivalent to dissertations in the UK) with Prof. Dr. habil. Odej Kao, Prof. Dr. habil. Andreas Polze, Prof. Dr. Robert Hirschfeld, Prof. Dr. Ulf Leser, and Prof. Dr. Björn Scheuermann in Germany.

Get in Touch

If you are interested in working with me, please contact me (lauritz.thamsen at before you apply.

Please include:

  • 1) a description of your background and interests (as far as relevant for my area of research),
  • 2) your CV,
  • 3) a sample text written by you (e.g. paper, thesis/dissertation, or seminar/project report),
  • 4) and documentation of your grades,
  • 5) and an idea for your PhD research.

I do not expect a final and complete research proposal to be attached to your first message, but I do need to see a rough idea/direction/sketch to be able to understand whether I might be a suitable supervisor for your PhD research.

You can find further guidance on our expectations for PhD research proposals on the School's website, including three examples.

There is no need for a cover letter, letters of recommendation, or course certificates.