Prospective Students

I am always looking for outstanding and motivated students who like hacking on large systems and across the classic abstraction layers between software and hardware. My interests include the development of both real-world systems and novel computer architectures (often in combination) with a focus on performance, efficiency, and security.

Student Projects at Imperial

If you want to apply for a project under my supervision, please have a look at the department’s project portal (Imperial login required). You can search for “Vilanova” on the Proposer search field to see the projects I have published.

A subset of these projects are of an open-ended, research nature, with the potential to grow into a peer-reviewed publication. Such projects are thus particularly suited to students in a master’s track, especially if they are thinking of pursuing a PhD.

If you want to apply to any of these projects, you should schedule a meeting with me to discuss our mutual goals for the selected project(s). The best way to ensure you are assigned to such project is to carefully read the proposal and relevant background material, as well as prepare a list of questions you want to ask during the meeting.

PhD Students

If you are thinking of applying for a PhD position with me, please read the following guidelines so we can both make the best out of our time. The same guidelines apply if you want to apply for a shorter collaboration (internship), except the application process goes directly through me.


I am looking for candidates with hands-on experience in building computer systems or in computer architecture design and implementation (ideally in combination). The best candidates will also have some background in computer security, high performance computing, distributed systems, machine learning, or resource management.

Please highlight in your application any complex projects you have participated in that spanned over one month, with the aim to clarify for me the topics in which you have experience. The projects could be of any nature (papers, presentations, software, etc.) and domain (class projects, internships, hobbies, etc.), as long as they are relevant to the field of study you want to pursue.


If you are already a student at Imperial, I suggest that you apply for a project with me. In cases where that is not possible, I ask that you provide one or two reference letters from people you have worked with. Each should talk about your professional relationship, your strengths and weaknesses, and contain a concluding recommendation. Please have your referees send their letters directly to the PhD application system or to me, and indicate their names and professional positions in your application.

Application Process and Funding

Last but not least, please carefully read all the information on the application process, requirements, and funding opportunities here and here.

In addition to the funding opportunities above, I also have the following open PhD scholarships:

Post-Doctoral Researchers

If you want to apply for a post-doctoral position, you should send a CV, research statement and reference letters directly to me.

There are many sources of funding available for post-doctoral positions, including the EPSRC, the British Academy, and the ERC; in some selected cases I might have funding for specific topics.