New Distributed Systems Engineering Projects: Peer-to-Peer Networking, Programming Languages and Compilers, Cryptography, Data Structures and Algorithms

Location: Sydney, NSW

Duration: 3-5 months

About the Industry Partner

Block8 is Australia’s leading distributed ledger technology venture studio. They partner with founders, startups and enterprises to create new products and services using distributed systems. Their team is made up of product, business and technology experts, whose broad set of skills not only allows them to be agile, but also allows them to be leaders in developing the next generation of the internet.

Block8 has a growing portfolio of projects that seek to use distributed ledger technology to disrupt existing business models and value chains. The projects in the Block8 portfolio are varied and include areas such as: financial securities management, retail finance, blockchain-based stablecoins, intellectual property management, energy trading and gaming.

Find out more at

What’s in it for You? 

The primary purpose of the APR program is for the intern to gain relevant professional training and skills within the workplace. This includes:

  • Internship experience within a boutique professional software business environment, including direct engagement with the Chief Technology Officer
  • Gaining exposure to standard software engineering workflows and tooling, such as GitLab, Atlassian suite, Slack and agile delivery processes
  • Experience within a small software team with other engineers
  • Ability to collaborate on brand new, cutting-edge software technologies and futuristic products

Research to be Conducted

Block8 is commencing development on a new distributed ledger product focused on extremely high transaction throughput for consortium blockchain applications. There are a number of sub-projects available to be tackled by appropriate candidates, spanning peer-to-peer networking, programming language design, compilers, virtual machines (web assembly), cryptography, and general software engineering.
This internship would suit someone with a strong background in Computer Science or Software Engineering. A strong understanding of one of the aforementioned specialty areas will be the foundation of the research and development to be conducted within the wider project. Each sub project will entail:

  1. Research and design of a cutting-edge, performance-oriented modular software component.
  2. Implementation of the component with a focus on code security, performance and readability.
  3. Clear intrinsic and extrinsic documentation.

These objectives would be pursued alongside Block8 professional blockchain engineers to ensure full support throughout the process. You will be conducting your research as an individual or within a very small sub-team within the wider company.

Skills Wish List

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, Indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

  • Systems programming
  • Network programming
  • Consensus algorithms
  • Software architecture

Research Outcomes 

Please note: research outcomes are to be negotiated and agreed upon with the selected candidate during the project plan stage.

Specific outcomes are project-dependent, however, generally there will be for each project:

  1. A short design document describing the function, inputs, outputs, and performance characteristics of a given software module.
  2.  Implementation of the software module.
  3. A test-suite for the software module.
  4. A summary presentation to Block8 engineering team at the conclusion of the engagement.

While the above describes a general project at Block8, many of the software engineering challenges will be applicable to other projects within blockchain and distributed ledgers. Block8 is a leader in blockchain and distributed ledger technology engineering and Block8 is looking for the lessons learned from this engagement to help further educate our growing solution engineering team and maintain our industry expertise.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours, spending at least 80% of their time on-site with the industry partner.  The intern will be expected to maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

5 February 2020


APR – 1335