Cybersecurity and Systems Engineering

Implementing advanced technological solutions to secure the digital world.

Head of Subject

Dr Nick Pitropakis
Head of Cyber Security & Systems Engineering

Cybersecurity & Systems Engineering 


The Cybersecurity and Systems Engineering (CSE) subject group incorporates a broad range of technical subjects with a primarily practical focus. This includes expertise in complex system design and implementation, underpinned by rigorous scientific evaluation. 

Systems form an integral part of how modern society operates and functions: from how we travel to how we communicate with each other. They are becoming increasingly connected and intelligent too. Our subject group has expertise in many areas within this ecosystem, from electronic circuits and sensing through to large Internet-scale infrastructures. 

As the ubiquitous nature of these systems increases, so does the potential threat to disruption caused by malicious actions. Increasingly, these can have massive and unforeseen impacts on our lives. Our Cybersecurity work focuses on testing the security of these systems, developing methods for defending and protecting them, and investigating incidents (and responses) when they do occur. 

These topics form a core part of both our research and teaching environment, with world-leading experts sharing and developing their knowledge with students and industry alike.

Our Key Research Themes

Computer Networks and Communications Engineering

Network connectivity is becoming increasingly widespread, yet devices and users have significantly different requirements. Our research focuses on a diverse set of these technologies: from battery-powered Internet-of-Things devices to multi-gigabit wired networks, we have expertise in both fixed and mobile communications, including radio frequency and antenna design. 


Our expertise in cybersecurity includes penetration testing, where devices and systems are placed under simulated attack to assess their resiliency in the face of such threats. Malware analysis focuses on dissecting malicious software and understanding the behaviours and characteristics of such for purposes of detection and mitigation.  We also conduct fundamental research on applied cryptography and digital forensics methodologies. 

Electronic Engineering 

Physical devices are often the interface between the real and digital worlds. Our work in this area focuses on fundamental topics of capturing and processing information through sensing and signalling, pioneering novel techniques to do so. We have experience in developing and realising the electronic devices and circuits needed to do so, including programmable logic design.

Electrical Engineering

We have extensive experience in the design and operation of power distribution networks, including transmission and supply. Electrical machines, including electric motors and electric generators is also an area of both taught and research interest.

Our Research Projects 

A selection of our ongoing projects is listed below:

  • TRUSTEE: Trust and Privacy Preserving Computing Platform for Crossborder Federation of Personal Data (Dr Nick Pitropakis, UKRI)
  • GLASS: Distributed single sign-on-stack-on e-Governance Paradigm based on a distributed peer-to-peer (P2P) file exchange network for security, transparency, cost effectiveness and trust (Prof. Bill Buchanan, European Commission)
  • COG-MHEAR: Towards cognitively-inspired, 5G-IoT enabled multi-modal hearing aids (Professor Amir Hussain, Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • Smart Composite Material for Advanced Building Fenestration to Enhance Energy Efficiency (Dr. Senthilarasu Sundaram, EPSRC)
  • Feasibility Study of Wireless Microwave Power Transfer (Dr. Chan See, Scottish Funding Council)
  • Design and development of Bike reflectors by using recyclable material (Dr. Senthilarasu Sundaram, Scottish Funding Council)
  • Security and Privacy in Vehicular Ad-hoc Networks (Dr. Thomas Tan, Royal Society) 

Our Degree Programmes