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CDT Students


Each year we will be awarding ten fully-funded studentships to qualified candidates to join the CDT in Cyber Security at Royal Holloway.

The multidisciplinarity nature of cyber security is reflected in the broad background of the CDT cohorts: while our typical students may have recently obtained their undergraduate or masters qualifications in a wide range of disciplines (e.g. mathematics, computer science, economics, geography), we also welcome students joining the CDT from industry or the public sector.

Please see below for information on our current students - listed by the year they joined the CDT.



Marcel Armour   marcel  
Marcel completed an undergraduate degree in mathematics and worked as a mathematics teacher for a number of years. He joined the CDT after completing a part-time masters in Mathematics at Birkbeck (University of London). He is interested in cryptography     

Simon Butler  Simon Butler

Simon completed the MSc Information Security in 2017 before joining the CDT. H

e has wide experience of working in security, both for government agencies and also in the corporate world as a security consultant. His research areas of interest include the security of driverless cars, which was the topic of his MSc project, and also in emerging blockchain technology.          

Georgia Crossland 

Georgia Crossland

Georgia completed a BSc (Hons) at Royal Holloway, University of London, then studied MSc in Clinical Psychology at King's College London. Previously, Georgia’s research interests  have been in clinical psychology and disaster response. The Schizophrenia Bulletin has accepted her Master’s dissertation, which in collaboration with other researchers, looked at interventions to reduce the duration of untreated psychosis for publication. More recently, her research interests surround human factors in cyber security, particularly in the workplace. 

Amy Ertan Amy Ertan Pic

Amy completed a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Hugh’s College Oxford, with a particular interest in international relations and political philosophy. After graduating in 2014, Amy worked for at Barclays in a range of roles and is now interested in many aspects of cyber security, including intelligence and surveillance, cyber war and geo-political security, as well as everyday cyber security and rights. 

Jordy Gennissen Jordy Gennissen
Jordy received a BSc in Mathematics and a BSC in Computer Science (Cum Laude) at Radbound University in the Netherlands. He was a visitor at the ISG in 2016, working in the S2Lab before joining the CDT.


Jason Gray   
Jason's background is Mathematics, having studied a 4 year undergJasonraduate masters in the topic. Jason is actively looking for his research topic for his PhD thesis and has his sights set on hands-on technical work. Interests include cyber-physical systems, attack vectors, malware, detection and deception.

Angela Heeler Angela Heeler Bio pic
Angela read Mathematics and Computer Science ar undergraduate level and returned many years later to Royal Holloway to complete her MSc in Information Security with Year in Industry in 2017. During the intervening years, Angela worked in the Oil and gas sector in IT and then lived abroad working with small businesses. 
Having spent her placement with the London Digital Security Centre, her project concerned securing small businesses in London. Her research interests lie with the practical implementations of security in business such that businesses and the people within them thrive and are not hindered by security.  

Jeroen Pijnenburg
Jeroen completed his bachelor's degree in Mathematics cum laude at Radboud University Nijmegen and his bachelor's degree in Econometrics & Operations Research cum laude at Tilburg University. He continued his studies in Industrial & Applied Mathematics and completed his master's degree cum laude at Eindhoven University of Technology. His research interests are post-quantum cryptography and he has worked on lattice-based cryptography for his master's thesis at the University of Auckland.

Laura Shipp 
Laura's background is in ShippLaurageography and geopolitics, and after completing her Geography BA in 2016, Laura went on to complete an MSc in Geopolitics and Security. Laura's research interests are particulary focused on feminist geopolitics and feminist and critical security studies.


Luke Stewart 
Luke obtained a first class degree in mathematics and philosophy from Lancaster university in 2016.  Subsequently, he completed an MSc in the mathematics of cryptography and communications at Royal Holloway, before joining the CDT.  His research interests are varied, however his master's dissertation was on expander graphs.

Marcos Tileria Marcos Tileria
Marcos completed a Computer Engineering degree at the National University of Asuncion in 2013 (Paraguay). Then, he worked for several years in the industry as a software developer and network field engineer. He also worked in the Academia as a computer programming teacher and research assistant before came to the UK. Marcos graduated with distinction from the MSc in Distributed and Networked Systems at Royal Holloway in 2017. Marcos’s interest lies in the scalable Blockchain and machine learning in Cyber Security analysis.


Peter Beaumont     
Pete graduated from the MSc in Information Security at Royal Holloway in 2016 with a distinction, he then joined the CDT.  Prior to this he had worked as a military engineer with the British Army where he specialised as an electrical and mechanical engineer.  He spent much of his time in the Army managing design teams and undertaking programme and project management roles. 
Pete’s academic interests lie in the security of Industrial Control Systems (ICS), his research aims to explore techniques for modelling and simulating threats that are suitable for use by security practitioners in the field.               

 Ashley Fraser   
Before joining the CDT, Ashley graduated with a First Class (Honours) in Mathematics from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh in 2016. Before this she graduated with an LLB in Law in 2009 and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice in 2010 from the University of Dundee.
 Ashley’s research interests lie broadly in the area of cryptography. Recently, she has been investigating advanced notions of security in electronic voting with particular emphasis on the definition of receipt-freeness in e-voting.                     

Rory Hopcraft  
Rory completed his undergraduate degree in the Geography and Global Politics at Canterbury Christchurch University, then completed his Masters in Geopolitics and Security at Royal Holloway before joining the CDT in the autumn of 2016.
Rory's main research interests fall within the Maritime Industry.  Looking at the impacts of cyber threats to the operation and safety of vessels and ports worldwide.  Having just completed a project looking to how the International Maritime Organization can provide a framework for understanding and mitigating cyber risk. 

Robert Markiewicz                        

Feargus Pendlebury
eargus graduated from Royal Holloway in 2016 with a First Class HonoFeargusprofile-picurs Degree in Computer Science with a specialism in Information Security. 
His current research interests involve combining machine learning techniques with program analysis to tackle issues in mobile security, particularly those afflicting the Android operating system. 

Eamonn Postlethwaite  
Eamonn studied for four years at Imperial College London and received an MSci in Mathematics with First Class (Honours), specialising in Number Theory and Algebra. Since joining the CDT in September of 2016, he has taken an interest in lattices and the so called "needle finding" class of algorithms, participated in and led various reading groups and seminars and joined the department's "capture the flag" team. 

 Pallavi Sivakumaran
Pallavi received a BSc in Electronic & Telecommunications Engineering with First Class (Honours) in 2010 and graduated from the MSc in Information Security at Royal Holloway with distinction in 2013. She worked, in the intervening years, in the R&D division of an IT consultancy and, prior to joining the CDT, for a satellite communications firm.
She is currently looking into the security of Bluetooth LE and wearable devices, and is interested in exploring the applications of machine learning for security.

Fernando Virdia
Fernando works on mathematical aspects of cryptography, mainly focusing in post quantum security. His background is in applied mathematics, and has experience as a software developer. He holds a BSc in Mathematics and an MSc in Applied Mathematics, both from Imperial College London, where he focused on mathematical physics, computational mathematics and algebra.


Benjamin Curtis
Ben joined Royal Holloway after completing his Integrated Masters Degree in Mathematics (MMath) from the University of Manchester in June 2015, where he grBen Curtisaduated with first class honours. During his time in Manchester Ben focused on pure mathematics, specifically algebra and number theory, which sparked his interest in Cryptography. At the Centre of Doctoral Training Ben hopes to continue with a strong mathematical focus, applied to real world Cryptography.                         

 Rikki Amit Deo
Amit graduated from the University of Cambridge with distinction in a Master's Degree in Mathematics (MMath) and subsequently joined the CDT.
He is currently looking at post quantum cryptography. In particular, he is interested in the underlying hard problems used in lattice-based cryptography. He has also carried out a summer project applying machine learning to malware detection.                       

 Lydia Garms
Lydia completed her Bachelors degree in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge LydiaGarmsin 2014, and then completed her Masters degree in Applicable Mathematics at the London School of Economics in 2015. Her interests are in the field of cryptography. She is currently looking at the use of group signature schemes to secure privacy in reputation schemes.

Torben Hansen  Torben
Torben received a BSc and MSc in Mathematics from Aarhus University, Denmark.His main interests are applied cryptography e.g. secure commuminaction protocols, but he has previously worked on other topics such as (non-perfect) secret sharing and number theoretic perspectives of cryptography. Torben is currently working on improving the cryptographic processing in SSH and implementing schemes that meets stronger security notions.  

 Blake Loring
Blake joined the CDT in September 2015. His research interests include language design, program analysis and vulnerability detection. He is currently working on a new approach to improve the security of JavaScript programs.

 Jake Massimo
Jake’s academic interests lie in cryptography and number theory and he will continue to pursue these under supervision from Professor Kenny Paterson during his studies at Royal Holloway.

 Taryn-Leigh Padmore   
aryn graduated with a 1st class BA Hons degree in Criminology followed by aTaryn-Leigh Padmore Imagen MA in Criminology with Cybercrime at Kingston University. Taryn’s research interest is in the application of data security, privacy and trust in mobile medical apps/devices (mHealth) .


 James Patrick-Evans
ames graduated in 2012 with a degree in Computer Science and works on automated software testing, binary analysis and software protection mechanisms.

  Nicholas RobinsonNick Robinson

After completing his Bachelors degree in Human Geography and International 
Politics (BA) at Aberystwyth University in 2014, Nick joined Royal Holloway where
he received a distinction in Geopolitics and Security (MSc), before joining the CDT in September 2015.  

Nick’s research is primarily grounded in Estonia, focussing on government initiatives such as Estonian e-Residency, Virtual Data Embassy and experimentations with blockchain technology - with the aim of developing a greater understanding of their impacts upon our traditional understandings of nation-state, border and embassy.  


Simon Bellbell-s_sm
Simon received his first class BSc (Hons) in Computer Science from the University of Sussex (2014). His final year project entitled: "Building a Honeypot to Research Cyber-Attack Techniques" involved creating an SSH honeypot in C and the analysis of various types of malicious software. This project was awarded the British Computer Society's Best Final Year Project.
His main interests include malware, honeypots, phishing and machine learning.   

Elizabeth Berners-Lee
Completed her BSc Mathematics degree at Royal Holloway in June 2013 with a First Class Honours, after which she studied MSc Information Security. She joined the second CDT cohort at Royal Holloway. Her past projects have included pseudo-random number generation, and flexibility within cryptographic primitives, focusing on the SHA-3 cryptographic hash standard.  

Giovanni Cherubin CherubinG
Received a BSc in Mechatronics and Computer Engineering from University of Pavia in 2013, and an MSc in Machine Learning from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2014. He joined the CDT at RHUL in 2014. 
His research focuses in applying results of the Machine Learning theory (e.g., classical Statistical Learning theory, confident prediction models) to security problems. For instance, he is developing a practical framework to provide security guarantees to network protocols with respect to a class of traffic analysis attacks (Website Fingerprinting attacks). He also worked on improving Machine Learning-based attacks and/or proposing new defences (e.g., Website Fingerprinting, Membership Inference)." 

Alex Davidson
Graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc Mathematics degree,davidson-a_sm receiving first class honours. He is supervised by Prof Carlos Cid and conducts research into the development of cryptographic constructions -  examples being constructions of efficient secure computation protocols and theoretical primitives such as cryptographic obfuscation.  

Gregory Fenn
His research interests are in fenn-g_smgame-theoretic cyber security and financial security. In particular he is interested in the role of cyber-insurance as a means to manage business risks associated with computer and interest activities. His current research is looking at means to efficiently and accurately price cyber-insurance policies. His BA was in Mathematics and Philosophy at King’s College London, with a focus on abstract algebra, formal logic and epistemology.

Andreas Haggman  haggman-a_sm
Completed his undergraduate and masters degrees in the War Studies department at King's College London before joining the CDT in the autumn of 2014. His research interests lie in non-technical cyber security topics pertaining to military and government applications of cyber technologies, and organisational and policy responses to cyber security issues.

Carlton Shepherd  
Graduated from Newcastle University with a first-class honours degree in B.Sc. (Hons) Computer Science in June 2013. He joined the second cohort of Centre for Doctoral Training students in September 2014, where he is being provisionally supervised by Dr. Kostas Markantonakis.

Joanne Woodage 
Joannne graduated from the University of Manchester with an Joanne WoodageMMaths Mathematics degree in  2013, and joined the second CDT cohort in September 2014. Joanne is interested in all aspects of theoretical and applied cryptography, in particular randomness in cryptography and post-Snowden cryptography. 



Naomi Farley
Naomi is currently working under the supervision of Prof. Jason Crampton farley-n_sm
(Information Security) and Dr. Gregory Gutin (Computer Science). Her primary research interests are Key Assignment Schemes and Access Control mechanisms.


Steven Hersee
Following completion of his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at the University of Nottingham in 2003 he joined as an Officer in the Royal Air Force and served for 7 1/2 years. Following his departure from the service he worked for the Metropolitan Police in a security based role for the London Olympics. He was then employed by Direct Line Group to establish an Intelligence section during its divestment from Royal Bank of Scotland. He is interested in all areas of Cyber Security but in particular he is interested in the geopolitics of Cyber Security and the diferent and often contrasting approaches taken by nation states, businesses and hacktivist groups.

 Jonathan Hoyland
Was awarded a masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Oxford. His research interests are model checking, verification of security protocols and formal methods.

Dr Thalia Laing lang-t_sm
Thalia spent her time with the CDT focusing on Secret Sharing Schemes and their application to constrained devices. Her resulting thesis, titled "Enhanced Threshold Schemes and their Applications' has led her to successfully complete the programme and gain her PhD. Thalia has now embarked on a career with HP Labs.   

Robert Lee
 He studied for a Masters of Engineering in Computer Systems and lee-r_smSoftware Engineering at the University of York, graduating with Upper Second Class honours in 2013. He is currently supervised by Prof. Kostas Markantonakis. His research interests include Cryptography and Embedded System Security.


 Dusan Repel
Graduated from Plymouth University with 1st class honours in Comrepel-dputer Science. His research interests lie mainly in the area of software security, including reverse engineering, malware and vulnerability detection and exploitation.



Dr Sam Scott scott-s
Sam's work focused on real world cryptography, covering the design of new primitives for use in password storage, and formal analysis of the TLS 1.3 specification. Ater submitting his thesis, titled 'The design and Analysis of Real-World Cryptographic Protocols', Sam joined Cornell Tech on the Startup Postdoc programme.


 Philippa Thornton  thornton-p_sm
 Pip came to the CDT from a professional background in the police and the military. She has BA degrees in History and Politics (Liverpool) and English Literature (Open University), and a Masters in English from King's College London. Her research interests are in the agency of search algorithms and their effect on language and the wider discourse. Her thesis - entitled Language in the Age of Algorithmic Reproduction - will be jointly supervised by Keith Martin from the ISG and Pete Adey from the Geography department. Pip maintains a blog to accompany her research. Linguistic Geographies can be found here.

Thyla Van Der Merwe   VDMerwe-t_sm   

Thyla received a BCom in Mathematics, Statistics and Economics, a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and an MSc in Mathematics from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She completed an MSc in Information Security at Royal Holloway as a FirstRand Laurie Dippenaar scholar before embarking on a PhD. Prior to starting at Royal Holloway, Thyla spent four years at an engineering firm, Tellumat (PTY) Ltd, as part of the security team. Thyla represented South Africa on the ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27 standards committee for five years, where her activities involved the standardization of cryptographic mechanisms and protocols. Thyla’s primary research focus is protocol analysis and she has recently completed two industry placements at the Mozilla Corporation (USA) where her work covered both Internet and messaging protocols.

Dr Conrad Williams williams-c
During his time with the CDT, Conrad successfully presented at a wide range of conferences and had several research papers published.
Conrad successfully passed his PhD with the submission of his thesis titled 'Completeness in Languages for Attribute-based Access Control', and has now joined specialist reinsurance broker Capsicum as part of their cyber team.



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