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Muhammad's story

Muhammad Nouman Nafees is a PhD student at the School of Computer Science and Informatics. His research focuses on cyber security - more specifically, preventing attacks on critical national infrastructure.

Below he tells us about his experience:

Why Cardiff

I moved to the UK seven years ago from Lahore in Pakistan where I grew up. I’d studied computer science at university and was especially interested in this field so when I saw the funded PhD opportunity in Cardiff I applied straight away.  It has been an amazing journey, not only because of the quality of research they do here, but because of the facilities, the staff, and the supervision offered – for me under Dr Neetesh Saxena and Professor Pete Burnap. Cardiff is, too, an amazing place to live – because of all it offers, and for its location, which makes getting to other parts of the UK really easy. It’s less than two hours to London by train.

Describe your experience at the School

The team’s help and encouragement are so motivating and we’re working with the finest simulations and testbed equipment at the new facilities in Abacws. The School also has links with universities around the world – recently we’ve published work in collaboration with professors from the University of California and Georgia Institute of Technology.

The Centre for Cyber Security Research which Professor Burnap leads is recognised as a Centre of Excellence by the National Cyber Security Centre and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council so it feels the privilege to be part of it. The culture is supportive while making room for students’ exploration. After one of my studies was published, the university paid for me to travel to attend and present it at the EEE International Conference in Singapore in October last year [October 22], a conference which focused on Communications, Control, and Computing Technologies for Smart Grids. The paper I presented was about smart grid security and how to protect it with the help of both machine learning and deep learning. Soon after I was able to virtually present some of my work at The ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) held in Los Angeles in November 2022. It was incredibly exciting to have feedback from other industrialists and professionals and researchers.

Next steps

I’m ambitious to stay and do postdoctoral research with Dr Neetesh and Professor Burnap’s team.