Computer and Information Security at Sheffield


Cybersecurity is, and will be, of growing importance for all aspects of our daily lives. Computer and Information Security is an important pillar of a cybersecurity strategy and, thus, a growing research interest in the Department of Computer Science. To address future cybersecurity challenges, the Department of Computer Science is driving an interdisciplinary initiative to join the outstanding research expertise in security- and privacy-related areas across all faculties of the University of Sheffield. This interdisciplinary expertise provides a unique opportunity to address the future cybersecurity challenges jointly from a technological, social, legal, as well as political perspective.

Chair in Computer and Information Security

To drive our research agenda in computer and information security forward, we now seeking to appoint an outstanding candidate at chair level. The successful candidate will lead a new research group in the Department of Computer Science, and will establish an agenda for security and privacy research across the wider university.

The advertised post has an exceptional package of benefits, including funding for PhD students and computing infrastructure. In addition, the new Professor will lead the recruitment of a further three academic posts and will be relieved from undergraduate teaching for 3 years, so that he or she can focus on building a world-class research group.

The deadline for applications is 27th July 2016.

Security research in the Department of Computer Science

Dr. Achim Brucker is the first recruit to our new security group. A Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Dr. Brucker was formerly a Research Expert (Architect), Security Testing Strategist, and Project Lead in the Global Security Team of SAP SE, where, among others, he defined the risk-based security testing strategy of SAP that combines static, dynamic, and interactive security testing methods and integrated them deeply into SAP's Secure Software Development Lifecycle.

activity designer

Dr. Brucker's current work includes research on security aspects of distributed, e.g., service-oriented, systems. This includes research in applied security aspects such as access control or business-process modelling, as well as in fundamental aspects such as novel techniques in the area of static and dynamic approaches for ensuring the security of applications. Moreover, he is participating in the development of interactive theorem proving environments for Z (HOL-Z) and UML/OCL (HOL-OCL, which is integrated into a formal MDE toolchain) and a model-based test-case generator (HOL-TestGen).

In his work, Dr. Brucker is collaborating internationally with universities (e.g., the University of Darmstadt in Germany, University of Trento in Italy, and the Technical University Denmark) as well as international business software and security testing tool vendors.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

The AMRC with Boeing, established in 2001, has grown to become a world-leading centre of advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value sectors. It has over 80 industrial members, from global giants such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, to local small businesses. 


Dr. Aiden Lockwood, Head of Manufacturing Informatics at the AMRC, sees many opportunities for linking security research at Sheffield with the AMRC, particularly with the currently advertised chair position. He says: "The evolution in recent years of digital technologies has the potential to significantly disrupt the sectors where manufacturing is a significant element. Whilst this is an attractive opportunity for those manufacturing sectors likely to be affected, there is a great deal of concern about the security of manufacturing data and as a result the AMRC is enthusiastic about working with the new professor to dispel some of these fears for industry."

The Open Data Science Initiative

The Open Data Science Initiative aims to bring the philosophy of sharing and community resource assimilation that underpins the success of the open source software movement to the area of research software. One of its aims is to achieve a balance between data sharing for societal benefit and the right of an individual to own their data.

Security and privacy research in other Departments


School of Law

School of Mathematics and Statistics

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

  • Dr. Iñaki Esnaola. Cyber attack detection in infrastructural systems such as smart grids.

Information School

Department of Journalism Studies

  • Dr. Emma Briant. Propaganda, digital media and terrorism. British and US politics and intelligence.

Sociological Studies

School of English

  • Dr. Fabienne Collignon. The fictions of total security adapting to constantly changing targeting strategies. Fantasies of conflict and closed worlds.