Learning from one of the country’s top cyber security experts and a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) alumnus, is preparing students for a fast-paced industry.
Dr Kevin Jones, the Head of Cyber Security Architecture, Innovation and Scouting at Airbus, has recently been appointed a visiting professor at DMU, giving students from the School of Computer Science and Informatics a better understanding of the current cyber security challenges faced by industry.
This is thanks to the ongoing partnership between DMU’s Cyber Technology Institute (CTI) and Airbus, a world-leading aerospace and defence specialist.
Airbus – alongside the other members of the CTI’s Industrial Advisory Group (BT, Deloitte and Rolls-Royce) - ensures that DMU’s courses are relevant and up-to-date.
Dr Jones, who holds a Computer Science BSc (Hons), Distributed Systems Integration MSc and PhD from DMU, said: “There’s a real skills shortage in this area across the UK, which is exacerbated by fast-paced technological advances and a changing security threat landscape.
“As a champion of skills and professional development in the industry, I think engaging with universities is crucial.
“It helps to drive the industry forward by enhancing research and innovation. It also gives students invaluable insight into the industry’s latest trends and technology developments, while nurturing future talent.”
DMU students and graduates have benefitted from successful internships at Airbus, which have often helped to launch their careers.
“Our employee Michael Robinson started with us as an intern during his MSc. He showed so much promise that we subsequently funded his PhD, and his current role involves advisory work with NATO,” said Dr Jones.
“Similarly, as a result of her internship with us last year, Molly Betts has published a journal paper, which will inform cyber forensics experts around the world.”
Having learned to programme at an early age, then working in the industry building and managing networks plus developing computers as a teenager, Dr Jones chose to hone his skills at DMU.
He said: “It was very much a hobby that became a career. Doing something that challenges and enthuses you is very important in life.
“I chose to study Computer Science at DMU because the environment was for applied technology and I liked that. It’s a good way to learn theory and its application.
“After completing my MSc I had the opportunity to carry out MOD-funded research with DMU’s Professor Helge Janicke. This is what sparked my interest in research and led to my PhD in 2010.
“At the time cyber security was an evolving topic so I found it both challenging and interesting.”
Dr Jones also credits DMU with helping him to transition from research to innovation, saying: “I feel my time at the university prepared me well for this.
“Not only was I able to continue working in industry alongside my studies, I also gained valuable lecturing experience which was hugely beneficial in helping me presenting my ideas further afield.”
Currently leading a global network of teams, Dr Jones oversees projects and collaborations including research and innovation, state of the art solutions development, and technology scouting for cyber security; across IT, ICS and product security domains to keep aircraft, satellite and military-grade technology infrastructures safe.
He said: “From working with universities to advising the government, my role is very diverse and that challenge is always motivating.”
Professor Helge Janicke, Head of DMU’s CTI, said: “The CTI is proud of its long-term relationship with Airbus which is underlined by their role in our Industrial Advisory Group and their recognition of the CTI as an Airbus Centre of Excellence in SCADA cyber security and forensics.
“We are really pleased Dr Kevin Jones has accepted a position as a Visiting Professor and are looking forward to working closely with him and his team.”
Posted on Friday 28th July 2017