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Introducing the PETRAS Quintet


The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity has expanded its leadership team with the formation of a Quintet representing the interdisciplinary ecosystem of IoT: Professor Jeremy Watson, Professor Julie McCann, Professor Rachel Cooper, Professor Tim Watson and Professor David De Roure.

The Quintet bring a diverse range of expertise and insights  in fields including industrial and consumer cybersecurity, academic-industry innovation, cyberphysical system resilience, and exploratory design-led research in support of the mission of PETRAS to ensure that technological advances in the Internet of Things are developed and applied in consumer and business contexts, safely and securely.  

The Quintet contains representatives from the five original PETRAS founding universities.

Professor Jeremy D Watson CBE FREng FIET is the PI and Director of the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems security, Prof of Engineering Systems at UCL STEaPP, and Chief Scientist and Engineer at BRE; he was previously President of the IET, Global Research Director at Arup, Technology Director of BOC Edwards, and Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Communities & Local Government during which time he served on SAGE. He currently is lead Fellow for Engineering Policy at the RAEng, and chair of the National Engineering Policy Centre Committee. 

Professor Julie McCann serves as Deputy Director of PETRAS. She heads up the Adaptive Emergent Systems Engineering (AESE) group in the Department of Computing at Imperial College where she leads a highly multi-disciplinary group of Post Docs and PhD students. From this she leads the Resilient and Robust Infrastructure challenge part of the Data Centric Engineering theme in the Alan Turing Institute. She is PI for the NRF funded Singapore Smart Sensing project, and the Logistics 4.0 project with PETRAS and the Tate Modern. She is Imperial PI for the EPSRC Science of Sensing Systems Software (S4) programme grant. Until recently she was Co-director of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities and Co-PI of the NEC Smart Water Lab. She is currently Director of the cross-Imperial Smart Connected Futures Network. Until recently she was Co-director of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities and Co-PI of the NEC Smart Water Lab and Director of the cross-Imperial Smart Connected Futures Network. She is actively involved in the field’s top conferences (Infocom, Sensys, IPSN, and EWSN) and is an Associated Editor for IoT-J. McCann’s body of practical work unifies decentralised algorithms, protocols, cross-layer, dynamical solutions, with a particular focus on low-powered, low-resourced devices that can act as modern wireless sensor-based systems or future smart matter. She applies this to Space, Agri and Infrastructure Engineering challenges (encompassing the Internet of Things and Cyber-physical systems). Her interests lie in harnessing the various interactions between the cyber and physical to improve performance, resilience and to make secure.

Professor Rachel Cooper OBE is Distinguished Professor of Design Management and Policy at Lancaster University. She is founding Director of ImaginationLancaster, an open and exploratory design-led research centre conducting applied and theoretical research into people, products, places and their interactions. Her research interests cover: design thinking; design management; design policy; and across all sectors of industry. An academic leader with 20 years research experience and collaboration with industry partners. Rachel Cooper has led large interdisciplinary research programmes related to design, many of which have focused on the future of people, places and products in both physical and digital environments. Professor Cooper has undertaken several advisory roles to national and international universities, government and non-governmental organisations. She was a Lead Expert for the UK Government Foresight programme on the Future of Cities (2013-2016), a member of the Blackett Review of the Internet of Things (2014) ,was on the UK Academy of Medical Sciences Working group addressing ‘The Health of the Public 2040’ (2015-16) and is a currently a Chair of the UK Prevention Research Partnership, Expert Advisory Group. She is also series editor of the Routledge series Design for Social Responsibility. She was founding editor of The Design Journal and also founding President of the European Academy of Design. She is currently President of the Design Research Society. Rachel was awarded the OBE by the Queen for services to education in 2013. 

Professor Tim Watson FBCS FIET is Professor of Cyber Security and the Director of the WMG Cyber Security Centre at the University of Warwick. With more than thirty years’ experience working with government, industry and in academia, he has been involved with a wide range of programmes, several high-profile projects and has acted as a consultant for some of the largest telecoms, power and transport companies. He is an adviser to various parts of the UK government and to several professional and standards bodies. Tim’s research includes EU-funded projects on combating cyber crime, UK MoD research into automated defence, insider threat and secure remote working, and UKRI-funded research, focusing on the protection of critical national infrastructure against cyber attack. In PETRAS he is the Chair of the Research Excellence Board. 

Professor David De Roure FBCS FIMA FRSA is Professor of e-Research at the University of Oxford. Throughout his career he has investigated emerging technologies and models in large scale distributed and sociotechnical systems, with a broad interest in society, technology and creativity while also focusing on innovation in the process of scholarship. From an early background in electronics and computer science, he became closely involved in the Hypertext, Web, and linked data communities, in pervasive computing, and in digital social research. Today he focuses on living in the Internet of Things, on new methods of digital scholarship, and innovation in knowledge infrastructure. David’s personal research is at the intersection of music, maths, machines and AI, empowering the creative human in music composition, performance and production. David works closely with multiple disciplines including humanities (digital humanities, digital musicology), engineering (Internet of Things, cybersecurity), social sciences (Social Machines, Web Science), information science (knowledge infrastructure, computational archival science), and computer science (large scale distributed systems, AI). He is a founding member of two major UK initiatives: the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things Cybersecurity, and the Software Sustainability Institute.