17 September 2004

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Young Software Engineer Award

Last Friday I attended the Young Software Engineer of the Year Award in the Sheraton Hotel in Edinburgh. I was lucky enough to supervise an excellent Hons project by David Llamas. His project was so good, in fact, that it was one of the finalists out of the thousands of computing-related projects in Scotland [View Project]. At the award he won 2nd place, which had a prize of £1000. If you're interested here's his certificate. For the event, the organisers produced a Caricature of each of the award winners [David's Home Page]:

and a few photos of the event:

and the more professional photos:



More details are at [Link], but the text is:

Napier graduate wins Software Engineer of the Year award

A Napier computing student has scooped a ScotlandIS Young Software Engineer of the Year Award for his research into hidden internet communications.

David Llamas (37), a BSc (Hons) in Software Technology graduate from Barcelona, was recently presented with the £1,000 second prize at the Scotsoft event in Edinburgh.

David’s project – Covert Channels Analysis and Data Hiding in the TCP/IP protocol suite – has demonstrated that terrorists and criminals can breach security measures and send messages hidden within seemingly innocent data communications that cannot be detected by the UK’s intelligence agencies.

David’s research is a major step forward in creating a system which could detect these hidden messages which would be a huge boon to the global fight against terrorism.

His project has lead to two further research applications by Napier and work with the Police Information Technology Office which is responsible for developing systems which enhance the detection of crime in the UK.

Dr Bill Buchanan, reader at Napier’s School of Computing, who nominated David for the prize, said: “We are extremely proud of David’s achievement and this is a prestigious award for everyone involved. David’s research has sparked huge interest and could lead to a system being developed which could detect covert terrorist and criminal activity.

“The School of Computing at Napier has some of the most advanced networking equipment and software development facilities, and has had research published in many respected conferences and journals. It has also recently won several national awards for excellence, and David is a fine example of the quality of our students and research.”

David Llamas, Young Software Engineer of the Year award winner, said: “I am delighted to have won this award. Internet security and the hiding of information is an important area of research which is not just of interest to intelligence agencies and the police, but also to organisations affected by industrial espionage.”

PhD Viva

I've just finished a successful PhD Viva at the University of Ulster. The flight between Edinburgh and Belfast only cost £5, but with taxes and other fees it ended up at £35, which makes it cheaper than virtually any other form of transport. In fact the taxi between my home and Edinburgh airport costs more than two times this.

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