ICCWS Biographies

Below are the ICCWS Biographies of the Conference and Programme Chairs, Key Note Speakers and Mini-Track Chairs.

Conference and Programme Chairs

Dr. Juan Lopez Jr., USMC (ret) is a cyber-physical R&D program manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory located in Oak Ridge, TN.  He leads research in Critical Infrastructure Protection, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, Nuclear Power Cybersecurity, and Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) modeling.  He served as the technical lead in SCADA/ICS research at the Air Force Cyberspace Technical Center of Excellence located at the Air Force Institute of Technology on Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.  Dr. Lopez earned a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, Master of Science from Capitol College, and Master of Science from the Air Force Institute of Technology under the NSA’s Information Assurance Scholarship Program.  Dr. Lopez is an IEEE Senior Member, Co-Chair for the Industrial Society of Automation’s Work Group 4, Task Group 7 (Security of ICS Sensors), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified SCADA Security Architect (CSSA), Certified Scrum Master, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and has an Extra Class amateur radio license from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).


Dr. Ambareen Siraj is a professor of Computer Science and the founding director of Tennessee Tech’s Cybersecurity Education, Research and Outreach Center (CEROC). She has served as the leader on several NSF and NSA education and workforce development grants. Siraj is also the founder of the Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) organization, an initiative to recruit, retain and advance women in cybersecurity. Her efforts to educate students and enhance the cybersecurity field of study goes beyond classes, research, outreach projects, workshops and conferences. Dr. Siraj’s research focus is on security in cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, situation assessment in network security, security education and workforce development. She has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications. She is a frequent speaker in various cybersecurity conferences on topics ranging from education, curriculum, workforce development, outreach, security issues & solutions for cyber-physical systems to diversity and inclusion in cybersecurity. Dr. Siraj is recipient of the ­Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education Exceptional Leadership in Education Award in 2018.

Dr. Kalyan Perumalla is a Manager and Distinguished Scientist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He founded and currently leads the Discrete Computing Systems Group in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division at ORNL. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and as a Joint Full Professor in Industrial Engineering at the University of Tennessee.  He was a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, UK, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Technical Advisory Boards for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Dr. Perumalla is among the first recipients of the U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Award in high-performance computing. Over the past 20 years, he has served as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on several research projects sponsored by government agencies including the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Air Force, DARPA, Army Research Laboratory, National Science Foundation, and industry.


Key Note Speakers

Dr Deborah Frincke is the Associate Laboratory Director for National Security Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who guides the research and development of science-based solutions to complex threats.  She recently was appointed as the U.S. representative to the NATO Emerging and Disruptive Technologies Advisory Board and was named a Fellow of ACM, the world’s largest association of computing professionals. Deborah joined ORNL from the National Security Agency (NSA), where she served in three roles between 2011 and 2020.  Her most recent role (until early 2020) was as the Director of the Research Directorate at NSA, where she led the largest in-house research organization in the U.S. Intelligence Community.  She was also a founding member of the NSA Board of Directors and the first NSA Innovation Champion. Prior to joining NSA, she had a threefold career encompassing academia, reaching the rank of full professor at University of Idaho; serving as Chief Scientist for Cybersecurity at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; and launching a successful cybersecurity startup company, TriGeo Network Systems.  She has published approximately 200 articles and technical reports.

Mini Track Chairs

Dr. Jim Q. Chen, Ph.D. is Professor of Cyber Studies in the College of Information and Cyberspace (CIC) at the U.S. National Defense University (NDU). His expertise is in cyber warfare, cyber deterrence, cyber strategy, cybersecurity technology, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Based on his research, he has authored and published numerous peer-reviewed papers, articles, and book chapters on these topics. Dr. Chen has also been teaching graduate courses on these topics. He is a recognized expert in cyber studies and artificial intelligence.

Dr Noluxolo Gcaza is passionate about making cybersecurity accessible to different contexts. Her research interests include cyber security governance, cybersecurity awareness and education. Currently she is a Research Group Leader at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). She serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Research in Information and CyberSecurity (CRICS) at Nelson Mandela University. Dr Gcaza also served as a Board Member in SaveTnet, a non-profit organization that focuses on fostering a culture of cyber security in a community setting through spreading cyber security awareness. She contributes in the SABS standardisation process as a committee member of the Information Security Technical Committee.

Dr Maanak Gupta is an assistant professor in computer science at Tennessee Tech University. He received his PhD from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His primary area of research includes security and privacy in cyber space. He works in machine learning and AI assisted cyber security solutions. He received the UTSA CS Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in 2019. His website is: www.maanakgupta.com

Dr. Greg Laidlaw, DMIT, CISSP, C|EH, serves as the Department Chair and Lecturer in the Cybersecurity & Information Systems Department at the University of Detroit Mercy. Greg’s research focuses on secure systems, secure analytics, and machine learning. Prior to transitioning into full-time academia in 2011, Greg developed an extensive range of technical and managerial experience from 25 years of IT consulting in small enterprise and local government organizations. His doctoral dissertation involved adapting agile methodologies to design and expediting a data integration project for a local Sheriff’s Department.

Dr Akond Rahman is an assistant professor at Tennessee Tech University. His research interests include DevOps and Software Security. He graduated with a PhD from North Carolina State University. He won the Microsoft Open Source Challenge Award in 2016, the ACM SIGSOFT Doctoral Symposium Award at ICSE in 2018, the ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ICSE in 2019, and the NC State CSC Distinguished Dissertation Award in 2020. He actively collaborates with industry practitioners from IBM, RedHat, and others. To know more about his work visit: https://akondrahman.github.io/

Dr. Char Sample is the Chief Scientist for the CyberCore division of the Idaho National Laboratory. Her research focus areas include Artificial Intelligence, Threat Intelligence, Fake News/Deception, Data Resilience, cyber-physical systems and cultural influences on cyber events and behaviors. Dr. Sample’s background includes time spent in the private sector, public sector and academia. She continues to try to merge the best features from each pf these areas to guide her research.

Dr. Unal Tatar is currently an Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security, and Cybersecurity, University at Albany. He has 15+ years of cybersecurity experience of cybersecurity in government, industry and academia. He is the former coordinator of the National Computer Emergency Response Team of Turkey. Dr. Tatar’s research is funded by NSF, NSA, DOD, and Society of Actuaries.  Dr. Tatar holds a BSc degree in Computer Engineering, an MS degree in Cryptography and a Ph.D. in Engineering Management and Systems Engineering. His main topics of interest are cybersecurity risk management, cyber resiliency, cyber insurance, and blockchain.

Pardis Moslemzadeh Tehrani is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya. Her research interests lie in the areas of cyberterrorism, cyberlaw, and international humanitarian law. Pardis’s research has been widely published in peer-reviewed journals and she has presented papers at national and international level conferences. She is a member of the editorial review board in several journals. She is also an international scientific member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law. Pardis’s most recent book is Cyberterrorism: The Legal and Enforcement Issues (World Science and Imperial College Press of London, 2017).

Dr. Benjamin Yankson is an Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at the College of Emergency Preparedness Homeland Security and Cybersecurity. He has over 15yrs experience in various technical leadership roles in Information Technology security within Healthcare and Education. He is the former Application Manager, Critical Care Information System for the province of Ontario’s (CritiCall Ontario), Canada.  Dr. Yankson holds a CompTIA Security+, a B.A degree in Information Technology, a master's degree in Information Technology Security (MITS), and a Ph.D. Computer Science. His current teaching and research work focuses on IoT Security, Cybersecurity Risk Management, Threat Risk Assessment (TRA), Security Auditing/Compliance, Digital Forensics, and Privacy.

Workshop Facilitators

Dr Edwin “Leigh” Armistead is the President of Peregrine Technical Solutions, a certified 8(a) small business that specializes in Cyber Security.  A retired United States Naval Officer, he has significant Information Operations academic credentials having written his PhD on the conduct of Cyber Warfare by the federal government and has published three books, in an unclassified format in 2004, 2007 and 2010, all focusing on full Information Warfare.  He is also the Chief Editor of the Journal of Information Warfare (JIW) https://www.jinfowar.com/; the Program Director of the International Conference of Cyber Warfare and Security and the Vice-Chair Working Group 9.10, ICT Uses in Peace and War.  Shown below are the books on full spectrum cyber warfare and the JIW: