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In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is. -Unknown

Bio: I am a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) at Information Security Group (ISG), Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), UK, joined in September 2022. Before that, I was a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Secure and Resilient Systems (SRS) group, Newcastle University, UK, and a Visiting Professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 2022. Between 2016 and 2022, I was a tenured track Research Fellow (Research Assistant), at Newcastle University, UK. Read page 13 of the ISG's Newsletter (2023) for a more detailed bio.

Education: I have a PhD in Computing Science (2013-16, Newcastle University, UK), an MSc in Information Security (2008-11), and a BSc in Computer Engineering (2004-08), both at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad (FUM), Iran. I have studied at the Iranian National Organization for Development of Exceptional Talents High School (SAMPAD, 2000-04). 

Research: I am interested in Security and Privacy Engineering topics where the research projects are informed by real-world problems. I work on: Emerging technologies via research on a wide range of sensors (motion and ambient sensors, NFC, Bluetooth, etc.) and platforms by performing attacks (e.g., side-channel, fingerprinting, tracking, etc.) and designing secure systems (e.g., for IoT authentication, and secure contactless payment). Ialso work on Usable security and privacy by conducting measurement and evaluation research (both system and user studies) across platforms (web, mobile, IoT) and demography (gender, nationality, age, etc.). I am particularly interested in the complex risks and harms enabled by modern tech concerning Minority and Minoritized user groups, e.g., female-oriented technologies (FemTech) and users with visual impairments. My research also covers Security standardisation by actively following the real-world practices of industry and policymakers (e.g., W3C and ICO), examining the safeguarding methods for user security, privacy, and safety in the wild, and engaging with the community; providing them with research results to inform the current and next generations of the policies and standards. See my publications for more info.

Impact: I work with W3C as an invited expert and am particularly interested in real-world multi-disciplinary projects and working with academia, industry and standardisation bodies. My research has changed international standards e.g., W3C sensor specifications, and fixed vulnerabilities on software products e.g., Mozilla Firefox’s fix on Firefox 46 (CVE-2016-2813, reported as high impact), Apple’s fix on Safari in IOS 9.3 (CVE-2016-1780). My research is also featured in the national and international media e.g., sensor security in BBC, and Guardian, FemTech security in Information Security Buzz, and blockchain in CoinDesk.

Highlights: I have been conducting award-winning research for years, some of my previous awards and grants include: 

  • 2024-25: Winner of Apple Security Research Device Program
  • 2023: Top 100 Women in Engineering Awards (Safety and Security), UK Women's Engineering Society (WES)
  • 2022-2025: Co-Investigator (RHUL local PI), UKRI EPSRC AGENCY: Assuring Citizen Agency in a World with Complex Online Harms, £3.5M
  • 2021-2023: Principal Investigator, UKRI EPSRC PETRAS CyFer: Cyber Security and Privacy in Fertility Technologies, £220K
  • 2018: Runner-up (top five finalists) of Newcastle University's Alumni Achievement Award, Pride of Newcastle, UK
  • 2016: Winner/team leader of the Kaspersky/Economist Competition on blockchain for e-voting, International competition, the only winner (out of three teams) outside the USA
  • 2016: Winner of best PhD Research Award in UK Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (NCSC ACE-CSR), UK
  • 2016: Runner-up (5 finalists) of John Karat Usable Privacy & Security Student Research Award, SOUPS, USA
  • 2014: Runner-up (top 15%) of Google Anita Borg Student Award

Working from home during Covid-19