National Security,
Science & Technology Forum presenters


Forum Chair

Mark G. Stewart is Professor of Civil Engineering and Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Performance and Reliability at The University of Newcastle in Australia. He is co-author of Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Engineering Systems, Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland SecurityChasing Ghosts: The Policing of Terrorism, and Are We Safe Enough? Measuring and Assessing Aviation Security, and has published more than 400 technical papers and reports. He has 30 years of experience in probabilistic risk and vulnerability assessment of infrastructure and security systems. Professor Stewart has received extensive Australian Research Council support, including an Australian Professorial Fellowship, to develop probabilistic risk-modelling techniques for infrastructure subject to military and terrorist explosive blasts, and cost-benefit assess­ments of aviation security, policing, and counter-terrorism protective measures for critical infrastructure.

John Waschl, Scientific Adviser – National Security, National Security Science and Technology Centre, Defence Science and Technology

Forum Chair

John Waschl, a member of the National Security Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC), is based at the Edinburgh site of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST). Mr Waschl is the Scientific Advisor for National Security in the NSSTC.

Mr Waschl is responsible for the overall S&T direction and governance principles of the NSSTC program and is keenly interested in growing the domestic S&T provider base in support of National Security goals.

In his more than 35 years in Defence, Mr Waschl has conducted or supported research in a number of areas including novel initiation systems for warheads, modelling blast and warhead effects and target response, landmine detection, counter improvised explosives, and autonomous systems and is widely published in those areas. During his career, he has held a number of senior roles in DST and Chaired or represented Defence on domestic and international technical panels. He has also been seconded to BAE Systems (Australia), the US Army (formerly Harry Diamond Laboratory) and US Navy (Office of Naval Research).

Mr Waschl holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Physics from the University of Melbourne and Post Graduate Diplomas in Audiology and Computer Simulation as well as having completed the Executive Leadership Development Program and a number of other management courses.

PROFESSOR PRIYAN MENDIS, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne

Forum Co-Chair

Professor Priyan Mendis has received international recognition for his work in protective and structural engineering and security. Priyan has successfully undertaken commissions for clients within the public and private sectors both nationally and internationally. He has lectured in structural engineering and protective engineering at the University Melbourne, Australia for more than 20 years and attached to the Dept of Infrastructure Engineering. He has been invited to lecture to both researchers and practising engineers on various topics related to protective technology of structures, both in Australia and overseas.


Forum Co-Chair

Professor Chi-King Lee has been working in the areas of finite element modelling and structural engineering for many years. His main research interests include automatic finite element mesh generation and adaptive algorithm, steel structure, sustainable building structure system and protective engineering for structure. He acts as reviewer for many international journals in the areas of numerical modelling, structural mechanics and engineering. He also worked as a consultant for the PSA Singapore on the dynamic fatigue study of container quay cranes as well as for a building design software company to provide recommendations on the implementation of their analysis and design software.

PhD University of London, Imperial College, London 1996
MPhil University of Hong Kong 1993
BSc(Eng) University of Hong Kong 1989

Professional Affiliations
Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Member, Singapore Structural Steel Society (SSSS)

Career History
June 2015–Present, Professor in Civil Engineering, School of Engineering & IT, UNSW Canberra, Australia
1998-2000 Lecturer, 2000-2001 Assistant Professor, 2002–June 2015 Associate Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
1996-1997 Post-doctoral fellow and honorary lecturer, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, The University of Hong Kong

Research Interests
Computational Mechanics: Automatic mesh generations, Meshless methods (RKPM/EFGM) and Generalized and eXtended finite element methods (GFEM, XFEM), Adaptive algorithm

Steel structures and sustainable Building Structure System: Use of high strength steel in construction, Fatigue performance of tubular and crane structures
Integrated design procedure for optimal sustainable building structural system

Protective engineering for structures: Explosion safety of ammunition magazines, Impact and ricochet behaviours of explosion debris, Combined blast and fragment loading on structures, Progressive collapse of reinforced concrete structures

Dr Jonathan Tran, Senior lecturer, Civil & Infrastructure Engineering, School of Engineering
Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP), RMIT University

Forum Co-Chair

Dr Jonathan Tran is a senior lecturer in the department of Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, School of Engineering, and a member of Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP), RMIT University. His research interests lie at the interface between solid mechanics and materials engineering with the aim to develop novel materials that exhibit paradigm-shifting properties for extreme loading protection that can impact the general field of infrastructure and lightweight structural materials.  Dr Tran received his Ph.D. in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, USA and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Northwestern University, USA. From 2012-2018, Dr Tran were a research fellow and then a lecturer in Structural Engineering, department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne. Dr Tran had considerable experiences through various defence material projects in the USA and Australia supported by Office of Naval Research (USA), Australian Research Council (ARC), Defence Material Technology Centre (DMTC), CSIRO, DST Group and industries including Thales Group, Lockheed Martin. His research included design and optimise novel smart, high-performance and lightweight materials based on composite and additive manufacturing approach. He also has significant experience with characterisation and numerical modelling of materials and structures under extreme loadings such as underwater/air/soil blast and ballistic impact. Dr Tran has published three book chapters on composite under extreme events and over 60 refereed journal articles. Dr Tran and his Ph.D. students were awarded a number of best paper prizes for their research on computational mechanics and shock & impact on structures.



Mark Briers is Programme Director for The Alan Turing Institute's Defence and Security partnership and Professor of Cyber Security and AI at Cranfield University. Prior to joining Turing, Mark worked in the defence and security sector for over 16 years, directing research programmes in the area of statistical data analysis, and leading large teams to drive impactful research outputs. He completed his PhD in 2007 at Cambridge University where he developed Sequential Monte Carlo based techniques for state-space filtering and smoothing.

He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London, where he teaches methodological techniques for use in a Big Data environment and conducts research into statistical methods for cyber security, and he is a Council Member at the Royal Statistical Society. He is an Industrial Fellow alumnus of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Mark is a co-investigator on the EPSRC funded programme grant Computational Statistical Inference for Engineering and Security.

Mark is also Co-Chair of the Institute Programme Committee, which steers scientific direction and research strategy at the Turing.
Artificial Intelligence and conflict

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is believed to be revolutionising many areas of society. As with all such a transformative innovations, there are many adversaries that are exploiting and/or attacking the technology in order to further their goals. This talk will explore the use - and misuse - of AI related technologies across several areas of defence and security. We will explore a research case study: that of using AI to estimate the likelihood of conflict, at multiple levels of spatial resolution, and with a heterogenous mix of data


 Dr Austin is a Professor in the UNSW Canberra Cyber. He concurrently serves as a Professorial Fellow with the EastWest Institute (EWI), with offices in New York, Palo Alto, Brussels and Moscow. He is Australia’s leading research scholar on international security aspects of cyber space affairs, especially China cyber policy. He has published two books on cyber policy on China (2014 and 2018), one of a tiny group of scholars to do so. He has published five other books on Asian security affairs (four are on China), each with a strong interdisciplinary focus, and one additional edited volume on energy security. He leads the Research Group on Cyber War and Peace at UNSW Canberra. He set up Australia’s first Master’s degree in Cyber Security, Strategy and Diplomacy (which has few peers anywhere in the world); and he teaches four subjects in this degree. He is a member of the Cyber Security Advisory Council for New South Wales; a member of the Advisory Board, Global Foundation for Cyber Studies and Research; and a member of the National Standing Committee on Digital Trade (a private initiative). He has held seven university appointments, all in world class universities or departments: War Studies at King’s College (Senior Visiting Fellow), Peace Studies at Bradford (Associate Professor), International Relations at ANU in Australia (Fellow). He has held posts in Australian security policy as Ministerial adviser, parliamentary committee secretary, international intelligence liaison officer and intelligence analyst.

Select Publications on Cyber Space

Cyber Security in China, Springer, 2018
Cyber Policy in China, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2014

 Books in Preparation
“Human Capital for Security in Cyberspace” (with Routledge, under review), edited volume
“Civil Defence for the Cyber Storm” (with Routledge, under review), edited volume

 Journal Articles/Book Chapters/Policy Reports
“Civil Defence Gaps under Cyber Blitzkrieg”, Paper for the Cyber Storm conference February 2019 and chapter in G. Austin (ed) “Civil Defence for the Cyber Storm” (in preparation with Routledge)

“Human Capital for Cyber Security” in G. Austin (ed) “Human Capital for Security in Cyberspace”

Opportunity, Threat and Dependency in the Social Infosphere. in Cornish P (ed.) Oxford Handbook on Cyber Security. Oxford University Press, Oxford. forthcoming

Global Trade and Cyber Security: Monitoring, Enforcement and Sanctions. Co-authored with Gady FS in Cornish P (ed.) Oxford Handbook of Cyber Security, Oxford University Press. Oxford. forthcoming

Preemption Is Victory: Aggravated Nuclear Instability of the Information Age. 2017. co-authored with Pavel Sharikov, Russian Academy of Social Sciences. Non-proliferation Review 23 (5-6) 691-704

Robots Writing Chinese and Fighting Underwater. 2017. in Kiggins R. (ed.) The Political Economy of Robots: Prospects for Peace and Prosperity in the Automated 21st Century. Palgrave.  271-290

Restraint and Governance in Cyberspace. 2017. in Burke A and Parker R (eds.) Global Insecurity: Futures of Chaos and Governance. Palgrave. 215-233

Are Australia's responses to cyber security adequate?. 2017. Australia's Place in the World.  CEDA. 50-61.

Middle Powers and Cyber-Enabled Warfare: The Imperative of Collective Security. 2016. in Munish Sharma and Cherian Samuel (eds). Securing Cyberspace: Asia and International Perspectives. IDSA. Pentagon Press. New Delhi. 23-56

International Legal Norms in Cyberspace: Evolution of China's National Security Motivations. 2016. in Anna-Maria Osula and Henry Rõigas (eds). International Cyber Norms: Legal, Policy & Industry Perspectives. NATO CCDCOE Publications. Tallinn. 172-201

Australia’s Response to Advanced Technology Threats: An Agenda for the Next Government. 2016. co-authored with Jill Slay. Australian Centre for Cyber Security. Discussion Paper #3. University of New South Wales Canberra

Australia Rearmed: Future Needs for Cyber-enabled War. 2016. Australian Centre for Cyber Security, Discussion Paper #1. University of New South Wales Canberra

Promoting International Cyber Norms: A New Advocacy Forum. 2015. co-authored with Bruce McConnell and Jan Neutze. EastWest Institute. New York/Brussels/Moscow. 19pp

China’s Security in the Information Age. 2015. L. Dittmer and M. Yu (eds). Routledge Handbook of Chinese Security. Routledge. 355-370

China’s Cyber Espionage: The National Security Distinction and U.S. Diplomacy. 2015. Discussion paper. 9,000 words. Available at content/uploads/2015/05/thediplomat_2015-05-21_22-14-05.pdf

Australia’s Digital Skills for Peace and War. 2014. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy 2 (4) 68:1-15

Managing Asymmetries in Chinese and American Cyber Power. 2014. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. International Engagement on Cyber IV. 141-151

Australian Defence Policy in the Information Age. Submission for the 2015 Australian Defence White Paper. 22 September 2014. 5,000 words.

A Measure of Restraint in Cyberspace: Reducing Risk to Civilian Nuclear Assets. 2014. co- authored with Eric Cappon, Bruce McConnell, Nadia Kostyuk. EastWest Institute. New York/Brussels/Moscow. 26pp

Resetting the System: Why Highly Secure Computing Should Be the Priority of Cybersecurity Policies. 2014. co-authored with Sandro Gaycken. EastWest Institute, New York/Brussels/Moscow.

Cyber Detente between the United States and China. 2012. co-authored with Franz Stefan Gady. EastWest Institute. New York/Brussels/Moscow. 20pp

Russia, the United States, and Cyber Diplomacy: Opening the Doors. 2010. co-authored with Franz Stefan Gady. EastWest Institute. New York/Brussels/Moscow. 20pp


Dr White is a Senior Lecturer and former Senior Research Fellow in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queensland University of Technology.  He was previously a Research Fellow and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Queensland.  Dr. White’s current research interests include, models for terrorist activity, text analysis, point-process modelling, and computational strategies for complex data analysis.

 Before coming to Australia, Dr White was a VIGRE post-doctoral fellow at North Carolina State University and Associate post-doctoral fellow at the Statistical and Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI).  Dr White received his B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, MA and Ph.D in Statistics from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Abstract - Quantifying Uncertainty in Complex Computational Models

 Uncertainty in decision making is a fact of life, especially when the decision-making process is part of a large and complex system, as is often the case in defence and national security contexts.  In these cases, understanding the impact of uncertainty on outcomes is difficult. Complex real-world systems can be simulated computational models or simulators, which in turn can be used to investigate the effects of uncertainty on these systems, and their impact on the decision-making process.  The project is focused on developing tools and approaches for understanding and analysing uncertainties in complex systems and their effects on system outputs. 

 Using a surrogate problem based on a bushfire emergency response developed with our research partners at the Defence Science and Technology Group we generate output from a complex system incorporating uncertainties in the inputs to analyse their effects on the scenario outcomes using multiple approaches. In this scenario, the fire is a threat and can exhibit behaviours characteristic of a complex systems. The fire interacts with a network comprised of assets to be protected, command and control assets, fixed and mobile sensing assets, and assets within the response team with different capabilities to move and fight the fire, itself a complex dynamical network with particular spatio-temporal dynamics.


Prof Ngo is the Research Director of the ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing (CAMPH) at the University of Melbourne. He is also the Director of the Asia Pacific Research Network for Resilient and Affordable Housing. He has carried out significant research collaborations with industry to develop new building products and perform R&D experiments of prefabricated modular building structures. Prof Ngo has won a number of prestigious scientific awards, including the prestigious Eureka Science Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia. He has published more than 170 journal papers. He has been working as an expert on many projects to protect critical buildings against extreme events (blasts, impacts, fires and earthquakes). He is one of the pioneers in Australia in the areas of off-site construction, design for manufacturing and assembly, and sustainable and high performance modular building systems.


With many natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, bush fires, floods and tsunamis destroying human habitats around the world, resilient housing has become a critical topic of discussion for practitioners such as Engineers and Architects as well as the general public. Prefabricated modular construction has the potential to drastically improve the time taken to provide permanent housing from months to a matter of days. Due to this extreme time efficiency, which is an inherent characteristic of modular construction, it can be adopted as a very desirable strategy for post-disaster housing reconstruction. Prof Ngo’s presentation will highlight the key challenges associated with building regulations and techniques to design modular buildings for these natural or human caused extreme events. He will present the latest technologies in modular construction in Australia which have shown significant improvements in the productivity and efficiency of construction by using advanced manufacturing techniques.


Shreemen is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Security Science at Edith Cowan University, with a focus understanding uncertainty of risk in aviation security screening systems. This research draws attention to the nexus between optimizing the passenger experience, managing costs in the face of increasing competition, and the role of security risk in managing evolving aviation security threats.

Prior to commencing his PhD, Shreemen spent 13 years as a security and risk management practitioner working at Emirates Airlines and then the Australian Federal Government. He has worked in a variety of roles across multiple regions with a focus on policy, compliance, and risk management in both the private and public sectors. He has developed a unique perspective on balancing commercial requirements with regulatory needs to ensure that services, security, and quality are not compromised.

He has implemented risk management procedures in over 30 countries across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. He also oversaw tactical implementation of physical security measures to reduce baggage pilferage by 15% to 20% and improve aviation security. He developed various educational solutions to help organisations improve security and risk management. He has worked with Edith Cowan University to develop, administer and teach a University Diploma in Aviation Security Management. This programme was adopted across the Middle East region. He worked towards the goal of professionalizing the security industry by partnering with government agencies, education institutions, and non-governmental organisations to develop security courses for guards, officers, and managers across the United Arab Emirates. In addition to the security industry, he has worked with police agencies in Dubai, the Maldives, and Indonesia to build capacity.  

Shreemen has also made significant contributions to public policy development with the Australian Federal Government.  He led the development and adoption of risk management practices from an operational and a strategic perspective for the Office of Transport Security, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and Clean Energy Regulator. He also improved understanding of risk management across the organisation through various training programmes. During his time with the Australian Government he worked across multiple departments and with the Australian National University to embed risk management principles into decision-making processes at the highest levels.

He continues to lecture for Edith Cowan University on risk management and aviation security. In his spare time, he runs marathons and travels - often travelling to run marathons.

Abstract - Understanding the uncertainty of risk in transport security systems

Transport security systems, like aviation security screening, seek to reduce security risk through a layered /defence in-depth approach. However, this approach to security risk management is more focused on consequence reduction as opposed to mitigating the probability or likelihood of attacks. By taking a more holistic understanding of the probability of detection - the interaction between human operators and security technologies - this presentation will build a dynamic approach to transport security systems by understanding the impact of security controls on the uncertainty of risk.


Abstract - Impact behaviour of lightweight ballistic composites with different matrix materials

 This presentation summarises the results of an experimental study on the impact behaviour of composite laminates made of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibres and four different resin matrices. Three thicknesses of each kind of resin laminate were subjected to impact by a spherical steel projectile in a velocity regime ranging from 100 to 200 m/s. The results revealed that the laminates having flexible matrices performed much better in perforation resistance and energy absorption, but had a greater extent of deformation and damage than the counterparts with rigid matrices. It was found that the matrix rigidity played a crucial role in controlling the propagation of transverse deformation, and thereby the local strain and perforation resistance of laminates. The more rigid matrix restrained the laminate's transverse deformation to a smaller area at a given time, which led to higher local strain and lower perforation resistance.


Authors: Prof Alex Remennikov (University of Wollongong), Prof Brian Uy (University of Sydney), Mr Edward Gan (University of Wollongong), Mr David Ritzel (Dyn-FX)

 Proposed Presentation Title: Performance Characterisation and Further Development with NFPBS’ Advanced Blast Simulator

Abstract: The National Facility for Physical Blast Simulation (NFPBS) established at a site north of the University of Wollongong is designed for systematic experimental studies of blast wave propagation and loading regimes, blast damage of elements of civilian and military infrastructure, blast injury protection, and other important blast related areas of research. The Advanced Blast Simulator (ABS) is a state-of-the-art design capable of accurately recreating all the wave characteristics of actual free-field explosive blast which includes all the artefacts that previous simulators have failed to produce. This ABS has a Test Section of 1.5 x 2m with dual-mode Driver capable of operating with compressed gas or gaseous explosive. Since commissioning of the ABS in mid 2018, work has been done to characterise its operating ranges as well as to refine its performance. Additionally, a high-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model has been in development to provide useful insight of the flow environment inside the ABS – allowing for better understanding and interpretation of collected data. This presentation will discuss the full capabilities of the facility including the use of different innovative techniques to control waveforms.


Presentation Title: Extending Geoscience Australia’s Blast Loss Capability to Meet Emergency Management Needs

Over a number of years Geoscience Australia, in collaboration with the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation, has developed a capability for estimating the cost of terrorist blasts in Australian central business districts. All State capital cities are now covered in a refined and established modelling capability.

 GA plans to broaden the utility of the capability by extending it into the emergency management and planning space. This presentation will summarise the existing state of the capability and explore the types of metrics (e.g. minor, moderate, severe, and fatal injuries) that may be of use in an emergency management context.


Stephen Wilson has worked in digital identity and data privacy for 24 years, holding R&D leadership and Principal Consultant roles with Baltimore Technologies, KPMG, PwC and SecureNet. In 2004, Stephen founded the Lockstep Group in Australia; in 2014 he took up a conjoint role with independent San Francisco-based Constellation Research where he leads the firm's work internationally in Digital Safety and Privacy. Stephen is a renowned security innovator with a long involvement in Australian and APEC cybersecurity policy making.  He is responsible for several important breakthroughs in authentication, anonymity, privacy, and public key infrastructure. He has been awarded nine patents in digital identity and Privacy Enhancing Technologies, and is currently undertaking a PhD within the Australian Defence Force Academy on the ecology of digital identity. 

Abstract - A vision for mobile cryptographic technology in safeguarding data supply chains

 In her 2018 report “Identity of a Nation”, Anne Lyons, Visiting Fellow at ASPI, recommended including “national identity assets within the critical infrastructure framework”. While digital “infostructure” remains rather intangible, patterns are beginning to emerge of data supply chains running through an ecosystem of information processors (akin to the petrochemical supply lines that undergird today’s economy). Lockstep Technologies has researched and developed mobile technologies to cryptographically safeguard the provenance of personal attributes, to mitigate ID theft & counterfeiting. These techniques can be generalised to safeguard data quality in general, and tangibly shape the national “infostructure”.

 Lockstep Technologies is the only Australian company selected for the US Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology R&D program.

 Constellation Research recently published Stephen’s major report “How Data Supply Chains Must Be Safeguarded in the Digital Economy” (November 2018).


Dr Shahin is a Defence Scientist in the Chemical Biological Defence Capability, Land Division of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST). Dr Shahin joined DST in 1998 and has worked on a number of research projects including development of rapid PCR assays for the detection of biological agents, DST’s DNA vaccine program against melioidosis, laboratory scale recombinant protein and human antibodies production and adhesion/invasion assays to study mechanism of infection of intracellular bacteria. Dr Shahin was also a member of the international inspection team as a biological inspector deployed to Iraq in 2003 and was seconded to Emergency Management Australia in the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), Canberra for 3 years as the CBR Advisor. Whilst at AGD, Dr Shahin was responsible for developing and managing the Science and Technology program focused towards enhancing the CBR capabilities of First Responders through directed research and development. Dr Shahin’s association with S&T support to National Security continues in her current roles at DST as the Liaison Officer for Land Division’s Support to National Security S&T efforts and as the international CBR program manager for Australia’s international engagements managed by the National Security Science and Technology Centre.


Land Division within Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group has a long association with supporting National Security (NS). Addressing the Preparedness, Protection, Prevention and Incident Response NS priority area, DST provides Chemical and Biological Science and Technology support by leveraging defence programs, maintaining niche expertise and capabilities and implementing targeted research programs. The success of this program relies on dynamic consultations and close working relationships between DST, national security agencies and stakeholders. DST also manages a number of international agreements, providing additional opportunities for addressing Australia’s CB mitigation and response requirements in line, and together with, international partners. This presentation will outline the research activities undertaken by DST, as well as strategic research projects being conducted in collaboration with academia and industry that contribute to the development of capability for NS agencies.


Dr Heyer joined the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group in 1999 and is currently Acting Group Leader Biometrics in the National Security and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division (NSID). Rebecca holds degrees in Health Sciences and Science (Hons), a Masters in Criminology, Graduate Certificates in Operations Research & Statistics, and Scientific Leadership, and a PhD in facial recognition. During her early career with DST Group, Rebecca worked in the fields of multinational and multiagency command and control, and social and organisational network analysis. For the past decade she has worked in the area of biometric systems analysis in support of Defence and national security clients; focussing on vulnerabilities relating to facial recognition and other identification technologies. Rebecca is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide where she supervises student projects and collaborates on research in the facial recognition/comparison and video exploitation space.


Facial recognition for niche applications in national security

Facial recognition technology has been embraced by government to support a range of functions, most notably identity verification and processing in support of border security, but could it be used more widely? The Biometrics team within the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group has been investigating the performance of facial recognition technology since 2000, and during that time have identified a number of areas where the technology is underutilised due to poor performance. Such areas include surveillance, anti-child exploitation, and disaster victim identification. This presentation will focus on our work with national security partners to understand and improve the performance of facial recognition for the identification of children; post-mortem identification; and identification in surveillance or poor quality contexts.




james mortensen, pHd candidate, national security college (ANu)

James Mortensen is a doctoral candidate of the National Security College at the Australian National University, having previously attained First class Honours (Religious Studies) from the University of Newcastle, Australia. His research interests include the philosophical underpinnings of security and political theory, the role of belief systems in political action, and the role of technology in politics and society

dr tim van gelder, enterprise research fellow, university of melbourne

Dr. Tim van Gelder is Enterprise Research Fellow in the Hunt Laboratory for Intelligence Research in the University of Melbourne School of BioSciences.  He is a lead researcher in the IARPA-funded SWARM Project ( which is investigating methods for improving analytical reasoning using crowdsourcing and structured analytical techniques

dr titus chen, professor, institute of political science, national sun yat-sen university, taiwan

Dr. Titus Chen is Associate Professor at the Institute of Political Science, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan. Dr. Chen specializes in International Relations, Chinese Politics, Chinese Foreign Relations, and Asia Pacific Regionalism. Currently Dr. Chen is conducting empirical research on the planning, practices, and market impact of China’s cyber propaganda in the Xi Jinping era.


Dr Michael J. Jensen is senior lecturer at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra.  His research concerns foreign influence and propaganda, political campaigning, digital politics, and digital methods. Dr Jensen has edited books with Cambridge University Press and Palgrave and his research has appeared in the Journal of International Affairs, the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, the Journal of Political Marketing, Journal of Public Policy, and the International Journal of Press/Politics. 

tom sear, phd candidate, unsw canberra cyber (adfa)

Tom Sear is an Industry Fellow and PhD candidate in Cyber Security, UNSW Canberra Cyber at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). His research interests include internet sovereignty, national identity, civic culture, and cyber manipulation in the Australian political infosphere. He has a focus on developing cyber security as a meta-discipline and he is the co-editor of Human Capital for Security in Cyberspace (forthcoming). Tom has also had a long association with the international Special Operations network, including a current collaboration with Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), USSOCOM, MacDill. 

dr song wang, department of engineering, la trobe university

Song Wang is a senior lecturer in the Department of Engineering, La Trobe University, Australia. She obtained her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia. Her research areas are biometric security, blind system identification and wireless communications.


associate professor denniS deng, school of engineering and mathematical sciences, la trobe university

Guang (Dennis) Deng is Reader and Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering, La Trobe University, Australia. His research interests include Bayesian signal processing, lossless image compression, and generalized linear image processing

dr wencheng yang, security research institute, edith cowan university

Wencheng Yang is a postdoctoral researcher of Security Research Institute (SRI) at Edith Cowan University (ECU), Australia. His major research interest is in biometric security and pattern recognition. He has published a number of high-quality papers in high-ranking journals and conferences, e.g., IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, and Pattern Recognition

associate professor, nemai karmakar, department of electrical and computer systems, monash university

A/P Nemai Karmakar graduated with BSc (EEE) and MSc (EEE) degrees from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, MSc in EE from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, PhD in ITEE from the University of Queensland, PGDipTHE from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and MHEd from Griffith University. He worked as a microwave design engineer at Mitec Ltd., Brisbane from 1992-1995 and contributed significantly to the development of Optus Mobiles at smart antennas. He taught senior-level courses in electronics, radar, microwave active and passive design and antennas at QUT, NTU, and Monash University. He has been working on collaborative research projects on smart antennas for soil moisture measuring radiometer in L/Ku/K-band downscaling, fully printable chipless RFID sensors for ubiquitous tagging and sensing, wireless power transmission, microwave biomedical imaging and devices, smart antennas for mobile satellite communications, and diagnostics of faulty power equipment. He has many patent applications in chipless RFID and sensors, eight books and about three hundred refereed journal, conference and workshop publications. A/P Karmakar is a graduate member of IEAust and a senior member of IEEE.

fatemeh babaeian, department of electrical and computer systems engineering, monash university

Fatemeh Babaeian received her B.S degree in electrical engineering from Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran, in 2010 and her M.S degree in electrical engineering (telecommunication) from Amirkabar university of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2013. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at Monash University, Australia. Her research interests includes chipless RFID, microwave, antenna array synthesis and signal processing.


mohamed a. nassar, school of engineering and information technology, murdoch university

Mohamed A. Nassar is a Ph.D. candidate at Murdoch University, Australia. His research interests include machine learning, big data analysis, spatio-temporal data mining, and recommender systems. He acquired his Master and Bachelor degrees in Computer Engineering in 2011 and 2007 respectively from Alexandria University, Egypt. He has published 10 papers in international journals and conferences. Mohamed has had more than 10 years of experience in Software Engineering. He has successfully managed and developed many projects including the street furniture recommender system for yStop clients, as well as centralized course content and new architecture/design for the Learning Management System for eight distributed branches of Arab Open University. He currently works as a part-

dr polychronis koutsakis, school of engineering and information technology, murdoch university

Polychronis Koutsakis received his Ph.D. in Electronic and Computer Engineering from the Technical University of Crete, Greece. From July 2006 until December 2008 he was an Assistant Professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of McMaster University, Canada. In January 2009 he joined the School of Electronic and Computer Engineering of the Technical University of Crete, where he received tenure as an Associate Professor in 2014. In January 2016 he joined Murdoch University. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has been honored three times as Exemplary Editor of the IEEE Communications Society, for his work as an Editor of the IEEE Communication Surveys and Tutorials Journal. Dr. Koutsakis has served as the general chair of the IEEE WoWMoM 2018. He has authored more than 110 peer-reviewed papers on the design and performance evaluation of computer networks and is the co-inventor of 1 US patent acquired by Blackberry Ltd.

peter cole, school of engineering and information technology, murdoch university

Peter Cole is a Senior Lecturer at Murdoch University, Perth, Australia. He is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. Peter was formerly the Dean of the School of Information Technology at Murdoch University for over 8 years and served as the president of the Australian Council of Deans of ICT. Peter is the Australian Representative and Senior Assessor on the Standards and Accreditation Council (SAC) of the International Federation of Information Processing, International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3). His research interests are in Computer Vision and Intelligent Systems, Computer Languages and Communications Technology. Peter actively sources and supervises innovative projects with industry and academia.

dr giles oatley, school of engineering and information technology, murdoch university

Giles Oatley has worked for 20 years in the area of data mining, decision support systems and modelling human behaviour. This includes an interest in spatiotemporal analysis, public health surveillance and sensor systems, currently applied to modelling populations in a smart city context, leading to this reported project. Dr Oatley’s research has always contained a strong applied component, and in the UK he worked on various projects (sponsored by DTI, ERDF) related to taking smart/intelligent systems to industry partners, and his interest has continued in Australia including work with yStop, the industrial partners in this project.


Andy Bull is a Senior SATCOM Specialist with NOVA SYSTEMS working on innovative “agile SATCOM and RF data systems” for maritime, land deployed and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).  A Systems Engineer from ANU Canberra, Andy has for the past 20 years been focused on agile networks and advanced RF communications, mostly working on cutting-edge major projects in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Andy has previously worked for the Australian Government, Airbus Defence & Space UK, Paradigm Secure Communications, and Optus Satellite -- spanning the sectors of 3G/4G mobile, HD Satellite TV, SATCOM, Deployable Military Networks, Mining VSAT, and Maritime Communications.


Len Luxford is Director of yStop, a Perth based, furniture technology company. The company has installed a network of smart-ready furniture throughout Perth councils including WA’s largest - the City of Stirling. The latest project is Australia’s first free (local business funded) community smart-bin system in the Town of Mosman Park. This solar powered network has many unique IoT integrations including patented waste sensing, air quality sensing, LoRa comms, people counting, full Dashboard and a community Recommender system.


Gavin Walker is a Principal Experimental Scientist at CSIRO. He has over 25 years experience in research and development. He has worked in a broad set of domains including: spatial information systems, environmental informatics, emergency services, traffic simulation, sensor clouds, museums, tourism, registries and cotton. Gavin developed the Water Data Transfer Format for the Bureau of Meteorology and assisted in the development of the Open Geospatial Consortium’s WaterML2.0 standard. He was also an author of the Productivity Commission's 2017 Data Availability and Use report. This report is shaping the way government sees data. It has led to the adoption of Open Banking in Australia as a first Consumer Data Right and seen the appointment of a National Data Commissioner (NDC). The NDC will oversee a new Data Sharing and Release act and greater sharing of data across government.

To understand the problems people face Gavin looks at the social context as well as the technical context. The drivers and pressures of the people involved are as important for good outcomes as the software system or information model. Gavin is seeking to understand the patterns of socio-technical problems, how to match problem to effective solutions for people and systems. One focus is on collaboration tools: understand employee skills, finding collaboration partners and use market based systems to fairly allocate people to projects.

Gavin has led research and engineering teams, drawing out the strengths of diverse participants to achieve project goals. A cross disciplinary approach is critical to solving many difficult problems. Disciplines such as information modelling, natural language processing, human computer interaction, social analytics, machine learning, 3D modelling and market design work together in CSIRO to achieve outcomes not possible on their own. Gavin currently leads a cluster of project in Social Insights and Market design.

CSIRO takes a systems of systems approach to emergency management, developing specialised systems and algorithms that can be combined together for greater effectiveness.