Speakers for National Security,
Science & Technology Forum
PROFESSOR MARK G. STEWART, PROFESSOR OF CIVIL ENGINEERING AND DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE PERFORMANCE AND RELIABILITY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE
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 Security, Chasing 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
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
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.
PROFESSOR CHI KING LEE, SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING & IT, UNSW CANBERRA
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
Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Member, Singapore Structural Steel Society (SSSS)
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
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
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, PROGRAMME DIRECTOR, THE ALAN TURING INSTITUTE, U.K
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
PROFESSOR GREG AUSTIN, UNSW CYBER, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, CANBERRA
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 http://thediplomat.com/wp- 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. http://www.defence.gov.au/Whitepaper/docs/028-Austin.pdf
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 GENTRY WHITE, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES, QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
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.
PROFESSOR TUAN NGO, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CENTRE FOR ADVANCED MANUFACTURING OF PREFABRICATED HOUSING (CAMPH), ADVANCED PROTECTIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR ENGINEERING STRUCTURES (APTES) GROUP, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
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 PRABHAKARAN, PhD RESEARCHER & SECURITY AND RISK MANAGMENT SPECIALIST
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.
HONGXU WANG, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE/ASSOCIATE LECTURER, IMPACT DYNAMICS LABORATORY, SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, CANBERRA
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.
PROFESSOR ALEX REMENNIKOV, UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG AND PROFESSOR BRIAN UY, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
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.
DR KEN DALE, COMMUNITY SAFETY BRANCH, GEOSCIENCE AUSTRALIA
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, MANAGING DIRECTOR, LOCKSTEP GROUP
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 SUSAN SHAHIN, DEFENCE SCIENTIST, LAND DIVISION, DST
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 REBECCA HEYER, ACTING GROUP LEADER, BIOMETRICS, DEFENCE, SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (DST)
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.