Food Agility’s first completed PhD focuses on IoT data security

Imran Makhdoom is the first student to complete a PhD as part of Food Agility CRC’s Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Education Program.
Annual Report 2017-18.pdf

Imran Makhdoom is the first student to complete a PhD as part of Food Agility CRC’s Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Education Program which is training the next generation of agrifood scientists, technologists, and industry innovators.

Imran’s PhD topic with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and CSIRO’s Data61 was on the ‘Defence against Data and Device Integrity Attacks in Internet of Things (IoT)’. We interviewed Imran about his PhD and Food Agility experience.

What was your PhD about?

There are billions of IoT devices being used in various applications around the world. These applications range from critical infrastructure to supply chain management, agriculture, food technologies, and everyday smart devices. My PhD research focuses on protecting IoT devices against data integrity and data privacy attacks.

What was your personal interest in the topic?

My primary motive for selecting this topic was to empower IoT device users (especially the clients and users of cloud-based services), to control access to their private data. I also wanted the data sharing process to be transparent, so it provided a clear picture to the data owners about the handling of their data assets by other stakeholders.

What do you consider to be the impact and benefits of your research?

As this research targets IoT as a whole, then most IoT users including industry, agriculture, food tech, academia, IoT solution providers, and ordinary smart device users, are all likely to benefit from this research.

The key highlights included a comprehensive study on the use of blockchain technology for IoT, and related challenges, and the design and development of an integrity and privacy-preserving data sharing framework for smart cities. Additionally, my PhD research publications have received around 225 citations so far, which really speaks to the importance and quality of the research outputs.

What was the best part about being in the Food Agility PhD program?

It is a profound privilege to acknowledge the support and education platform provided by Food Agility to research students. Activities such as the Food Agility CRC Summit 2020 and related workshops helped us showcase our research and learn from other people's experiences.

What is next for you?

My post PhD goals are to extend my PhD research and continue addressing various data integrity and privacy issues in the IoT environment. I also intend to share knowledge with future generations by teaching at educational institutions.

Academic publications

Academic supervisor: Professor Mehran Abolhasan, UTS.

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