Airbus Digital Chief receives Professorship

A leading Airbus expert in global cyber security has been made an honorary visiting professor at Cardiff University.

Dr Kevin Jones , Airbus Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), leads the company’s digital security programme, including risk management, design architecture, red team, detection and response, plus cyber security research and innovation.

A recognised industry leader, Dr Jones has worked closely with Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics to develop the University’s recognised cyber security strength both in research and teaching in partnership with Professor Pete Burnap.

Dr Jones’ expertise helped Cardiff gain recognition as a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR). As an active member of the University’s Cyber Security Industry Advisory Board, he has steered Cardiff’s growing reputation for leading applied cyber research and helped apply that expertise within Airbus global product lines.

Instrumental in strengthening the partnership between the University and Airbus, Dr Jones has engaged the Airbus Cyber Innovation Team to deliver joint lectures, mentoring, project support and studentship funding, ensuring Cardiff University’s cyber security skills provision meets the continually evolving needs of industry.

Dr Jones will host Cardiff University’s Annual Cyber Lecture Series. Featuring invited leading global speakers from across the Industry, the series will further cement the regional strength of cyber security and form a major event for the Wales ecosystem calendar, engaging academia, industry and Government. The inaugural event is expected to be held virtually in 2021.

Welcoming his visiting professorship, Dr Jones said: “Receiving this honorary professorship from an esteemed institution with a widely recognised cyber security track record is a great honour for both me and my colleagues at Airbus. During many years of collaboration, Cardiff University has grown to become a leading research hub for cyber security analytics and for human-centric cyber security. We are looking forward to building on our existing collaborations in the future, bringing industry leading perspectives to the University, and to further enhancing the cyber security ecosystem in Wales.’

Dr Jones is active in the cyber security research community, has published over 50 articles, holds multiple patents within the domain, and works with the security community and business to implement best in class digital security programmes.

Professor Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University, said: “We are delighted to honour Dr Jones with a visiting Professorship. Dr Jones is a recognised thought leader and public speaker on cyber security, security innovation, and the protection of safety crucial systems and critical national infrastructure.’

Professors Pete Burnap , Director of the Cardiff University Centre for Cybersecurity Research and Carsten Maple , Professor in WMG and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor, University of Warwick , endorsed the appointment.

Professor Burnap said: “Dr Jones’s expertise has proved invaluable to the School. Kevin is a strong ally and has helped us to develop high level collaborations with industry and government. His backing, through Airbus, proved vital to us achieving National Cyber Security Centre/EPSRC ACE-CSR recognition. He has also found time to teach at the University, which is hugely valuable to students given his level of experience and seniority.’

Professor Maple added: “Kevin is very highly regarded in his field by many in academia, government and industry. Personally, I hold him in the highest regard and believe him to have a distinctive, if not unique, view of academic and industrial research.’

Airbus and Cardiff are currently working on a range of initiatives including:

- A three-year eKTP - developing explainable and robust machine learning methods to improve capability in cybersecurity operations;

- An ongoing secondment of Professor Burnap to Airbus to lead AI for cybersecurity innovation;

- The secondment of Professor Phil Morgan, School of Psychology, to lead the Airbus Human-Centric Cyber Security Accelerator Programme with NCSC and a range of partners.

- Funding of PhD studentship in cyber security


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