PROFESSOR IQBAL GONDAL - DIRECTOR INTERNET COMMERCE SECURITY LAB (ICSL), FEDERATION UNIVERSITY AUSTRALIA
With their finger on the pulse in the university and defence sectors, The Defence Science Institute’s (DSI) Liaison Managers act as the perfect conduits to collaboration between industry and academia.
Federation University’s Director Internet Commerce Security Lab (ICSL), Professor Iqbal Gondal talks about his journey into the field of education and defence.
1) Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am the Director of the Internet Commerce Security Lab (ICSL), and a member of the University Council and the Engineering Advisory Committee for Federation University, as well as a Non-Executive Director of Oceania Cyber Security Centre. I have published over 197-refereed conference and journal papers, and to date, have successfully supervised 19 PhD students. I am a Fellow of Engineering Australia (IEAust), a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers USA and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. My research interests are cybersecurity, remote condition monitoring, and wireless and sensor networks information processing.
2) What drew you to the DSI Liaison Manager role?
When members of the DSI team visited Federation University, I had the opportunity to present ICSL research capabilities to them. From our initial conversation, I gathered that DSI was well-placed and had a unique role in nurturing engagement between academia and Defence. Federation being a regional university, it is very hard to establish linkages with unique departments like DSTG, but through DSI it became easy, as they provided plenty of opportunities to showcase our research capabilities.
3) What are some of the research capabilities highlighted by your university?
Our research capabilities are in the areas of cybersecurity, sensors, Internet of Things (IoT), decision making, image processing, Artificial Intelligence, mathematical modelling, remote condition monitoring, smart grids and optimisation. Currently, we are working on a project related to intelligent decision making in cybersecurity.
4) Comment on Australian Defence and academic collaboration.
Collaboration between academia and Defence creates greater value for both parties. Knowledge creation through research is one of the key responsibilities of universities, carried out by researchers who are motivated by their passion. Defence stands to gain immensely from engaging closely with academia and making universities their research arm, which would be in the best interest of both parties.
5) What do you see as challenges that inhibit Defence R&D between industry and universities?
Collaboration with Defence is improving but there is a long way to go to achieve its full potential. In many cases, collaboration is transactional where it needs to be strategic. An enormous amount of time is spent preparing grant applications, which I believe could be better utilised in conducting research, a goal that is realistically achievable if strategic alliances are established with universities.
DSI aims to establish connections between industry and academia, and encourages researchers who may not have had any experience with the defence sector to make contact to leverage the many grant and support options available to advance research.