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Each year the SECReT programme takes on a fresh cohort of between 10-25 students all wishing to complete a doctorate in crime or security-related field. Our students come from a wide variety of scientific disciplines ranging from across the engineering and physical sciences through to the social sciences. The most important aspect of our students is that they are all working on projects that will have an impact in the real world.

You can see examples of SECReT students working on real world problems including radicalisation, cyber security, explosives, baggage screening, forensic analysis and sex trafficking by clicking this link.

Some students come into the programme directly from industry although most are students who have recently completed a masters or undergraduate degree. The diversity of our students is integral to our success – our students learn from one another as much as they do from the content of the programme.

Each cohort is identified by the year that they joined the programme (eg. 2010 Students are students who joined in September 2010.) Each cohort forms a close-knit group engaged in many activities designed to promote their social and academic cohesion; students from different cohorts (ie. from different years) also interact regularly to ensure that learning is passed down from one year to the next.

Each student has a student mentor assigned to them from the year above – this means that our students are not only gaining from inter-cohort experience, but also learning how to help other students junior to them.

2009 MRes projects

2010 MRes projects

Inferring user behaviour despite wireless network encryption

John Atkinson
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The effectiveness of vehicle security devices to prevent car crime in Chile

Hugo Soto
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Download warnings: A rational rejection of security advice?

Kat Krol and Matt Moroz
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Prediction of crime patterns emerging from simulated search trajectories of individual offenders

Lucy Burton
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Constraints and prospects of the application of scientific rigour to conflict early warning in Africa

Liz Stones
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Secure digital archive search using a probably approximately correct architecture

Sami Richardson
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Factors influencing intelligence analysts performance in using Bayesian and automated analysis of competing hypotheses

Mohammad Gaballa
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The spatial distribution of post-blast RDX residue: Forensic implications

Nadia Abdul-Karim
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Investigating forward scatter radar for maritime target detection using statistical and comparative study

Saumil Desai
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Immmunising the Internet

Changwang Zhang More...

Non-contact object localisation for automated 'on-belt- tomosynthesis

Selina Kolokytha
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How hard can it be?: A study investigating user trust decisions in e-commerce

Iacovos Kirlappos
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Looking beyond borders: Identification, information and the diffusion of conflicts.

Janina Beiser
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Scintillation materials for the detection of special nuclear materials (SNMs)

Chiaki Crews
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The use of forensic evidence in the prosecution of terrorism cases in Britain

Dagmar Heinrich and Amy Thornton
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A feasibility study of the use of ground penetrating radar and metal oxide semiconductor sensors on a mobile platform for security applications

Amin Amiri
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A feasibility study of the use of ground penetrating radar and metal oxide semiconductor sensors on a mobile platform for security applications

Emma Newton
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2011 MRes projects

2012 MRes projects

Network Externalities and Migration: An Agent-Based Model Distinguishing Documented and Undocumented Flows

A relevance study determining the use of GSR upon clothing and shoes as an item of evidence

Automated Cargo Inspection: Exploring the use of Machine Vision in X-ray Transmission Imaging

Data Communication for Underwater Sensor Networks

Trace evidence dynamics: assessing the transfer and persistence of microbial diatom evidence in forensic investigation

Statistical change point detection of internet traffic

Confirmation bias: A Study of biasability within Forensic anthropological visual assessments on skeletal remains

The evaluation of geochemical analysis methods for forensic provenance and interpretation

The detection of clandestine methamphetamine laboratories using semiconducting metal oxide gas sensors

Domain Adaptation of Statistical Classifiers for Security-related Bug Reports

Comparative study of the different feature extraction algorithms used for fingerprint identification

Modelling the allocation of crowd control resources

Judgement in UK fingermark recovery: room for development?

Assessing the potential of e-noses for illicit drug detection in future drug-trafficking interdiction strategies

Automating the conceptual analysis of large-scale text-based subjective data sets

Incorporating Nanostructures to Enhance the Performance of Semiconducting Metal

Dual-band Frequency Reconfigurable Antennas

To what extent do water treatment processes affect the concentration of peroxide explosives in river water?

Twitter and Crime: The spatio-temporal link between social-media and criminal activity

2013 MRes projects


2009 PhD projects

Securing threat detection: Synergy of technological and neuropsychological factors

Elena Rusconi More...

Improving the understanding of and responses to internal child sex trafficking in the UK: An empirical multi-method analysis

Ella Cockbain More...

Optimisation of illicit material detection using X-ray diffraction: Drug identification using Low Angle X-ray Scatter - DILAX III

Ireneos Drakos More...

Developing analytical Blood Pattern Analysis (BPA) techniques for environmentally altered bloodstains; and examining the range and influence of visualization methods available for BPA presentation in the context of jury decision making.

Hester Miles More...

Computational cryptography

Theodosis Mourouzis More...

How new ways of spatial analysis can improve the geographical understanding of illegal drug markets and the distribution of drug-related crime

Lusine Tarkhanyan More...

Developing tools for anticipating and mitigating the negative societal impact, while preserving the positive impact, of security technologies for use by the developers of these technologies upstream in the design process.

Timothy Nissen More...

Complex systems approaches to issues in crime and security

Toby Davies More...

To what extent can forensic evidence aid in the investigation and prosecution of internal child sex trafficking (ICST)?

Helen Brayley More...

The transfer, persistence and secondary transfer of gunshot residue (GSR): Implications for crime reconstruction and forensic protocol studied using Bayesian modelling

James French More...

2010 PhD projects

The Chain of Evidence - a critical appraisal of the applicability and validity of forensic research and the usability of forensic evidence

Dagmar Heinrich More...

Inferring user behaviour despite wireless network encryption

John Atkinson More...

Crime drop in Chile: Searching for causes and mechanisms

Hugo Soto More...

Securing from exploits using information theoretical techniques

Matthew Moroz More...

Towards a usable and less disruptive security in the workplace

Kat Krol More...

Landmine, IED, UXO Detection using Ground Penetrating Radar from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Amin Amiri More...

Numerical modelling/empirical analysis of civil conflict

Lucy Burton More...

Mobilising community resilience through techno-social innovation

Liz Stones More...

Secure digital archive and web search using a Probably Approximately Correct architecture

Sami Richardson More...

Forecasting adversary’s scenarios: Systemic competitive red teaming

Mohamed Gaballa More...

Explosive residue: Evaluation and optimisation of detection and sampling procedures

Nadia Abdul-Karim
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Optimal search and detection of targets in an uncertain environment using unmanned aerial vehicle

Saumil Desai More...

Understanding the traffic-driven epidemic spreading in scale-free networks

Changwang Zhang More...

Three-dimentional imaging of baggage for security applications.

Selina Kolokytha
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Engineering IT risk awareness, education and training

Iacovos Kirlappos More...

Diffusion processes of political violence: The role of information

Janina Beiser
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Covert taggant nanoparticle inks - discovery, process and product development, and analysis for sustainability and efficiency

Chiaki Crews More...

What are the factors that make communities vulnerable to, or resistant against, the emergence of radicalising settings?

Amy Thornton More...

Metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors as an electronic nose for the detection of microbial agents

Emma Newton More...

2011 PhD projects

2012 PhD projects

SECReT students are active in many activities designed to enhance their professional and personal skills. These activities are also designed to help improve the learning experience which can be fed back into the quality of the research:

SECReT students begin their four-year programme by travelling as a group to the European Security Research Conference.

SECReT students work in multidisciplinary groups to prepare a ‘crime scenario’  presentation for an audience of industry/public sector partners. In this way they learn to work together, and begin learning valuable professional skills, as well as making links with ‘real world’ partners so that their research will make a real impact.

SECReT students work with prospective students of the programme on a one-day workshop involving academics from across UCL. Prospective students, including undergraduate students from around the UK, work on a mini-project.

  • Conference attendance

SECReT students visit conferences all around the world. As part of their
learning experience they return to the cohort and present on exciting new
science that they have encountered. These conferences help students stay at the forefront of their research area, provide them with valuable networking opportunites, and eventually provide a forum where they can disseminate their own work through posters and presentations.

Each year students convene this event to bring together academics and PhD researchers from across UCL.

SECReT students will be involved in public engagement activities.