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A Shared Vision

UCL SECReT brings together numerous research groups at UCL, as well as external partners ranging from the UK Home Office, academic partners such as Cranfield Defence College and Australian National University to industry organisations such as Rapiscan, Selex, Thales and KPMG. These partners provide wide topic choice for students and the assurance that important research will be conducted and implemented in the 'real world'.

What do our partners bring to the PhD student experience?

  • Secondments and internships at partner organisations
  • Joint supervision by experienced practitioners
  • Access to research facilities, specialist equipment, data or expertise
  • Easier flow into career paths

What does UCL SECReT bring to our partners?

  • An active role in one of Europe's largest research centres in crime and security
  • Opportunity to strengthen existing collaborations and to develop new ones.
  • Opportunity to recruit the brightest young researchers in the field
  • Opportunity to pay for a studentship and gain a dedicated piece of research, one that benefits from the centre's environment.
  • Opportunity to put your data to use to generate research relevant to your agenda.
  • Opportunity to co-bid for research funding which will subsidise (with some contribution from your organisation) a student to carry out a piece of research for your agenda.

To become a SECReT partner please contact:

Mr Vaseem Khan

Tel: +44 020 3108 3039


The key research groups at UCL involved in this training centre encompass a wide range of disciplines including crime science, computer security, security technology, environmental science, psychology, laws, political science, architecture, health informatics, transport, chemistry, nanoscience, radiation physics and maths.

The key research groups, their principal SECReT academics and their main research area focus include:

UCL Department of Security and Crime Science

Professor Richard Wortley

The UCL Department of Security and Crime Science is the first university department in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime and other risks to personal and national security. It does this through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction and security enhancement. 

Our mission is to change policy and practice in the areas of crime and security. The Department plays a pivotal role in bringing together politicians, scientists, designers and front-line practitioners to examine patterns in crime and security threats, and to find practical methods to disrupt these patterns. 

In the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) 75% of the department's research activity was judged to be internationally excellent or world leading, placing the department joint second in the relevant unit of assessment.

UCL JDI Centre for the Forensic Sciences

Dr Ruth Morgan

The Jill Dando Institute Centre for the Forensic Sciences is a new initiative at University College London. Its mission is to contribute significantly to the development of the forensic sciences through high quality multidisciplinary research, teaching & learning, and through the establishment of collaborative projects with external partners.

Forensic science is a dynamic discipline that is increasingly providing solutions to many of the problems faced in the detection and countering of crime and terrorism. However, forensic science is currently in a precarious state because it lacks an articulated philosophical and conceptual framework necessary to establish itself as a fully credible academic discipline with strong intellectual foundations. It is crucial to address this issue by undertaking a coherent, robust and excellent multidisciplinary research programme in the forensic sciences fundamental to underpinning its growth and development.

UCL Jill Dando Institute

Professor Richard Wortley

The JDI is the UK leader in police and police analyst training in crime science and crime mapping. The Institute is particularly concerned with the application of scientific research in the practical and policy areas. The JDI is organised into three centres of excellence – the National Crime Mapping Centre , the Designing Out Crime Group and the Crime Policy and Evaluation Group. 

Between 2001 and 2007 JDI was awarded over £3 million in research/consultancy funding. Most of this funding has been awarded by government departments, reflecting JDI’s interest in policy development.

It has joint working agreements with Simon Frazer (Canada), a British Academy grant covering joint research with Netherlands and USA and is an international partner to the Australian Centre of Excellence in Policing based at Griffith University and funded by the ARC.

UCL Information Security Group

Professor Ingemar Cox

UCL has recruited an internationally renowned security group, supplemented by additional staff in Computer Science. The InfoSec group has an excellent publication and citation record, with publications in major venues such as Crypto, EuroCrypt, AsiaCrypt, the ACM and the IEEE.

Ingemar Cox and Yvo Desmedt were the founding editors of the IET (IEE) Proc. in Information Security. The group has extensive industrial experience. Collaborations include Alcatel, Alframicro, BT, CA, Cryptomathic, ENS, Eutelsat, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, RAND, SINTEF, Thales, and SRI.

UCL Sensor Systems and Circuits Group

Professor Paul Brennan

The SSC group is internationally recognised as a lead for radar/sonar sensors and RFID research. Funding from a wide range of sources including EPSRC, NERC, Royal Society, government defence agencies. The group engages widely in high profile international research collaborations through EU Framework and security/defence funded programs with partners such as Cranfield University.

Recent projects include: £600k EPSRC grant for ‘The INtelligent Airport (TINA)’, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, BAA, Boeing and Motorola - aims to develop a fast fibre-optic-based network to carry the full range of airport data, communications and security services. Optag: RFID tag location and high-resolution anoramic imaging, to enhance airport efficiency, safety and security.

This was an FP6 project, with partners in Hungary, Crete and the UK, culminating in a trial at Debrecen Airport, Hungary; WiFi-based location system, in which we are using our expertise in bistatic radar to investigate a location system that exploits the readily-available WiFi signals.

UCL Radiation Physics Group

Professor Robert Speller

Research focus: sensors and imaging systems for healthcare and security. International collaborations with groups in USA, Russia, Europe and government labs in UK (HOSDB, HMRC), and the STFC. Current research - development of systems to aid in clean-up operations following an ‘R’ incident in the CBRN Technology Programme. (e.g. X-ray imaging systems for the detection of explosives, and to identify drugs brought into the UK- HOSDB funded DILAX project.)

London Centre for Nanotechnology

Professor Andrew Fisher

The LCN, a joint initiative between UCL and Imperial College, was set up to bring together researchers from the physical, engineering and biological sciences and is one of the leading European centres in nanotechnology and nanoscience.

The UCL part of the Centre, which participates in the present bid, has a current grant portfolio of over £18m including participation in two IRCs, a major Basic Technology programme and an EPSRC Science and Innovation award in nanometrology.

Security-related activities include quantum information processing and cryptography, sources of terahertz radiation with security applications, and rapid labelfree detection of small (pico-molar) concentrations of specific biological molecules.

UCL Centre for CO2 Technology

Professor Stefaan Simons

Research focus: New technologies for energy production, carbon capture and storage, nuclear waste disposal and imaging of process vessels. International collaborations with groups in the USA, Australia, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Europe, government laboratories such as the Health & Safety Laboratory, and companies including National Nuclear Laboratory, BP, Shell, E-ON, Costain, Arup.

Current research: development of consequence risk analysis of major incidents on oil and gas infrastructure, novel sensors for detection of nuclear materials in large structures, development of mixed energy technology scenarios for UK energy supply. The group currently holds grants from the Technology Strategy Board, the EPSRC, HSE and industry.

UCL Human Centred Systems Group

Professor Angela Sasse

The HCSG investigates new technologies and systems with a focus on usable security systems (Biometrics, CCTV, general computer security). Wider focus on mobile systems, social networks, intelligent user interfaces and e-government. Director of the HCSG and cofounder of the research area in usable security. Professor Sasse, teaches a graduate course at UCL and Oxford University.

The group collaborates with the UCLIC, the leading UK Centre of Excellence in Human-Computer Interaction. The group researches how to develop policies and mechanisms that fit into human activity and business processes.

Projects: TEVIS – 5 focused on allowing expert CCTV video users to better perform forensic tasks. The resulting PhD work aims to embed usability and effectiveness for video security into a framework for CCTV users; EPSRC-funded ‘Privacy Value Networks’.

UCL Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences

Professor Nigel Harvey

Research focus is on human judgment and decision-making; Harvey co-edited the main reference text in this area. Current work covers human factors in risk communication, advice-taking, and forecasting.

International collaborations with USA, Israel, Russia, Georgia, Greece, and Turkey. Harvey is one of the initial members of the £1m Leverhulme Trust programme – ‘Towards a Science of Evidence’ which comprises researchers from six disciplines.

UCL Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education

Dr Dipak Kalra

CHIME conducts world-leading research on Electronic Health Records, including privacy management, security policies and services, de-identification, audit and information governance in health care.

CHIME is a partner in many research council and EU-FP projects. CHIME leads an international not-for-profit Foundation, openEHR, leads the development of CEN and ISO international standards for interoperable and secure EHR communications.

CHIME provides expertise to several national eHealth programmes including NHS National Programme for IT and to global companies like BT Health. Its staff contributes to shaping NHS and MRC confidentiality policies.

UCL Centre for Transport Studies

Professor Ben Heydecker

The CTS is part of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, graded 5A in the 2001 RAE. The CTS has active partnerships with business, public sector and other UK universities (e.g. the MSc programme in Transport Studies that is joint with Imperial College London).

Research and consultancy undertaken includes for EPSRC, ESRC, Department for Transport, Department of Health and Transport for London (TfL).

The group recently won an FP7 award for a network of excellence for advanced road cooperative traffic management in the information society (NEARCTIS).

UCL Environment Institute

Professor Mark Maslin

The EI focuses environmental research at UCL, piloting synergies between social science, engineering and humanities to tackle environmental risks. The EI works with business, media and policy makers, e.g. the EI reports on UK Gov. carbon reduction policies led to Channel 4 Dispatches TV-program (Mar’07).

Currently the EI has joint projects with property developers (e.g. Hermes), insurance companies (JLT Re) and water and waste companies (Thames water, North London waste authority), and hosts the Thames Estuary Partnership (UCL, EA, Natural England, Thames Water, Port of London Authority, GLA), and UCL’s contribution to HYDRA (an eight institution collaborative program on water management).

UCL Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences

Dr Mark Huckvale

Research focus: speech science and technology includes basic research on speech production and perception, machine speech recognition and synthesis, accent recognition, speech intelligibility by normal and impaired listeners, phonetic differences across languages and accents. The CLEAR project is funded by the UK Home Office to establish a centre of excellence in speech cleaning) improvements to the quality and intelligibility of noisy speech signals.

UCL Marine Research Group

Professor David Andrews

The work in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCL has had a primary focus on naval ship design for over 40 years. This ship design expertise in the Marine Research Group at UCL, together with the strong marine construction links enable the MRG to explore ship design to investigate the survivability of ships to asymmetric attack in a manner implementable from the earliest design stages, using computer aided preliminary ship design tools.

Studies have been undertaken for UK MoD (Dstl, Future Business Group and Sea Technology Group), the UK Shipbuilders and Shiprepairers Association, the US Navy Office of Naval Research, BMT, Qinetiq, EU (FP7 and VISIONS).

The use of simulation tools at the initial design stage has been investigated for the wider applications, including security issues, to multimodal fast freight of short sea shipping and the personnel movement issues in a joint EPSRC project with University of Greenwich (UoG) with the MoD as the industrial partner.

Other notable partners in this DTC include:

  • UCL Chemistry

Professor Ivan Parkin

  • UCL Bartlett School

Professor Alan Penn

  • UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

Professor Mike Batty

  • UCL Mathematical Finance and Computational Finance

Professor Steve Bishop and Professor Philip Treleaven

  • UCL Laws

    Prof Ian Dennis

  • UCL School of Energy and Resources in Adelaide (Australia)
  • Collaborations around technical, financial and legal aspects of energy security with Tsinghua, China’s top University.

SECReT partners comprise a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the crime and security agenda. They range from large technology developers to top-rated academic institutions through to SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and law enforcement bodies. We welcome partners from across the globe. If you wish to be a partner of UCL SECReT please contact us.

  • Australian National University
  • Australian Research Council Centre Of Excellence And Policing (CEPS)
  • Cranfield University (Defence College of Management and Technology)
  • George Washington University (Homeland Security Policy Institute)
  • Israel Institute of Technology (Technion)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (US)
  • Tsinhua University: Center of Public Safety Research (China)

SECReT partners comprise a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the crime and security agenda. They range from large technology developers to top-rated academic institutions through to SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and law enforcement bodies. We welcome partners from across the globe. If you wish to be a partner of UCL SECReT please contact us.

  • 3D-Xray Ltd
  • AWE - Atomic Weapons Establishment
  • BAE Systems
  • British Telecom
  • Buro Happold Ltd
  • Castle Microwave Ltd
  • Concentium
  • Digital Barriers plc
  • E2v Technologies
  • Forensic Telecommunications Services
  • FortressGB
  • G4S
  • Gemalto
  • Hewlett Packard Labs
  • KPMG Forensic
  • L-3 TRL Technology
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Logica CMG
  • National Instruments
  • National Nuclear Labs
  • Oxford Instruments
  • Palantir Technologies
  • RAPISCAN systems
  • SAS software
  • SELEX Galileo
  • Thales
  • Vega Systems
  • X-Tek Systems

SECReT partners comprise a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the crime and security agenda. They range from large technology developers to top-rated academic institutions through to SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and law enforcement bodies. We welcome partners from across the globe. If you wish to be a partner of UCL SECReT please contact us.

  • ACPO Criminal Records Office
  • British Transport Police
  • Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
  • CEOP - Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre
  • Chilean Ministry of Interior
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • DSTL – MoD Defence Science and Technology Lab
  • Electronics, Sensors, Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network
  • Foreign Commonwealth Office
  • Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology
  • ICT Knowledge Transfer Network (Cybersecurity Group)
  • Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale (France)
  • Metropolitan Police (New Scotland Yard)
  • National Health Service
  • National Policing Improvement Agency
  • Office Of Naval Research Global (US)
  • Serious Organised Crime Agency
  • Surrey Police
  • UK Home Office
  • West Midlands Police

SECReT students work with organisations from the public and private sector who have provided tangible support such as funding, data, equipment or access to expertise.

Please click here to learn about SECReT students working with a range of partners on real world problems including radicalisation, cyber security, explosives, baggage screening, forensic analysis and sex trafficking: