UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity

The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence exists to ensure that technological advances in the Internet of Things (IoT) are developed and applied in consumer and business contexts, safely and securely. We do this by considering social and technical issues relating to the cybersecurity of IoT devices, systems and networks.

Our work is of direct relevance to the future prosperity and security of citizens in the UK and across the world. 

Society is increasingly relying on technologies such as the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence to enhance our lifestyles, our goods and services; examples range from voice-controlled smart door locks for the home, to fully automated manufacturing and logistics systems.   

Finding potential solutions to prevent  attacks requires transdisciplinary research with a socio-technical perspective. For example, personal perceptions of the trustworthiness of new technologies embedded with the ability to take decisions on your behalf, will interact with, and be influenced by, regulation, standards and policy, as well as with design and engineering. 

PETRAS is funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the Securing Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) programme. We run open, national level funding calls which enable us to undertake cutting edge basic and applied research. We also support the early adoption of new technologies through close work with other members of the SDTaP programme, such as InnovateUK, supporting demonstrations of new technology and commercialisation processes. 

PETRAS Director and Principal Investigator, Jeremy Watson leads the Centre and has held research and technical management roles across industry and universities, as well as senior leadership and advisory roles.  

The Centre is made up of 12 institutions, they are UCL, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, Lancaster University, University of Warwick, University of Southampton, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of Edinburgh and University of Surrey.  Furthermore, four new research institutions are joining the Centre (subject to completion of contract execution), including Coventry University, Northumbria University, Tate, and University of Glasgow.