Key Staff

Meet the staff of The Cyber Academy:

Prof Bill Buchanan OBE
Professor, IIDI, School of Computing
Bill Buchanan is a Professor in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University, and a Fellow of the BCS and the IET. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to cyber security. Currently he leads the Centre for Distributed Computing, Networks, and Security and The Cyber Academy. His main research focus is around information sharing, such as using Trust and Governance Policies, threat analysis, cryptography, and triage within digital forensics. This has led to several World-wide patents, and in three highly successful spin-out companies: Zonefox (; Symphonic Software (; and Cyan Forensics ( Bill regularly appears on TV and radio related to computer security, and has given evidence to the Justice Committee at the Scottish Parliament, along with being part of the BBC Scottish Independence Team of Experts (speciality: Cyber Security). This includes appearances on Newsnight Scotland, Good Morning Scotland, Panorama, and Radio 5 Newsdrive. Bill was named as one of the Top 100 people for Technology in Scotland for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. In Feb 2016, he was also included in the FutureScot "Top 50 Scottish Tech People Who Are Changing The World". Recently his work on Secret Shares received “Innovation of the Year” at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards, for a research project which involves splitting data into secret shares, and can then be distributed across a public Cloud-based infrastructure. He was included in the JISC Top 50 Higher Education Social Media Influencers in 2015.
Basil Manoussos
Manager, The Cyber Academy

Vassilis (or Basil as everyone calls him at Napier) is the Manager of The Cyber Academy since September 2017.

Basil comes from a Digital Forensics & Cyber Crime background, working closely with solicitors around the country and abroad. He has extensive experience in digital investigations, including several high profile cases, while running Strathclyde Forensics, his own digital forensics consultancy. He has a vast and diverse business experience, in the UK and abroad including Strathclyde Forensics, IBM, Abbey National, HM Government, and his military service among others.

He is a regular speaker at Scottish universities (Strathclyde, Glasgow, Robert Gordon, West of Scotland, Heriot Watt, Edinburgh Napier), as well as professional bodies like the Law Society of Scotland, HWSAS, Scottish Paralegal Association, SYLA, SCVO, and many more. Please email Basil at [email protected] to enquire about The Cyber Academy

Adrian Smales
Adrian Smales is a Research Fellow and Ph.D. Researcher within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. Adrian’s main areas of expertise when not studying for his Ph.D. are Project Management, Security, and Senior Management. He is currently researching Health Informatics, including electronic health record governance and information sharing. One of his main research topics is using predictive analytics and cognitive computing. Other areas of expertise have been demonstrated as the project manager for the EU funded DFET project coordinating at a national and European level, lecturing and managing partners. He is a specialist in secure management and sharing of data in key sectors such as healthcare, public services, and law enforcement.
Nick Pitropakis

Dr Nikolaos Pitropakis received his degree in Computer Science from the University of Athens, Greece in 2009. He completed an MSc in Advanced Information Systems at the Athens University of Economics and Business in 2011. Nikolaos was awarded his PhD in Cloud Computing Security in 2015 from the University of Piraeus – Department of Digital Systems. In his current role as a Lecturer at ENU, Dr Pitropakis is involved in lecturing on subjects including hardware and operarting systems at undergraduate. He is also a core member of the Blockchain Identity Lab, supervising one PhD student.
Dr. Pitropakis has a strong research background in cloud computing security, network security, malicious insider threat and steganography. His current research interests include cybersecurity, adversarial machine learning, advanced cyber attack attribution, data analytics and cyber-physical systems. Dr. Pitropakis has participated in research projects such as the SPAGOS, ESPA2007-2013 ResearcherSecure & Privacy-Aware eGovernment Services funded by the European Commision and Methods for producing standardized and transparent attribution that overcomes concerns about cred-ibility and helps hold actors accountable for malicious activity funded by the US department of Defence. For the past two years he has been very active by answering to very competitive calls about cyber security in Horizon2020 and EPSRC, collaborating with strong industrial and academic partners of the cyber security community.
Based on the outcomes of these projects, Dr Pitropakis has published 15 quality scholarly articles. His most recent research achievements have been published in several highly-cited Springer journals as well as Tier 1 international conferences. Dr Pitropakis has also been invited to serve as an organizing and program committee member of major international conferences and a reviewer for prestigious journals.
In addition, Dr Pitropakis has been involved in supervising Research Master and PhD students since he accomplished his PhD in 2015. Over the past 3 years, Dr Pitropakis has mentored and supervised 4 PhD students.

Richard Macfarlane
Rich Macfarlane has been a Lecturer in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University since 2009, playing a key role in the creation and development of the GCHQ certified MSc Advanced Security and Digital Forensics. Working within the Centre for Networking, Distributed Computing and Security research group. Teaching and research in the areas of Computer and Network Security, Pen Testing, Digital Forensics, Networking, Cloud Computing, Software Engineering and Online teaching and E-learning.
Dr Gordon Russell
Associate Professor

Gordon is currently the academic theme lead of the Cyber Security and Networks group, which has a successful portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and around 15 staff. His current research interests focus on Cryptography, Digital Forensics and Cyber Security. 

He has led the development of the GCHQ certified MSc Advanced Security and Digital Forensics, including introducing new modes of study including distance learning.  Along with this Gordon led the development of the MSc Advanced Security and Cybercrime, which provides distance learning opportunities for postgraduate studies. 

Gordon has also helped develop The Cyber Academy, which aims to disseminate cyber intelligence at both a national and international level, with current links in Europe to law enforcement, and is currently an external examiner at the University of Northumbria. 

Gordon has a strong international reputation, which has been built on innovative teaching and virtualization environments, such as LinuxZoo. His current research work investigates decrypting messages using keys extracted from active virtual machines, forensic triage techniques to improve the speed of forensics analysis, and detecting cyber attacks on industrial systems including public water supplies.

Naghmeh Moradpoor
Dr Moradpoor (PhD, MSc, BSc, CEH v.8, PGCert, MBCS) is a Lecturer in Cybersecurity and Networks at Edinburgh Napier University. Her general research interests include security, Intrusion Detection and Prevention, artificial intelligence, genetic algorithms, mobile phone forensics, network resource management and next generation networks, systems and services. She is a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH.v8) and her current area of research is focused on the application of neural networks for detection and classification of cybersecurity attacks.
Petra Leimich
Based at Edinburgh Napier University, Dr Petra Leimich is a Lecturer in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, a Teaching fellow and a member of the Centre for Distributed Computing, Networking and Security. Her main area of expertise is Digital Forensics, specifically Database Forensics. Her current research interests focus on the areas of distributed file system and cloud forensics (particularly Hadoop), similarity hashing, digital forensic triage, web browser forensics, database forensics and information security and privacy. Petra also has a strong interest in research-led teaching and has successfully helped honours and masters students publish their original research.
Dr Imed Romdhani
Programme Leader of the MSc Wireless and Mobile Networks. Module Leader of a set of Advanced Networking modules Module Leader of the MSc Dissertation Project module Active member of the Ineternet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Founder and CEO of Digital Tunisia Founder of the Student PPMS Project ( Higher Education Expert at E-Taalim ( Specialties: IPv6, Wireless and Mobile Networking, Multicast Communication, Vehicular and Mesh Networks, Wireless Sensor Networks, Fellowship of the UK Higher Education Academy, PRINCE2 certified
Professor Ahmed Al-Dubai
Professor Ahmed Al-Dubai received a PhD studentship (Merit Competition-Award) from University of Glasgow. He has been working on the area of group communications, parallel and distributed computing and high-performance networks for more than 12 years. His research has been supported by EU, Universities UK and the Royal Society. His findings have been published in world leading journals such as IEEE Transactions on Computers, IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, and in prestigious international conferences including IEEE IPDPS, IEEE ICC, IEEE GLOBECOM, IEEE WCNC, ICPP, IEEE IPCCC and ACM-SAC. Ahmed has been the recipient of several academic awards and recognitions. He has been a member of several editorial boards of scholarly journals. He has been the Guest Editor for a number of special issues in scholarly journals.
Alistair Lawson
Associate Professor (Reader)
Alistair Lawson is an Associate Professor with The Cyber Academy, a member of Research Centre for Algorithms, Visualisation and Evolving Systems, and is leader of the Data Science Special Interest Group within the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. He has worked on projects related to the application of computer security within e-Health for enhanced information sharing. His work led to the creation of a successful spin-out company: Symphonic Trust. This work, related to Trust and Governance for Information Sharing, has now advanced into a high-impact project in London which is integrating over 7,000 health and social care entities. Previous projects have included collaborative grants with Microsoft plc which aimed to improve the care of the elderly using Trusted Cloud-based services [EPSRC: TS/I002561/1] with Imperial College with an enhanced Cloud-based e-Health system [EPSRC: TS/H001883/1]. Other work includes research into Privacy, Trust, and Online Reputation.
Robert Ludwiniak