Khandakar Ahmed

Victoria University
IT lecturer, Victoria Universities’ College of Engineering
Khandakar is the course chair of the Grad Certificate of Cyber Security and is an IT lecturer at Victoria University

What has been your career path to get to where you are now?

Before joining Victoria University, I was a lecturer with the the School of IT and Engineering (SITE) at the Melbourne Institute of Technology (MIT), and a researcher with the Australia-India Research Centre for Automation Software Engineering (AICAUSE) at RMIT University (2016-2017). Prior to that, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the AICAUSE.

What subject do you teach at VU?

Currently I am chairing the Graduate Certificate of Cyber Security (NTCS), a course developed to meet the strong global demand for cybersecurity experts. With no exception, Australia is also facing the consequences of a worldwide shortage. Government departments, corporations, and businesses alike are competing for talent as a response to an increasing number of cyber attacks. Over the next decade Australia is expected to need 11,000 more cybersecurity specialists.

The units involved in this course include Fundamentals of Cyber Security, Enterprise Security Management, Cloud Security and Cyber Security Law, and Regulations and Policy. Along with chairing this program, I personally teach Computer and Internet Security and Fundamentals of Cyber Security.

I enjoy my teaching when I see my students are enjoying it as well. I always relate theory straight to real world scenarios and attempt to demonstrate them through the lab experiments. For example, as part of Fundamentals of Cybersecurity, I teach students how to launch real attacks on vulnerable targets, using techniques such as Cross Site Scripting (CSS), SQL injection, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), MAC spoofing, social engineering and others. In class, we investigate recent attacks around the world to understand the vulnerabilities that permitted the attacks and their consequences.

What are your most proud professional achievements?

I always enjoy developing new units based on the latest emerging technology. One of my proudest achievements was when I designed and taught a lab based on Software Defined Networking (SDN). It was one of the highest ranking classes within the school at that time with a 93% GTS (Good Teaching Scale).

What are you working on now (that you can share with us)?

Currently I am working in a team under the leadership of Prof. Yuan Miao on artificial intelligence and intelligent technology applications in smart cities. We are integrating our research with student theses, student projects, and unit teaching.

What do you think is the most important current issue in your field?

Information technology, in particular, intelligent technology, is shaping itself to drive the transformation of our entire society. World leaders, not only those in IT areas, have realised the possible social revolution. A significant number of jobs will be replaced by AI technologies permanently, faster than people have thought. This brings both a challenge and an opportunity. There is already a significant shortage of people with IT skills globally, especially in cyber security, AI, data science, cloud computing, and software defined networks.