FinTech – technology-driven innovation in
the financial and banking sector – pre-
sents a natural opportunity for Luxem-
bourg. Unlike the music or entertainment
business, e-commerce, media, telecom,
banking and the financial sector have
seen little disruption due to this techno-
logy. But that may soon change with the
emergence of business models driven by
novel technologies such as block chain,
smart contracts, crypto-currencies or
crowd-sourced lending. Will the FANGs
(Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) bite
off a big piece of the financial services
market, offering tailored solutions
based on their intimate, big data based
consumer knowledge? Regulations are
changing in India, for example. Amazon
plans to offer mutual funds directly to
customers online – just one of many
examples of potential disintermediation.
Can Luxembourg become an international
FinTech hub? At SnT, we believe Luxem-
bourg has a unique opportunity to create
an innovative environment for productive
relations between FinTech entrepreneurs
and established business. SnT and its
partners are committed to taking a lead
in FinTech research, development and
innovation. FinTech is not only about dis-
ruptive technologies; security and trust
are key to any ICT solution. Also, as the
complexity of the law increases, we will
need ICT tools to provide scalable and
affordable compliant solutions – an inter-
disciplinary matter where SnT holds the
necessary technical and legal expertise.
In 2015, SnT welcomed four new
members to its partnership programme:
CHOICE, Olamobile, pEp Security, and
Rogler. All four are newly established in
Luxembourg and bring R&D investment
to the country. Three existing partner-
ships were also extended last year. Our
recently created Tech Transfer Office had
an amazing year with 7 proof-of-concept
projects launched and a second SnT spin-
off company established.
Our turnover increased by 18% last year,
and our staff grew to more than 250 peo-
ple. Two new SnT research groups were
created: SEDAN (Service and Data Mana-
gement in Distributed Systems), headed
by Dr. habil. Radu State, and Crypto-
Lux, headed by Prof. Dr. Alex Biryukov.
We had a remarkable ramp-up of projects
in the highly competitive H2020 program-
me with 9 successful acquisitions in only
12 months. I am also proud to announce
the first ERC Advanced Grant (2.3M euros
over five years) awarded to Prof. Lionel
Briand in Luxembourg, our FNR PEARL
chair heading the SnT Software Verificati-
on and Validation Lab. This demonstrates
SnT’s ability to combine scientific excellen-
ce at the highest international levels with
innovation and economic impact.
Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten
Table of contents
When unbounded demand meets finite supply
SnT researcher Dr. Shree Krishna Sharma is the
winner of the Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis 2015
of the Fonds National de la Recherche. In his thesis,
the researcher analyzed the inefficient usage of the
radio frequencies used in wireless communication
applications with the emphasis on Satellite Communi-
cations (SatCom). »The demand for radio frequencies
is unbounded due to continuously increasing demand
for high speed telecommunication services and
smart devices. Their supply, however, is definitely
finite«, Sharma states. In his PhD thesis, he therefore
presents several novel techniques to address the
spectrum scarcity problem. Furthermore, he contrib-
utes to the application of Cognitive Radio technolo-
gy in SatCom systems. In this domain, he proposes
innovative enabling techniques to allow the spectral
coexistence of satellite-terrestrial systems and two
satellite systems by exploiting the unique features of
SatCom systems. Sharma’s project was carried out in
collaboration with SES with Prof. Dr. Ottersten and Dr.
Chatzinotas as advisors and with the financial support
of FNR‘s AFR-PPP Grant.
It‘s all in the mix
Demonstrating the future of communication
Computer coaching for stroke survivors
Black Swan: safety at your wrist
Supporting the spirit of innovation
Efficient encryption and secure financial cryptography
Safety in numbers – trusting the WiFi crowd
Systematically learning from errors
Smart analytics for smart grids
Software-defined networks: hype vs. reality
Privacy for genomic data
Basic research for big data
Encryption made easy
Towards dependable autonomous driving
Access control for situational-aware systems
Hand in hand into the future of printing
Smart assistance for electric driving
It’s all in the mix
Prof. Dr. Ottersten, what was the greatest
success at SnT in 2015?
Ottersten: On the whole, it was the
fact that we expanded our collaborative
research model, boosting both scientific
output and technology transfer. This is
manifested in excellent research publica-
tions, acquisition of competitive research
funding, and intellectual property or IP
protection and licensing for exploitation.
In the very competitive EU research
funding programme Horizon 2020, we ac-
quired nine projects in the last 12 months
with a total SnT funding of four million
euros. That really is exceptionally good.
Horizon 2020, like its predecessor pro-
gramme, focuses on excellent research,
but explicitly includes innovation as a fac-
tor as well. How does that suit a university
research institute like SnT?
It suits SnT perfectly. Our strategy since
day one has been to conduct excellent
research with high relevance creating
socio-economic impact. This requires that
we continue to develop research out-
comes towards their innovative applica-
tion. It’s why we set up the Partnership
Programme, where we are researching
into fundamentally new concepts to
tackle challenges confronting industry
and the public sector in information
and communication technology. Linking
research and innovations is exactly what
the EU Commission is now funding. Our
strategic approach anticipated this, and
now it’s paying off.
Does that mean there will only be appli-
cation-oriented research from now on?
No, creating a balance between long-
term research and demand-driven
research is the key to success. Long-term
scientific work is our investment in the
future, application related projects ensure
relevance, and the interaction between
the two is where the magic lies. The two
aspects mutually enrich each other and
the transition from one to the other is
So, SnT conducts basic research with
the aim of contributing to the innovation
process. How do you ensure the results
obtained with public funding do in fact
yield returns for public research?
We have contracts with our partners
defining the rules for using the research
results. Plus, our technology transfer
office, the TTO, is now up and running.
We have 5 to 6 highly experienced
people with diverse backgrounds working
on business development, intellectual
property, entrepreneurship, training,
etc. The TTO has a clear view of where
results of economic value are being
produced, which need protection with
patents or copyrights for example. They
also have the contacts and specialised
knowledge for licencing out IP or creating
new ventures and ultimately generating
revenue from them.
But your question is actually far too de-
fensive, I think. It is not about sealing our-
selves off from the rest of the world. We
see ourselves as an activator: we shape
and prioritise SnT research with the goal
of keeping Luxembourg competitive and
innovative. Publishing and disseminating
our scientific results is not sufficient per
se – we want to bring results closer to
exploitation. We continue developing
them as part of the Proof-of-Concept
Programme, in short PoC, which is princi-
pally funded by the Fonds National de la
Recherche. In the PoC projects, ideas are
tested and validated, potential customers
and investors are contacted, IP is protec-
ted; a business plan can be developed
before being spun-off.
Spin-offs tend to have a hard time finding
funding especially in the start-up phase.
Isn’t there a risk of an early end?
The PoC stage aims at de-risking projects.
But seed funding is a bottleneck. The
problem is known – to SnT, politics and
industry. We have combined our efforts to
establish a seed fund with the activities
of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The fund just started last December,
dedicated specifically to start-ups in the
ICT sector. The idea is for Luxembourg to
develop into a working ecosystem in this
field – in which start-ups find favourable
conditions, and proof-of-concept projects
find their way into industrial use. 19.2
million euros are available for this in the
What role does the university play in all
The university has an option to become
a stakeholder in the fund during 2016. It
will be involved in one way or another
because, while the fund is focussed on
the ICT sector, it is not focussed on SnT.
It will consider deals from anywhere but
is willing to establish in Luxembourg. The
university should become a stakeholder in
the fund so that the entrepreneurial spirit
How do the SnT employees perceive SnT’s
stronger alignment towards innovation
and towards cooperation with industry and
the public sector?
Many scientists have come to SnT be-
cause of this very alignment. Here, they
find ideal conditions for collaborative
research projects creating synergies
between high-risk, long-term scientific
work and demand-driven, application-
oriented research. This mixture makes
Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten
Demonstrating the future
Since the end of 2015, SnT has housed a
highly remarkable new laboratory, called
CommLab. It is part of the SigCom research
group headed by SnT director Prof. Dr. Björn
Ottersten. »The lab allows us to implement
several types of wireless communication
techniques through software defined
radio,« says Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas, who
is responsible for supervising the wireless
communication laboratory together with
research associate Dr. Stefano Andrenacci.
»To establish the CommLab, we used some
equipment from previous laboratories,
complemented by a large number of cut-
ting-edge devices,« Chatzinotas says. Now
the facility, developed as a consequence
of intense research on signal processing
techniques, provides the researchers with
sophisticated possibilities. The usable infra-
structure includes various software-defined
radio platforms connected to a central hub.
With these, the required sub-infrastructure
for specific tests can be selected, monitored
and controlled. The whole lab can be used
for testing and validating both terrestrial
and satellite communication systems. »Our
goal is to demonstrate different end-to-end
proofs of concept through this flexible wire-
less communication testbed,« Chatzinotas
comments. The testbeds will be used to
model, design and test digital signal pro-
cessing algorithms currently being studied
by the members of the SigCom group. The
specifically configured lab with its broad
range of technical equipment therefore
enables the researchers to perform many
experiments in a highly flexible manner.
The main challenge Chatzinotas and
Andrenacci are working to meet right now
is to further improve the specific perform-
ance features of mobile communication
tools such as cell phones and tablet com-
puters. »People want these tools to grow
better and better with every product gene-
ration, offering higher speed of wireless
data transfer and higher video resolution,«
Chatzinotas says. Typically, better com-
munication performance is achieved by
using a wider frequency bandwidth. »But
instead, in our lab we employ multiple
antennas combined with novel signal
processing methods for transferring huge
amounts of information.« The equipment
in the lab is an ideal platform for impres-
sively demonstrating the improvements
achieved by multi-anten-
Another example of
projects executed in the
lab is spectrum sensing
for cognitive radio
radios are intelligent ra-
dios capable of sensing
the spectral environment
and using information
to provide wireless
links dynamically and
opportunistically to meet the user
»Because of the high flexibility of the
installation, we can also configure our
equipment to be able to handle satellite
data,« Andrenacci adds. At present the
SigCom researchers are developing preco-
ding techniques for satellite communication
and emulating satellite communication
systems. In the next step, however, they
hope to gain access to real satellite data for
The founding of the CommLab has
created valuable opportunities for SnT to
attract the interest of stakeholders and
to become involved in international EU
research projects. »Additionally,« Symeon
Chatzinotas emphasises, »we intend in
the medium- and long-term to license the
innovative communication technologies
developed in our group and maybe to
found start-up companies for developing
subsystems of innovative wireless com-
SigCom – MIMO Radar project
Contact: Dr. Bhavani Shankar
Typical automotive applications like parking assistance employ ultrasound sensors
drilled into the bumpers with an optional camera; ultrasound sensing, while being eco-
nomical, has its own drawbacks in terms of resolution and aesthetics. Radar technology,
possesses better resolving capabilities than ultrasound, while causing no harm to the
aesthetics. The envisaged research activity builds on the IEE initiatives and deals with
the application of Coherent Radar Array processing to the automotive industry.
Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas and Dr. Stefano
Computer coaching for stroke
It takes a lot of effort to recover one’s qua-
lity of life after a stroke and to adapt one’s
lifestyle to the new situation. Patients
may have to relearn simple sequences of
movements, such as getting up out of a
chair or reaching for a teacup. In hospital,
physiotherapists give exact instructions,
coach patients and correct them when
they don’t do the exercises correctly. But
once they complete the first rehab phase
and can return home, patients only see
their therapists for a fraction of the time
and hence the intensity and quality of
training can drop.
In cooperation with medical professionals
and engineers, computer scientists at SnT
are looking to find a solution to this situ-
ation. In the scope of the EU funding line
Horizon 2020, SnT is participating in the
research project STARR – which stands for
Decision SupporT and self-mAnagement
system for stRoke survivoRs. The aim of
the researchers from Luxembourg, Spain,
France, UK, Germany, Serbia and Sweden
is an automated system that supports
a change in the patients’ lifestyle and
thereby minimises their risk factors for
secondary stroke. STARR will support
stroke survivors by informing them about
their level and type of activity so that they
can improve self-management of their
lifestyle. For that reason the researchers
in STARR will investigate the extent to
which everyday movements and pres-
cribed exercise routines can be automa-
tically monitored – feedback will be given
to the users about the extent and quality
of their activity.
The principal investigator for the part
of the project at SnT is Dr. Djamila
Aouada, who also heads the Compu-
ter Vision laboratory in the SIGCOM
research group: »In recent years, we
have developed algorithms that enable
3D cameras to generate very good 3D
videos out of data of lower quality, and
are therefore cost-effective. We can make
use of this experience in STARR, since the
cameras which are required also have to
be robust and affordable to be employable
in the patient’s environment.«
The actual challenge, however, is how
the data will be processed down the line,
Aouada says. »We have to develop a me-
thod that measures the movements of the
patients. Only that way will it be possible
to make an automated evaluation of the
quality of movements. The third step is
then to give recommendations or instruc-
tions, which the patient receives from the
system in order to be able to make better
decisions about their activities.«
In the scope of the Horizon 2020 funding,
the scientists now have three years and
a half to meet this challenge. »We will be
cooperating very closely with researchers
from many other disciplines at the partner
institutions,« says Djamila Aouada,
»because we naturally have to consider
not only questions of mathematical model-
ling and programming, but also of medical
therapy, users’ acceptance, data security,
privacy, and technical implementation.
I find this interdisciplinarity of the project
The flying lab
SnT has broad experience in research in the field of autonomous vehicles. What comes
to mind first are cars – like those of Google – or drones used by military forces. But
there are fields of application that go far beyond this, such as autonomous inspection
of heritage buildings or the surveillance of African nature reserves to fight against
poachers. Dr. Miguel Olivares Mendez and PhD student Arun Annaiyan are working
to improve the capabilities of UAVs – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. They are part of
the Automation & Robotics Research Group headed by Prof. Dr. Holger Voos, and are
cooperating with partners such as the Army of Luxembourg for civil uses of UAVs.
The main challenge is to select the right combination of onboard sensors and algo-
rithms to get precise positioning in real-time of the close environment of the UAVs
to be able to detect and avoid any potential collision autonomously. At their spacious
flight arena installed in a lab on Campus Kirchberg, the researchers test various models
of UAVs and attach additional hardware to find solutions for these challenges. A net
hangs between the control room and the flight arena to keep everyone safe from harm.
Because sometimes even such sophisticated devices develop a will of their own...
Dr. Djamila Aouada
Black Swan: Safety at
To stay healthy, the in-office doctor visit
can provide a lot of information useful
for keeping an eye on our health, but
infrequent visits only provide a snapshots
of the whole picture. For those with
greater health risks, sparse visits may not
be enough, and a consistent monitoring
regimen can greatly help a patient and
Project Black Swan seeks to use existing
technologies to create a better network
of safety and well-being monitoring
for individual patients, referred to as
Ambient Assisted Living. Through the de-
velopment of apps, the project seeks to
improve care for those with health risks,
like people with Alzheimer’s, dementia,
or other conditions.
»By using devices like smart phones,
smart watches and wearable devices,
Project Black Swan is able to help a
patient maintain a continuous record of
sensor data that provides information to
family and caregivers,« says Dr. Alexandru
Tantar, Vice President R&D of the Black
Swan company. »As time goes on, the
data collected from the patient create
a profile unique to their circumstances
that can be used to alert professional
care givers and family of abnormalities or
Currently, there are many devices on the
market capable of monitoring body attri-
butes, such as heart rate, movement,
location, and distance. Combined with
commonly used GPS systems, the Black
Swan project is able to track a patient’s
location if they become lost or dis-
oriented. In an emergency, a series of
protocols is initiated and the device
contacts a list of pre-registered care
givers or family members – known as the
circle of trust.
The circle consists of three types of
contacts. The first is to notify the patient
of an abnormality. For instance, if the
device measures an increased heartrate
that’s abnormal, the device can alert the
wearer of potential danger.
»At this point, the device checks in with
the patient to see if everything is fine,
letting them know something is out of
the ordinary,« says Tantar. »The patient
can then choose to dismiss the alert if
it’s a non-emergency or toggle the device
to seek help.«
The second contact is a designated family
member, friend, or carer who will be
notified of the situation. For example, if a
patient is disoriented or deviates from their
usual patterns, a family member can be
notified to assist. And in an emergency, a
doctor or ambulance can be notified of the
situation with real time information relayed
to the medical personnel ahead of the
The Black Swan project is designed to be
customisable with the ability to tailor itself
to a person’s unique situation, and is based
on parameters from care professionals
and doctors. The system is also designed
to take the patient’s comfort into consi-
deration, allowing the level of monitoring
to be adjusted according to the patient’s
»This system can easily be scaled to ac-
commodate people with other needs, like
employees who work in high risk areas
or in isolated conditions,« says Tantar.
»We are excited to continuously refine the
product to improve usability while addres-
sing the needs of the wearer.«
The Black Swan team is currently testing
the device in pilot studies with patients
at nursing homes and assisted living
The project was born out of collaborations
inside SnT, led by Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel
and the SECAN lab team and launched as
a spinoff in October 2015. The close colla-
NetLab – Analysing real world systems
Contact: Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel
Researchers from the NetLab group headed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel continue their efforts
to make industry control systems more secure and resilient against a wide range of network
attacks. Together with the Luxembourg utility company Creos, they search for weaknesses
within contemporary SCADA deployments using emulation – a method of analysing
real-world systems with a high level of detail. To this end, the SCADA team researches
methods of making control systems safe and robust against network attacks.
boration with SnT represents a nurturing
ground for innovation especially on connec-
tivity related aspects emerging from IoT.
»Both FNR and SnT’s Technology Transfer
Office have played an important role
in the process of spinning off the Black
Swan project,« says Tantar. »As a young
SnT spin-off company we are proud to
be affiliated with both organisations and
look forward to continuing our fruitful
Dr. Hannes de Wachter, Dr. Emilia Tantar, Dr. Alexandru Tantar
Supporting the spirit
Technology Transfer Office
Efficient encryption and secure
»Research that leads to technological
innovations is a cornerstone of SnT,« says
Dr. Cécile Petit. Petit has worked as project
coordinator at SnT since 2011. She knows
how researchers tick and which partners
from industry and the public sector they
are successfully cooperating with. This
background knowledge makes Cécile Petit
the ideal employee for SnT’s Technology
Transfer Office (TTO). Petit has been a
member since its founding. And she is the
»go-to person« for everyone.
The initiative to establish the TTO started
in 2014 with a benchmark study funded by
the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR).
The study concluded that the University
of Leuven (KU Leuven) can serve as a
best-practice example for Luxembourg. It
has had a tech transfer office for more than
40 years: the very successful KU Leuven
Research & Develop (LRD).
»Many university administrations believe
that technology transfer is about patents
and creating spin-offs,« says SnT Director
Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten, who is heading
the TTO until a permanent head can be
appointed: »But an essential and more
important component is collaborative re-
search with businesses and industry.
Without demand driven research projects
conducted in cooperation with industrial
partners, the tech transfer is much less
efficient.« The Tech Transfer Office is
accordingly based on the SnT Partnership
Programme, since cooperative partnerships
with industry and the public sector are
familiar to just about every SnT scientist.
These are ideal conditions for the TTO’s
activities, as Cécile Petit agrees: »We are
now helping the researchers to formulate
their business cases, supporting them in
negotiating with financers or cooperation
partners, and offering advice on how to
obtain public funding.« Patenting issues
are especially important in this regard,
and are the domain of Sigmar Lampe. As
a patent lawyer and tech transfer officer
he is responsible for managing intellec-
tual property for the entire university. He
advises scientists on applying for patents
and negotiating licences.
A key instrument for the TTO is the
proof-of-concept project (PoC). The PoCs
are financially supported by the FNR and
internal university resources. They are
not driven by research objectives but are
launched when we see a commercial
exploitation potential, either by licensing
IP to an existing business or launching an
SnT spin-off. Based on research outcomes,
the PoC is a great opportunity to develop a
prototype, protect IP, discuss with potential
customers or investors and work on a busi-
ness plan. Researchers can also participate
in training sessions on every aspect of
entrepreneurship. All these activities show
great success, as Cécile Petit states: »Two
SnT PoCs have already resulted in spin-off
companies so far. We are very proud of
Prof. Dr. Alex Biryukov
Encryption remains one of the best ways
to protect data in the information age. In
many encryption methods, called ciphers,
a message undergoes a sequence of
transformations involving a secret key.
The longer the sequence, the more secure
the message – but it comes at a cost.
A recipient at the end of the process
decrypts the message by running the
reversed transformations with the same
key. But the additional security requires
more processing power and ultimately
more time on both sides.
Prof. Dr. Alex Biryukov and his team
are prominent cryptographers who are
working on several projects to improve
the efficiency of encryption techniques
and better secure financial cryptography.
Alex Biryukov, a Professor at the Univer-
sity´s Faculty of Science, Technology and
Communication, recently established his
SnT research group CryptoLux.
»Encryption can consume serious amounts
of processing power to complete its task,«
says Biryukov. »We’re looking at ways
to lighten the load, because a system
that spends less on encryption has more
resources available to handle other tasks.«
The corresponding industry term is »Light-
weight Encryption«, and the CryptoLux
team is designing faster and more com-
pact ciphers which would fit into cheap
Internet-of-Things devices such as smart
lights and doorkeys.
Biryukov and his team are also investiga-
ting financial cryptography, in particular
decentralised payment systems where
transactions do not involve a central
authority. Of the numerous currencies
launched, the most widely used is Bitcoin
which debuted in early 2009. Bitcoin
is notable for keeping currency holders
anonymous while providing a peer to peer
system to validate transactions.
The CryptoLux group is currently looking
to improve the security of not only Bitcoin,
but other solutions as well, where the
security and regulatory requirements for
these widely used payment instruments
may be vulnerable. A successful online
form of currency would be both secure
and scalable, according to Biryukov. For it
to endure the rigours of the online world,
it must meet three standard security
requirements: confidentiality of private
data, integrity of transactions, and
availability of the system under high loads
»Given that these currencies exist only
digitally, they are prime targets for
hackers,« says Biryukov. By understanding
the vulnerabilities faced by these online
currencies, CryptoLux researchers learn
how the systems can address security
concerns and instill more trust into the
system. »Equipped with these criteria, we
are putting online currencies to the test by
measuring their level of security through
deep analysis and simulated security
threats,« says Biryukov.
Dr. Cécile Petit
Safety in numbers – trusting
the WiFi crowd
No software is bug-free. Just consider
that almost all modern technical devices
contain a computer chip controlled by some
form of software. Be it in a smartphone, a
television or the much-touted refrigerator
with Internet connection – our little pro-
grammable helpers are everywhere.
While a system crash in a refrigerator or
television will likely present no more than
a spot of bother, there are applications in
which a single programming error can very
quickly put people in danger or have seri-
ous economic repercussions – for example,
in nuclear power plants, medical settings
or financial transactions. Reliable testing
and rapid troubleshooting is extremely
important in these areas.
»Practically we have already seen, at one
time or another, all bugs that are disco-
vered nowadays.«, reflects Dr. Tegawendé
Bissyandé of the Security Design and
Validation Research Group (SerVal) at SnT.
»The question is how to turn this know-
ledge into a systematic procedure that
finds and fixes bugs.«, adds his colleague,
Dr. Mike Papadakis. Papadakis aims to
use this information to identify new bugs,
while Bissyandé’s goal is to use it in
debugging projects. This is the objective of
the RECOMMEND project, which is funded
within FNR’s CORE scheme.
»Our RECOMMEND project will serve to
provide programmers with the right bug
fixes for their bug reports largely automati-
cally from reports in the past,« Tegawendé
explains. Say, for example, a device driver
for a USB webcam appears faulty; the sug-
gested bug fixes might instead trace the
real problem back to a fundamental fault
in the USB driver of the operating system,
which was written by another programmer
entirely. The complex interplay of bugs in
multiple, different software components is
a very typical situation in major projects,
such as the Linux operating system, and
only allows for very slow and painstaking
bug fixes using manual methods.
Dr. Kim Dongsun is following another
approach in the FIXPATTERN project, also
funded by CORE. The aim of this project is
to find automatic fixes for bugs that have
been checked by automated methods.
»We also want our system to benefit from
human-written patches,« he explains. In
this approach, established methods for
automatic bug fixing in machine-checkable
test situations will reduce trial and error
by accessing a pattern database of similar
earlier situations to generate high-quality,
When it comes to public WiFi, familiar
access points are not always what they
seem. An afternoon latte while web
surfing at a favorite café can turn a relax-
ing day into a session of data theft. The
computer isn’t to blame. After all, it did its
job and automatically connected to the fa-
miliar WiFi hotspot as in the past. But this
time something was different, this time
it was a trap. And the hacker responsible
now has access to the user’s data.
The trap is called a »rogue access point«
and it’s a commonly used trick by data
thieves to gain access to computers and
cell phones. By mimicking a common WiFi
access point, thieves can fool phones and
computers into connecting because the
devices cannot differentiate legitimate
from threatening connections; they only
look for a few simple parameters and
connect when they find a match.
The average user isn’t helpless in this
fight. The NetLab group, led by Prof. Dr.
Thomas Engel, Dr. Raimondas Sasnauskas,
along with Dr. Andriy Panchenko and Marc
Verschaeren from SnT´s industry partner
Red Dog communications, are working on
a project called »HotspotID«. Currently,
they are waging a two-fold campaign
to reduce the likelihood of these traps
being successful. The first task is to raise
awareness about public WiFi risks. The
second is to help users validate whether
an access point is trustworthy using an
app designed by NetLab called HotspotID.
»The premise is simple. The app checks if
the user is connected to a rogue access
point or not by comparing the fingerprint
of the current WiFi connection to a data
base of fingerprints,« says Sasnauskas.
»By just using the app each user contri-
butes fingerprints to the system, making
the system more reliable.«
The app offers another level of security,
allowing a WiFi provider (like a café) to
preload their access point parameters on
to the HotspotID database. By preregist-
ering information like IP address, name
and location, it can be cross-checked with
the app, verifying that the connection is
valid. HotspotID is the first security soluti-
on to provide users with a real-time WiFi
reputation evaluation based on crowd-
sourced and certified fingerprints. The
goal is to build a robust database which
can single out suspicious access points
that show up out of place. »The app lets
people know when they are connected to
a less trusted source,« says Sasnauskas.
If everything checks out, the app confirms
without interrupting the user. If not, the
app can alert the user or take action like
shutting down the device’s WiFi. In doing
so, the HotspotID team hopes to raise
awareness of the WiFi threats out there
by pointing out some of the easy ways
hackers can take advantage of security
holes in the system.
»People often have a long list of WiFi
access points saved to their phones which
are set to connect automatically,« said
Sasnauskas. »By inserting a safety check
between this automated process, we
empower people to make more conscious
decisions about where they connect,
enabling them to protect themselves and
their data in the future.«
Dr. Raimondas Sasnauskas
Dr. Kim Dongsun, Dr. Tegawende Bissyande, Dr. Michail Papadakis
Smart analytics for smart
Big data volumes are being generated just
about everywhere these days. Smart-
phones record the places we visit, the
steps we take, the time we sleep and the
websites we surf. Smart heating control-
lers know the temperature of every single
room. And smart power grids know at
any time how much energy a consumer is
drawing and how much power a wind or
solar plant is currently delivering.
As things stand, we have hardly scratched
the surface of what we could do with
all this data. Power grids don’t yet know
exactly when a washing machine will
start or when a cold store will draw more
energy. And we are still a long way from
reciprocal control, where the grid decides
for itself when a cold store should take a
rest or when an electric vehicle may charge
Dr. François Fouquet, Dr. Gregory Nain,
Thomas Hartmann and Dr. Assaad Moawad
of the Security Design and Validation
Research Group (SerVal) are working to
find out how these kinds of data from so
many complex networks can be put to good
use. »You can categorise data analytics
into three different decision levels. Merely
looking for patterns and signals in large
data volumes is descriptive analytics,«
Fouquet explains. Predictive analytics goes
a step further and can derive future values
from the data. Fouquet continues, »A grid
operator could ask the system: What would
be the load on a specific cable in two hours
time if no reconfiguration of the grid is
The researchers, however, want to push
their research all the way to the third level:
to prescriptive analytics. Nain explains
the example of a smart grid: »When a
grid operator has to take action to stem
an overload, the system can find out the
best option like adding a second parallel
cable between nodes or limiting or shutting
down some energy producers.« Such a
system could serve as a decision aid in
complex business processes.
Smart technology providers are obviously
keenly interested in this business sector.
Fouquet and Nain were well aware of that
in 2015, and successfully applied to the
national research fund FNR for support
in evaluating the opportunities to create
a spin-off. Their activities are now being
funded and tested for economic viability in
the »Proof-Of-Concept« (POC) program.
»Since 2014, we have been working on a
framework for a novel database structure
that will especially facilitate the analysis
of large data volumes with independent
physical measurement values.« Their
Kevoree Modeling Framework is open
source software that was developed during
2015 to the point where it could be used
in a commercial application. The business
model of their spin-off aims at modelling
concrete application cases with the frame-
work and then selling and refining these
models as ready-to-use software.
The main partner for its first embodiment
is Luxembourg’s largest energy supplier
CREOS, which hopes the cooperation will
lead to more accurate analytics and better
control of the smart grids of the future.
The SnT software models do not control
any power grids just yet. However, by ana-
lysing the grid’s consumption and power
data from the past, the grid operator can
draw important conclusions on how to
modernise the infrastructure. The system
should then be up and running within the
next two years. Combined with switch-
able consumers, it will then be able to
make decisions in real time.
SerVal – Static Analysis to detect privacy leaks in Android Apps
Contact: Dr. Jacques Klein
Supported by a Google Grant, SerVal researchers contributed by developing scalable tools
to detect private data leaks in Android Apps. A leak is present in an app when sensitive
information, e.g. your credit card number, leaves the app, e.g. in a text message or email.
These open-source tools (Dexpler, FlowDroid, Epicc etc.) analyse an app without running
it. This process is what we call »static analysis«. Such tools are now in use worldwide.
Smart grids, especially, are the next big
thing worldwide. Major technology provi-
ders still have no off-the-shelf solutions
for the complex measurement and control
circuits of power grids. Even big players
such as IBM can only offer predictive
software, but not derive substantiated
decision aids from the data. This is exactly
where the SnT researchers come in: »Our
advantage is that we are already special-
ised in combining technical measurements
with mathematical methods.«
Dr. Gregory Nain and Dr. François Fouquet
has since been cited more
than two hundred times – an
Kreutz investigated the vari-
ous commercially available
SDN solutions: »We made
an in-depth analysis of the
existing hardware, software
languages used and network
applications. As far as we
know, this is the most com-
prehensive study of this kind
For their analyses, Kreutz and
co-authors introduced various
abstraction layers into the
SDN architecture to serve as
classification criteria for the
various component classes.
The resulting catalogue is
kept in open, editable form
within a database popularly
used in IT: «We invite the SDN community
to use our work as the basis for a living
document,« says Diego Kreutz. In this
way, the CritiX researchers want to help
ensure that this network infrastructure,
which is becoming increasingly important
for cloud solutions for example, remains
operationally stable and secure against
attacks in the future.
hype vs. reality
FinTech gets people going
More than 500 participants followed SnT’s invitation to join the conference on the hot topic
of FinTech at the Chambre de Commerce on Luxembourg’s Kirchberg – and even more people
wanted to come. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy Etienne Schneider
inaugurated the conference and was overwhelmed by the huge interest.
Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten and Karl A. Johannesson of SnT gave welcoming speeches. These
were followed by talks by 40 speakers covering the diverse programme of the exciting Tuesday
of January 19. Keynotes by Dr. Garrick Hileman (London School of Economics), Philippe Gelis
(Kantox) and Mali Fernando Marafini (Interruptive) covered their perspectives on the future
of FinTech, and topics such as blockchain technology and Bitcoin were discussed intensively
during the breaks. Leading figures from Luxembourg’s research and ICT scene, such as Marc
Schiltz (FNR) and Gérard Hoffmann (Telindus), also gave talks and guided the discussions with
their expertise. SnT contributed with 20 speakers to the outcome of this event.
It is still the norm for a household to
have only one WLAN router. However,
most companies have several networks
interconnecting their delegations, connec-
ted through many wireless and wireline
switches and access points to the Inter-
net – whose heart is in turn composed
of an intricate mesh of so-called core
routers. Securely managing these nodes
can become very complicated: System
administrators have to install regular
updates, add and remove devices, and
monitor data packets for any conspicuous
The structure of these networks has
undergone a change in recent years.
»In software-defined networks (SDN),
the actual data forwarding and control
structures are made separate,« explains
Professor Paulo Veríssimo, Head of
the Critical and Extreme Security and
Dependability Research Group (CritiX)
at SnT. »The nodes are thus becoming
simpler, or »dumber«, while the control
logic is being outsourced to specialised
Veríssimo had already shown in 2013
that, while this structure offers the ad-
vantage of easier administration, it could
also serve as a gateway for a series of
new attacks on network security. In light
of this work, in the spring of 2015, his PhD
student Diego Kreutz published a paper
surveying the problematic of SDN in the
journal »Proceedings of the IEEE«, which
Prof. Dr. Paulo Veríssimo
Privacy for genomic data
It was four years before the first complete
sequencing of a human genome when,
in 1997, the film Gattaca addressed the
social consequences of a full genetic ana-
lysis of the entire population. The people
in this society are classed according to
their genetic ancestry and susceptibility
to disease, and the life they get to lead
depends on their genetic predisposition,
of which the authorities have a complete
Today, the human genome is being de-
ciphered routinely using modern sequen-
cing methods. »Due to ground-breaking
technical advancements, the capacity of
sequencing at fixed price has increased
from 2007 on, at a much faster pace than
the analogous predictions by Moore’s and
Kryder’s laws of IT, which respectively
state that computing power and storage
capacity double about every two years,«
explains Professor Paulo Veríssimo, Head
of the Critical and Extreme Security and
Dependability Research Group (CritiX)
at SnT. This progress is reflected in the
precipitous drop in the cost of sequencing
human genomes: while the first deciphe-
ring in 2001 cost about 100 million US
dollars, as of the end of 2015, a human
genome can already be sequenced for just
under a thousand dollars.
Consequently, increasing amounts of
genomic information are being deciphered,
generating volumes of data that require
enormous database infrastructures and
processing capacities, especially for
comparative scientific analyses. »Genome
researchers work at times with several
petabytes of data – that is thousands of
terabytes!« Veríssimo stresses. These
mega datasets are sometimes kept in
cloud storage so that researchers can
access them from multiple locations and
institutions. In other words, the individual
researchers no longer have sovereignty
over the physical data, nor indeed do
those whose genome is being studied.
This poses considerable risks in terms of
privacy. Genomes could reveal indicators
of disease risk or even genetic abnor-
malities. »The risk is not limited to the
individual whose gene sequence becomes
public. Given their genetic similarities, it
would also affect relatives and descen-
dants – including those who haven’t even
been born yet,« Veríssimo warns.
One approach of CritiX to minimise the risk
of unwanted disclosure of genomic data
is to identify especially privacy-sensitive
parts of the genomic sequence and to
label them, preferably immediately during
sequencing. Such parts could hold infor-
mation about specific genetic dispositions
or reveal kinship or even the identity of
the individual subject. These parts are
then either removed from the researchers’
data collections or protected by strong
»We suggest upgrading genome sequen-
cing with a mechanism we call the DNA
Privacy Detector,« says Vinicius Cogo, PhD
student at the University of Lisbon and
co-author of Veríssimo. In their collabora-
tive work, they have developed detection
methods for labelling those genomic data
that could be susceptible to several modes
of attack. The main technical problem
in this case is the sheer volume of data.
There are more than one thousand million
entries in the database of privacy-sen-
sitive DNA sequences. This amounts to
35 gigabytes of data against which all
genomic sequences have to be compared.
Parts that match the criteria are then la-
belled as particularly sensitive for further
The good news is – the new method is
substantially faster than the genome
CritiX – Safe and secure autonomy and cooperation of smart vehicles
Contact: Dr. Francisco Rocha, António Lima
Autonomous and cooperating vehicles are a hot topic today, although the future vision
of multiple cars on open streets, not to speak of free-flight planes, still remains a grand
research challenge. First, the increasing complexity of control components introduces
degrees of freedom that potentially degrade safety. Second, the foreseeable increase of
vehicle-to-vehicle or to-infrastructure wireless networking amplifies that threat surface
further by placing internal vulnerabilities within the reach of external attackers. CritiX is
researching new architectures and automatic mechanisms liable to bring these security
and safety risks down to an acceptable level.
sequencing itself. »Our privacy protection
scheme does not present a bottleneck
for present-generation sequencers, and
can still accommodate significant speed
increase« says Cogo. The researchers
believe this or similar methods should be
routinely integrated into the sequencing
process as soon as possible. »If too little
is done too late, a severe leak may reverse
the public opinion trend to make DNA
sequences public or shareable, and hurt
genomic studies,« Veríssimo cautions.
Prof. Dr. Paulo Veríssimo
SEDAN – Who locked my harddrive?
Contact: Beltran Fiz Pontiveros
Ransomware, which encrypts files and personal data and then demands money in order
to unlock them, has been known for a while. With the emergence of virtual currrencies
like Bitcoin, criminals are beginning to gain the upper hand.
SEDAN in collaboration with Telindus is addressing this topic by developing tools which
correlate known BitCoin addresses participating in scams with advanced analytics on the
blockchain and open source intelligence in order to proactively detect these threats.
Basic research for big data
Scientifically, Radu State lives from large
volumes of data and security for IT net-
works: »We are experiencing an explosive
increase in data that are being exchan-
ged in the Internet and can be used for
controlling more complex systems,« says
the computer scientist. »It is becoming
increasingly important to analyse these
masses of data so that we can manage
them effectively.« Dr. habil. Radu State
has been tackling questions relating to
this since December 2015 with his own
SnT research group called SEDAN, which
stands for Service and Data Management
in Distributed Systems.
The name of the group suggests a strong
application-orientation of Radu State’s
research: »Indeed, we already have
cooperative partnerships with a number
of technology-oriented companies, which
I supervised while I was with the research
group NetLab,« State confirms the impres-
sion. Nevertheless, he feels it important
to stress the basic research aspect: »I can
combine the two together here at SnT –
basic research and application orientation.
This is important because many specific
technological problems can’t be solved
without insights from basic research. And,
vice versa, it is very frustrating if one con-
ducts research for research’s sake without
it leading to any benefit.«
So, what is a tangible benefit, Mr.
State? »One partner of the research
group SEDAN is the Brazilian company
CHOICE, with research and development
in Luxembourg and business activities in
Brazil, Columbia and Turkey,« State names
an example. »CHOICE is specialised in
computer-based systems that can detect
non-technical power losses – through
theft, for example. Newly industrialised
countries like Brazil and other countries in
Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle
East and Asia are undergoing extremely
rapid expansion of their infrastructure,
and their power grids along with it. In
this situation, electric energy suppliers
are confronted with a problem that is
almost unheard of in Western Europe –
losses in power grids as a result of power
theft. CHOICE is specialised in this field.
The company’s technology is based on
algorithms for machine learning, which we
want to improve together.«
CHOICE continuously analyses the data
from supply companies in order to detect
patterns and to predict any theft or
other deviations. If such anomalies are
detected, then controllers onsite inves-
tigate their cause and find out whether
anyone is illegally stealing electricity
or if there are technical reasons. Such
onsite investigations are difficult and
expensive. »Indications of potential
consumption anomalies must therefore be
firmly substantiated, factoring in as many
measurable parameters as possible,«
State explains. »This is where we come
in, because we have great experience in
analysing large volumes of data: CHOICE
has to make very reliable decisions very
quickly based on such masses of data.
This demands new, powerful computer
programs, the algorithms for which we
are working on in SEDAN.«
It is not as simple as merely measuring
power consumption: »Rather, you only
gain evidence of anomalies when you also
take into account the power throughput in
neighbouring grids, climatic data such as
temperature or precipitation, or economic
development – such as the performance of
factories,« Radu State says. »So we need
to develop algorithms that can process
data from numerous sources and even
overlapping data. We can explore and
learn a lot of fundamental things about
computing operations in Big Data from this
example.« Other partners with whom State
is conducting basic research for appli-
cation-oriented topics are, for example,
telecom operator Telindus, Olamobile and
Nexus, an IT security firm. »Data analysis
and data security play a central role in the-
se strategic partnerships,« State asserts.
»The related problems bring us forward
scientifically and have a tangible benefit.«
And what makes managing one’s own
workgroup so exciting, Mr. State? »It’s
the mixture of responsibility and auto-
nomy that fascinates me. I can choose
the subject matter I want to work on next
myself, where most projects are exciting
and challenging. But I can also ensure my
employees, the PhD students and post-
docs are given good working conditions
and enjoy success in their projects.
My aim is for the PhD students now wor-
king with me to get good degrees and to
have good future prospects, and for us to
gain new, committed research associates
for the group. Then we will also publish
good papers and gain new partners from
industry with exciting problems for us to
Dr. habil. Radu State
CHOICE, Olamobile, pEp Security, Rogler
SnT is a leading international research institute with a strong fo-
cus on modern-day information and communication technology
(ICT). Together with its partners, the Centre is helping establish
Luxembourg as a European centre of excellence and innovation
in the field of secure, reliable and trustworthy ICT systems and
services. Following a collaborative research model, SnT con-
ducts long-term strategic projects with partners from industry,
the private sector and ICT start-ups. A key role in this process is
played by SnT’s Partnership Program. In 2015, four new partners
committed themselves to the programme: Choice, Olamobile,
pEp Security and Rogler Software GmbH.
Calls for energy and water conservation are growing strongly;
electric, gas and water utilities are seeking ways to protect their
revenue and reduce waste without large capital investments.
CHOICE provides worldwide innovative solutions for energy
utilities in order to avoid loss, for example from theft of electri-
cal energy. CHOICE experts in loss recovery and computational
intelligence review available data sources and non-technical loss
investigation rules and procedures. Through this shared learning
approach, CHOICE is able to develop utility-specific recommenda-
tions employing highly flexible data analytics solutions. The part-
nership between SnT and CHOICE focuses on Anomaly Detection
and Machine Learning with Big Data Systems.
Olamobile is a performance marketing company which focuses on
CPI (Cost per Install) mobile campaigns, delivering quality users
to app developers who are keen to promote and acquire users for
their products, such as applications or games. Olamobile combines
new methods with advanced data mining and statistical model-
ling technologies to provide users with the most relevant apps.
Olamobile’s platform allows publishers to distribute apps that
will generate more revenue for the publisher, guaranteeing higher
profitability and achieving a much larger sales volume and user
engagement. The partnership between SnT and Olamobile focuses
on Self-learning Predictive Algorithms that match In-App data for
effective Mobile Gaming Monetisation.
pEp Security is a Luxembourg-based small company providing
end-to-end encryption peer-to-peer without central infrastructure.
pEp Security’s objective is to revolutionise the security industry by
making privacy and security available to everyone. The partnership
between SnT and pEp Security focuses on Protocols of Privacy Se-
curity Analysis. The goal of the project is to employ, customise, and
extend automatic tools (e.g. security model checkers like FDR 3,
Proverif and Tamarin) and methodologies (e.g. proofs of security) for
the design and analysis of security of protocols and mechanisms.
ROGLER Software GmbH – active in this market since 1992, with
20 employees and customers in 9 European countries – offers the
ROGLER Software Suite: one of the leading Management Infor-
mation Systems (MIS) and Product Planning Systems (PPS) for all
areas of the printing industry. It is based on the entire company
workflow from CRM, cost accounting and internal paper tracing
to material logistics, goods inspection and quality control. The
central monitor is technoPLAN, an electronic planning board sui-
table for visualising all processes in operation. Together with SnT,
Rogler is focusing on »industry 4.0 concepts« for its professional
software to support process automation in the printing industry
more efficiently in the future.
Encryption made easy
is collaborating with Senior Researcher Dr.
Gabriele Lenzini and other members of the
Applied Security and Information Assurance
(APSIA), led by Prof. Dr. Peter Y. A. Ryan.
They aim to streamline the encryption pro-
cess, making it more accessible to everyone
while still remaining secure against most
Protecting data, preserving its integrity
»Encryption technology doesn’t have to
be just for the tech-savy,« says Lenzini.
»The pEp engineers are doing a great job
designing a system to automatically encrypt
and decrypt information, offering people
the ability to protect their information
seamlessly with peace of mind.«
The key challenge in designing the system
is ensuring the protection and integrity of
data throughout the decryption process.
A streamlined system like this also requires
safeguards to protect against tampering,
so the user is able to know if their security
has been compromised. »The pEp mission
is to provide this privacy by design,« says
Lenzini. »From this aspect, pEp’s enginee-
rs intend to design the encryption code
so it will run on different platforms like
Windows, iOS, and Android and do it in
such a way to preserve the security at the
The team is currently working on metho-
dologies to create protocols proven to be
secure against a myriad of challenges. The
generic term »secure« refers to several
desirable properties like: confidentiality, au-
thentication, and ultimately, privacy. Their
research mission is twofold: the first task
is to provide insurance at the design level,
verifying that the structure is free from
security flaws, and the second is to confirm
that the code generation process does not
introduce undesirable or unexpected flaws.
With the lessened user intervention in
encryption and the automation of its key
management, pEp protects the user’s data
making sure the process is well-secured
with encryption but also tamper proof.
»Given the security threats we face today,
it’s time to start sending our ‘postcards’
inside envelopes again, and taking an
active approach to protecting our data,«
Protecting digital data and sending secure
messages can be a complicated process.
Current methods often involve a series of
steps in order to digitally encrypt inform-
ation and then another series of steps to
later decrypt it. Without the encryption
process, though, it’s like writing messages
on a postcard and doing nothing to protect
the content; anyone can read it.
The situation has not improved much since
the days of postcards, even in the digital
world. Most of us still write e-mails and
send them openly over the Web, often
unaware that strangers with a bit of skills
– and there are many – can read them with
The engineers at PrettyEasyPrivacy (pEp),
a start-up created in Luxembourg in 2014,
think it’s time to do better and to empower
the average user. But because encrypting
is still a complicated process, the pEp team
pEp CEO Leon Schumacher, Dr. Gabriele Lenzini and pEp project director Volker Birk
ETFA 2015: Successful debut in Luxembourg
From cyber-physical production systems to intelligent robots and optimised manufacturing
systems, from industrial communication to resilient high performance clouds in indust-
ry – the scope of the 20th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and
Factory Automation (ETFA) was enormously broad. Organised by a team of SnT researchers
with Prof. Dr. Holger Voos as general co-chair of the conference it was the first time the
ETFA has been hosted in Luxembourg. In September 2015, the conference offered a high
quality technical programme to more than 320 practitioners and researchers from all over
the world. There were keynote and plenary sessions as well as a panel discussion on the
»Prospects for the Growth of Hi-tech Startup Industry Sector in Europe«. Established in
1992, the conference has emerged as one of the most important platforms for reporting
on recent advances and developments in the areas of technology, as well as actual and
potential applications in industrial and factory automation.
Being able to prove authenticity is as crucial
today as in the past. From commerce to
industry to information, the ability to vali-
date and prove a shipment is legitimate is
key to building trust. In the digital world,
e-signatures and encryption methods offer
some reliable answers to matters of online
transactions. But what about the real world?
Solutions that work well for digital assets
may not be enough for physical goods. For
a high value delivery, more is needed.
Historically, low tech methods like signet
rings and wax seals did the job for
centuries. More recently, technologies
like the barcode allow for packages to be
tracked, cross-referenced, and confirmed
Prof. Dr. Jan Lagerwall and Dr. Gabriele
Lenzini have gathered a team to work on
a new technology called Crystal Security,
a new physical means to help validate
transactions between trusted partners.
Lagerwall, a professor of physics at the
Physics and Material Research Unit of the
University of Luxembourg, and Lenzini, a
senior research scientist at SnT, are using
microspheres of cholesteric liquid crystals
to create a more secure »barcode«.
»Through our partnership with Prof. Dr.
Lagerwall’s team, we are utilising the
unique properties of crystals manufactu-
red in the laboratory,« says Lenzini. »The
crystals are very much like snowflakes, no
two are alike and it’s that diversity that
makes them viable for commercial use.«
When exposed to white light, the
crystals reflect light in brilliant patterns
unique to each single sphere arrange-
ment. This produces the foundation of
a physical watermark, which can be
combined with other unique crystals for
an increasingly complex light signature.
Further, batches of crystals can be
layered onto thin films and applied to
a surface, creating an ID patch for an
object. A trusted seller can then take an
image of the micro crystal patch and
securely relay that »confirmation image«
to the customer who will verify when
they receive the shipment using a detec-
tor like a spectrometer.
»A traditional barcode can be tamp-
ered with and even reproduced,« says
Lagerwall. »But because of the immense
diversity of the crystals, they cannot be
replicated and any attempt to tamper with
them would result in telltale damage.«
The key to the crystals’ diversity happens
in the manufacturing process, where post-
doc and Ph.D. candidate team members
are able to adjust different factors like
diameter, polarisation, build materials and
different techniques to produce layers
of unique batches. The spheres are tiny,
measuring only 100 micrometers in dia-
meter (the width of a human hair), which
means that a lot of them can be packed
onto a small area, creating a scannable ID
patch that’s discreet.
These ID patches are well suited for
further development and usage because
they work using regular white light, as
compared to other existing products
which rely on the use of specific wave-
lengths of light like a laser, making the
technology much more expensive and less
available to the masses.
Lenzini is currently working to better
understand the security features of these
crystals that come from the complex
ways in which they cooperatively reflect
light. The laboratory team is also working
to refine the crystals to improve their
transparency and ability to transmit
signals. The work began in late 2015 and
the project will run until early 2018. If
their use as secure ID tokens is confirmed,
a future step in Crystal Security will be
to understand whether they can generate
digital private encryption keys from the
»Looking ahead, we will continue to
assess whether the coloured patterns
are unique to the microsphere crystals
and whether they have some degree of
randomness,« says Lenzini. »If this is
possible, cholesteric crystals can open
up a new avenue of security for both the
physical and digital world; they could
literally become our physical keys to
reading our e-mails while keeping the
APSIA – Simple and intuitive – voter verification
Contact: Prof. Dr. Peter Ryan
Selene is a new coercion-resistant voting system with transparent voter verification. In
Selene voters have unique, private tracker numbers that they can use to look up their vote
on a public web Bulletin Board. This contrasts with previous such systems, that require
voters to handle encrypted receipts.
To avoid coercion threats, voters are notified of their tracker after the trackers and votes
have been posted, giving coerced voters the opportunity to select an alternative tracker
that points to the coercer’s vote.
The Crystal Security team headed by
Dr. Lenzini (far left) and Prof. Dr. Lagerwall
(4th from left)
twofold: »On the one hand, a huge amount
of different situations have to be taken
into account, such as all kinds of weather
conditions, different types of roads, ve-
hicles and pedestrians, intersections, and
buildings.« To test them all would be extre-
mely time-consuming, costly, and probably
infeasible in most cases. «Further, many
test scenarios cannot be successfully tried
in the real world«, Nejati says. »Because
one would have to make a pedestrian or
animal really cross the road while a car is
approaching. This is both dangerous and
That’s why developers rely on virtual test
simulation platforms. They concentrate
their testing budget on the most risky
and critical behaviours that are usually
characterised by multiple system and
environment aspects. The platforms
used are able to simulate various sensor
technologies such as radar, cameras and
GPS, different environmental conditions,
vehicle types, pedestrians and animals.
This enables engineers to analyse how the
driver assistance systems react to the risky
situation under examination.
In current practice, test scenarios executed
on simulation platforms have been
specified manually. The goal of this project
is to develop automated test generation
techniques for the simulation platforms.
The researchers use artificial intelligence
techniques to provide effective guidance
in identifying the most critical simulation
scenarios for feeding the mathematical
testbed models. »To achieve this, we use
a combination of meta-heuristic search
techniques and surrogate models based on
machine learning«, Shiva Nejati explains.
Making use of artificial neural networks,
she and her team have developed a new
kind of multi-objective search algorithm to
identify, in a scalable and efficient way, the
most risky traffic scenarios – which may
lead to an accident.
The SnT researchers demonstrated
promising results for their innovative
search technique using an IEE Night Vision
system. »We were able to develop an
automated test generation algorithm that
identified a number of dangerous traffic
situations, which had not been exercised
by existing software testing scenarios
before«, Nejati reports.
Based on this success, she and her col-
leagues will continue their work together
with IEE: »Our next aim is to improve the
efficiency of the test generation algorithm
by significantly reducing the computational
time required for test simulations.« That
will enable developers to increase the
number of tested scenarios – thus leading
to even higher safety on the roads. And it
will provide a stable basis for ensuring the
dependability of future automatic driving.
Advanced driver assistance systems sup-
port drivers in critical situations and thus
essentially contribute to safety in traffic.
The systems help to keep cars inside the
lane, to maintain safe distance between
cars or to recognise pedestrians crossing
the road – particularly at dawn or by
night. To effectively reduce the road risks,
developers have to ensure a high degree
of reliance of the systems. That is an even
more critical challenge considering future
automatic driving that will transfer the
responsibility for safety from the driver to
technology and software.
A research project at the SnT Software Ve-
rification and Validation Laboratory (SVV),
that was started in January 2015, aims to
enhance the dependability of advanced dri-
ver assistance systems. This is an essential
step in the shift to autonomous cars. Wit-
hin this project, Dr. Shiva Nejati and Raja
Ben Abdessalem, working in the Software
Verification and Validation Laboratory led
by Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand, collaborate with
IEE, a Luxembourg based manufacturing
company producing automotive systems
including driver assistance systems.
»The main difficulty in developing highly
reliable software for such systems is their
sheer number of test scenarios and the
difficulty and cost of executing such scena-
rios«, says Nejati. The reasons for that are
SVV – Extracting metadata from legal texts
Contact: Dr. Mehrdad Sabetzadeh
The SVV Lab has been working in collaboration with CTIE (Centre des Technologies de
l‘Information de l‘Etat) on analysing legal texts in order to provide assistance in compliance
activities. The lab has developed a framework, relying on model-driven engineering and
natural language processing, for extracting metadata from legal texts and transforming
them into navigable documents. The lab is now helping SCL (Service Central de Législation)
in migrating texts from pdf files to web resources.
Dr. Shiva Nejati
Access control for situational-
Hand in hand into the future
Industry is in a state of upheaval. Estab-
lished processes are inevitably yielding
to emerging digital technologies and to
the networking of machines and sensors,
customers and suppliers. »Industrie 4.0«
is already clearly making its mark in the
printing industry as well, with newspapers,
magazines and brochures being produced
on increasingly complex machines.
»Digitalisation and networking offer a
wealth of new possibilities,« says Prof.
Dr. Holger Voos, head of the Automation
& Robotics Research Group at SnT. They
make it possible to record and collect data
and to automate production steps such as
printing, binding and packaging. And they
create a close connection to customers:
»Customers can produce a PDF with the
data of the print product at home and send
it to the print shop,« explains Voos – along
with strict specifications on quantities and
delivery dates. The printing industry must
accordingly be able to manage numerous
orders and production processes more
flexibly than ever.
Together with Rogler Software GmbH from
Langenzersdorf near Vienna, the resear-
chers in Holger Voos’s team are looking
to develop solutions that will make print
shops fit to meet this challenge. SnT and
the Austrian company entered a partners-
hip agreement to this effect at the end
of 2015. Rogler Software is setting up a
dedicated developmental centre near the
institute for this cooperation.
»Our aim is to design new approaches for
maximally adaptable production planning
and control for print shops,« says Voos.
Rather than applying abstract and ultimate-
ly difficult mathematical optimisation
methods, the researchers have embarked
on a new path instead in order to find
methods that are more flexible and easier
to use. One possible approach is employing
a decentralised mechanism like a free
market system – providers and users make
agreements directly with each other – and
to emulate this in the computer.
»Machines will be depicted by digital
representatives, or agents,« Holger Voos
explains. »Every incoming order is also re-
presented by an agent.« Virtual customers
and suppliers then negotiate the sequence
of production steps, calculate prices and
thus reach an optimal utilisation level of
the machine capacities.
»We will test concepts like this not only in
the laboratory,« Voos stresses, »but also
in reality.« To this end, Rogler Software
is mediating contact with customers to
test the novel system in routine print shop
operations. »For our doctoral students,
direct communication with users makes for
enormous added value,« says Voos. Rogler
Software, too, benefits from the partner-
ship: the excellent research infrastructure
and central location in Luxembourg, at the
heart of Europe, are further advantages
for the company. Plus, if the results of the
joint development are right, then they will
open up entirely new perspectives for other
applications outside the printing industry.
Data represent the most important re-
sources of modern enterprises. To protect
them from unauthorised access, secure
and reliable protection mechanisms are
essential. In particular, access control
mechanisms manage which employees are
allowed to access which data and under
which conditions. The most widespread
access control mechanism in enterprise
systems is based on the role-based
access control (RBAC) paradigm. With
RBAC, the access rights of employees are
determined on the basis of their role in
the enterprise. The problem: there exist
different kinds of RBAC policies, indeed,
but until now there has been no unified
framework that can be used to define all
types of RBAC policies in a coherent way,
using a common model. This drawback
impedes the practical usage of RBAC for
defining complex, fine-grained access
control policies in enterprise systems.
Dr. Domenico Bianculli and Ameni Ben
Fadhel, working in the Software Verifica-
tion and Validation Laboratory at SnT, led
by Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand, have succeeded
in developing a comprehensive model for
RBAC. This model, called GemRBAC+CTX,
makes it possible to precisely specify
access control privileges inside an enter-
prise or organisation. »The definition of
this model uses standardised languages
such as the Unified Modelling Language
(UML) and Object Constraint Language
(OCL)«, Bianculli says. By leveraging these
standard technologies, Bianculli and Ben
Fadhel were able not only to specify com-
plex access control requirements, but also
to verify them in existing systems, making
sure that there is no unauthorised access
to critical data.
In this project the SnT team worked to-
gether with security experts from HITEC
Luxembourg – a provider of situational-
aware information systems for emergency
scenarios. In such systems, restricting
access to sensitive and confidential data
is an essential and critical requirement.
With the aid of the model created by the
team in the Software Validation and Veri-
fication Laboratory, the HITEC engineers
were able to precisely express new,
fine-grained access control policies that
take into account the location of users,
and successfully deploy these policies in
the systems they develop.
Prof. Dr. Holger Voos
Ameni Ben Fadhel and Dr. Domenico Bianculli
Smart assistance for
Electric vehicles count as an important
component in a future of clean mobility.
Until now, however, only a small number of
such vehicles have made it onto our roads.
The reason is that e-driving suffers from
several problems and constraints that have
to be solved before a mass market can be
created. Two of these problems are the
low efficiency and high cost of batteries,
demanding better battery technology. »The
main focus of our work is on another im-
portant challenge,« says Amin Sajadi, PhD
student in the SnT Automation & Robotics
research group: »the short range of electric
cars due to the limited battery capacity.«
To cope with the range problem, Sajadi and
his colleagues have developed an advanced
driving assistance system for e-vehicles
based on intelligent digital technology. The
system uses information about the internal
state of the car plus information about
the environment captured by a navigation
system and sensors. A mathematical
algorithm developed by the researchers in
the automation lab adapts the speed of the
vehicle as needed to optimise the driving
»For example, on hilly roads, the system
checks when to accelerate or brake to
achieve a velocity that guarantees it
will overcome the hill with a minimum
consumption of energy,« Sajadi says. Or
when approaching a bend, the electronic
assistance calculates where it is and how
sharp it is in order to take the curve in
the best possible manner. In addition, the
algorithm predicts the proper velocity for
the vehicle when approaching another
speed limit zone.
»We look for the next 15 seconds coming
up,« Sajadi says. Using a Model for
Predictive Control (MPC) approach, the
assistance system predicts upcoming
behaviour and what will happen in front
of the car, and then computes an optimal
input trajectory based on the predictions.
Even uncertain events are taken into
account, Sajadi continues: »For instance,
we don’t know what the car in front of us
will do and how the distance between the
two cars will vary.« Such effects are dealt
with by so-called stochastic MPC, which
construes the constraints probabilistically
and by risk analysis.
At present, the system – which is adapted
specifically to the requirements of electric
driving – works semi-automatically. It
assists the driver, who has only to steer.
For the far future, however, the researchers
have solutions in mind for fully automated
The first ideas for this project were born
some six years ago. Amin Sajadi has been
driving the development onward for two
years. During 2015, he achieved significant
progress. When Sajadi started his PhD
studies, the system was able to save 10 to
15 percent of energy in electric driving – ve-
rified in simulations as well as in test runs
with a smart e-drive vehicle. Since then, the
researcher has improved the performance
enormously to energy savings of up to 30
The reason for this progress is twofold, Sa-
jadi explains: »Firstly, we have improved the
mathematical algorithm such that the calcu-
lation time could be drastically reduced to
only about one millisecond.« Secondly, this
in turn has made it feasible to consider not
only linear but also non-linear behaviour
of the car components, which is computa-
tionally very challenging. An example for
highly complex non-linear behaviour is the
transfer of energy from the battery to the
wheels, which involves many conversion
and interaction processes.
The success in combining all these things in
the development of an intelligent electro-
nic assistant for e-driving is remarkable.
»Normally the battery of an e-Smart has a
range of around 95 kilometres, but with our
system it can be extended up to 125 kilome-
tres,« Amin Sajadi says. With that, he is
well en route to solving the range problem.
Automation & Robotics Research Group – space robotics and space
Contact: Dr. Somasundar Kannan
Together with the partner LuxSpace Sarl., SnT recently finished a study on how to turn
microsatellites into space robots by equipping them with suitable sensors and manipula-
tors. These satellites could be applied for space debris removal or on-orbit servicing such
as refueling of larger satellites. Space robots could also be a contribution of SnT in the
national space resources strategy of Luxembourg. This envisages sending spacecraft to
other objects in space like asteroids, where they would land and mine in order to exploit
resources such as water and minerals.
Distinguished Lectures at SnT
Prof. Dr. Michael Backes (University of
Saarland): Privacy in Tomorrow‘s Internet,
Prof. Dr. Bashar Nuseibeh (Open
University): On Software Engineering
for Privacy in Ubiquitous Computing,
Prof. Dr. Bart De Moor (ESAT-STADI-
US KU Leuven): Serious Data, Serious
Mining, February 2015
Prof. Dr. Jane Cleland-Huang (DePaul
University): Towards Effective Software
and Systems Traceability, March 2015
Prof. Dr. David Basin (ETH Zurich):
Monitoring Policy Compliance, April 2015
Prof. Dr. Bill Roscoe (Oxford University):
What‘s in a game of cards? Options for
programming mobile systems in CSP,
Prof. Dr. Adi Shamir (Weizmann Insti-
tute): Post-Snowden Cryptography, June
Prof. Dr. Mark Harman (University Col-
lege London): Recent Advances in Search
Based Software Testing and Genetic
Improvement, October 2015
Prof. Dr. Alexander Egyed (Johan-
nes Kepler University Linz): Effective
Reuse across Many Variants of Software
Systems – a new Paradigm for Evolvable
Product Lines, November 2015
SnT Partnership Day 2015, June 2015
ETFA 2015: 20th IEEE International
Conference on Emerging Technolo-
gies & Factory Automation by Prof. Dr.
Holger Voos, September 2015
Annual Privacy Forum 2015 by Prof. Dr.
Thomas Engel, October 2015
The Rise of Fintech: Challenges for Law,
Economics, Finance and Technology by
Prof. Dr. Mark D. Cole, October 2015
European Data Forum, November 2015
EAPRIL Conference - European Asso-
ciation for Practitioner Research on
Improving Learning by Prof. Dr. Charles
Max, November 2015
Hagemann, Law Firm Schiweck Weinzierl
Koch, Munich, May 2015
Information Security Education Day
2015 by Prof. Dr. Yves Le Traon, May 2015
Ownership and Liability for Communi-
cation Satellites by Prof. Dr. Mahulena
Hofmann, June 2015
Thought leadership lecture series:
Accountability in the Cloud by Dr. Siani
Pearson, Principal Research Scientist at
Security and Cloud Lab, Hewlett-Packard
Laboratories, July 2015
TTO Training: Writing Effective PoC
Applications by Dr. Jeff Skinner, London
Business School, September 2015
TTO Training: From Proof of Con-
cept to Spin-Off by Dr. Raphaël Frank,
Workshop: Moving Corporate Lear-
ning from Good to GREAT! by Prof. Dr.
Charles Max, November 2015
IEEE SCVT 2015: 22nd IEEE Sym-
posium on Communications and
Vehicular Technology in the Benelux
by Dr. Bhavani Shankar, November 2015
Workshops and Summer Schools
LCSB/ SnT Joint Workshop on Future
Challenges for Biomedical Data Secu-
rity, February 2015
Workshop on Satellite Communica-
tions: Advances in Random Access
& Related Activities by Dr. Symeon
Chatzinotas, March 2015
God and the Rockets by Prof. Dr. Mark
Cole, March 2015
8th IC1004 Training School: from Het-
nets to cloud radio access networks
by Dr. Symeon Chatzinotas, April 2015
TTO Training: Computer-implemented
inventions: The journey from source
code to a European patent by Borys
Princess Léa of Belgium visits SnT
In November 2015 SnT’s director Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten had the honour of
welcoming a very distinguished visitor: HRH Princess Léa of Belgium. The Princess
presided over a diplomatic, economic and academic delegation visiting the University
of Luxembourg and its two interdisciplinary centres, one of them being SnT. The visit
took place as part of Luxembourg’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union
and was organised by the International Diplomatic and Consular Society (CIDIC) in
collaboration with the Federation of Regional Actors in Europe (FEDRA). The delega-
tion focused on the economic and academic leading sectors, in particular »secure and
reliable information, communication and technology systems« and »biomedicine«.
Both areas are within the strategic research focus of the University of Luxembourg.
Paulo Esteves Veríssimo
Governance of SnT
A Centre Advisory Board, chaired by the
President of the University of Luxembourg,
advises the President on the Centre’s
activities (strategy, annual plan, budget,
monitoring, review, etc.).
A Scientific Advisory Board reviews the
Centre‘s activities and provides input and
recommendations on future activities. The
Director is appointed by the University’s
Board of Governors and is responsible for
Centre Advisory Board
President University of Luxembourg, chair
Vice-President University of Luxembourg
CTO SES S.A.
Director POST Telecom
Premier Conseiller de Gouvernement, SMC
Chief Enginieer, Delphi
Yves Le Traon
SnT Vice Director
SnT management team
Head of SnT Office
2015 SnT expenses (in kEUR)
2015 SnT consumed income (in kEUR)
UL (University of Luxembourg)
FNR (Fonds National de la Recherche)
EU/ESA (European Union/European
Representation and registration
680 (5%) 1,015 (7%)
SnT 2011-2015 consumed income per source (in kEUR)
UL Partners EU/ESA FNR Other
SnT 2011-2015 expenses per category (in kEUR)
Investments Travel Repres. &
SnT 2011-2015 expenses per funding source (in kEUR)
0 2,000 4,000 6,000
8,000 10,000 12,000
2,730 1,351 852 3,592 84
2,338 1,053 186 1,550 21
3,444 1,811 1,086 5,046 226
3,488 1,966 866 6,144 182
4,933 2,499 1,165 6,353 31
Heads of SnT research groups
· OTTERSTEN, Björn, Prof. Dr., Director
· BRIAND, Lionel , Prof. Dr., Vice-Director
· BIRYUKOV, Alex, Prof. Dr.
· ENGEL, Thomas, Prof. Dr.
· LE TRAON, Yves, Prof. Dr.
· RYAN, Peter, Prof. Dr.
· STATE, Radu, Dr.
· VERÍSSIMO, Paulo, Prof. Dr.
· VOOS, Holger, Prof. Dr.
· BOUVRY, Pascal, Prof. Dr.
· COLE, Mark, Prof. Dr.
· HOFMANN, Mahulena, Prof. Dr.
· KELSEN, Pierre, Prof. Dr.
· LEPREVOST, Franck, Prof. Dr.
· MARTIN, Romain, Prof. Dr.
· MAUW, Sjouke, Prof. Dr.
· MAX, Charles, Prof. Dr.
· SACHAU, Jürgen, Prof. Dr.
· VAN DER TORRE, Leon, Prof. Dr.
· VITI, Francesco, Prof. Dr.
· KLEIN, Jacques, Dr.
· LENZINI, Gabriele, Dr.
· SABETZADEH, Mehrdad, Dr.
· AOUADA, Djamila, Dr.
· CHATZINOTAS, Symeon, Dr.
· KOENIG, Vincent, Dr.
· NEJATI, Shiva, Dr.
· PANCHENKO, Andriy, Dr.
· PANG, Jun, Dr.
· SHANKAR, Bhavani, Dr.
· AGUILERA GONZÁLEZ, Adriana, Dr.
· ALLIX, Kevin, Dr.
· ALODEH, Maha, Dr.
· ANDRENACCI, Stefano, Dr.
· AVANESOV, Tigran, Dr.
· BARTOLINI, Cesare, Dr.
· BEZZAOUCHA, Souad, Dr.
· BIANCULLI, Domenico, Dr.
· BISSYANDE, Tegawendé, Dr.
· CAIRE, Patrice, Dr.
· CASSAGNES, Cyril, Dr.
· PASTORE, Fabrizio, Dr.
· PENANNEN, Harri, Dr.
· POPLETEEV, Andrei, Dr.
· RAHLI, Vincent, Dr.
· RIENSTRA, Tjitze, Dr.
· ROBALDO, Livio, Dr.
· ROBERT, Jérémy, Dr.
· ROCHA, Francisco, Dr.
· ROSICH, Albert, Dr.
· SANNIER, Nicolas, Dr.
· SASNAUSKAS, Raimondas, Dr.
· SHAR, Lwin Khin, Dr.
· SHARMA KRISHNA, Shree, Dr.
· SIRRES, Raphaël
· SOLTANALIAN, Mojtaba, Dr.
· SONG, Ju-Youn, Dr.
· TANG, Qiang, Dr.
· TANTAR, Alexandru Dr.
· TANTAR, Emilia Dr.
· TSINOS, Christos, Dr.
· VELICHKOV, Vesselin, Dr.
· VÖLP, Marcus, Dr.
· WANG, Lin, Dr.
· WU, Yining, Dr.
· ZIAFATI, Pouyan
· AFZAL, Hassan
· AL ISMAEIL, Kassem
· ALBANESE, Claudia
· AMBROSSIO, Diego Agustin
· ANNAIYAN, Arun
· APPELT, Dennis
· ARORA, Chetan
· ATASHPENDAR, Arash
· BEN ABDESSALEM, Raja
· BEN FADHEL, Ameni
· BILIBIN, Ilya
· BOECHAT, Andre
· BRONZI, Walter
· BRUEHL, Manuel
· CALDEIRA LIMA, Antonio
· CHENAL, Massimo
· CODECA, Lara
· COLOMBO TOSATTO, Silvano
· CORREA, Bahnsen Alejandro
· DELERUE ARRIAGA, Afonso
· DEMISSE, Girum
· DENTLER, Jan
· DERRMANN, Thierry
· DI DONNA, Simone
· CASTIGNANI, German, Dr.
· CHRISTOPOULOS, Dimitrios, Dr.
· CRAMER, Marcos, Dr.
· CUNHA DE ALMEIDA, Eduardo, Dr.
· DERBEZ, Patrick, Dr.
· DOLBERG, Lautaro, Dr.
· EL KATEB, Donia, Dr.
· EMERAS, Joseph, Dr.
· FAYE, Sébastien, Dr.
· FERREIRA, Ana, Dr.
· FOUQUET, François, Dr.
· GADYATSKAYA, Olga, Dr.
· GERARD, Benjamin, Dr.
· GHEORGHE, Gabriela, Dr
· GIURGIU, Andra, Dr.
· GNIEWEK, Alicja, Dr.
· GOKNIL, Arda, Dr.
· GONCALVES ALMEIDA ANTUNES, Michel, Dr.
· GUZEK, Mateusz, Dr.
· HACK, Nathalie
· HENARD, Christopher, Dr.
· IOVINO, Vincenzo, Dr.
· JHAWAR, Ravi, Dr.
· JOSTOCK, Markus, Dr.
· KANNAN, Somasundar, Dr.
· KANTOR, Miroslaw, Dr.
· KAYHAN, Farbod, Dr.
· KIM, Dongsun, Dr.
· KLIAZOVICH, Dzmitry, Dr.
· KUBLER, Sylvain, Dr.
· LADID, Latif
· LAGUNAS, Eva Dr.
· LANCRENON, Jean, Dr.
· LANZE, Fabian, Dr.
· LI, Yumei, Dr.
· LOUVETON, Nicolas, Dr.
· LUCIA, Lucia, Dr.
· MACHALEK, Aurel
· MALEKI, Sina, Dr.
· MAZZALI, Nicolò, Dr.
· McCALL, Rod, Dr.
· MELAKESSOU, Foued, Dr.
· MUSIAL, Jedrzej, Dr.
· NAIN, Gregory, Dr.
· NAVEH, David, Dr. (from 01/07/2015)
· NGUYEN, Duy Cu, Dr.
· OLIVARES MENDEZ, Miguel Angel, Dr.
· OUCHANI, Samir, Dr.
· PALATTELLA, Maria Rita, Dr.
· PAN, Lin, Dr.
· PAPADAKIS, Michail, Dr.
Senior research scientists
· DI NARDO, Daniel
· DINU, Dumitru-Daniel
· DOU, Wei
· DU, Manxing
· FALK, Eric
· FELTES, Florian
· FIANDRINO, Claudio
· FIZ PONTIVEROS, Borja Beltran
· FORSTER, Markus
· GHARANJIK, Ahmad
· GHARBI, Nasser
· GIESE, Mark Otto
· GIUTOLISI, Rosario
· GOTTMANN, Susann
· HAJRI, Ines
· HAMMERSCHMIDT, Christian
· HAMMES, Christian
· HARTMANN, Thomas
· HUMPHREYS, Llio
· HURIER, Médéric
· HUYNEN, Jean-Louis
· JAFARNEJAD, Sasan
· JAN, Sadeeq
· JIMENEZ, Matthieu
· KALANTARI, Ashkan
· KIEFFER, Emmanuel
· KRACHEEL, Martin
· KREUTZ, Diego
· LE, Ha Thanh
· LI, Daoyuan
· LI, Li
· LIU, Bing
· LOPEZ BECERRA, José Miguel
· LOUNIS, Karim
· MADDOURI, Sami
· MARCHAL, Samuel
· MARTINEZ PERDIGUERO, Jabier
· MATINNEJAD, Reza
· MEIRA, Jorge
· MENGALI, Alberto
· MOAWAD, Assaad
· MOULINE, Ludovic
· MOUTON, Maximilien
· NACHTIGALL, Nico
· NESHVAD, Surena
· NGUYEN, Anh Quan
· NGUYEN, Phu H.
· NORTA, David
· OUAFO, Lambo Adrienne
· PEJO, Balazs
· PEREZ URQUIDI, Miguel José
· PERRIN, Léo Paul
· PIAZZA, Roberto
· PIERINA BRUSTOLIN SPAGNUELO, Dayana
· POLITIS, Christos
· POURMOGHADDASLANGROUDI, Ameneh
· QUINTANAR GUZMAN, Serket
· RUBAB, Iram
· SAJADI ALAMDARI, Amin Seyed
· SANCHEZ GUINEA, Alejandro
· SIGNORELLO, Salvatore
· SKROBOT, Marjan
· SOLTANA, Ghanem
· SPANO, Danilo
· STEICHEN, Mathis
· TABATABAEI, Masoud
· THOME, Julian
· TSAKMALIS, Anestis
· UDOVENKO, Aleksei
· VAN ZEE, Marc
· WANG, Chunhui
· WANG, Jun
· ADEDJOUMA, Morayo
· ARCURI, Andrea, Dr.
· CHERKAOUI, Omar
· DE WACHTER, Hannes
· IQBAL, Zohaib, Dr.
· JOHANNESSON, Karl
· KENNY, Steve
· NAVEH, David (up to 30/06/2015)
· ORMAZABAL, Gaston
· SPANIOL, Otto
· VON SCHEFFER, Guido
· ZHENG, Gan
· ZURAD, Macieij Marcin Zurad
· ANNET, Stéphanie, Communications and
· BETRY, Laurent, Head of Administration
and Support/Financial Controller
· CHESNAY, Isabelle, Project Coordinator
· EDWARDSDOTTIR, Helga, Administrative
· FANK, Elise, Administrative Assistant
· FUHRER, Pierre, Project Coordinator
· GALLO, Marie-France, HR Assistant
· GUGAN, Daniel, Project Coordinator
· HANS, Dirk, Communication (freelance)
· KINET, Christine, Administrative Assistant
· LAGROST, Céline, Project Coordinator
· LAMPE, Sigmar, Technology Transfer Officer
· LAROCHE, Corinne, Administrative Assistant
· MARTIN, Magali, Administrative Assistant
· OCHSENBEIN, Anne, Dr., Project Coordinator
· ÖSTLUND, Stefanie, Project Coordinator
· PETIT, Cécile, Dr., Project Coordinator
· SCHWEITZER, Jean, Dr., Project Develop-
· THUR, Claudia, Administrative Assistant
· VOOS, Mia, Administrative Assistant
· AFSHARI, Saeed
· DUNLOP, Dominic
· FERNANDES CARDOSO, Gilberto
· KORDY, Piotr
· NEY, Marco
· WANG, Husen
· ALLIO, Nicholas, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
· BRORSSON, Mats, KTH Royal Institute of
· BROWNE ROENNE, Peter, Inria Nancy, France
· BUDA, Andrea, Aalto University, Finland
· CECCATO, Mariano, Fondazione Bruno
· EWERLING, Stéphane, International School
of IT-Security of Bochum, Germany
· HURKALA, Adam, Warsaw University of
· HURKALA, Jaroslaw, Warsaw University of
· KAUSHIK, Ankit, Karlsruhe Institute of
· KRZYSZTOF, Daniluk, Warsaw University of
· PHILIPPOV, Anton, University of Trento, Italy
· WILLEMSE, Tim, Eindhoven University of
· ZEBROWSKI, Karol, Warsaw University of
· ZIADI, Tewfik, Université Pierre et Marie
· ZOTKIEWICZ, Mateusz, Warsaw University
of Technology, Poland
SnT researcher Dr. Miguel Mendez
received the EUSFLAT Best PhD Thesis
Award. At the 9th Conference of the Euro-
pean Society for Fuzzy Logic and Techno-
logy (EUSFLAT), held in July 2015 in Gijón,
Spain, Dr. Miguel Mendez received the
award for his thesis »Soft-Computing Based
Visual Control for Unmanned Vehicles«,
exploiting the use of Fuzzy Logic to control
unmanned vehicles using vision sensors.
SnT researcher Dr. Shree Krishna
Sharma received the FNR Award for
Outstanding PhD Thesis 2015. The award
amounts to 5,000 euros. The main research
problem considered in Sharma´s thesis is
the inefficient usage of the radio frequen-
cies used in wireless communication
applications with the emphasis on Satellite
Communications (SatCom). The project
was carried out in collaboration with SES,
Luxembourg, with financial support from
the AFR-PPP grant of the Fonds National de
la Recherche, Luxembourg.
SnT researchers Dr. Raphaël Frank
and Dr. German Castignani won
the competition »Mind & Market«
organised by Deloitte, the University of
Luxembourg, the Fonds National de la
Recherche (FNR), Luxinnovation and Mind
& Market Belgium.
SnT scientist Prof. Dr. Leon van der
Torre was appointed ECCAI fellow.
ECCAI – the European Coordinating
Committee for Artificial Intelligence – is
the representative body for the European
Artificial Intelligence community. Its aim
is to promote the study, research and
application of Artificial Intelligence in Eu-
rope. The ECCAI Fellows program singles
out scientists who have made significant,
sustained contributions to the field of
Artificial Intelligence in Europe.
Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand was the recipient
of the Most Influential Paper of ICSE
2015 award. This award is presented at
each ICSE conference to the authors of the
paper considered most influential over the
previous 10 years since its original publica-
tion. For his paper entitled »Is Mutation an
Appropriate Tool for Testing Experiments?«
together with co-author Jamie Andrews
(Google Inc.), Briand received the prestigi-
ous award at ICSE 2015, the 37th Internati-
onal Conference on Software Engineering,
which was held in Florence, Italy, from 16
to 24 May 2015.
SnT researcher Dr. Michail Papadakis
received a Microsoft Azure Research
Award. Over a period of 12 months
Papadakis will develop a software analysis
tool the Microsoft Azure Platform. Azure is
a cloud computing platform and infra-
structure. It is used to build, deploy and
manage applications and services through
a global network of Microsoft-managed
SnT researcher Dr. Domenico Bian-
culli received the »Best Reviewer
Award« at ESEC/FSE 2015. The 10th
Joint Meeting of the European Software
Engineering Conference and the ACM
SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations
of Software Engineering was held in
Effective Test Suites for Mixed Discrete-
Continuous Stateflow Controllers
Reza Matinnejad, Dr. Shiva Nejati, Prof.
Dr. Lionel Briand, Thomas Bruckmann, 10th
Joint Meeting of the European Software
Engineering Conference and the ACM
SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of
Software Engineering, Bergamo, Italy
Graphical Cues Effectively Inform
Users? A Socio-technical Security
Study in Accessing WiFi Networks
Jean-Louis Huynen, Dr. Ana Ferreira, Dr.
Vincent Koenig, Dr. Gabriele Lenzini, Sal-
vador Rivas, 3rd International Conference
on Human Aspects of Information Security,
Privacy and Trust (HAS 2015), Los Angeles,
Real–Time Non–Rigid Multi–Frame
Depth Video Super–Resolution
Kassem Al Ismaeil, Dr. Djamila Aouada,
Thomas Solignac, Bruno Mirbach, Prof. Dr.
Björn Ottersten, MSF 2015 - IEEE/ISPRS
2nd Joint Workshop on Multi-Sensor
Fusion for Dynamic Scene Understanding,
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Cooperative Spectrum Sensing for
Heterogeneous Sensor Networks
Using Multiple Decision Statistics
Dr. Shree Krishna Sharma, Dr. Symeon
Chatzinotas, Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten,
CROWNCOM 2015 – International
Conference on Cognitive Radio Oriented
Wireless Networks, Doha, Qatar
A study on ethical aspects and legal
issues in e-learning
Stefanie Östlund, Dr. Andriy Panchenko,
Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel, E-learning 2015
International Conference, Berlin, Germany
Ongoing partnered projects 2015
Project Principal investigator PhD student Partner
Transmission and Reception Techniques for Smart Gateways in Next Gene-
ration Satellite Systems
Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Ahmad Gharanjik SES / FNR-AFR
Spectrum Management and Interference Mitigation in Cognitive Hybrid
Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Anestis Tsakmalis SES / FNR-CORE
Satellite Sensor Networks for spectrum monitoring Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Christos Politis SES / FNR-CORE
Advanced Signal Processing techniques for satellite communications Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Alberto Mengali SES / FNR-AFR
Broadband/Broadcast Convergence through Intelligent Caching in 5G
Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Danilo Spano SES / FNR-AFR
Model translation and Model Visualisation Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel Susann Gottmann SES / FNR-AFR
Refactoring and Semantical Correctness Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel Nico Nachtigall SES / FNR-AFR
Model-based Regression Testing Strategies Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Daniel Di Nardo SES / FNR-AFR
Model-Driven Requirements Engineering to ensure Consistency Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Chetan Arora SES / FNR-AFR
Vehicular Software and Sensor Systems
Cost-Effective Automated Test Case Generation in Automotive Embedded
Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Reza Matinnejad Delphi / FNR-AFR
Automated Debugging and Fault Localization of Matlab/Simulink Models Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Bing Liu Delphi / FNR-AFR
Requirements-Based Test Generation for Embedded Systems Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Chunhui Wang IEE
Automated Model-based Support for Change Impact Analysis in Automotive
Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Sami Maddouri Delphi
Automating Regression Test Selection for Requirements-based Testing in
Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Ines Hajri IEE / FNR-AFR
Multi-View Sensor Fusion Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Hassan Afzal IEE / FNR-CORE
VICO – Vision-based Control of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Prof. Dr. Holger Voos Arun Annaiyan Lux Army / FNR-AFR
Traceability from requirements to design to support context-driven testing of
embedded software systems
Prof. Dr. Lionel Briand Raja Ben Abdessalem IEE
Optimized Design and Modeling for Automotive Radar Systems Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Nasser Gharbi IEE
Radar Waveform design for Automotive Applications Prof. Dr. Björn Ottersten Christian Hammes IEE
Individual awards Best Paper Awards
Networked and Autonomous Vehicles
Advanced Vehicle Routing in Urban Environments Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel Lara Codeca POST / FNR-AFR
Incentives and Game Design concepts to change driver behavior Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel Martin Kracheel POST / FNR-CORE
Security of Embedded and Distributed Vehicular Systems Prof. Dr. Thomas Engel Sasan Jafarnejad POST