Professional Details

Hello!

I am a Postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge where I spend my time analyzing the security of systems (software and otherwise) in order to make them more robust. I am the founder of OpenOrigins where we are trying to find solutions to the ever growing problem of fake videos. I also work as a security engineer at Jitsuin. I completed my PhD with Professor Ross Anderson at Cambridge. Before moving here, I worked as a researcher at ETH Zurich where I also finished my Master’s under the supervision of Prof Srdjan Capkun and Dr. Kari Kostiainen.

I am interested in all aspects, technical and social, of privacy, provenance and security engineering. I think designing systems that preserve these requires more than good code, it requires an understanding of economics, law and human behaviour. This is why I try to take a broad view of the various forces tugging at computer systems in my research.

Since August 2019, I’ve used Mansoor Ahmed-Rengers as my name professionally. Unfortunately, ancient bureaucratic traditions force me to use Mansoor Ahmed at times, in case you were wondering why some of my publications have a different name.


Academic Publications

Textbook: Permissioned Blockchains In Action

I am the author of Permissioned Blockchains In Action published by Manning Publishers. It is a tool-agnostic guide to creating innovative applications using blockchain technology. I have tried to take readers into a technically deep discussion about permissioned blockchains while not sticking too tightly to any one framework. The end-result, I hope, is a book with a long shelf life that will be useful long after today’s frameworks have been replaced.

The print version is due to come out in the first quarter of 2021 possibly with a different publisher.

Academic Papers

Patents

I am the inventor of three patent applications. I will update this page when they’re approved with details.

Invited Talks

  • DMapp: Decentralized mapping solutions, Future of Blockchain competition, 2019; Winner of Zilliqa challenge
  • Privacy in a Mass Surveillance World, University of Amsterdam, 2018
  • On The Future of Cryptocurrencies, University of Amsterdam, 2018
  • Panel Discussion: Future trends for blockchains, Inaugration of Cambridge Blockchain Society, 2018
  • Identity Management in Hyperledger, Hyperledger session at Open Source Summit (OSS) Europe, Edinburgh, 2018
  • Access Control in Hyperledger projects, Hyperledger Europe meetup, Cambridge, 2018

Other Contributions To Academia

Teaching

I have supervised the following courses:

  • Economics, Law and Ethics
  • Software and Security Engineering
  • Security II
  • Concurrent and Distributed Computing
  • Operating Systems

In addition, I have supervised the capstone project for part II students.

Media Coverage

I have written articles for a few media outlets. Below is an incomplete list of media coverage of my research, some written by me but most without my involvement:

Apart from these, I am a semi-frequent contributor to the Cambridge security blog series, Light Blue Touchpaper. You can find my contributions to that here.

Program Committees

I am on the program committee for the 2020 edition of the New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW). I have previously reviewed papers for Financial Cryptography (FC 2019) and USENIX Security (2016).


Non-Academic Work Experience

In addition to my academic work, I’ve had the privilege to work with the following organisations.

  • Jitsuin (Nov 2018 – present): I was employee number 1 at Jitsuin where I’ve helped design the backend infrastructure and security strategy from the ground up. I am currently a security engineer there, alongside my PhD and textbook writing.
  • NCipher Security (Feb 2018 – Nov 2018): I was part of the skunkworks team here working on experimental security solutions.
  • ETH Zürich (May 2015 – June 2017): I worked in two different capacities there: first as a part time economics researcher for the MTEC department and second as a full time security researcher in the Computer Science department. We designed a system for rollback prevention for Intel SGX which resulted in a publication that has garnered more than a hundred citations.
  • Paul Scherrer Institute (May 2013 – Aug 2013): This was an internship focused on designing modules for and updating a personnel scheduling and safety system.
  • AIESEC Donetsk (Jun 2011 – July 2011): This pedagogical internship mainly comprised of teaching English to middle school students at a summer camp and the staff of the then-upcoming UEFA Euro championships.

Education

  • University of Cambridge (2017 – present): PhD in Computer Science
  • ETH Zürich (2014 – 2016): MSc. in Computer Science
  • Manipal Institute of Technology (2010 – 2014): B.E. Information Technology

Outside The Lab

I am President of the Cambridge Blockchain Society, a student-run organisation aimed at bringing the surprisingly large blockchain community in Cambridge together.

Writing is a passion of mine. I run the Cambridge Creative Writing Sessions weekly. If you’re in Cambridge and like to write, or just meet writers, do drop by!

I formerly served as the Academic Officer at the Graduate Union and as the BME officer for Queens’ MCR


Contact & External Links

Email addresses:

  • Academic: mansoor.ahmed AT cl.cam.ac.uk
  • Other: mansoor AT ahmed-rengers.com.