Abertay University enjoyed double success at the 2021 Scottish Cyber Awards with awards going to a key academic staff member and a recent graduate.
Colin McLean, who has been integral in building Abertay’s reputation as a pioneer in the field of Ethical Hacking, was named Cyber Educator of the year, while alum Sarah Cunningham was named Outstanding Woman in Cyber.
A certified ethical hacker and trained internal and external systems penetration tester, Dr McLean joined Abertay’s teaching staff in 1990 and worked as a medical robotics engineer and as a programmer at ABS (Advanced Biometric Systems).
He has been involved in two highly successful knowledge transfer partnerships: one related to encryption within an ATM environment and the other to the security of network ATMs.
His research interests include penetration testing, web application testing and malware analysis.
Sarah Cunningham is a former president of Abertay’s Ethical Hacking Society, which organises the annual Securi-Tay conference in Dundee. She now works in the cybersecurity industry as an Information Security Consultant.
Dr Natalie Coull, Head of the Division of Cybersecurity at Abertay University said: “On behalf of all associated with Abertay I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to Colin and Sarah.
“Colin is an essential member of Abertay’s academic team and he has played a key role in building our Ethical Hacking programme and, in turn, forging the University’s international reputational for excellence in the field of cybersecurity. His award is hugely deserved.
“Sarah was an outstanding student during her time with us at Abertay and I’m really pleased she’s achieved this industry-recognition so early in her career. I have no doubt she will continue on to even bigger and better things.”
The awards cap off a successful year for Abertay which has seen work begin on the new cyberQuarter cybersecurity research and development hub which is funded through the Tay Cities Region Deal.
The hub, which has already created 30 new jobs for Dundee through the location of NHS National Services Scotland cyber operations at the site, will be based in the Annie Lamont Building when it opens early next year.