Designs high-performance, energy-efficient computer systems that are invulnerable to cybersecurity attacks

Amro Awad,

Assistant Professor

Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering

407-823-1304

Office; Harris Engineering Center, Room 339A

He is Also:

Director of the Secure and Advanced Computer Architecture (SACA) Lab at UCF

My work uncovers new ways to build systems for the next generation: secure, energy-efficient and high performing exascale supercomputers.

Research

Computer architects design the processors that power today’s data-driven world. As computers leverage this data, its memory systems become increasingly vital to the security and operation of systems. Awad’s research aims to help data safe over shared networks using secure architecture, keeping memory systems protected through encryption, obfuscation and efficient data verification schemes. His work on non-volatile memory technologies explores how to optimize the performance of devices that use this technology in their operating systems. Awad also researches security for the Internet of Things, exploring methods to keep devices safe from malicious intent while optimizing performance.

Societal Impact

Awad develops computer systems that can be defended against channel attacks, hardware intrusion, data tampering and other such cyberattacks without sacrificing performance. His novel approaches have garnered attention and funding from Department of Defense agencies, as well as national laboratories. In addition, Awad’s current project for Navy Warfare Centers explores how computer systems can be designed to be more deterministic, promoting more consistent performance. Because the military relies on precision to coordinate its operations, the inconsistency of even one second in a weapons system can severely impact an engagement. Awad’s research this area aims to create high-performing, reliable systems that can trusted to help keep our nation safe.

Graduate Students and Achievements

Awad is currently advising nine Ph.D. students. He is especially proud of his students’ most recent accomplishment: two out of the 50 papers accepted at the prestigious International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in 2019 were submitted by Kazi Abu Zubair and Mao Ye, Ph.D. students in his research group. The ISCA typically has a paper acceptance rate of just 17 percent.

 

Education

Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University

M.S. in Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University

B.S. from Jordan University of Science and Technology

Courses He Teaches

Computer Architecture

Advanced Secure Architecture

Advanced Memory Systems

Laboratory

Secure and Advanced Computer Architecture (SACA) Research Group at UCF

Discoveries/Publication Highlights

Awards/Grants

Most recently, Awad’s team was awarded a grant from DARPA/SPAWAR to investigate novel secure processor architectures. This three-year $1.12M project aims to explore efficient implementations of novel secure architectures through hardware prototyping.