I am Steve Kerrison, Senior Lecturer in Cybersecurity at James Cook University Singapore. Prior to now, I've been:
- CTO at MICROSEC
- Research Scientist at A*STAR's ARTC
- Senior Research and Teaching Associate at the University of Bristol
- MEng and PhD student at the University of Bristol
- Consultant sysadmin and web developer
- Technology journalist
- Customer and technician phone support for a central heating company
- Cyber Cafe attendant
So, having worked in the tech industry for twenty years, I guess I've always been interested in technology!
In my spare time I'm a dancer, mostly Salsa and also Bachata. It keeps me fit and healthy in both body and mind, and is socially engaging. Singapore has a great latin dance community. I do most of my training with Dance Channel and also JJ Dance Movement. Dance Channel organises charity recital events, and it's fantastic fun preparing for and participating in them. In previous years, I've performed in the Singapore Bachata Flashmob as part of International Bachata Day. In 2019, all the volunteers helped raise over S$1900 for Singapore's National Kidney Foundation, after performing at Clarke Quay and along Orchard Road, and in conjunction with a series of workshops. In 2018, a group of us from the flashmob also performed it at Singapore Latin Extravaganza. Hopefully, post-COVID, more of such opportunities will appear again.
In addition to my PhD and MEng from the University of Bristol, I'm also a Scrum.org Certified Professional Scrum Master (PSM-I) and hold CISSP & CCSP certifications with my (ISC)2 membership.
A brief history
For three years I worked at MICROSEC, a Singapore-based startup delivering cyber-security solutions and services for IoT devices. I designed solution architectures and lead teams of embedded, full-stack and machine-learning engineers all of whom worked to create MICROSEC's technologies. In my time there I rose to the position of CTO.
I was a Research Scientist in the Smart Manufacturing Group at ARTC, the Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre, part of A*STAR, Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research. My work was to help Singapore lead the way in developing the Factories of the Future, where I focused on network infrastructure, embedded systems, and data analytics.
Up to 2017 I was a Senior Research Associate in the Microelectronics Research Group at the University of Bristol. I was attached to the EMC2 project, working on predictable networks for mixed-criticality embedded multi-core systems, as well as the ICT-Energy coordination action, which brings together industry and academia all looking to educate for and enact a reduction in global ICT energy consumption. Here's a neat video overview of ICT-Energy. As part of this activity, I co-authored a book chapter, titled Measuring Energy, in the book ICT - Energy Concepts for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability.
Prior to the above, my research project was ENTRA: Whole Systems Energy Transparency. I have also directed teaching units for Bristol's MSc Computer Science degree programme, preparing and delivering upwards of twenty lectures per unit. I have a PhD in Computer Science and a 1st Class MEng in Computer Systems Engineering (Computer Science & Electronics) from the University of Bristol.
In my position at JCUS, the areas I'm most interested in are:
- Bringing stronger, enterprise-like security into the home and other consumer settings
- Protecting ecological assets with cybersecurity
- Keeping people and data safe as the exponential growth of IoT continues
In September 2015 I was awarded my PhD. My thesis is titled Energy modelling of multi-threaded, multi-core software for embedded systems. It is available online in several formats under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License:
- Standard PDF
- Coloured hyperlinks, 5MiB.
- Print PDF
- Black hyperlinks, 5MiB.
- Monolithic HTML
- Single embedded document, 7MiB, produced with pdf2htmlEX.
- Paginated HTML
- One HTML file per PDF page, 7.4MiB, produced with pdf2htmlEX.
A full list of my publications and related activities can be found on Research Gate.
The first year of my PhD took my research into a Bristol-local chip company called XMOS. The company makes innovative high performance multi-threaded & multi-core embedded processors with an instruction set that gives you direct control over many aspects of I/O, allowing you to do in software what previously required a separate ASIC, IP block or FPGA. I used their architecture as a case study for my software energy modelling techniques.
My work on EMC2 focused on SystemVerilog Assertions and Formal Verification, as well as communication scheduling. The work involves a Network-on-Chip architecture design targeting a Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA, utilising RISC V cores, in particular the PicoRV32, because a lot of them fit onto a single FPGA.
Sysadmin & development
Prior to moving to Singapore, I was also a self employed web developer and systems administrator with nearly ten years of experience in developing for high traffic environments, principally within the Unix/Apache/PHP/MySQL stack, but also with experience in Nginx (moreso than Apache these days) and Memcached. I used to use FreeBSD servers a lot and have experience with ZFS on both FreeBSD and OpenSolaris (NexentaCore), as well as now on Linux. In addition, I have an appreciation of infrastructure issues that are overlooked by those with less experience.
I am also familiar with cloud services, particularly OpenStack and Amazon Web Services, which I've been using for some years. Key concepts include load balancing, RDS, auto-scaling and devops, including CI/CD and containerisation. I've built High-Availability OpenStack installations, which combines a lot of the skills I've acquired over the years. It's great to see the amount of automation that's now possible in devops, compared to what we could do a few years ago.
As is abundantly clear from this page, I am not a graphic designer. I can make things look nice, particularly when working with visually creative people, but it seemed a bit unnecessary for this web page. I recently added some CSS to this page to use the LaTeX favourite Computer Modern font family. If you want to do the same, it's quite simple. My only regret is that loading this page is no longer a single HTTP request.
I've looked after systems and services for BOXFX, a video production & graphics design company, as well as HEXUS, an online technology publication with millions of monthly visits. Both are part of The Media Team family of businesses.
Additionally, I have also worked with Snap Fashion, part of Snap Tech, a web start-up that combines an amazing piece of image processing technology (created by the founder) with a fashion shopping portal. I was involved since its infancy and was responsible for server infrastructure as well as optimisation of the technology at the heart of Snap Fashion.
Back in 2010/11 I did some work on a Linux driver for the PCTV nanoStick T2 290e; a USB DVB-T2 (Freeview HD) tuner. I occasionally get e-mails about this work to this day, which is nice.
My favourite programming language is Python. I'm also well versed in C, mostly thanks to the large amount of low-level work I've done in the past. As a researcher, and building upon the programming philosophy I learned as an undergraduate, I can adapt to any language thrown my way, from a new assembly language to a DSL.
Get in touch
If you would like to contact me, then please email me. Take a guess at what my e-mail address is. It's very likely you'll get it right. Alternatively, visit my LinkedIn profile and connect with me. Finally, feel free to take a look at my work on GitHub, but please note that not all of my coding activities are public, mostly for IP reasons rather than shame.