Accepting PhD Students


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Personal profile

Academic Biography

I am a senior lecturer in Cybersecurity at the School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies. My main research interests are languages and tools for security and applied formal methods for security.

I hold a PhD in Computer Science from Ca' Foscari University Venice, Italy, an MSc in Computer Science from University of Udine, Italy and a PGCert in Academic Practice from University of Sunderland, UK.

Before joining Teesside University, I worked as a lecturer at the University of Sunderland, as a post-doctoral research associate at Newcastle University where I contributed to the EU FutureID project. I have been a visiting researcher at the Technical University of Denmark and Telcordia Technologies (USA).

I have also worked as a teacher of Computer Science for the Italian Ministry of Education, as an IT senior officer for the Italian Revenue Agency and as an IT security advisor for the European Union CAFAO mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a licensed professional engineer.

Summary of Research Interests

My main research interests are languages and tools for security, applied formal methods for security, focusing on specification language design, modelling and verification of security protocols and generation of security protocols implementations. I developed tools for security using object oriented and functional programming languages.

For more information about my research activities visit my website.

PhD and Research Opportunities

I am interested in working with bright, motivated PhD students who have strong interest in Cybersecurity.

Applicants with a solid background in Computer Science (e.g. programming languages, compiler construction, formal methods, logics, etc.) willing to research security are also welcome.

Indicative research topics:

  • Security Protocols
  • Applied Formal Methods for Security: Formal Verification of Protocols and Applications, Verification Tools, ...
  • Automatic Generation of Security Protocols Implementations, Code Generation
  • Security APIs, Programming Abstractions for Security
  • Language Based Security
  • Model Driven Development
  • Security Evaluation
  • Java Security
  • Android Security
  • Applied Cryptography
  • Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
  • E-Payments Protocols
  • Next-generation Ethical Hacking Tools

Feel free to contact me directly to discuss interest in working with me.

Some funding opportunities are available here.

External Roles and Professional Activities

I am a reviewer for a variety of international conferences and journals, including:

    Journal of Information Security and Applications (JISA)
    Journal of Communications (JCM)
    Cryptography (Journal)
    IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN)
    International Conference on Integrated Formal Methods (iFM)
    International Conference on Emerging Security Information, Systems and Technologies (Securware)

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

  • Course Leader "Cybersecurity and Networks"
  • Module Leader "Ethical Hacking", "Security Analyst", "CIS CYBER"
  • PhD, MSC, UG supervision

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Research Output

Account and Transaction Protocol of the Open Banking Standard

Almehrej, A., Freitas, L. & Modesti, P., 22 May 2020, Rigorous State-Based Methods, 7th International Conference, ABZ 2020. Raschke, A., Méry, D. & Houdek, F. (eds.). Springer International Publishing AG, Vol. 12071. 7 p. (LNCS).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
  • 86 Downloads (Pure)

    Integrating Formal Methods for Security in Software Security Education

    Modesti, P., 16 Sep 2020, In : Informatics in Education. 19, 3, p. 425-454 30 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • A Methodology for Protocol Verification Applied to EMV 1

    Freitas, L., Modesti, P. & Emms, M., 2018, Formal Methods: Foundations and Applications - 21st Brazilian Symposium, SBMF 2018, Proceedings. Massoni, T. & Mousavi, M. R. (eds.). Springer, Vol. 11254. p. 180-197 18 p. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics); vol. 11254 LNCS).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • 1 Downloads (Pure)

    An IDE for the Design, Verification and Implementation of Security Protocols

    Garcia, R. & Modesti, P., 16 Nov 2017, IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering Workshops, ISSRE Workshops, Toulouse, France, October 23-26, 2017. IEEE Computer Society, p. 157-163 7 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • 158 Downloads (Pure)

    AnBx: Automatic Generation and Verification of Security Protocols Implementations

    Modesti, P., 25 Feb 2016, Foundations and Practice of Security . García-Alfaro, J., Kranakis, E. & Bonfante, G. (eds.). Springer, Vol. 9482. p. 156-173 18 p. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • 143 Downloads (Pure)