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Three SnT Ph.D. Graduates Win Inaugural Excellent Thesis Award

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Publié le vendredi 11 juin 2021

In May, the University of Luxembourg’s Ph.D. 2020 Graduation Ceremony took place, with 129 Ph.D. graduates receiving their official honours. As the world tries to return to normality during the COVID-19 pandemic, the in-person ceremony hosted a handful of people and livestreamed the event to graduates from home. 

It was during this event that three of SnT’s doctoral graduates received the inaugural Excellent Thesis Award. With 15 graduates across the Doctoral School of Science and Engineering (DSSE), the Doctoral School in Economics and Finance (FDEF) Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (DSHSS) and the Doctoral School of Law awarded in total, the new award was introduced by Jens Kreisel, Vice-rector for Research. Speaking at the event, Kreisel said, “The University of Luxembourg has honoured 15 doctoral graduates of 2020 with the first Excellent Thesis Award. It recognises the outstanding quality of their doctoral theses. The Excellent Thesis Award celebrates cutting edge and innovative research, and is awarded to the top 10% of the University’s doctorates. We are proud of our outstanding young researchers who will be ambassadors of our university and for the research and innovation potential of Luxembourg.”  

SnT’s three graduates who won the award, in the form of a commemorative medal, included: 

1. Diego Luis Kreutz, for his thesis entitled ‘Logically Centralized Security for Software-Defined Networking’. 

2. Ivana Vukotic, for her thesis entitled ‘Formal Framework for Verifying Implementations of Byzantine Fault-Tolerant Protocols Under Various Models’. Exploring communication security, her tool can find faults and intrusions in the communication between computers and devices. 

3. Marie-Laure Zollinger, for her thesis entitled ‘Design and Analysis of Verifiable, Coercion Resistant Voting Protocols’. Working on the security of voting software led her to develop a new voting programme that will be used in the upcoming elections within the DSSE.  

Both Vukotic and Zollinger were two of just eight winning graduates who were able to be present for the ceremony’s small gathering, and were awarded their medal by both Kreisel and Prof. Susanne Siebentritt, the Head of DSSE. 

Since their doctoral programmes have ended, Kreutz has relocated to Brazil as an assistant professor and researcher at the Federal University of Pampa, and Vukotic has remained in Luxembourg developing software for Talkwalker. Zollinger has remained within the APSIA research group and is now a Research Associate continuing her research on voting systems.