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New tenure track and lecture hires

Tue, 10/16/2018 - 2:37pm -- mcfics

Hanif Rahbari (January 2018) – is an assistant professor of Computing Security and a member of the Center for Cybersecurity at RIT. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Arizona (UA) in 2016. His dissertation was a blend of theoretical and experimental (SDR) research on transmission fingerprints obfuscation in wireless communications. He joined RIT in Spring 2018 after a short-term affiliation with UA as a Senior Research Specialist and a brief experience as a postdoctoral associate at Virginia Tech. His broad research area is wireless security and wireless communications, including secure vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications, Internet of Things (IoT), WiFi, 5G and beyond. He has published several papers in top journals and conferences, including IEEE INFOCOM, IEEE TMC, IEEE TWC, ACM WiSec, IEEE CNS, IEEE TIFS, and IEEE Communications Magazine. He also holds the B.Sc. degree in information technology engineering and the M.Sc. degree in computer networks from Sharif University of Technology and AmirKabir University of Technology (Iran), respectively, and is a co-inventor of two granted/pending US patents.


Justin Pelletier (January 2018) – of the Computing Security Department at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), is the business director for Eaton Cybersecurity Security Assessment and Forensic Examination (SAFE) Lab in RIT’s Center for Cybersecurity.  He is also the national director of the Collegiate Penetration Testing Competition.  He holds a PhD in Information Assurance and Security, an MBA in Entrepreneurship, and a BS in Computer Science.  Dr. Pelletier has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels and helped to bring the Hacking for Defense initiative to RIT. 

He is a counterintelligence officer in the army reserve and holds a top-secret clearance.  Prior to joining academia, Dr. Pelletier was a GS14 civilian intelligence officer for Defense Intelligence Agency, where he led Europe/Eurasia cyberthreat analysis.  He is a former member of the National Security Council’s Information Systems Working Group for modeling and simulation.  His current research interests include the economics of information security, security in distributed systems, and ethics in intelligent combat systems.


Ziming Zhao (August 2018) – is an assistant professor at the computing security department of RIT. He received the PhD degree in computer science from Arizona State University in 2014. His research foci include system and software security, network security, usable and user-centric security, cybercrime and threat intelligence analytics. His research has led to 50+ publications in security conferences and journals, including IEEE S&P, ACM CCS, USENIX Security, NDSS, ACSAC, TISSEC, etc. He won a best paper award in ACM CODASPY 2014 and IEEE ITU Kaleidoscope 2016. He directs the CyberspACe securiTy and forensIcs lab (CactiLab, He holds two US patents and is an advisory board member of a startup security company.


Ahmad Hamza (September 2018) – lectures in the Computer Science and Security Depts. His PhD research is on machine-intelligence optimizations to video encoding algorithms (H.265). In computing security, he is interested in OS security, memory-resident malware, persistent threats, and modern defense circumvention. Ahmed obtained his M.S in Computer Science from Georgetown University in 2010.