About Nils

I am a faculty at the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security since August 2018. Before that, I was an Assistant Professor at the Information Systems Technology and Design Pillar, at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). I earned my Dr. Sc. in Computer Science from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2012. At ETH, I was part of the System Security group led by Prof. Srdjan Capkun. Before my studies at ETH, I received a degree in Computer Engineering (Dipl. Ing.) from the Hamburg University of Technology (Germany) in 2007. My thesis on side-channel attack-resistant embedded crypto was supervised by Prof. Dieter Gollmann (TUHH), and Dr. Heike Neumann (NXP). The thesis won the K-H Ditze award for TUHH’s best thesis in 2007. I was also awarded a DAAD scholarship to study for one year at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada between 2004-2005. My full CV is available here.

Research Interests

I am interested in information security aspects of practical systems. In particular, I am currently working on security of industrial control systems and the Industrial Internet of Things, for applications such as public infrastructure (e.g., public water systems and power grids). At SUTD, I was involved in the construction and operation of several of our practical testbeds in those areas (SWaT, WADI, EPIC). In addition, I have worked on physical layer security aspects of wireless and embedded systems, for example secure ranging, distance measurements and communication using wireless signals. I continue to work in those areas in the context of (I)IoT security. I also designed and implemented the "cloud" backend of the National Science Experiment, a project with 50,000 mobile sensors deployed in Singapore, used by more than 90,000 students to date. For three years, I co-organized the Secure Cyber-Physical Systems Week event at SUTD. I also co-organized the BATADAL competition for physical process attack detection algorithms. More details on my projects here.

I co-founded SUTD’s kopipacket CTF team, and currently practise my applied security skills by particpating in CTF events together with Saarsec.


I am currently involved in several events, and reviewing for a number of journals. More info here.


  • Best paper award at CPSS 2017
  • SG Mark Institution award 2016 for the NSE project
  • Runner-Up award smart energy hackathon 2013
  • Best paper award IFIP Wireless days 2012
  • K-H Ditze award for best diploma thesis at TUHH in 2006/07
  • DAAD scholarship for 3 terms of study at U Waterloo, Ontario, 2004

General Interests

Mechanical keyboards, typography, and vector graphics. History, languages, and music. Outdoor sports (climbing, hiking, and camping).

Research Group / Open positions

My research group is focusing on Security of Cyber-Physical Systems. I have exciting opportunities for PhD students and a PostDoc. Please have a look here.

Do only what only you can do

~ attributed to Edsger W. Dijkstra

Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer man tut es

~ Erich Kästner

Faculty, CISPA