Fergus Anderson is a Senior Principal in UK Dstl. He has worked in Defence, Security, and Law Enforcement for over 16 years and has expertise in intelligence analysis, counter terrorism, UK operations and civil contingencies. His academic background was in Theology and he has since gone on to study Counter Terrorism and Intelligence and Security.
He has served in a number of UK Government Departments providing liaison, analysis and advice on a range of security issues. He has set up an innovation hub in the FCO and has been embedded in cross Government assessment teams. He has recent expertise in threat agnostic approaches for countering adversary networks and has served as Head of Strategy in the Home Office.
Fergus is currently seconded to the Operations Directorate in MOD where he serves as Principal Advisor on Influence, Future Threat Understanding and Disruption and specialises in cross Government capabilities. His interests include opportunities and threats from emerging technology.
Senior Principal Scientist - Space Environment Project Technical Authority
Dr Attrill completed her Master's degree at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, studying the aurora and radar diagnostics of space plasma in the High Arctic. Her PhD in Solar Physics from UCL included a fellowship at Kyoto University, and role as guest Chief Observer for Hinode's solar spectrometer at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Dr Attrill's post-doctoral appointment at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics focused on signatures of solar eruptions, publishing the first observations from NASA's STEREO satellites and Hinode's X-Ray telescope.
Dr Attrill is a Dstl Research Scholar, a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bath, and UK lead for the US-UK Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction Cubesat Experiment (CIRCE).
Stu Cutting has been with Lockheed Martin UK for the last 4 years. Prior to this, Stu had a 26 year career in the UK MOD, the last ten years of which included work on the 2006 white paper on the future of the UK deterrent, BMD policy and running the threat assessment and lethality programmes within the UK Missile Defence Centre.
Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Camille Grand is Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment at NATO since 4 October 2016. He was previously Director of the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique, the leading French think tank on defence and security (from 2008 to 2016). In this capacity, he has also contributed to several senior expert panels for NATO, EU, UN as well as for the French Government.
He has also held senior positions in the French Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence. He taught at the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po Paris, at the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) and at the French Army Academy.
Camille has published several books and monographies as well as numerous articles in European and American journals on contemporary strategic issues, focused on European Security and nuclear policy.
James Gray is the Managing Director of Raytheon UK's Cyber & Intelligence organisation - a growing business in cyber security, defence intelligence solutions, information exploitation and space systems.
James joined Raytheon's Programme Leadership function in 2009 and in 2015 was asked to take a senior Programme Manager role on a new Delivery Framework into UK Government. The framework delivers over 30 programmes of work bringing over 300 qualified staff to the customer's mission and working with 10 subcontractors. Today, James leads a team of over 150 people delivering revenues of £40m, through the execution of 30+ contracts.
Dr. Gronvall is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has tracked the development of diagnostic and serology tests and wrote about the scientific response to COVID-19 and implications for national and international security.
Dr. Gronvall is the author of Synthetic Biology: Safety, Security, and Promise (2016). She is also a member of committees that advise the US Secretary of Defense and Director of the National Institutes of Health.
Nick Harris is a Principal Scientist in Dstl. He has worked in Defence and Security for all of his career. Most of this has been in a variety of posts within Dstl (and its preceding organisations), but it has also included postings to NATO, the Royal Military College of Science, and industry. He has developed a broad analytical skill set, and a systems knowledge relating to weapon systems.
His academic background includes a BSc in Mathematics and MSc in Guided Weapon Systems, and his practical background includes analysis, systems studies, technical assurance, and project and staff management. He has recently been working as part of the government’s analytical response to COVID-19, and also leading a multi-facet project within the FTUD Programme.
His interests include science and technology, science fiction and analysis.
Bryn James is a Senior Fellow in Dstl. He has worked in physical protection and security for most of his career. He has undertaken significant research and development of precise and accurate timing and frequency technology for defence systems; he is the Technical Leader for physical protection research and development, the technical lead for Timing Systems and he is the Head of the Land Integrated Survivability Technology Exploitation Network (LISTEN).
He initiated and led the Parsifal programme for operational support in physical protection for Operation Telic and Operation Herrick. For this he was awarded a MOD Chief Scientific Adviser’s commendation.
Prior to CQC Ilyas was the founding Chairman of The Stephen Hawking Foundation. He is a Fellow of St Edmund’s College at the University of Cambridge, and also the Leader in Residence at the Judge Business School where he was instrumental in the establishment of the highly regarded Accelerate Cambridge programme of investment in early stage Cambridge based technology sector companies.
Ilyas is a regular and extensive writer and commentator on topics relating to quantum computing.
He has a long-standing interest in the foundations of mathematics and category theory. He is a Life Member of the American Mathematical Society.
Tim has had a long association with air launched weapons which started with an undergraduate apprenticeship with Hunting Engineering in the early 1980s. From there he joined the RAF and, as an Engineering Officer, had a wide range of experiences, from serving at the front line to MOD London. He most enjoyed his 2 flight-test tours with fast jets and weapons at Boscombe Down.
Tim joined QinetiQ in 2002 to continue flight test work in rotary wing and heavy aircraft, moving to Programme Lead for the Brimstone missile system for MOD. Having left QinetiQ in June 2018 he is now Director of an Aerospace Consultancy.
Tim is Chair of the RAeS Weapon Systems and Technology Specialist Group and has supported the Society in many Conferences and Lectures over the years.
Mr Plant is Director of the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy programme at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Before joining RUSI he worked on arms control issues at UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment, and in various non- and counter-proliferation roles in the Ministry of Defence and Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
He is a visiting fellow at The Policy Institute at King's College London.
Alexandra specialises in space policy and security in the Military Sciences team at RUSI. Her research covers military space programmes, space warfare, counterspace capabilities, space situational awareness, arms control and the intersection of space and missile defence. She has written articles and research papers for a variety of publications, is a frequent speaker at international conferences and regularly provides expert commentary to the media.
Alexandra holds an MSc in International Security and Global Governance from Birkbeck College, University of London, a BA(Hons) in International Studies from the Open University and a BSc(Hons) in Physics with Astronomy from the University of Nottingham.
Tracy is the Group Leader of Weapons Science; she manages a capability with a combined team of scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in a wide range of research and project support activities related to explosives and weapons systems, their development, assurance and qualification.
Tracy has worked in the field of energetic materials for over twenty years technically leading projects covering explosive trains, high explosives, improvised explosives, initiators, electro-explosive devices, and pyrotechnics. She is acknowledged as an expert in initiation systems and the formulation of novel explosive materials, including the development of a reactive fragment based upon hafnium. She also led a research programme investigating the development of a LEEFI detonator, working with other companies such as Thales, Chemring and Cambridge University.
Tracy was pivotal in developing techniques that have enabled the safe scale-up, manufacture and assessment of improvised explosive materials and devices. As part of her work on improvised explosives Tracy was involved with providing evidence for several high-profile criminal prosecutions demonstrating the initiation of different improvised main charge explosives all using improvised electric detonators.
Mike works as a researcher at Thales UK, investigating and developing new techniques and capabilities for cyber defence, as well as performing security analysis of their platforms and capabilities.
Current interests include analysis of threat actor psychological goals and motivations, deception, and attack path analysis.
He has worked in boutique consultancies as a penetration tester, forensic analyst, and intrusion detection specialist, and has presented at DEFCON in Las Vegas and other international cyber security conferences.
Synopsis: In the fifty years since the entry into force of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty the number of states possessing nuclear weapons has not quite doubled, a much reduced rate of spread than some had feared. As the established nuclear order gradually decomposes and co-operative security increasingly takes a back seat to poorly defined competition, one might expect this rate once again to increase; and one might also expect established possessors to value their own capabilities more highly, however, it would be as unwise to extend this trend uncritically, and the bounds of plausible nuclear threats are wide.
This presentation will discuss the variables affecting possible nuclear futures, the potential for emergence of true nuclear multipolarity, and examine how nuclear weapons might be framed in the security concepts of mid-late 21st century states, with reference to possible future nuclear threats to the UK.
Synopsis: New technology development and weapon enhancements by potential adversaries have led to the fielding of warfare systems capable of holding UK and allied forces increasingly at risk in our ability to retain operational advantage. One such threat comes from the evolution of hypersonic weapons and their impact on conventional detection methods, countermeasures, and effectors capable of defeating them. This presentation will look at the development of hypersonic weapons and set the scene for future discussion on the skills and technologies to counter such extreme threats.
Synopsis: The explosives threat covers extremes, from massive tonne-size devices such as those used in Oklahoma City and Canary Wharf down to several orders of magnitude smaller devices, but the consequence can still be significant if deployed in an environment such as an aircraft or mass transit system. During this presentation, Tracy will provide examples from a variety of incidents using improvised explosives to manufacture devices from readily available materials and discuss methods of making the materials unusable whilst limiting the impact on their legitimate use.
Synopsis: This presentation will explore current and potential counterspace capabilities, their proliferation to new actors, and what this means for the balance of power in space. I will also discuss the concepts of militarisation and weaponisation of space, space warfare, different international perspectives and how worried we should be about all-out conflict in space.
Synopsis: Extreme manifestations of space weather have been captured as a Tier 1 threat on the UK National Risk Register since 2011. "Space Weather" is a term used to describe the variations in the flux of solar or galactic energy and matter entering the Earth system. It includes key phenomena such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs, vast eruptions of magnetised plasma that explode from the solar atmosphere), and solar flares (hugely energetic and rapid releases of energy in the solar atmosphere).
This talk will provide a physical explanation of the powerful solar eruptions that impact our near Earth environment, as well as a description of extreme space weather events and the threat they pose to both space, and ground-based, modern engineered systems and infrastructure. The talk will conclude by considering options for mitigation strategies.
Synopsis: Emerging technologies can offer great benefit to defence and security but equally many challenges are faced from a world of rapid and fundamental change. The Future Threat Understanding and Disruption (FTUD) programme works to ensure that the UK understands the potential defence and security impact of emerging science and technology in order to reduce the chance of future 'shocks', and that the UK is prepared to respond to and counter future threats.
This presentation will provide insights into the FTUD programme, and is flavoured by the experiences from two key members of the programme team.
Synopsis: Advances in the biological sciences hold enormous beneficial potential for the development of medical interventions such as drugs and vaccines, but also in areas as diverse as supplanting petroleum-based manufacturing, mosquito control, and computing.However, the power and widespread accessibility of biological technologies inevitably lowers barriers to deliberate misuse and challenges existing governance regimes. Strategies for increasing our understanding of biological risks and options for mitigation will be discussed.
14:10 - 14:25
8) CYBER DECEPTION - A PHILOSOPHY FOR ATTACK AND DEFENCE
Synopsis: Deception has been used throughout the ages as a tool for both attack and defence. At its core deception is a game of psychological manipulation - being able to impart an effect upon the beliefs of an opponent to change their decision making and thus actions. The same tactics may be used as either attack or defense - deception can be used to camouflage an entity to avoid being detected during an attack, or it could be used by a defender to lure an attacker into a trap. This talk will discuss the deceptive cyber tools and techniques that are used by both threat actors and system defenders with illustrations from real industrial manufacturing and avionics cyber attacks..
9) THE CYBER THREAT TO THE UK'S CRITICAL NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Synopsis: The Government's 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy states that a successful cyber-attack on the UK's critical national infrastructure (CNI) "would have the severest impact on the country's national security", with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) categorising a cyber attack on the UK a matter of "when, not if".
This presentation will assess how well cyber risk is understood across different CNI sectors and highlight areas in which government, regulators and the private sector can better work together as the cyber threat continues to diversify and increase.
15:25 - 15:40
10) A REALITY CHECK ON QUANTUM COMPUTERS - WHAT'S ACTUALLY GOING ON
Synopsis: Quantum Computing has moved from being reported about only in specialist journals and scientific papers to front page mainstream media. Large corporations such as Microsoft and Google and AWS have publicly launched significant (even by their standards) quantum computing projects. This short presentation will examine what, exactly, is the current capability of quantum processors and what might be the likely applications in the near term.
Synopsis: Innumerable technological systems are dependent upon precise timing to deliver the required function. In addition to the well-known requirements in navigation, timing and synchronisation is critical to such applications as communications (both open and secure), finance transactions, electrical energy distribution, railway management and signalling, law enforcement, signals intelligence, radar, command and control, sensor fusion, electronic warfare and many more. As these applications are critical to both civilian and military infrastructure and capability, they also represent a vulnerability. This talk will address threats to the timing infrastructure and suggest means of mitigating those threats.
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