News & Achievements

Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition at PolyU

The Faculty of Engineering (FENG) of PolyU held its first Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT®) on 18 June, challenging the research students nominated by their affiliated departments in FENG to present their research theses within three minutes. COMP’s representative, Hou Ningning, won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ with her thesis titled “‘LoRa, can I trust you?’ Security threats and countermeasures in IoT”. The award was voted by the audience online after all students’ presentation. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing human lives. More and more daily objects are connected to the Internet, making them become smarter and offer better services. However, as with many technologies, there are questions of its future and implications on society, especially IoT security. IoT devices are usually embedded devices that have limited resources for security, and traditional security solutions will not run on these devices. Therefore, the communication security of IoT devices will be a big problem in the future.

Ningning’s thesis focuses on security problems in IoT, LoRa security, in particular. LoRa is a promising IoT communication technology that can transmit up to 3 km in an urban environment, while other IoT tech like WiFi and Bluetooth can only transmit no more than 50 metres. As such, LoRa is suitable for wide-area communication. In the research, Ningning investigates the potential security threats of LoRa and proposes the corresponding countermeasures against such attacks.

“Today, organisations usually deploy IoT with security and privacy as an afterthought. I hope my research can raise the awareness of the government, industry as well as end-users,” Ningning said. “I would like to thank all my friends and my supervisor for helping me prepare for this competition. My sincere thanks also go to all the audience who vote for me.”

Developed by the University of Queensland, Australia, 3MT® cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills, as well as supports their capacity to effectively explain their research and its significance in three minutes, in a language appropriate to non-specialist audiences. 3MT® is now a globally recognised competition that has been held in over 900 universities across more than 80 countries worldwide. PolyU is one of the participating universities this year.