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Our Team

Sherif Abdelwahed, PhD


Dr. Sherif Abdelwahed is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University where he teaches and conducts research in computer engineering, with specific interests in autonomic computing, cyber-physical systems, formal verification, and cyber-security. Before joining VCU in August 2017, he served as the associate director of the Distributed Analytics and Security Institute at Mississippi State University.

Before joining Mississippi State University, Dr. Abdelwahed was a research assistant professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and senior research scientist at the Institute for Software Integrated Systems, Vanderbilt University, from 2001-2007. Dr. Abdelwahed attracted research funding from industry and government agencies throughout his academic tenure, including NSF, NASA, Boeing, ONR, PNNL, ERDC DARPA, Microsoft, and Qatar Foundation, with more than 12 million dollars awarded covering 20 significant projects. He also established the first NSF I/UCRC center at Mississippi State University, the Center for Autonomic Computing.

PhD Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto


Patrick Martin, PhD

Dr. Patrick Martin is an Assistant Professor in Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research develops the mathematical principles, algorithms, and computational architectures that enable the safe, reliable deployment of distributed, autonomous cyber-physical systems (CPS).

Dr. Martin is particularly interested in researching solutions that enable humans and autonomous CPS to collaborate in complex missions. His research applications span intelligent transportation, disaster response, and performing arts. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and member of the IEEE Robot Task Representation standard working group. As part of the VCU OpenCyberCity research team, Dr. Martin leads the design, research, and development of the Intelligent Transportation System. Additionally, Dr. Martin leads the design and development of OpenCyberCity’s distributed communication architecture and experiment orchestration platform.

​BS Physics and Applied Mathematics, Hampden-Sydney College
MS Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland College Park
PhD Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology


Maher Al Islam

Maher Al Islam completed his undergraduate studies in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. His prime research interests lie in cyber security, machine learning and control systems. Currently, he is working on a smart water distribution system. He has previously worked with Dr. Carol Fung in game theory implementation for DDoS mitigation. He has good hands-on experience with Matlab, Python and Wireshark.

PhD Student Electrical & Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
BS Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Dhaka


Lauren Linkous

Lauren Linkous has extensive experience with programming, data processing, and 3D modeling and printing. She began working with Cyber Physical Systems in undergrad with small, ambulatory robots and 3D printed prosthetics. Her graduate studies incorporate using the Internet of Things, machine learning, and processing sensor data in both the Medical Device Security and OpenCyberCity testbeds. Lauren builds her own data collection/monitoring systems from open-source hardware and custom software. Her current work involves digital simulation of physical environments for validating closed loop control systems.

BS Electrical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University

BS Physics, Virginia Commonwealth University


Mostafa Zaman

Mostafa Zaman's graduate work has focused mainly on incorporating a machine learning method to deal with uncertainty in various areas of a smart city. He has also aided in teaching undergraduate and graduate students in his graduate studies, such as digital logic design, industrial automation, C and C++ programming, digital systems, introduction to the cyber-physical system, etc. His principal research focuses on building an uncertainty-aware decision support system in different aspects of smart cities and analyzing analytical data applications using python. He also focused on constructing Smart Building and Smart Water distribution systems on the OpenCyberCity testbed and performing data analytics.

PhD Student, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University
BS Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology


Nathan Puryear

Nathan Puryear is a PhD student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at VCU, and his research focuses on cyber physical system modeling and control. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from VCU in 2019, and has worked as a research assistant at the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) in addition to VCU.

Nathan is responsible for the development and implementation of the data collection and processing pipeline for the OpenCyberCity project, including the deployment of physical nodes and sensors, as well as on-premise and cloud services. For the OpenCyberCity VirtualLab project, Nathan is responsible for the metamodel development and orchestration implementation, including integration with the existing OpenCyberCity architecture.

BS Computer Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University

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