Group Members

Multiple Ph.D. positions in our research group are currently available. Promising candidates (GRE 310+, TOEFL 100+, GPA 3.8+, publication) will be financially supported. If interested, please email your resume to Please specify which area interests you:

  • Secure Architectures: Access pattern obfuscation, memory encryption, and data integrity efficient verification schemes
  • Non-Volatile Memory Technologies: Memory management and filesystem optimizations
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Devices: Security and Performance


Dr. Amro Awad

Personal Website
Dr. Awad joined NC State University as an assistant professor in the ECE Department in Fall 2020. Dr. Awad is known for inventing (main inventor, if not mentioned otherwise) solutions such as STM (HPCA’14), Silent Shredder (ASPLOS’16), ObfusMem (ISCA’17), the design part of SITE (PACT’17), Osiris (MICRO’18), the insights (early stage feasibility study) behinds the design of TLB pinning (ICS’19), Triad-NVM (ISCA’19), Lelantus (ISCA’20), co-inventing (invented the AGIT basic scheme and ASIT parts) in Anubis (ISCA-19). His research interests include non-volatile memory (NVM) technologies, virtual memory, hardware security and workload cloning.

Before joining NC State in Fall 2020, he was an assistant professor at UCF (2017-2020). Before that, he was a Senior Member of Technical Staff (SMTS) at the Scalable Computer Architecture group (org. 1422) in Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque NM. Dr. Awad received his PhD degree from NC State University in 2016. During his Ph.D., Dr. Awad had several stints at LANL, HP Labs and AMD Research. His research papers have been published in top-venues in computer architecture, such as ISCA, MICRO, HPCA, ASPLOS, PACT and ICS. Dr. Awad has been awarded the Air Force Faculty Fellowship for summer 2018. Dr. Awad holds five granted patents and more than seven pending. His research has been funded through several Department of Defense (DoD) agencies (DARPA, Navy, Air Force), Sandia National Labs and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

M.Sc./Ph.D. Students

Kazi Zubair

Kazi is a Ph.D. student majoring in Computer Engineering at NC State. His research interest includes secure memory architecture, NVM security, and memory reliability. He received his bachelor degree from the University of Chittagong, Bangladesh, and worked in the R&D of several startup companies in Bangladesh before joining SACA. At SACA, he published the first work addressing the recovery time in secure NVMs (Anubis ISCA’19).

Justin Kirschner

Justin is an M.S. student at NC State majoring in Computer Science. His primary areas of interest include scientific computing, high performance computing and computer networking. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Recently he has worked on high performance computing applications and is currently working on a dynamic binary translation project.

John McFarland

John is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Computer Engineering at UCF. His research interests include Kernel Development and Virtual Memory Systems. He has competed in hackathons across Florida and has also been a finalist for a national engineering design contest. Other personal experience include micro-controller development and video game design.

Job Placement during PhD: Internship with Navy Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren

Xijing Han (co-adivsed with Prof. James Tuck)

Xijing is a Ph.D. student majoring in Computer Engineering at NC State. Her research interest includes Non-volatile memory systems. She received her bachelor degree from Southeast University, Nanjing and master degree from Brown University, Providence. Before joining NCSU, she worked in the R&D of Cadence in Shanghai.

Ramil Agliamzanov (joining in Fall’21)


Rahaf Abdullah (joining in Fall’21)


Debpratim Adak (joining in Fall’21)


Saleh Al-Saleh (joining in Fall’21)


Yuqin Wang (joining in Fall’21)


Shubham Nema

Shubham is a Masters -Thesis (MS-thesis) student at NC State University majoring in Computer Engineering. His primary areas of interest include Hardware-Software codesign and compilers for domain specific architectures. Shubham is keen about exploring new emerging areas in the field of computer architecture. Lately, he has been working at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore as Research Assistant in the area of compilers and previously at Nvidia Graphics as System Des. Engg. in IP verification and validation.

Rohin Razdan

Rohin is an M.S. student majoring in Computer Engineering at NC State. His research interests include secure architectures, fast parallel processing, and embedded kernel optimization. He graduated from the University of Mumbai, India with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication before joining SACA. He is currently working on an advanced simulation and computing project with Sandia National Labs.

Alan Gardner

Alan is an M.S. student at NC State majoring in Computer Engineering with a focus on computer architecture. His areas of interest focus on computer microarchitecture and specifically the implementation of security features in the architecture itself, with a passion for RISC-V applications and FPGA development. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. His experience includes FPGA programming using Verilog HDL and embedded systems.

Undergraduate Students

Trevor Howard

Trevor Howard is a Senior at NC State who will be graduating with a BS in Electrical Engineering in May. He will be attending NC State for his Master’s in Electrical Engineering as well and hopes to gain valuable research experience.

Past Members

(Diversity statistics are availabe upon request. SACA has a history of training students from diverse and underrepresented groups in STEM.)

PhD graduates
- Dr. Vamsee Reddy (UCF), Spring 2021 (first job: AMD Research in Bellevue).
PhD achievements: (1) Modeling of disaggregated NVM systems. (2) Modeling and evaulation of DeACT. (3) Inventing various QoS schemes in disaggregated memory systems..
- Dr. Mazen Alwadi (UCF), Spring 2021 (first employment: Texas A&M University in College Station).
PhD achievements: (1) Invention of the Phoenix scheme. (2) Design, modeling and evaluation of Stealth-Persist. (3) Modeling and evaluation of Minerva.
- Dr. Mao Ye (UCF), Spring 2020 (first employment: AMD (Product Team) in Orlando).
PhD achievement: Modeling and evaluation of the Osiris scheme
Post-Doc Mentees
- Dr. Jian Zhou (UCF), Summer 2020 (co-mentored with Prof. Jun Wang). (first job: Huazhong University of Science and Technology).
Achievement: Modeling and evaluation of the Lelantus scheme
Master graduates
- Abdullah Arafat (UCF), Summer 2020 (first employment: PhD student at UCF)
- Derrick Greenspan (UCF), Falll 2018 (first employment: PhD student at IST institute in UCF, Orlando)
Undergraduate graduates
- Charles Stephens, Spring 2020 (first employment: Embedded Systems Engineer at Motorola)
- Ignacio Lopez, Summer 2020 (first employment: IT Engineer at Qualcomm)
- Claudo Afonso, Spring 2019 (first employment: Software Engineer at Microsoft)
- Nicholas Omusi, Spring 2019 (first employment: Electrical Engineer at Texas Instruments)
- Andre Villaran, Spring 2019
- Sannidiyan Rajendra, Spring 2018