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
Prof. Amro Awad is currently an assistant professor and leads the Secure and Advanced Computer Architecture (SACA) research group at NC State. 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. Amro received his PhD degree from NC State University in 2016. During his Ph.D., he 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. His work was a best paper award nominee in ICS’21, won the outstanding paper award in HPCC’21, and best paper candidate for IEEE VR’22. He holds six granted patents (more than seven pending). His research interests include secure memory systems, emerging memory architectures, architectural modeling and simulation, and hardware/software co-design. His research group has been funded by NSF, NSWCDD, ONR, DARPA, Sandia National Laboratories, US Army CCDC, and AFRL. He pioneered the area of persistently-secure memories, where the security, high-availability and crash consistency need to be guaranteed in future memory systems. Also, he led DARPA’s MemSec project (2019-2022) resulting dozens of novel ideas and hardware IPs in the area of secure memory.

M.Sc./Ph.D. Students

Joshua Kalyanapu

Joshua Kalyanapu is a Ph.D. student in Computer Engineering at NC State. In May 2021, he received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering and Mathematics from Iowa State University. Although he has previously done research in neural networks and memory systems, his current research interest is in vehicle security.

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.

Debpratim Adak

I am a PhD student at NCSU, majoring in Computer Engineering. My primary research focus is efficient performance modeling of an IP. I received my bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University and master’s degree from IIT Madras. I worked at INTEL as a SOC Design Engineer after finishing my master’s degree.

Faiz Alam

Faiz Alam is a first-year Ph.D. student majoring in Computer Engineering at NC State. His current research interest is to investigate secure architectural support for emerging domain specific hardware. He received his master degree from Arizona State University where he worked on FPGA emulation of high performance Machine Learning Systems. He received his bachelors degree from Aligarh Muslim University, India. He also worked as a Senior Engineer in Industrial Automation and Control at Larsen and Toubro Limited in Doha, Qatar.

John McFarland

John McFarland is a PhD student at NC State University majoring in Computer Engineering. John received both his Bachelor and Master degrees from the University of Central Florida, before coming to North Carolina to finish his PhD. John’s original research focus centered around Real-Time in Virtualized environments, eventually leading to a published conference paper on the subject. Now, he has since shifted his focus, looking into Neuromorphic Computing and the numerous potential applications of this new paradigm.

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

Ramil Agliamzanov is a first-year Ph.D. student majoring in Computer Engineering at NC State. He received his bachelor degree in Computer Engineering from Ege University, Turkey where he was involved in research in the area of Wireless Sensor Networks, leading to a conference paper and recognition as the top graduation project by a national research council. Prior to joining NC State, he got an award received by top Computer Science teachers in Russia. Ramil’s research interests include virtual memory, interconnection networks, resource sharing and virtual machines. His current efforts are in sharing resources in multi-tenant GPUs with predictable slowdown.

Rahaf Abdullah

Rahaf is a Ph.D student in computer engineering at NC State University. Her research interests revolve around the memory security of GPUs with the least overheads possible as well as making the best utilization of GPU resources. Rahaf graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from An-Najah National University in Nablus, Palestine at the end of 2020. Prior to joining NC State University, she worked as a software engineer developing macOS applications used in the production of laptops and smart devices.

Nandan Dayal

Nandan is a second year M.S. student majoring in Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. Nandan’s research interests are in the areas of computer architecture and security. He received his B.S. from University of Maryland, College Park

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.

David Deininger

David is a U.S. Navy Veteran, studying for his M.S. in Electrical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He attained his undergraduate degree from Clarkson University in 2016. Since then, he has worked in avionics electronics and high precision motion systems. A few of his eclectic professional interests include circuit design, sensors, signal processing, and motion control.

Vishal Boga

Vishal Boga is an M.S. student majoring in Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. Vishal’s research interests are in the areas of computer architecture, parallel and high performance computing. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Manipal Institute of Technology, India and worked as a Firmware Engineer at Intel before joining the SACA group.

Shiva Kaushik

Shiva is a Master’s student, majoring in Computer Engineering. His current research focus is on security policy verification using information flow and reliability analysis using fault injection. His areas of interest include HW/SW Co-Design, machine learning compilers and robust AI accelerator design. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Chennai and worked as an embedded software engineer at Harman International prior to joining NCSU.

Undergraduate Students

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. Kazi Zubair (NC State), Summer 2022 (Currently: CPU Architect at Intel (Product Team) in Santa Clara).
PhD achievements: (1) Designing, modeling and evaluation for ultra-fast crash recovery schemes of secure NVMs (2) Inventing and evaluating novel schemes for improving reliability of secure NVMs. (3) Evaluating and designing efficient hardware support for supporting filesystem encryption in NVMs.
- Dr. Vamsee Reddy (UCF), Spring 2021 (Currently: Member of Technical Staff at 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 (Currently: Assisant Professor at Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid Jordan).
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: Assistant Professor at 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 Mentees

- 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