Meet the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology's postgraduates

Meet the future experts in computer science and information technology

Meet Dalal Hanna, Haritha Thilakarathne, Saad Ibne Shafi and Deiva Mani Kailasam, future experts in computer science and information technology.

Dalal Hanna is a final-year PhD candidate in networking and cybersecurity.

“I believe in the power of education, and that we never stop learning because life never stops teaching. This belief has informed how I work towards my ambitions. I am fascinated by information and communication technology, and I was thrilled to be offered a place in La Trobe’s Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) degree. During this degree my interests diversified into computer science, cybersecurity and network engineering, and I am now pursuing a doctorate in networking and cybersecurity.

Our digital world is constantly changing, and modern communications rely heavily on computers and the internet. Unfortunately, our digital communications are vulnerable to attacks from hackers. My research aims to find a single, holistic solution that detects, identifies and eliminates particular kinds of network attacks. I hope that my research helps to protect our computer systems effectively and improve cybersecurity.

I chose to study at La Trobe because it provides a unique opportunity to enhance my educational experience in an inspiring, multicultural environment, and apply knowledge to real-life situations. I have enjoyed the flexible study options, and developing new skills like problem solving, overcoming challenges and creativity.

During the first year of my PhD, I published three Web of Science journal papers. I have had the opportunity to work with industry throughout my research and gain experience in managing projects, stakeholder analysis and costing, and translating user requirements into technical deliverables. I have also created online learning materials, exercises and examinations for discrete mathematics.

My experience at La Trobe has helped me develop the confidence to work in any field, and anywhere. I look forward to completing my PhD and pursuing a research and teaching career. I would like to provide education and professional opportunities to the next generation of cybersecurity and information technology students and, in particular, support more women to be involved in this fascinating and fast-growing profession.”

Haritha Thilakarathne, a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, is researching how computers can see like humans.

“Human vision is incredibly powerful,” says Thilakarathne. “Our visual system includes eyes for capturing light, receptors in the brain for accessing it and a visual cortex for processing it.”

“My research focuses on giving computers similar capabilities so that they can identify human actions in sporting matches and provide real-time sports analytics.”

Saad Ibne Shafi is completing a Master of Information Technology at our Bendigo campus.

“I am from Bangladesh. I completed a bachelor’s degree in my home country then a master’s degree in Malaysia on human resource management. My thesis examined corporate social responsibility in the garment industry. After I graduated, I worked in a human resources department in Malaysia where I discovered that all the contracts and interviews were completed online. When I returned to Bangladesh, I noticed that things were different, and technology was under-utilised. This motivated me to apply for a Master of Information Technology at La Trobe.⁣

I had no IT experience and, initially, I had lots of questions. I sat down with La Trobe academics. I asked them if it would be possible for me to complete the course without an IT background and discussed the level of difficulty. They assured me and answered all my questions. In the end, everything aligned perfectly. I had to choose La Trobe.⁣

I was awarded a Destination Australia scholarship and commenced my degree at La Trobe’s Bendigo campus in March. Orientation was great and everyone welcomed me, which was very nice. I was homesick to begin with. The weather here is different, the food is different, but I have been learning something new every day. I have met a lot of new people. My lifestyle slowly changed, and I started to grow as a person. There are goals I wish to achieve, and I have realised that some struggle is part of the journey.⁣

I am putting in lots of time and effort, studying coding and Java, and learning as much as I can from my lecturers. One day I would like to work in telecommunications. IT professionals are in great demand in Bangladesh and so, one day, I may work for a big telecommunications company in my home country. For now, I am enjoying Bendigo. It is full of trees and birds, and it’s clean and clear. It’s all nature, which is something I really like.”⁣

Deiva Mani Kailasam is in his final year of a Master of Information Technology degree.

As part of the degree, students complete an applied research or industry development project. Kailasam worked with a water management company that provides a range of services including treatment, recycling and monitoring.

“Engineers currently visit each water management site to record specific measurements on paper service sheets, which are later entered into an online database,” explains Kailasam. “I developed a secure web-based application that replaces the existing paper-based procedure, introduces automation and enables new functionality.”

Find out more about Deiva Mani Kailasam's project on the website.

Find out more about the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology on the website.