date and time icon Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Edinburgh Napier's Professor Bill Buchanan wins at ‘Higher Education Oscars

Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) cybersecurity and cryptography expert Professor Bill Buchanan OBE has been named Most Innovative Teacher of the Year at the 2023 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

His award at last night’s ceremony in Liverpool, which is dubbed the “Oscars of higher education”, meant ENU was the only Scottish university to claim a prize this year.

Judges praised Bill’s curriculum, dynamic external speakers, rapport with students and promotion of cybersecurity literacy beyond higher education.

It is the latest accolade in a rich career for the computer science academic with Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment. Bill was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 for services to cybersecurity and has won multiple student-voted awards for teaching excellence.

Prof Buchanan said: “The past year or so has been amazing – with such great students who have been so eager to learn.

“In fact, it has been great fun, and I have loved every minute of it.

“There are few better jobs in the world than the privilege of being a teacher to great students – and in having the opportunity to teach and do research on the topics I love.”

Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal & Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “This award is a recognition of Bill’s ability to take complex areas of cryptography and teach them in an engaging and practical way.

“His commitment to helping future generations build rewarding careers in computing and cybersecurity is a source of pride for the University.Professor Bill Buchanan OBE

“I warmly congratulate him on this honour and have no doubt he will continue to find more innovative ways of inspiring students in the years to come.”

Bill’s win was one of 20 categories at the THE Awards, which recognised the achievements at UK and Irish institutions during 2021-22.

Two other ENU submissions were nominated from a record-breaking haul of entries: the Lab Plastics Recycling Project for Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Leadership and the Virtualised Security Operations Centre for Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year.

Last year’s edition saw Edinburgh Napier shortlisted for University of the Year, an accolade which was won by Anglia Ruskin University this time around.

John Gill, editor of THE, said that the winners “exemplify the broad spectrum of ways in which universities are excelling and making a difference”.

He added: “The sheer depth of innovation, talent and dedication that exists at every level of universities across the UK and Ireland never fails to impress.”

Bill’s award came on the same night as a project he is involved with also won industry recognition.

LastingAsset, a tech solution for tackling impersonation phone scams, won the People’s Choice Award at the Santander X UK Awards.

The Edinburgh Napier University project has already claimed a prestigious win, after landing the Cisco Future Tech Award at the 2023 Converge Awards.

It is led by ENU’s Dr Zakwan Jaroucheh, as well as Nanik Ramchandani, and aims to test its technology with pilot customers before taking the product to market.

As well as Prof Buchanan, LastingAsset is supported by Dr Cathy Higginson, Business Development and Relationship Manager at the University’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise department.

Prof Bill Buchanan at the THE Awards 2023