Bridging The Gap

An event bringing together early-career researchers in industry with their University counterparts. Join us online at from 18:00 to 19:15 on Tuesday 6 July.

  • Tue 6th Jul 2021

The Cambridge Society for the Application of Research has created a new forum which brings together early-career researchers in industry with their University counterparts, to:

  • explore differences and similarities in their approach to research
  • share their experiences of collaboration – what works well and not so well
  • create a network to support future collaboration.

For this first event, we are delighted to be bringing together researchers from Arm, Microsoft Research and the University’s Department of Computer Science and Technology to talk about their work on the ground-breaking computer security project, CHERI. CHERI stands for Capability Hardware Enhanced RISC Instructions, and is a long-term project to provide strong, compatible, and efficient protection against many currently widely exploited vulnerabilities.

Chaired by Professor Sir Mike Gregory.

Click here to join the forum via Zoom.

Participants: Ben Ockmore (Arm); Dr. Andrea Kells (Arm); Dr Nathaniel “Wes” Filardo (Microsoft Research Cambridge); Aurelien Dworniczek (Arm); Dr Robert N. M. Watson / Dr Jonathan Woodruff (University of Cambridge).

Ben Ockmore works on physical silicon layout for system IP at Arm - the IP that Arm develops to connect and service its CPUs and GPUs. As a Staff Engineer, I manage one our recent graduate joiners and help to influence the technical direction of the physical implementation team. At the same time, I continue to take an active role in analysing the power, performance, area and quality of our system IP products, providing feedback directly to RTL engineers. Occasionally, my team will be tasked with taping out a test-chip, as was the case for Morello, which is a completely different, but very exciting challenge!

Dr Andrea Kells is Director, Research Ecosystem at Arm. She has responsibility for overseeing Arm’s global portfolio of research partnerships and collaborations, and the relationships that underpin them. She also engages with relevant funding agencies and policy-makers in order to promote Arm’s strategic research objectives, and to support academic research in aligned areas. For many years she has been interested in how academic research can be successfully translated into commercial products, and what the barriers and constraints might be.

Dr Nathaniel “Wes” Filardo is just finishing his first year as a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, Cambridge. His primary focus is leading the ongoing investigation of heap temporal safety atop CHERI, which involves working closely with coworkers at Microsoft and colleagues at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, where he was fortunate to have been a postdoc for the two years prior to his current appointment. Much of this work will apply to Arm’s Morello experimental architecture and hopefully helps push us that much “closer to done” with regards to software security.

Aurelien Dworniczek is currently working as a physical design engineer at Arm. His role as a senior engineer consists in implementing the various system IPs that Arm delivers to partners and to improve their performance. He is also involved in developing tools and flows to improve the quality of the deliverables and facilitate the implementation process. He was involved in building the Morello test chip which was his first tape out project.

Dr Robert N. M. Watson is a Reader in Systems, Security, and Architecture at the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. He is Principal Investigator (PI) for the CHERI project, leading design of the CHERI architecture, and supervising research in architecture, systems software, compilers and toolchain, and application security. CHERI is now the basis for Arm's Morello architecture and forthcoming experimental System-on-Chip. Dr Watson is a Visiting Academic at Microsoft Research Cambridge. He is a frequent contributor to open-source software, and is a co-author of the Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System (Second Edition), as well as being a board member (and past president) of the FreeBSD Foundation.

Dr Jonathan Woodruff is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and helps spearhead research efforts toward CHERI capability hardware. Jonathan is currently working on a superscalar, out-of-order CHERI-RISC-V implementation which is being used both for performance evaluation and for exploration of transient side-channel attacks.

Attending lectures