People > Faculty

Radha Poovendran

Radha Poovendran
Professor and Chair
Security, Cyber-Physical Systems, Machine Learning, Bio Systems
Director, Network Security Lab
434 EEB
Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195

Phone: 206-221-6512

University of Maryland, College Park, 1999, Ph.D.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1992, M.S.E.E.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, India, 1988, B.Tech.


Radha Poovendran is a Professor and founding director of the Network Security Lab (NSL) in the Electrical Engineering (EE) Dept. at the University of Washington (UW). He is a founding member and the associate director of research of the University of Washington Center for Excellence in Information Assurance Research and Education. He has also been a member of the advisory boards of Information Security Education as well as Networking Education Outreach of the University of Washington. His research interests are in the areas of wireless and sensor network security, adversarial modeling, privacy and anonymity in public wireless networks, control-security, games-security and Information Theoretic-Security in the context of wireless mobile networks. He has collaborated with the most brilliant doctoral students of the University of Washington in each of these areas. The impact of the research is reflected by the positions his students are taking in the US industry, academia and in the defense sectors, making excellent contributions as team members.

Professor Poovendran is a recipient of the NSA LUCITE Rising Star Award (1999), National Science Foundation CAREER (2001), ARO YIP (2002), ONR YIP (2004), and PECASE (2005) for his research contributions to multi-user wireless security. He is also a recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award and Outstanding Research Advisor Award from UW EE (2002), Graduate Mentor Award from Office of the Chancellor at University of California San Diego (2006), and Pride@Boeing award (2009). He was co-author of IEEE PIMRC Best Paper Award (2007), IEEE&IFIP William C. Carter Award Paper (2010), AIAA/IEEE Digital Avionics Systems best session paper award (2010, 2012), WiOpt Best Paper Award (2012). He was a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (2007). He co-edited a book titled Secure Localization and Time Synchronization in Wireless Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks; Served as a co-guest editor for an IEEE JSAC special issue on wireless ad hoc networks security (2006). He has co-chaired multiple conferences and workshops including the first ACM Conference on Wireless Network Security (WiSec) in 2008 and NITRD-NSF National workshop on high-confidence transportation cyber-physical systems in 2009, trustworthy aviation information systems at the 2010 and 2011 AIAA Infotech@Aerospace and 2011 IEEE Aerospace. He was chief editor for the Proceedings of the IEEE special issue on cyber-physical systems (2012). He is currently an editor of IEEE TMC and ACM TOSN. He is co-guest editor for two special issues on security and privacy (IEEE Networks 2013; IEEE TPDS 2013).

Selected Honors

2012: WiOpt Best Paper Award Paper

2010: IEEE & IFIP William C. Carter Award Paper

2007: IEEE PIMRC Best Paper Award

2007: Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium, National Academy of Sciences

2006: Mentor Recognition Award from University of California at San Diego

2005: PECASE

2004: ONR Young Investigator Award

2002: ARO Young Investigator Award

2001: NSF Faculty Early CAREER Award


Research Interests

Applied cryptography for network security, Information theory and game theory, Resource allocation problems, Discrete algorithms and optimization in networks, Cyber-physical systems, Deception, Control modeling of security.


Representative Publications [Click here for a complete list of publications]

  1. A. Clark, L. Bushnell and R. Poovendran, On Leader Selection for Performance and Controllability in Multi-Agent Systems, IEEE CDC 2012, Maui, December 10-14, 2012. One of the Four 2012 CDC Student Best Paper Award Finalists
  2. A. Clark, L. Bushnell and R. Poovendran, Leader Selection for Minimizing Convergence Error in Leader-Follower Systems: A Supermodular Optimization Approach, in Wiopt’12, Paderborn, Germany, May 14th-18th 2012. WiOpt 2012 Best Paper Award.
  3. K. Sampigethaya, R. Poovendran, "Aviation Cyber-Physical Systems: Foundations for Future Aircraft and Air Transport," in Proceedings of the IEEE, 2013.
  4. R. Poovendran, K. Sampigethaya, S. Gupta, I. Lee, K. V. Prasad, D. Corman, J. Paunicka, Special issue on Cyber-Physical Systems [Scanning the Issue]," in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 100, no. 1, pp. 612, January 2012.
  5. K. Sampigethaya, R. Poovendran, S. Shetty, T. Davis, and C. Royalty, "Future e-enabled aircraft communications and security: The next twenty years and beyond," to appear, Proceedings of the IEEE, Special issue on Aerospace Communications and Networking in the Next Two Decades, vol. 99. no. 11, pp. 2040-2055, December 2011.


  6. B. Alomair, A. Clark, J. Cuellar, and R. Poovendran, Scalable RFID Systems: a Privacy-Preserving Protocol with Constant-Time Identification, in the 40th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN'10), June 2010. 2010 IEEE & IFIP William C. Carter Award Paper.

    A journal version in the Journal of Computer Security (JCS), Volume 19, Issue 2, Pages 229-256, 2011.


  7. K. Sampigethaya, R. Poovendran and L. Bushnell, "Secure Operation, Control and Maintenance of Future e-Enabled Airplane, Proceedings of the IEEE, Special issue on Aviation Information Systems, Vol. 96, No. 12, pp. 1992-2007, December 2008. [PDF]


  8. P. Tague, D. Slater, J. Rogers, and R. Poovendran, "Vulnerability of Network Traffic under Node Capture Attacks using Circuit Theoretic Analysis," 27th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM'08), April 2008, pp. 161-165. [PDF]

    A journal version in IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 111-123, April-June 2009.[PDF]


  10. P. Tague, M. Li and R. Poovendran, "Probabilistic Mitigation of Control Channel Jamming via Random Key Distribution," 18th Annual IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor, and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), September 2007, pp. 1-5. Best student paper.  [PDF]

    A journal version in IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, Vol. 8, No. 9, pp. 1221-1234, September 2009.[PDF]


  11. M. Li, I. Koutsopoulos, and R. Poovendran, “Optimal jamming attacks and network defense policies in wireless sensor networks,” in Proc. of IEEE INFOCOM, Anchorage, AK, May 2007, pp. 1307-1315.
    A journal version in IEEE Transacations on Mobile Computing, Vol. 9, No. 8, pp. 1119-1133, August 2010.


  13. L. Lazos and R. Poovendran, "Coverage in Heterogeneous Sensor Networks," 4th International Symposium on Modeling and Optimization in Mobile, Ad Hoc and Wireless Networks (WiOpt), April 2006, pp. 1 - 10.  [PDF]

    A journal version in ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks, Vol. 2, Issue 3, pp. 325 - 358, August 2006. 

  14. [PDF]


  15. K. Sampigethaya, L. Huang, M. Li, R. Poovendran, K. Matsuura, and K. Sezaki, "CARAVAN: Providing Location Privacy for VANET," Embedded Security in Cars (ESCAR), November 2005.  [PDF]

    A journal version in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications special issue on Vehicular Networks, Vol. 25, No. 8, pp. 1569-1589, October 2007.[PDF]


  17. L. Lazos and R. Poovendran, "SeRLoc: Secure Range-Independent Localization for Wireless Sensor Networks," 2004 ACM workshop on Wireless security (ACM WiSe 2004), Philadelphia, PA.  [PDF]

    A journal version in ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 73-100, August 2005.[PDF]


  19. I. Kang and R. Poovendran, "Maximizing Network Lifetime of Broadcasting over Wireless Stationary Ad Hoc Networks," ACM/Kluwer Mobile Networks and Applications (MONET): Special Issue on Energy Constraints and Lifetime Performance in Wireless Sensor Networks, Vol. 10, No. 6, pp. 879 - 896, December 2005. [PDF]

Students [Click here for more details on students]


Andrew Clark

Phillip Lee

Chou-Chang Yang

Ferney Maldonado



Basel Alomair, PhD 2011, Assistant Research Professor, KACST

Sidharth Nabar, PhD 2011, Mobile Phone group, Microsoft

Patrick Tague, PhD 2009, Assistant Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University.

Krishna Sampigethaya, PhD 2007, Boeing Research & Technology, WA.

Loukas Lazos, PhD 2006, Assistant Professor, ECE department, University of Arizona.

Mingyan Li, PhD 2006, Boeing Research & Technology, WA.

Intae Kang, PhD 2004, Samsung, Korea.



He (Tony) Wu, MS 2011, Advanced Technology Group, Cisco

David Slater, MS 2009, Applied Physics Lab at John Hopkins University

Jeff Vander Stoep, MS 2009, Start up company, Washington, DC.

Javier Salido, MS 2006, Microsoft, WA.