Best Cybersecurity Master Thesis (BCMT) Award in the Netherlands

Funded by 4TU.NIRICT/CSng   -  Supported by ACCSS

What is the BCMT award?
The Cyber Security next generation (CSng), under the 4TU.NIRICT umbrella, is a community-building activity in the Netherlands in the field of Cybersecurity. One of the main goals of CSng is to form the next generation of researchers and engineers in Cybersecurity. To this end, CSng has decided to establish an award for the best Master thesis in this field, the BCMT award. The BCMT award rewards Master theses that make a significant academic and/or practical contribution to the field of Cybersecurity.

Call for Nominations – Best Cybersecurity Master Thesis (BCMT) Award in the Netherlands 2022-2023 Academic Year

The Cyber Security next generation (CSng) is an interest group established by cybersecurity researchers to create a cybersecurity community in the Netherlands. The CSng was supported by 4TU.NIRICT and as of January 2023 is associated with the ACademic Cyber Security Society (ACCSS). One of the main goals of CSng is to form the next generation of researchers and engineers in cybersecurity. To this end, CSng has established an award for the best master’s thesis in this field. This call is for the next edition of the award where we solicit nominations of excellent master’s students who graduated with an outstanding thesis in cybersecurity.

The BCMT award recognizes and rewards master's theses that make significant academic and/or practical contributions to the field of cybersecurity. The topics of interest include, but not limited to, the following.

  • Privacy enhancing technology
  • Network security
  • Security and privacy by design
  • Cryptographic schemes
  • Trust management
  • Risk management
  • Socio-technical issues of cybersecurity
  • Cybersecurity situation awareness

For the 2022–2023 award, any master’s student who defended their thesis during the academic year 2022–2023 (and graduated before September 1, 2023) can be nominated.

A committee appointed by CSng will evaluate the theses. The theses will be judged on the basis of scientific quality, originality, clarity of presentation, as well as potential impact of the results.
Nominations for the award should consist of:

Nominations for the award MUST consist of the following.

  • A nomination letter from the thesis supervisor. Please ensure that the letter (a) is not longer than 2 pages, (b) includes the thesis title and names of the student, supervisor(s), and the institution(s) granting the degree.
  • Master’s thesis (in PDF format)
  • A short summary of the thesis in English
  • Curriculum vitae (in PDF format) of the nominee

Nominations should be sent in by July 5th, 2024 to the contact person at the nominee’s university (see below). Up to two theses per university can be nominated for the award, meaning that he/she has to select the best two nominated theses from his/her university.


BCMT Award Ceremony

The winner of the award will be announced during the CSng workshop supported by ACCSS in Spring (details to be announced). The authors of the best two master’s theses will be required to present their work at the conference. The author of the award-winning thesis will also receive a cash supplement along with the (1st prize) award.

For more information about the award, please contact Zekeriya Erkin (, Monika Trimoska (, and Savio Sciancalepore ( ).

Contact persons at different institutions

  • Luca Allodi, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Zekeriya Erkin, Delft University of Technology
  • Cristiano Giuffrida, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Christine Utz, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Florian Hahn, University of Twente
  • Fatih Turkmen, University of Groningen
  • Harald Vranken, Open Universiteit
  • Olga Gadyatskaya, Leiden University


*If you do not have a local representative at your institution, please get in touch with the organizers.

Evaluation Committee

  • Antonia Affinito, University of Twente
  • Luca Allodi, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Andrea Continella, University of Twente
  • Olga Gadyatskaya, Leiden University
  • Seda Gürses, Delft University of Technology
  • Florian Hahn, University of Twente
  • Kathrin Hövelmanns, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Hugo Jonker, Open Universiteit
  • Kate Labunets, Utrecht University
  • Bart Mennink, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Fadi Mohsen, University of Groningen
  • Sven Schäge, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Savio Sciancalepore, Eindhoven University of Technology (co-chair)
  • Georgios Smaragdakis, Delft University of Technology
  • Raffaele Sommese, University of Twente
  • Monika Trimoska, Eindhoven University of Technology (co-chair)
  • Fatih Turkmen, University of Groningen
  • Christine Utz, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Erik van der Kouwe, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Rolf van Wegberg, Delft University of Technology
  • Thijs van-Ede, University of Twente
  • Harald Vranken, Open Universiteit
  • Savvas Zannettou, Delft University of Technology
  • Nicola Zannone, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Mengyuan Zhang, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Yury Zhauniarovich, Delft University of Technology

History of BCMT
The first award (BCMT 2015-2016) was handed out at ICT.OPEN 2017 on March 21, 2017, during the Cyber Security session. A committee consisting of representatives of several Dutch Universities and companies led by CSng selected two theses out of six theses submitted. These two highly ranked cyber security theses were presented by the master students themselves. Both presenters received a signed certificate, only one of them got the award, which went to Lars Bade (RU Nijmegen) for his outstanding thesis entitled “Resilience of the Domain Name System: A case study for .nl” (see picture). The committee concluded:

The research question is non-trivial and has ramifications to security and network design/administration; obtained results are relevant from both scientific and industrial perspectives. The author validates the proposed method by considering 60 failure scenarios; the underlying design decisions are examined and justified in great detail. This thesis resulted from a collaboration with SIDN; this is yet another highlight of this outstanding master work.”

Lars Bade (RUN) receives the BCMT Award 2015-2016 at ICT.OPEN 2017 from Dr. Nicola Zannone (TU/e), Dr. Andreas Peter (UTwente; left), and Dr. Zeki Erkin (TUD; right)

BMCT 2017 Award:

Jos Wetzels, "KINTSUGI: Identifying & addressing challenges in embedded binary security
(handed over during ICT.OPEN March 2018)

BMCT 2018 Award:

Pietro Frigo, Practical Microarchitectural Attacks from Integrated GPUs
(handed over during the CSng workshop May 2019)

BMCT 2019 Award: (ex-aequo)

Amber van der Heijden, Cognitive Triaging of Phishing Attacks
Dominik Leichtle, Post-quantum signatures from identification schemes

(handed over during the CSng workshop November 2020)


BMCT 2020 Award

Daniel Vos  (TU Delft, supervised by Sicco Verwer) Adversarially Robust Decision Trees Against User-Specified Threat Models 

(handed over during the CSng Workshop on November 2021: online )

BMCT 2021 Award

Arpita Ravindranath (TU Delft, supervised by Mauro Conti and Matteo Cardaioli) "For your voice only - exploiting side channels in voice messaging for environment detection."

(handed over during the CSng Workshop on October 13, 2022 )

BMCT 2022 Award

Bjorn Ruytenberg (TU/e): When Lightning Strikes Thrice: Breaking Thunderbolt Security

(handed over during the CSng Workshop on November 22, 2023)