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Alumnus earns national award for work in blockchain, game theory in cybersecurity

Alumnus earns national award for work in blockchain, game theory in cybersecurity

January 25, 2022 at 3:01pm

Charles Kamhoua M.S. '08, Ph.D. '11, an alumnus from FIU's College of Engineering and Computing, recently won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE-USA) Harry Diamond Memorial Award. The honor recognizes U.S. government individuals “for contribution and leadership in the area of blockchain and game theory for cybersecurity while in U.S. government service."

Kamhoua is currently a senior electronics engineer at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory. Kamhoua earned a bachelor's in electronics from the University of Douala in Cameroon, a country in west-central Africa. He received his master’s degree in telecommunication and networking and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, both from FIU. 

His dissertation work, which was conducted under the supervision of Niki Pissinou — professor and director of the Telecommunications and Information Technology Institute — focused on “Modeling Security and Cooperation in Wireless Networks Using Game Theory.” 

“I am humbled to receive this important technical recognition,” Kamhoua said about the recent award. “I never envisioned I would come this far when I was teaching school in Cameroon, but opportunities are there if you work hard and seek them out.”

He specializes in blockchain and game theory for cybersecurity and cyber-deception. Since graduating from FIU in 2011, Kamhoua has been a prolific researcher, having authored or co-authored more than 250 technical papers, five of which received best paper awards. He has also authored or edited four books related to network security and holds three U.S. patents, with several more under review.

“Dr. Kamhoua’s research record in blockchain and game theory for cybersecurity is exemplary," said Sachin Shetty, professor at Old Dominion University, who has collaborated on several projects with Kamhoua. "His leadership and partnership with industry and academia has resulted in solutions that address complex cybersecurity challenges in the battlefield and commercial sector.” 

Along with an outstanding career in research, Kamhoua has received recognition from a wide variety of professional, civil and governmental organizations. He has been a visiting researcher at Harvard and Oxford universities and received attention and accolades from the White House, U.S. Congress and the Pentagon for his contributions. He is the recipient of the 2020 Sigma Xi Young Investigator Award for outstanding leadership and contribution to game theory applied to cybersecurity and the 2019 U.S. Army Civilian Service Commendation Medal.

In 2019, Kamhoua received the Federal 100-FCW annual award, which is given to individuals that have had an exceptional impact on the federal government’s IT efforts and the IEEE ComSoc Technical Committee on Big Data Best Journal Paper Award. In 2018, he was granted a Fulbright Senior Specialist Fellowship, and the year prior, he received the 2017 Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate Basic Research Award “for outstanding achievements in basic research.”

Kamhoua is also the recipient of the Fred I. Diamond Award for the best paper published at AFRL’s Information Directorate, the 2016 FIU Charles E. Perry Young Alumni Visionary Award, the 2015 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA), and the 2015 NSBE Golden Torch Award—Pioneer of the Year.

“None of these achievements would have been possible without the education I received at FIU and the support and encouragement I received from faculty, especially my mentor, Dr. Niki Pissinou,” Kamhoua concluded.