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Young talents at the Cyber-Defence Campus

Young talents are given the opportunity to work on various projects at the cyber defence campus. This is arranged by armasuisse Science and Technology (S+T) in conjunction with the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne and ETH Zurich for research and training in cyber defence.

Science and Technology, Department of Business Processes

Stéphanie Lebrun sits at the table and smiles into the camera

Stéphanie Lebrun has a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from the University of Liège in Belgium. Two years ago, she came to Lausanne to do her Master's Degree in Computer Science at the EPFL. This September, she started her internship at armasuisse Science and Technologies (S+T) in Lausanne where she is currently writing her Master's Thesis.

Ms Lebrun, why did you choose to study Computer Science?

I have always been very interested in scientific topics, way more than in languages for example. By studying Engineering and Computer Science, I felt that I would be able to understand a little bit about everything in regards of science. I chose Computer Science for my Master because I realized that I really loved programming. Whenever I am working on a project, I am losing track of time and I love to solve problems thanks to Computer Science.

That means that you do programming yourself?

Yes, we receive problems and our task is to find a solution with the help of programming. This requires a combination of mathematical thinking and creativity to make it work. That is what I enjoy - starting from scratch and finding a solution thanks to programming. It is very powerful (laughs).

Since September, you are an intern at the department C4I of armasuisse S+T. How did you become aware of armasuisse?

Actually, I got aware of the Cyber-Defence Campus before I even realized that it is part of armasuisse. I heard at the EPFL that the Cyber-Defence Campus is hiring and so I tried my luck.

Therefore, you did not know that the CYD Campus and armasuisse are part of the Swiss government. Was this a surprise for you?

No, I didn't know to be honest. Well, no, it was not surprising, I understand the Swiss government cares about cyber security as this problematic touches any institution or individual. Same for armasuisse activities, it is a matter of civil protection too.

Why did you choose this internship?

The Cyber-Defence Campus had invited tenders for an open project on security and satellite positioning. These two topics fascinate me very much, so it was a gold project for me.

What is your Master's Thesis, you are currently working on, about?

It is related to the security of GNSS (global navigation satellite systems). A lot of applications become increasingly dependent on those systems to get precise positioning and timing reference. So we need to ensure we can trust the information received, or be alerted when it is not the case. I am studying how we can do that in practice, so that the Swiss Army in particular can be protected.

How do you think you can support the Cyber-Defence/Cyber Security of Switzerland with your work?

I think that we need to keep an eye on all kinds of different areas when it comes to Cyber-Defence. By studying satellite positioning security, I think I can make a small contribution to the Cyber Security in Switzerland for example by pointing out problems in the signals used by the Swiss Army.

How does the knowledge you are collecting at armasuisse S+T help you for future positions?

This is my first real work experience. At the university I worked on various projects, but everything was theoretical. Now I have the opportunity to work on real issues. Moreover, every day I meet many other students or PhD students who are studying on other topics and it is very interesting for me to exchange with them and learn from them. I think the experience I can gain here will help me wherever I go in the future.

Do you want to work in the field of Cyber-Defence in the future?

I am definitely considering working in the field of Cyber-Defence or Cyber Security later. I have just started my internship, so I am not 100% sure of what I want to do afterwards. I am also interested in privacy issues and space technology. But my experience here encourages me to continue doing research in Cyber Defence, for sure.