Carnegie Mellon University
March 30, 2021

On the Road to Professor Schwarz Iglesias

By Jessica Shirley

saraheadshot-5x7.jpgOne day, we’ll be referring to Sara Schwarz Iglesias as Professor. She is on the path to her dream career as a security researcher.

Sara won the GEM Fellowship through SAP and Carnegie Mellon, and interned with SAP National Security Services in summer 2019. To build her research expertise, she is working with Professor Patrick Tague on her thesis project focused on IoT security, “Finding a Topology Obfuscation Method for IEEE 802.15.4 Protocol.“

“INI was one of the few programs with a research track, which I really wanted as a way to enrich my security knowledge and grow my research experience to pursue a PhD,” said Sara.

“In a security perspective, I used to feel IoT was an unnecessary technology that was just candy for hackers. After taking Embedded Security, I really learned all the amazing things that this area is doing, and the need there is to secure it," she said.

Her time at the INI has grown Sara’s confidence. She’s an active student leader with GOINI and Women@INI and led the “What the Heck is a CTF” workshop for the local Pittsburgh community.

“I had always doubted my own talents, thinking that it was only others who helped me reach where I was. With the INI, I had to take really hard courses which pushed me out of my comfort zone. Now I know my talents and I am actually confident of what I can give to others,” she explained.

In March 2021, Sara received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention.

This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.

"As Sara's advisor, I am incredibly proud of her achievements. It is an honor to be recognized through the GRFP and points towards high levels of success in Sara's future academic and professional career," said Professor Hanan Hibshi, INI research and teaching scientist. "I know she will be a life-long leader who makes significant contributions to security research and innovation." Congratulations Sara!

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