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Dr Chitra Balakrishna

Profile summary

Professional biography

Chitra Balakrishna, Ph.D. MBCS, SFHEA , CEH is an academic, author, futuristic technology and open source enthusiast with over 19 years of experience spanning across academia and industry in the areas of Cyber Security, Data Networking, Mobile Communications,Technologies and Applications.
She has been instrumental in acquiring research income of over £2 million as a co-investigator or principal investigator from funding sources such as ERDF, Innovate UK, HEA, EPSRC and British Council. She has over 40 academic publications to her credit in international journals and conference proceedings. In addition, she has authored a highly cited book on 'IP Multimedia Subsystem ' by John Wiley publications.
She is currently the Program Leader for Cyber Security at Open University. She has previously held position of program leader for Networking, Security and Forensics at Edge Hill University and Head of Networks and Services with Centre of Excellence for Mobile Applications and Services. During her tenure as an academic member of staff at the University of South Wales, she set up an open source next-generation networking (NGN) lab in collaboration with industrial partners such as Orange and France Telecom. She is a founding member of a very successful IEEE conference on Next-Generation Applications, Technologies and services which is in its 11th edition and a chair for an IEEE sponsored workshop on Smart Cities for 5 years.

In 2017, she secured a £80K grant from HEA for a project on gamification of cyber security education. The outcomes are maintained at a public website - She currently holds a £40K GSIKE UK-Gulf partnership fund with University of Bahrain.

Research interests

Her current research interests include aspects of security within the context of smart cities, eHealth and Internet of Things. She has a keen interest in the pedagogical aspects of cyber security, particularly in gamification of cyber security education.

Areas of Expertise

  • IoT Security and Healthcare, 
  • Smart Cities – Technologies and Applications, Internet of Things - Communication Systems, Architectures and Applications, Experimentation with Open source platforms and hardware.
  • Cyber security education.


  1. C Balakrishna and D Romano (2018) Mood and game-based learning in the classroom” in Journal of Computers in Human Behaviour, Special Issue (Paper submitted)
  2. H Hasan, G Ali, W Elmedany and C Balakrishna ‘A security and performance review of IoT encryption algorithms, Eighth International Conference on Innovative Computing Technology’ (INTECH 2018), University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK, August 15-17, 2018
  3. S Aljeshi, T Ahmed, A Hasan, E Wael and C Balakrishna, ‘Distributed Ledger Transformations for Fintech Industry, Challenges, and Opportunities’, Eighth International Conference on Innovative Computing Technology (INTECH 2018), University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK, August 15-17, 2018
  4. H Aswad, W Elmedany and C Balakrishna, ‘Blockchain as an enabler for the Social Health Insurance Program in the kingdom of Bahrain’, Eighth International Conference on Innovative Computing Technology (INTECH 2018) University of Bedfordshire, Luton, UK, August 15-17, 2018
  5. S Alromaihi, W Elmedany, and C Balakrishna, ‘Cyber Security Challenges of Deploying IoT in Smart Cities for Healthcare Applications’, FI Cloud 2018, The IEEE 6th International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud, IEEE-CS TCI, 6-8 August 2018, Barcelona, Spain
  6. C Balakrishna (2017), Gamified Virtual Training Environment for Attacker-centric Cybersecurity Skills Development, Transactions on edutainment, Springer, ISSN: 1867-7207 (Accepted)
  7. G.Garge, C Balakrishna and S K Datta (2017), Consumer Healthcare: Current Trends, IEEE Consumer Electronics, Magazine
  8. T K Damenu, C Balakrishna, (2015), Cloud Security Risk Management: A Critical Review, in Proc of Fourth International Workshop on Technologies and Applications for Smart Cities (I-TASC’15), 10th September 2015, Cambridge, U.K. 
  9. Maketo, L., & Balakrishna, C. (2015, September). Is Rural Botswana Stuck to the" Chalkboard Only" Era while Others Make Strides in Mobile Learning?. In Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies, 2015 9th International Conference on (pp. 382-387). IEEE.
  10. Lake, D., & Balakrishna, C. (2015, September). Using Value Added Services to Realise the Benefits of Enterprise Small Cell Deployments: Discussion and Prototype. In Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies, 2015 9th International Conference on (pp. 399-404). IEEE.
  11. P Shuttleworth, C Balakrishna (2015), ‘Cloud and Energy Management - Issues and Concerns’ in Proc of Fourth International Workshop on Technologies and Applications for Smart Cities (I-TASC’15), 10th September 2015, Cambridge, U.K. 
  12. Chairing and Invited Talk at I-TASC 2014
  13. C Balakrishna, Multimedia Service Delivery in Next-Generation Networks - The Need for Adaptation and Inter-Mediation, in Proc. of International Conference on Internet Computing and Information Communications Chennai, India, 2013
  14. C Balakrishna, Enabling Technologies for Smart Services, in Proc. Of the Sixth International Conference on Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies, NGMAST 2012, Paris, France, September 2012
  15. C.Balakrishna, IMS Experience Centre – A Real-life Test Network for IMS services, In Proceedings of IEEETRIDENTCOM 2009, Washington DC, April 6th -8th 2009,
  16. Invited Presentation on Open Source Technologies for Next-generation Networks at First International Workshop on Next-Generation Networks: Open Platforms and Systems [NGNOPS 2008], 16th September 2008, Cardiff, UK
  17. Kuwadekar, C. Balakrishna, K. Al-Begain, GenXfon: Design and Implementation of and Ubiquitous SIP Video Client, In Proceedings of 2nd IEEE Conference on Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies (NGMAST 2008), IEEE Computer Press, Cardiff, UK 16th-19th September, 2008.
  18. C.Balakrishna, K.Al-Begain, A Reality Check on SIP-based Streaming Applications on the Next Generation Mobile Test Network IEEE COMSWARE 2007, Jan 2008, Bangalore India
  19. C.Balakrishna, K.Al-Begain, Towards a User-Centric and Quality-Aware Multimedia Service Delivery Implementation on IP Multimedia Subsystem, in Proc. Of the First International Conference on Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies, NGMAST 2007, Cardiff, UK, October 2007.
  20. C.Balakrishna, K.Al-Begain, Implementing Next-Generation Multimedia Service Enablers over an experimental IMS Test Network, First Research Workshop, Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan, UK, February 2007. (ISBN: 978-1-84054-156-4)
  21. C.Balakrishna, K.Al-Begain, A Cross Layer Approach for Adaptive Multi-level QoS Mobile Multimedia Multicast in Next Generation Wireless Internets, 15th IST mobile summit, Greece, June, 2006.


  • Khalid Al-Begain, Chitra Balakrishna, Luis Galindo, David Moro Fernandez: IMS- A Development and Deployment Perspective, John Wiley & Sons, publication date: October 2009.
  • C.Balakrishna, K.Al-Begain, Mobility and Quality Enabler for Multimedia Services on the next Generation IP Multimedia Subsystem Contribution to COST-290 Final Report, Chapter 4 on Mobility Support. November 2007

Academic Tutorials

Tutorial as part of IEEE NGMAST 2010, Aman, titled Next-Generation Service Delivery Platforms

Tutorial as part of the IEEE NGMAST 2009, titled IMS – A Service Centric View


Co-editor of Proceedings of the IEEE co-sponsored conference on Next-Generation Mobile Applications Services and Technology [NGMAST] 2008 -2015

Teaching interests

  • Ethical Hacking
  • Implementing Secure Systems
  • Network Security
  • Cloud Applications Security
  • Wireless and Mobile Security

Experiments in Cyber Security Education

  • CyberGaTE-This project bridges the skills-gap between theory and practice using innovative pedagogical methods such as gamification and challenge-based learning. As part of the project, a self-directed immersive learning environment is created to train employable cyber-security professionals. The resources are hosted on a computing cloud termed, CyberGaTE, using an innovative concept of 'Classroom as a Service'. The project actively engaged employers, academics and students to build and assess CyberGaTE's effectiveness and dissemination of good practice.


  • Problem-Based Scenarios - Working with industry partners and experts, the project created a series of cyber security problem based learning (PBL) scenarios for use in teaching in L6 and L7 modules.


  • Cyber Security Knowledge Exchange Model - Engage with a small number of SMEs via a student focused knowledge exchange (KE) model as a way of disseminating good cyber security practice. The project was aimed at accelerating the implementation of the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials programme and hence better security in the sector with corresponding lower risks, improved competitiveness of SMEs and reduced business failure. Initially this has impact in the North West of England, but the model we intend to create will be transferrable to other HEIs delivering such programmes.
  • Collaborated with the Syracuse University's Seed Project and co-created virtual lab settings to explore concepts of network security, web security and infrastructure security. 
  • Collaborated with the NYC polytechnic Wireless Implementation Test lab to teach the wireless networks and security. With this, students had remote access to real-life WiMAX and 3G cellular network infrastructure through the internet and could run experiments on the real infrastructure. I designed experiments that are particularly suited for the Edge Hill curriculum and that could be run on the remote infrastructure.

Impact and engagement

Research Funding 

  1. Gamified Intelligent Cyber Aptitude and Skills Training (GICAST) , Nesta, (1st April 2020 - 31st march 2021), Investigator(s):  Dr. C Balakrishna and Dr P.Charlton. Total Value: £240000 (£240K)

  2. A Gamified Intelligent Environment for Training and Assessing Cyber Security Behaviour, Cyber ASAP Program,   Innovate UK (starting 1st April 2019 - 31st July 2019) Investigator(s):  Dr. C Balakrishna and Dr P.Charlton, Prof. Shailey Manukha Total Value: £28,000(£28K)

  3. Cyber Security for IoT Based Healthcare Applications, Joint Academic Development Centres Grant Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy In collaboration with University of Bahrain, Principal Investigator, £38K [March 2018-March 2019]
  4. MOTHER: Maternal IoT Garmet for Home-based Foetal Electro-caridogram, eFutures Sandpit Award (EPSRC), Co-Investigator, £8K. [ February 2018- August 2018]
  5. CyberGaTE: A Gamified Virtual Training Environment for Cyber-Security”, HEA Funded Project., Principal Investigator, £80K [ November 2015- March 2017]
  6. Centre of excellence for Mobile Applications and Services, A European Research Development Fund [ERDF], £5 Million, 2010 –2012, Part of team as a Co-Investigator, under PI Prof. Khalid Al-Begain, Contributed 30% of staff time into this research project.
  7. ICEWish, FP7 Project, 17 Partners, Total funding for the Project is 5 Million Euros, 2011- 2012, Part of team as a Co-Investigator, under PI Prof. Khalid Al-Begain, Contributed 10% of the staff time to this project.
  8.  IMS Test Bed, Co-sponsored by Orange, France-Telecom (2005-2007), £50K, to set up a next-generation networking test bed facility.

Keynotes and Engagement with Wider Community

  • C Balakrishna, M. Richards (2018), ' Shaping the future of Cyber Security Education, Cyber Security Professionals, 2018, York, United Kingdom.
  • C Balakrishna (2018), 'IoT in healthcare - Opportunities and Challenges', 3ICT Conference, Bahrain
  • C Balakrishna (2017), 'Cyber Security Challenges in Connected Healthcare', UK-GCC, Sciene Collaboration Symposium, Manchester, United Kingdom
  • C Balakrishna (2017), ' IoT in Healthcare- A Reality Check', World IoT Forum, Rabat Morrocco.
  • C Balakrishna (2017), CyberGaTE: Think Like a Hacker – Gamified Information Gathering Exercise, SOLSTICE eLearning Conference 2017, Edge Hill University, UK.
  • C Balakrishna (2016), CyberGaTE: A Gamified Virtual Training Environment for Cyber-Security SOLSTICE eLearning Conference 2016, Edge Hill University, UK.
  • C Balakrishna, Gamified Virtual Training Environment for Attacker-centric Cyber-security Skills Development, National Teaching and Learning Conference on Cyber-Security 2016.
  • Invited Keynote at “Apps for Smart Cities Conference”, a World Smart Capital Initiative, Amsterdam, 29th March 2012.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Founder and Chairman of IEEE-sponsored International Workshop on Next-Generation Networks: Open Platform and Services [NGNOPS]
  • Co-Chair of International IEEE conference for Next-Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technology [ NGMAST]
  • Project Leader and Co-author of the book titled
    IP Multimedia Subsystem: A Development and Deployment Perspective Published by the John Wiley and Sons Publications Ltd, released in October 2009.
  • Member of Technical Program Committee of various International conferences.
  • Data Telecommunications Award, Funded by University of Salford, UK, 2003

External collaborations

External Examiner Appointments

Swansea Metropolitan University ( 2012-2014)

University of Staffordshire ( 2016-2019)

Liverpool John Moore's University ( 2018-2022)



The UK-Gulf Institutional Links programe and partnership with University of Bahrain. ( 2017-2019)

Visiting Appointments

  • External Academic Supervisor for MSc Cyber Security Program in University of Bahrain (2017-2019)
  • Visiting Professor and External Academic Expert for PhD Examinations – Bharathiyar University, Tamilnadu, India (2016-2019)
  • Expert Reviewer on Multi-Disciplinary Assessment Committee -  Canadian Innovation Fund Panel (  ( 2015- 2018)


BZKP: Blockchain-based zero-knowledge proof model for enhancing healthcare security in Bahrain IoT smart cities and COVID-19 risk mitigation (2021)
Al-Aswad, Hasan; El-Medany, Wael M.; Balakrishna, Chitra; Ababneh, Nedal and Curran, Kevin
Arab Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 28(1) (pp. 154-171)

Consumer Health Care: Current Trends in Consumer Health Monitoring (2018-01)
Garge, Gopi Krishna; Balakrishna, Chitra and Datta, Soumya Kanti
IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, 7(1) (pp. 38-46)

Using Game-based Learning Methods to Demystify Cyber Security Concepts for Adult Learners (2022-09-29)
Balakrishna, Chitra and Charlton, Patricia
In : 16th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2022 (6-7 Oct 2022, Lisbon) (pp. 73-80)

Design considerations for developing a game-based learning resource for cyber security education (2021-09)
Balakrishna, Chitra
In : 15th European Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2021 (24-25 Sep 2021, Brighton, U.K.) (pp. 80-89)

The Need For Cyber Threat Intelligence For Distance Learning Providers And Online Learning Systems (2021-03-08)
Bandara, Indra; Balakrishna, Chitra and Ioras, F.
In : 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (8-9 Mar 2021, Online Conference) (pp. 9312-9321)

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as on-demand QoS enabler for Multimedia Applications in Smart Cities (2019-10-03)
Garge, Gopi Krishna and Balakrishna, Chitra
In : 2018 International Conference on Innovation and Intelligence for Informatics, Computing, and Technologies (3ICT) (18-20 Nov 2018, University of Bahrain)

Challenges of Wearable Health Monitors : A Case study of Foetal ECG Monitor (2019)
Balakrishna, Chitra; Rendon-Morales, Elizabeth; Aviles-Espinosa, Rodrigo; Dore, Henry and Luo, Zhenhua
In : 2019 Global IoT Summit (GIoTS) (17-20 Jun 2019, Aarhus, Denmark)

Cyber Security Challenges of Deploying IoT in Smart Cities for Healthcare Applications (2018)
Alromaihi, Sara; Elmedany, Wael and Balakrishna, Chitra
In : 2018 6th International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud Workshops (FiCloudW) (6-8 Aug 2018, Barcelona, Spain) (pp. 140-145)

Cloud Security Risk Management: A Critical Review (2016)
Damenu, Temesgen Kitaw and Balakrishna, Chitra
In : 2015 9th International Conference on Next Generation Mobile Applications, Services and Technologies (9-11 Sep 2015, Cambridge, UK) (pp. 370-375)