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MU awards two honorary doctorates

Ross J. Anderson, professor of security engineering, and Ondřej Křivánek, physicist, designer and developer of electron microscopy technology, have been awarded the doctor honoris causa degree by Masaryk University.

The award ceremony took place at the Faculty of Law.

The two internationally renowned scientists and foremost experts in their fields joined the ranks of Masaryk University honorary degree holders on Thursday, 21 April, in the Faculty of Law auditorium.

Ross J. Anderson is active in the fields of security engineering, security economics, cryptography and technology policy. He has worked in computer labs at the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh and is a Churchill College Fellow. The honorary doctorate degree is conferred not only in recognition of his professionalism and scientific achievements but also for his contribution to the collaboration with Masaryk University, especially with the Faculty of Informatics. He has been collaborating with the faculty’s researchers since 1996. “Since then, three researchers from our faculty have been to the University of Cambridge on postdoctoral research fellowships and creative sabbaticals. Many PhD students have also had the opportunity to visit the University of Cambridge’s computer security lab group or attend a workshop on security protocols. Workshops organised outside Cambridge have already been held in Brno twice with the personal participation of Professor Anderson, who presented his latest findings,” said Jiří Zlatuška, Dean of the MU Faculty of Informatics.

Ross J. Anderson was awarded an honorary doctorate by MU.

In his acceptance speech, Ross J. Anderson stressed that successful research is always based on real-world problems. He described the areas he has pursued in his scientific career over the years: from an initiative to bring electricity to millions of homes in South Africa using cryptography, through a project to secure payment systems in the UK, to identifying the causes of security failures in complex real-world systems. “My mission is to develop security engineering as a discipline. As technology transforms our world, we in academia will need to develop many new disciplines to cope with the changes. This will be most acutely felt in the sciences and engineering, but major changes await other fields as well. So let’s also look for the real-world problems in academia and then build the teams needed to solve them,” urged Ross J. Anderson.

Ondřej Křivánek is a world-renowned physicist, instrument designer and technology developer who has made such important breakthroughs in electron microscopy and its instruments that he is known abroad as a microscopy wizard. Born in Prague, he graduated from the University of Leeds and received his PhD in electron microscopy from the University of Cambridge. He currently lives in the United States where he is the president of Nion, an American electron microscope manufacturer. In 2020, he was awarded the prestigious Kavli Prize in Nanoscience. “Ondřej Křivánek is a scientific visionary whose achievements are a source of inspiration for all of us at Masaryk University, as well as for the whole of Brno as one of the world’s leading electron microscopy centres,” said Jiří Nantl, Director of CEITEC MU.

Ondřej Křivánek has been awarded the doctor honoris causa degree by Masaryk University.

During the award ceremony, Ondřej Křivánek thanked his family for their unwavering support throughout his career and emphasised three main points: that limited financial resources need not limit human creativity, that he was able to reach for opportunities, and that he had the pleasure to work with incredibly talented and forthcoming colleagues and friends. “Of course, students and young people at the beginning of their careers know that standing on the shoulders of giants is a great way to start. Still, I would encourage them to venture out into the world more, be resourceful in discovering their own giants, and pursue their own vision when they return home. If they manage to do this while working at Masaryk University, they will certainly achieve great success and the international reputation of the university will grow even further,” said Ondřej Křivánek in his honorary doctorate acceptance speech.