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Doctorate for Council IT team member

Graduation

People and problem solving were the drivers behind Wairoa District Council’s Dr Hanif Deylami’s recent PhD completion.

Dr Deylami is Council’s Cyber Security and Network Engineer and recently graduated with a PhD awarded in Information Technology and Information Systems from Auckland University of Technology.

His doctorate focusses on cyber security, cloud computing and virtualisation, an area he says is seen by many as one of the most urgent issues currently facing our planet.

Iranian by birth, Dr Deylami has been in New Zealand for around six years. He began working in Auckland as a Cyber Security researcher at Unitec Institute of Technology, followed by a stint as a senior lecturer in Nelson, and moved to Wairoa at the beginning of last year.

Dr Deylami’s journey has gone from software architecture engineer to Information Security.
He describes himself as passionate about people, particularly about how individuals interact in different professional settings, adding that he truly enjoys accompanying organisations in their journeys to solve complex strategic and organisational challenges.

“The InfoSec business in particular captured my interest due to its fast-paced, innovative and complex nature which requires a thorough understanding of both people and technology matters, but also a relentless intrinsic motivation to challenge the status quo.

“The reality is now, if the pandemic has shown us anything, it is that everything can change so quickly and from a Cyber Security perspective people need to be more resilient and mentally and emotionally prepared to accept the challenges.

“Resilience and mental and emotional intelligence are powerful ways of bringing about positive changes in the current world.

“In the world of cloud computing security is the key to success. While ease and cost are two important factors security and technical issues are significant problems.”

The five-year study involved developing a new cloud integrity framework and ensuring this new framework could be evaluated and refined to a high standard.

Dr Deylami’s Cyber Security View is that in a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.

“Billions of us can hardly afford the luxury of investigating because we have more pressing things to do around living our daily lives.

“However, if the future is decided in your absence, you will not be exempt from the consequence.

“As a Cybersecurity enthusiast, I can try and offer some clarity, thereby helping to level the global playing field.

“In next 30-years, the traditional working environment and education model will become obsolete and the only way for humans to stay in the game, will be to keep learning through their lives and to reinvent themselves again and again.

“People will need to be extremely resilient and mentally balanced to sail through this never-ending storm and to deal with very high-level stress.”

Since completing his Doctorate, Dr Deylami can’t believe how much time he has on his hands. Already he has taken up a basic te reo Māori course and is a keen footballer for the Athletic team.

“I am enjoying the Wairoa community, it is a happy lifestyle, people are welcoming, and I enjoy engaging with the community and learning the culture of the people which helps me deliver a better service to the ratepayers and clients.

I look forward to adding more contribution to the Council and the community.

“I would like to thank my colleagues at the Wairoa District Council, especially Kitea Tipuna, Dr Kimberley Tuapawa and Russell McCracken, for their constant motivation and endless encouragement.”

Wairoa District Council chief executive officer Kitea Tipuna congratulated Hanif on his achievement and on such a relevant topic at a relevant time.

“Cyber security is very much a hot topic and Council is very fortunate to have a staff member with Hanif’s knowledge and skills who is prepared to share his expertise with us.”

17 September 2021

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