short bio

Olaf M. Maennel

The Internet has revolutionized the way in which we communicate, do business, or learn. Knowledge is now easier to access than ever, and what fascinates my research is the technology that enables this worldwide paradigm change.

Since July 2014 I am a Professor for Cyber-Security at Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia. Before that i was with Loughborough University in UK and with the University of Adelaide in Australia. My interests are in computer networks, focusing on:

     Olaf Maennel

pgp key

  • network security
  • routing (BGP, IS-IS)
  • measurements (active & passive)
  • IPv6 & IPv4 address sharing technologies
  • future Internet technology & network virtualization
  • topology modelling/inference & traffic engineering
  • abstractions of networks for configuration management systems

I obtained my Ph.D. (Dr. rer. nat.) in computer science from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, in the group of Anja Feldmann in 2005 and my Diploma (MSc) from the Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.


High-quality research should build on solid theoretical foundations, but must also deliver real-world impact. For example, I am working with Tim Griffin on routing algebras that ensure robustness and safety of Internet routing. However, without close collaborations with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and router vendors, such research will not find its way into the real network.

This dialog with industry is very important to my research, as it ensures research will not lose it's foundations. During my PhD I have worked with Anja Feldmann and Rüdiger Volk from Deutsche Telekom on a network-wide configuration management system, which is in production use in DT's network since 2004. The system specifies eBGP routing policies on an abstract graph-level, but then compiles it all the way down to the vendor-dependant code and auto-configures their routers.

At the University of Adelaide in South Australia I did my post-doc in the School of Mathematical Science working with Matthew Roughan. I am still continuing collaborations with my friends "down under". At the moment we are extending our configuration management system to be beneficial to the network security area as well, for example to configure and auto-deploy Cyber Defense Exercises.

It is this balance between theory and "hands-on" that enables innovation and changes technology.


What drives my research also applies to my teaching. Personally, I believe that traditional universities are at risk of sleepwalking into a crisis, as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) change the higher-education environments drastically (my view on teaching in the information age). We need to rethink our methods/values and implement innovative teaching into our programs. I have also recently been involved in the restructuring of our postgraduate Internet Computing and Network Security (ICNS) program.

Since April 2012 I am a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) having completed the HEA accredited "New Lecturers' Course", which is a comprehensive course for new academic faculty in UK.

Loughborough University:

  • COC190 Advanced Networking
    (2012/13, Sem 2), (2013/14, Sem 2)
  • COF181 Introduction to Programming II
    (2012/13, Sem 2)
  • COP455 Network Systems
    (2009/10, Sem 1), (2010/11, Sem 2), (2011/12, Sem 2), (2012/13, Sem 1), (2013/14, Sem 1)
  • COP502 Building Secure Networks
    (2012/13, Sem 1), (2013/14, Sem 1)
  • COP502 Networks Lab
    (2009/10, Sem 2), (2010/11, Sem 2), (2011/12, Sem 2)
  • COP532 Internet Architectures
    (2010/11, Sem 1), (2011/12, Sem 1)
  • COP532 Internet Protocols
    (2012/13, Sem 1), (2013/14, Sem 1)

Tallinn University of Technology:

  • IXX9601 Doctoral Seminar I, II & III
    (2014/15, Sem 1)
  • ITC8060 Network Protocol Design
    (2014/15, Sem 2)
  • ITX8040 Cyberdefence Seminar
    (2014/15, Sem 2)
  • ITX8512 Practical Training
    (2014/15, Sem 2)

Current PhD Students

  • Ahmed Abubakar (Lboro; since July 2011)
  • Mehdi Mousavi (Lboro; since January 2013)
  • Manal Al-Rawahi (Lboro; since October 2013)
  • Serina Hj Mohd Ali (Lboro; since October 2013)
  • Mauno Pihelgas (TUT; since July 2014)
  • Truls Ringkjob (TUT; since July 2014)

Graduated/completed PhD students:
At Loughborough I have supervised more than 30 MSc students, and numerous final year projects, and been reviewer for several PhD progress reports.

Professional Activities


Reviewer/Program Committee Member:
  • IEEE Infocom, 2014 (external reviewer)
  • IEEE Infocom, 2012 (external reviewer)
  • Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM), 2010 (external reviewer)
  • Assessor for the Lillian Elizabeth Bowmaker Bursary, 2010-2013
  • Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM), 2008 (external)
  • Australasian Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference, 2007
  • Interdomain Routing Workshop (IDRWS), 2004

Organizational Committee Member:
  • WODNAFO 10, Adelaide, Australia 2010
  • Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM), 2006
  • Interdomain Routing Workshop (IDRWS), 2004


I am married to Kaie Maennel and we have two sons, Oliver Matthias, and Martin Alexander (password for pictures on request). I do hold a private pilots licence (EASA and Australia), with IMC privileges.

Olaf Maennel | skype: olaf_maennel | e-mail: om@maennel.net | 05 Feb 2015