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William Diehl joins ECE | ECE | Virginia Tech

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William Diehl joins ECE

Photograph of William Diehl
ECE Assistant Professor William Diehl

William Diehl has joined ECE as an assistant professor. He is a member of the Center for Embedded Systems for Critical Applications (CESCA), and will be focusing on secure and efficient implementation of cryptography in hardware and software.

Diehl comes to Virginia Tech from George Mason University where he was a research assistant. There, he investigated lightweight, authenticated ciphersencryption that assures data confidentiality, integrity, and authenticityin reconfigurable applications, including field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), systems-on-chip (SoC), and softcore microprocessors.

Diehl's research interests involve fortifying systems against side-channel attacksattacks that exploit information leakage from electronic circuits not from software. Diehl focuses on low-overhead protection against side-channel attacks in lightweight embedded devices; lightweight, side-channel resistant implementations of post-quantum public-key cryptosystems; and low-power softcore microarchitecture and integrated hardware accelerators used in edge computing.

As part of the Cryptographic Engineering Research Group (CERG) at George Mason, Diehl explored ways to securely and efficiently implement cryptography into hardware and software. This included evaluating power analysis countermeasures for cryptographic implementations, like symmetric, secret-key, lightweight authenticated ciphers.

From 2015 to 2017, Diehl worked at General Dynamics Mission Systems, first as a business development senior manager and then as a principal engineer. As a member of a six-person team, Diehl developed firmware for air and missile defense applications, supporting digital design, simulation, verification, and optimization of critical radar subsystems.

Diehl is a retired U.S. Navy Captain. From 1991 to 2014, he served as a U.S. Navy Cryptologic Officer and Surface Warfare Officer. His tactical and strategic assignments involved direct support to commanders on Navy aircraft and ships, and joint duty assignment in the Pentagon.

Diehl earned his B.A. in computer science and Russian language from Duke University, his M.S. in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, his M.A. in international studies from Old Dominion University, and his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from George Mason.