Bret Michael

Professor of Computer Science and Electrical & Computer Engineering

Naval Postgraduate School


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A professor of computer science and electrical engineering, Bret Michael joined the faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School in 1998.  He received the 2010 Engineer of the Year Award from the Reliability Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to the field of trustworthy large-scale distributed systems.  He is also internationally recognized for his exploration of avenues for achieving deterrence, operational arms control, and collective defense in cyberspace.   He serves as the lead technical advisor to the group of experts who are drafting the Tallinn Manual on International Law Applicable to Cyber Conflict.


Prof. Michael was an assistant research engineer at the University of California at Berkeley and a visiting scholar at the Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Sécurité (Lyon, France), conducting research on advanced vehicle control and safety systems.  He began his career as a formal methods engineer at Argonne National Laboratory and as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defense Analyses, performing applied research in software engineering.


In addition to his leadership roles within the IEEE Reliability and Computer societies, he serves on the Steering Committee of the Department of Defense Information Assurance Technology Analysis Center. Since 2002 Prof. Michael has participated in joint U.S.-Russia efforts to address security issues related to cyberspace.  Under the auspices of the U.S. Office of Naval Research, he worked with members of the St. Petersburg Institute for Informatics and Automation to develop automated tools for thwarting distributed denial-of-service attacks.  Most recently he has participated in international forums sponsored by Lomonosov Moscow State University’s International Information Security Research Consortium (IISRC) on combatting cyberspace-enabled crime and terrorism, in addition the EastWest Institute's working group supporting the Russia-U.S. Bilateral on Critical Infrastructure Protection.


Prof. Michael has been active in software engineering education, helping lead the development of a reference curriculum for professional graduate degree programs in software engineering, along with a commendation from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research Development and Acquisition, Chief Systems Engineer, for contributions to the Navy Software Process Improvement Initiative and acquisition reform.  He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Systems Journal, and formerly an Associate Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Security & Privacy magazine and Associate Editor of the Journal of Information & Management. He received his Ph.D. degree from George Mason University in 1993 and completed post-doctoral studies in National Security Law at the University of Virginia’s Center for National Security Law in 2003. 

Contact information:


Naval Postgraduate School

National Capital Region Office

900 N. Glebe Road, Rm. 5-180

Arlington, VA 22203

Office:  +1 (571) 858-3253

Mobile: +1 (831) 402-9771



Last updated on 11 July 2011