MESA+ University of Twente
Mesa+ Meeting

Mesa+ Meeting

1Early diagnostics of diseases, chaired by Guus Rijnders

2Unconventional electronics, chaired by Wilfred van der Wiel

3Storage of renewable energy, chaired by prof.dr. Guido Mul

4Science for security, chaired by prof.dr. Pepijn Pinkse

Science for Security

Chair: Pepijn Pinkse


Our society is becoming ever more dominated by technology: new information and communication possibilities develop at an amazing pace; smart meters are being placed in all houses and the internet of things is on its way. It is beyond doubt that new sensor technology can make our life safer and more comfortable. At the same time the need grows for safe and secure ways of communication, authentication and storage of information, in ways that guarantee our privacy from the start. New communication, encryption and authentication techniques could play an important role in that, for instance quantum cryptography and the more recent quantum-secure authentication. Science also plays an ever-growing role in biometry or forensic science. Finally, at the horizon there is the promise of the quantum computer, which will make be able to compromise many of the encryption methods that are now considered safe.

This session will give an overview of security-related activities in MESA+ and in our direct surroundings. Listeners will be stimulated to look for overlap in their own research activities, also in the light of interesting funding possibilities for security-related research.



Introduction by Pepijn Pinkse


Bas Goorden (Complex Photonic Systems)

Quantum-Secure Authentication


Tim Hellwig (Westfälische Wilhelms Universität – Münster)

The spectro-polarimetric fingerprint of a random laser


Andreas Peter (Services, Cybersecurity, and Safety Group)

Security Research in the Services, Cybersecurity, and Safety Group


Ad Lagendijk (SafePackager)

Physics and security




Quantum-Secure Authentication – Bas Goorden (COPS)

Modern society cannot function without secure methods to authenticate persons and objects. We combine a multiple-scattering key with quantum mechanics to obtain, as we argue, the most secure practical authentication method currently available. 

The spectro-polarimetric fingerprint of a random laserTim Hellwig (WWU)

We characterized the spectro-polarimetric emission properties of random lasers in the regime of strong scattering, which were shown to support very stable random laser modes in spectral location and intensity. We show that random lasing modes from such samples are highly polarized in obviously random, but well-defined states. Our findings reveal a strong dependency of the emission spectrum on the pump polarization and demonstrate how the spectro-polarimetric emission can be efficiently manipulated and used as anti-counterfeiting labels. 

Security Research in the Services, Cybersecurity, and Safety GroupAndreas Peter (SCS)

In this talk, we provide a brief overview on security research being done in the Services, Cybersecurity, and Safety (SCS) group at the University of Twente. We then focus on certain cryptographic mechanisms, such as homomorphic encryption, that can be used to build privacy-enhancing technologies in application domains like smart metering or mobile healthcare. For these settings, we would like to discuss specific challenges, such as the removal of efficiency bottlenecks caused by the presence of very resource-constrained devices.

Physics and security – Ad Lagendijk (SafePackager)

Storing digital data securely and transporting digital data securely is one of the hottest items in the western society.

Question 1: Is there a role to play for physics, and possibly other sciences, to meet these challenges?
And as an example: Question 2: Could mathematicians develop better encryption algorithms?
I will explain that Question 2  is about the dumbest question that can be asked in this field. And I will try to sketch some answers to Question 1.