Janis started out as a software developer, before he decided to take his career in a more community-minded direction. “The money was great and the job interesting, but it wasn’t really me,” he says.
Janis joined the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and worked in roles including airport investigation and counterterrorism. Then he took some time off to complete a Masters of IT, qualifying him to become a digital forensic examiner.
Janis’s job involves examining electronic evidence and presenting it to the courts – this means sifting through a lot of data, including graphic and offensive material that can be distressing for officers to sort through manually.
The work inspired Janis to start a PhD investigating how the process could be automated and streamlined – trawling the dark web for illicit material. He received an Australian Public Service data fellowship for his PhD, enabling him to collaborate with experts at CSIRO’s Data61.
Janis says his PhD was a step towards fixing the “disconnect” between universities and police, and he is now acting co-director of a new lab at Monash University looking at other ways artificial intelligence can be used in law enforcement and community safety.
“We do two very different jobs, but we can learn a heck of a lot from each other,” he says.
Janis’ Career Path:
>> Bachelor of Information Technology, Monash University
>> Masters of Information Technology, Monash University
>> Senior Digital Forensic Examiner, Australian Federal Police (AFP)
>> PhD in Intelligent Automation, Monash University
>> Acting Co-director AILECS Lab, Monash University
This article was originally published in our special edition of Careers with STEM: Cybersecurity 2019. You can read the e-magazine for free online here.
Author: Nadine Cranenburgh
Nadine is an electrical and environmental engineer who works as a freelance writer and editor. She loves creating articles and content about exciting and complex technology.