Mr Rory Hopcraft

Mr Rory Hopcraft

Industrial Researcher (Cybersecurity/AI)

Faculty of Science and Engineering



I am a Research Fellow within the Maritime Cyber Threats research group at the University of Plymouth. I have a background in geopolitics, with my own research exploring the international governance of maritime cybersecurity. I am currently working on the EU Horizon 2020 CyberMAR Project, helping to develop various cyber-awareness training materials.



  • PhD (ongoing) in Cybersecurity, Royal Holloway University of London
  • MSc (2016) in Geopolitics and Security, Royal Holloway University of London
  • BSc (2012) in Geography and Global Politics, Canterbury Christ Church University

Previous Positions:

  • July 2019 - Sept 2019 -- Maritime Technology and Regulation Intern, BIMCO, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • June 2019 -- Research Intern, International Maritime Organisation, London, UK



Teaching interests

Interested in teaching all aspects of maritime regulation and cybersecurity, and will be supporting the delivery of cyber-related content to non-technical students.

Teaching in 2020/2021

LAW2220 - Cybercrime: Issues and Regulation (University of Plymouth)

  • Principles of Cybersecurity
  • Cyber Threats
  • Social Engineering and Phishing
  • The Dark Web and Open Source Intelligence

COMP5007 - Cyber-Physical Systems Security (University of Plymouth)

  • Protection, Analysis, Law, Policy

 CyberMAR - EU Horizon 2020 Project (833389)

  • Level 1 - Attacks in Deep
  • Level 1 - Mitigation and Remediation
  • Level 1 - Managing Cyber Risk

IY5605 - Cyber Crime (Royal Holloway University of London)

  • Transport Cyber Crime



Research interests

My research primarily focuses on the regulatory aspects of maritime cybersecurity. I am interested in understanding how the international community manage cyber threat, and create governance frameworks that help increase security. My current focus is on the skills and training needed by the digital seafarer. I enjoy adopting and inter-disciplinary approach to my work, and exploring new topics and themes, these include (but not limited to) maritime security, piracy, environmental protection, sustainability and critical infrastructure protection.



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Tam K, Hopcraft R, Crichton T & Jones K (2021) 'The potential mental health effects of remote control in an autonomous maritime world' Journal of International Maritime Safety, Environmental Affairs, and Shipping 5, (2) 51-66 , DOI Open access
Hopcraft R & Martin KM (2018) 'Effective maritime cybersecurity regulation – the case for a cyber code' Journal of the Indian Ocean Region 14, (3) 354-366 , DOI Open access
Conference Papers
Hopcraft R, Tam K, Moara_Nkwe K & Jones K (2021) 'The Development of a Cyber Safety Culture' ErgoSHIP 2021 9-/-0/20219-/-0/2021100-110 Publisher Site Open access
Hopcraft R (2019) 'The Importance of Information Sharing in the Creation and Enforcement of Maritime Cybersecurity Regulation' 3rd NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre Conference on Cyber Security in Maritime Domain 4-/-0/20194-/-0/2019Open access
Berner G, Hopcraft R, Scanlan J, Lutzhoft M & Earthy J (2018) 'A virtual teams model for supporting maritime technology management' Royal Institution of Naval Architects Human Factors Conference 9-/-0/20189-/-0/2018Open access
Hopcraft R, Tam K, Moara-Nkwe K & Jones K 'Enhanced Transparency: Improving Maritime Cyber Governance' MARESEC 2021 6-/-0/20216-/-0/2021Open access
Other Publications

Hopcraft,R. Jones, K & Tam, K (2021), 'Suez Canal container ship accident is a worst-case scenario for global trade', The Conversation. Available at:

Hopcraft, R. & Martin, K. (2018), ‘Why 50,000 Ships Are So Vulnerable to Cyberattacks’,The Conversation. Available at:\\-to-cyberattacks-98041



Reports & invited lectures


  • Improving Cyber Training: How Seafarers can Learn from Real Cyber Attacks (Digital Ship Webinar)
  • Cryptography: Cracking the Code (Festival of Computing - Computing at School)
  • Seafarer Digital Competencies (Maritime Cyber Tech and & Ops - Riviera Media)

  • Maritime Cybersecurity Governance (The Know Show Podcast, Online)


  • Cybersecurity Governance: The Case for a Cyber Code (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Haugesund, Norway)
  • Cyber Crime & Transport (Royal Holloway University of London)


  • Securing Maritime Cyberspace through Regulation (International Security Expo, London)
  • A Pirates Bounty - A New Way to Look at Maritime Cyber Security Regulation? (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Haugesund, Norway)
  • Pirates, Polar Bears, Programs and Portholes (Royal Holloway University of London)