Personal profile


Dr Joseph Williams is an Associate Professor within the School of Physics, Engineering and Computer Science. His main area of research is software engineering in a cyber security context, particuarly surrounding the collection of open source information and OSINT. He has collaborated with public and private sector bodies, including the College of Policing.

PhD students and queries are welcome. Please get in touch at with your CV and research interests.

Commercial and public engagement

Joseph's research in internet investigations has led to the creation of OSIRT, a tool that has now found a commercial pathway through the competitive CyberASAP (InnovateUK/KTN/DCMS) programme. This development has facilitated the formation of a spin-out company from the university, where Joseph serves as the Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Joseph has presented OSIRT across the country to various agencies, including police forces, local governments and councils, Food Standards Agency and Trading Standards, the National Crime Agency, and the Royal Air Force. 

Joseph has also been the principal investigator for a KEEP+ project to create an application around patient prescription services. 


Research interests

Joseph's research interests are in the collection and usage of Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) along with the need to conduct rigourous and standardised Internet investigations for law enforcement. 

Joseph engineered a large piece of software, OSIRT (https;//, that enables law enforcement to conduct robust Internet investigations. OSIRT has had over 50,000 downloads since its inception, is trained at the UK’s College of Policing, and has seen worldwide usage over the past 6 years with outputs from OSIRT having been used in the courts; OSIRT continues to provide a needed solution to law enforcement. With OSIRT’s continued growth, it has received funding from a competitive InnovateUK funded stream enabling further development for the evolving nature of Internet investigations.

Joseph also has interests in pedagogical approaches to new programmers and software usability.

Teaching specialisms

Joseph has a diverse portfolio of teaching specialisms. As a software engineer at heart, Joseph has conceived, designed and implemented systems from scratch for law enforcement and can be seen teaching software engineering across undergraduate and postgraduate level. However, given Joseph's tool, OSIRT, he has since shifted his focus to become cyber security oritented, particularly around offensive and defensive OSINT operations; so you will see him teaching cyber modules at masters level.


External positions

External examiner, The University of Central Lancashire


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