TEES

Cyber Warriors take top prize at TEES Annual Research Conference

June 5, 2019
| By: Amy Klinkovsky

The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) awarded $40,000 in seed grant funding to new research collaborations at its fourth TEES Annual Research Conference. First place and $20,000 was awarded to the Cyber Warriors team for their project, “Powering Up: Cybersecurity Education for a Dispersed Workforce.” Dr. Abhijit Nag, assistant professor in the computer information systems department at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, will serve as principal investigator.

Each year at the conference, representatives from the 19 TEES regional divisions and affiliates come together to expand the research capacity in the state of Texas by tapping into the talent of the TEES network and forming collaborations that compete for seed funding at the end of each conference. Dr. Brent Donham, dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University-Commerce, was chair of this year’s conference.

“We appreciate Brent Donham’s leadership for hosting the event at Texas A&M-Commerce,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, Texas A&M University Engineering vice chancellor and dean. “Texas A&M-Commerce President Mark J. Rudin provided exceptional hospitality and created an atmosphere that fostered productive conversations for collaboration on future research projects.”

“This year’s winning project intersects the cybersecurity expertise that is honed in our partner universities across the state with the educational needs of our public service and military workforce for whom a university degree is not necessarily a requirement,” said Dr. Dimitris Lagoudas, deputy director for TEES and associate vice chancellor for engineering at Texas A&M. “Collaborations like these bring to life our strategic plan to help our partners respond to changes in a dynamic world through professional and continuing education. TEES researchers will remain committed to addressing big-picture problems, and we will empower our partners to become leaders in engineering innovation. We will not only work to deliver solutions, but open doors to new opportunities.’”

The powering up project addresses the need for effective cybersecurity education for a dispersed workforce that includes entry-level military personnel and aspiring law enforcement officers. Nag and a team of five others from TEES regional division partners will create online instructional curriculum for a certificate program that will cover cybersecurity topics like artificial intelligence and provide lab simulations.

Team members include Dr. Camille Gibson, professor and interim dean in justice studies at Prairie View A&M University; Dr. Daniel Creider, associate professor in the computer science and information systems department at Texas A&M-Commerce; Dr. Vikram Bhadauria, assistant professor of management information systems, and Dr. Ram Neupane, assistant professor of math at Texas A&M University-Texarkana; and Dr. Mirley Balasubramanya, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

The $20,000 award will be used to conduct market and gap analysis, identify key competencies and develop pilot modules, all while the team explores even more grant opportunities to fully fund the powering up project.

In addition to the $20,000 award, TEES also presented two $5,000 awards and four $2,500 awards at the conference. Visit the TEES Annual Research Conference website for a list of all the award winners.

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