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Texas A&M University-San Antonio will advance cyber research through a newly established Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center with a $1 million grant from The Texas A&M University System Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI). The center will be housed in the Department of Computing and Cyber Security within the College of Business.

Some of the major research areas to be investigated at the center include security and privacy in the internet of things and cloud computing, secure vehicle-to-vehicle communications and cyber-physical systems. The grant will also be used to enhance research collaborations with local and regional research institutions.

Chancellor John Sharp created the Chancellor’s Research Initiative in 2013 for Texas A&M University and Prairie View A&M University to hire highly qualified professors who would impact the academic and research missions of those schools. Two years later, he expanded it to the rest of the A&M System.

“It is through research that the Texas A&M System can tackle global problems,” said Sharp. “I am proud that A&M-San Antonio will be involved in the critical field of cybersecurity.”

“This grant takes A&M-San Antonio to the next level of research,” said Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of A&M-San Antonio. “We anticipate the A&M University System will see a great return on its investment in cybersecurity here in San Antonio, as well as contribute to advancing research related to the advancing science of the effectiveness for the internet of things.”

The grant will be shared with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), which will receive about a third of the money.

“The Texas A&M System is dedicated to protecting against cyberattacks of government, businesses and individuals,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering and national laboratories and TEES director. “TEES and Texas A&M have built strong academic and research programs in cybersecurity, and this new grant will allow us to leverage our activities with those at A&M-San Antonio for increased impact.”

“The Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center will develop foundational research infrastructure with cutting-edge technology and equipment to facilitate research in various areas and provide campus-wide infrastructure and resources for faculty and student research,” said Dr. Akhtar Lodgher, chair of the Department of Computing and Cyber Security. A portion of the grant will support existing degree programs at A&M-San Antonio, such as Cyber Engineering Technology, as well as future graduate programs. Dr. Smriti Bhatt and Dr. Lo’ai Tawalbeh, under the supervision of Dr. Lodgher, submitted the winning proposal.