UC partners with U.S. Cyber Command

Network to provide research, educational opportunities for the university

U.S. Cyber Command, one of the 11 unified combatant commands of the U.S. Department of Defense, selected the University of Cincinnati as one of its newest Academic Engagement Network college and university partners.

UC was one of 84 colleges and universities selected for the network, which will provide research and educational opportunities for the university's faculty and students.

“UC will make many contributions to the network and Cyber Command through our involvement,” said Scott A. Petersen, executive director of Digital Futures Cyber Development at UC. “Our expert faculty and their research is likely to even more directly inform policy, strategy and technology development that is critical for our nation’s security while students will have even richer opportunities for experiential learning to contribute similarly now and in the future.

“Many of the challenges in cyberspace require solutions with considerations across all of these disciplines, and UC’s Digital Futures initiative provides physical and intellectual space for that type of collaboration,” he said.

UC is one of only a handful of universities that has two National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence designations — in cyber operations and cyber defense.

Scott A. Petersen Executive director of Digital Futures Cyber Development

UC offers more than a dozen cyber-related programs, at undergraduate and graduate levels, for more than 6,000 students per year within five colleges that are of interest to Cyber Command and its mission. These areas include computer engineering, information technology, cybersecurity, data science, business analytics, biomedical informatics and cyber law.

“Securing cyberspace requires a whole-of-nation-plus approach — everyone has to contribute,” said Richard J. Harknett, professor of political science and director of the School of Public and International Affairs, co-director of the Ohio Cyber Range Institute and chair of the Center for Cyber Strategy and Policy at UC.

“The research students and faculty at the [center] are excited to make that contribution through UC’s new affiliation with U.S. Cyber Command’s Academic Engagement Network. At UC, we are educating the future workforce that will secure cyberspace and through our research discovering the innovations needed to advance national and global cybersecurity. Being part of this network will enhance the impact we can have.”

Membership in the Academic Engagement Network is expected to lead to cyber research mentorship, capstone project topics, co-op and internship sponsorships, expert guest speakers and conference participation opportunities for UC.

At UC, we are educating the future workforce that will secure cyberspace and through our research discovering the innovations needed to advance national and global cybersecurity.

Richard J. Harknett Co-director of the Ohio Cyber Range Institute

“Selection of UC to join this network is not surprising,” said Petersen, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army who worked closely with Cyber Command. “UC is one of only a handful of universities that has two National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence designations — in cyber operations and cyber defense.

“Additionally, UC’s research enterprise includes leading the Ohio Cyber Range Institute, the School of Public and International Affairs’ Center for Cyber Strategy and Policy and the National Science Foundation-supported Center for Hardware Embedded Security and Trust in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.”

U.S. Cyber Command plans to use the Academic Engagement Network to support and enhance future workforce, applied cyber research, applied analytics and strategic issues. The partners will help shape the cyber workforce while supporting the command’s mission.

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