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Engineering researchers form cybersecurity partnership

Courtesy of Brett Sayles

Engineering researchers at the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, based at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, are partnering with the Forge Institute and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to advance applied research in areas that support national defense, including cybersecurity.

This cybersecurity partnership will lead to competitive research and collaboration opportunities that will create economic growth and jobs in Arkansas.

The researchers will focus on next-generation cybersecurity defense capabilities for industrial control systems that protect critical infrastructure. The joint team behind the cybersecurity partnership will leverage the testing capabilities of the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, or NCREPT, the highest powered power-electronics test facility at any U.S. university, with the cybersecurity reinforcing learning objectives of UALR’s Cyber Gym and the experienced team and professional capabilities of the Forge Institute.

“We at NCREPT look forward to this exciting collaboration with the Forge Institute and UALR researchers,” said Chris Farnell, NCREPT managing director and test engineer in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Fayetteville campus. “Our advanced applied cybersecurity project will strengthen infrastructure and national security.”

Farnell will work with Philip Huff, Cyber Gym director of research and assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at UALR; and Lee Watson, chair and CEO of the Forge Institute, to lead the project.

“We are excited to partner with the U of A and UALR to develop innovative solutions that will help address our nation’s complex and growing cyber and national security challenges,” Watson said. “By connecting to and building upon the existing cyber and defense sector in the state, we are establishing a foundation to drive innovation that will directly lead to high-paying jobs for Arkansans. I’m excited about this collaboration and how it will better position our state and country to defend against advanced cyber adversaries and grow the state’s economy.”




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