TU Cyber Corps to receive $6.3M from National Science Foundation to train cyber warriors

TU Cyber Corps to receive $6.3M from National Science Foundation to train cyber warriors

The University of Tulsa’s elite Cyber Corps program has received approval for a $6.3 million National Science Foundation grant. The funding will support about 80 computer science and engineering graduate students who will protect America’s cyberspace. TU’s Cyber Corps, which has fielded more than 400 students during the past 22 years, is one of the largest and most intense programs of its kind in the country.

photo over the shoulder from the rear of a young man seated in front of a laptop computerThe TU program integrates highly specialized cyber operations and defense courses, hands-on learning activities, research and capstone projects, service learning and outreach activities. Students gain unique expertise and make a difference by developing solutions to real problems in concert with embedded law enforcement and national security personnel. The students also help secure critical infrastructure assets ranging from electric power grids, natural gas pipelines and wind farms to automobiles, aircraft and voting systems. They complete summer internships to gain practical experience and go on to join intelligence agencies, U.S. Department of Defense organizations and national laboratories upon graduation.

This summer, TU received $2.8 million for the first two years of the new NSF funding. The approved grant will provide a total of $6.3 million over five years. TU is designated as an NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense as well as Research.

“I am humbled by the magnitude of this NSF grant and the impact that our cyber warrior graduates will have,” said TU’s Cyber Corps Director Sujeet Shenoi, professor of computer science and chemical engineering. “If we do not recruit and train our best and brightest students to exploit and secure the four pillars of cyberspace – hardware, software, networks and radio frequency signals – who will defend us from the escalating attacks launched by highly skilled adversaries?”

photo from above and behind of a young man seated at a desk in front of two computer monitorsA unique feature of TU’s Cyber Corps is that students can join the program as early as their freshman year and commit to completing at least a master’s degree. They take advanced courses and work on research and development projects throughout the academic year for federal agency and private sector partners in addition to completing summer internships at the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI) Laboratory at The University of Tulsa and at other federal agency facilities. “We are proud of our partnership with The University of Tulsa, Dr. Shenoi and his Cyber Corps program,” said NCFI’s Special Agent in Charge Brent Harlan.

“During my deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom and later working at the Pentagon, I saw firsthand the challenges and opportunities provided by cyber technologies. Our country needs the best of the best,” said TU President Brad R. Carson. “Our Cyber Corps program is the highest caliber and so are our amazing students and alumni.”

In addition to more than two decades of outstanding Cyber Corps success, The University of Tulsa has enjoyed a long history of academic excellence in computer science, engineering and cyber security. TU is a Top 25 institution for cyber education and tied with Harvard for best cyber programs. TU’s School of Cyber Studies draws upon expertise from across campus, including faculty in law, business and government policy. Meanwhile, TU’s one-of-a-kind Cyber Fellows program offers a doctorate to researchers and others seeking to solve large-scale problems through cyber applications.