Tennessee State University will participate in a five-year, $28.1 million U.S. Department of Energy initiative to improve computer/communication networks for energy delivery systems such as power grids and pipelines, the agency has announced.
The university will receive $930,000 to conduct studies in security risk assessment, software-defined networking, robust control systems, and detection and classification of the impact of attacks on cyber-physical systems, according to a release.
TSU researchers will join a consortium of 11 universities and national laboratories led by the University of Illinois. The consortium will attempt to improve the resilience and security of the cyber networks, which serve as the backbone of the nation’s so-called energy delivery systems (including the electric power, oil and gas industries).
Dr. Sachin Shetty, TSU associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and a cyber security and networking systems expert, will oversee the effort as project director. Dr. L.H. Keel, TSU professor of electrical and computer engineering, will assist as co-PI.
“The security of critical infrastructure — such as power grids, oil and gas refineries, nuclear power reactors and pipeline operations — has attracted tremendous attention,” Shetty (pictured) said in the release. “There is growing awareness in the industry to safeguard cyber and physical resiliency and move beyond cyber security to ensure the nation’s energy delivery systems can operate in the presence of attacks caused by adversarial actions.”
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the TSU College of Engineering, called the partnership with the CREDC part of his college’s “strategic initiative” to train and educate a more diverse workforce in cyber security.
In addition to TSU and Illinois, the consortium includes research experts from Argonne National Laboratory, Arizona State University, Dartmouth College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Rutgers University, University of Houston and Washington State University.
Tennessee State University has announced its official designation as a certified “Vets Campus.”
According to a release, the university originally received word of the distinction during the Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11, 2014, when Dr. Mark Hardy, vice president of academic affairs, announced the award.
Passed into law in 2014, the Tennessee Veterans Education Transition Support Act created an honorary program classification for state colleges and universities that effectively foster a supportive environment for veterans. TSU currently has about 200 veterans who are enrolled on the GI Bill.
At a special recognition ceremony on the Avon Williams Campus Tuesday morning, TSU President Glenda Glover called the designation a “monumental achievement” for both the university and for Nashville.
“This recognition is a fulfillment of our goal to make Tennessee State University a top destination for veterans,” Glover (pictured) said in the release. “This was made possible after much work, including surveys, student orientation and mentoring to make sure we had everything in place to ensure that veterans coming to TSU are provided the necessary environment and resources to ease their transition. I am honored to accept this award on behalf of TSU.”
To attain the Vets Campus designation, schools must meet various criteria, including the facilitation of support and mentoring programs for veterans, in addition to ensuring academic credit is received for skills and training received during military service. Schools must also educate faculty and staff about veterans’ culture, including information on the combat-related mental or physical disabilities many soldiers face during and after their service.
Over at Venture Nashville Connections, Milt Capps has written about a potentially promising alliance between Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University and Tennessee Technological University. Officials at the schools are looking to develop a "distributed research park" that would pool best practices around their tech transfer operations and supporting the state's regional business accelerators. Things are at a very early stage and there are plenty of paths to explore.
A physical campus for a central MT-DRP "technology concentration" facility is among the options that are to be studied. However, in the absence of such a physical geographic nexus, the "distributed research park" could take the form of collaborative, cooperative or community programs.
Tennessee State University will next week roll out its new Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. The center will be based on the Avon Williams Campus and be the umbrella entity for the Nashville Business Incubation Center and the school's Small Business Development Center. Ruthie Reynolds will be its first executive director.
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