UNC Charlotte to collaborate with the NSA for critical multi- and interdisciplinary research

Categories: Research Tags: Research

UNC Charlotte has entered a five-year agreement with the National Security Agency (NSA) to share knowledge and expand United States government research in key areas: Internet of Things, national cybersecurity and the emerging field of security science.

UNC Charlotte’s participation in this agreement is being led by the College of Computing and Informatics in collaboration with the School of Data Science, the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center and the William States Lee College of Engineering.

“UNC Charlotte possesses a long history in research contributing to the defense and security of our nation and the well-being of society,” said William Tolone, who is professor and associate dean for the College of Computing and Informatics and the project’s principal investigator. “This collaboration with the National Security Agency presents an exciting opportunity to expand the impact of our work and to provide our students with invaluable research experiences to power the future.”

Specific research opportunities include:

Internet of Things (IoT) – UNC Charlotte researchers will analyze current and emerging IoT technologies — that is, the interrelated, internet-connected objects that collect and transfer data over a wireless network — in support of the NSA’s mission. Their work will inform strategies for addressing vulnerabilities faced by national security due to the rapid adoption of new technologies that support billions of consistently interconnected devices, including, for example, in “smart cities” that manage assets and deliver services to citizens.

National Cybersecurity and Cyber Analysis Research – Multidisciplinary expertise will be applied to innovative approaches for solving challenges related to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of digital information, including performing government cybersecurity assessments and related risk mitigation responses, for the purpose of significantly advancing the field. Proposed research will impact cybersecurity for connected systems, transportation cyber physical systems, cognitive radio networking, radio frequency engineering, information security, big data analytics and distributed cloud computing.

Secure Competition and System Science Research – UNC Charlotte and NSA will engage in long-term foundational research to develop the emerging and evolving field of secure composition and system science research. This work will explore the theoretical foundations of security science as well as develop and assess the enabling security artifacts, technologies, and methods. Goals associated with this topic area include deeper knowledge of the field of secure composition and system science, a standardized framework that shapes and informs security practice, and an increased number of subject matter experts in the field.

“UNC Charlotte researchers are well positioned to partner with the country’s primary intelligence agency to contribute to critical research that will impact the quality, safety and well-being of all of our lives,” said Mark Spindler, interim director, Office of Research Partnerships, who will manage the project for UNC Charlotte. “We look forward to opportunities for multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration that this agreement will bring.”

Photo: Mary Lou Maher, professor of software and information systems and director of the Integrated Critical Core and Center for Education Innovation, and Shaikh Islam, Ph.D. student in computing and information systems and software and information systems, explore technology related to the Internet of Things (IoT) through resources available in UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics’ SmartHomeLab.