Cybersecurity in Delaware

Cybersecurity in Delaware

State officials and UD experts convene to discuss opportunities to bolster cybersecurity education

The University of Delaware’s Cybersecurity Initiative hosted a discussion with James Collins, Chief Information Officer of the State of Delaware, and Solomon Adote, Chief Security Officer of the State of Delaware, on Feb. 15, 2019.

Collins and Adote met with UD students and faculty experts in cybersecurity to share the state’s strategies for information security, discuss the ongoing threat of cybercrime and brainstorm solutions to continually protect the personal information of Delawareans. The discussion took place in UD’s iSuite — a facility in Evans Hall that houses a “live-fire” virtual environment for cyber-warfare training, thanks in part to state support.

Collins praised students for studying cybersecurity — an important part of the innovation economy and society at large.

“A lot of times when folks think of war, battle and conflicts, they think of bullets, missiles and guns, but I would suggest to you that in the future, the enemies will be virtual, and the frontlines will be digital, and those that are in the cybersecurity field will be on that frontline for our nation, our state, and for our neighbors and friends, so I’m just going to congratulate you for stepping into that role,” he said. Collins also talked about the role of high-speed connectivity, information technology centralization, and data analytics in delivering government services and resources to Delawareans digitally.

Adote noted that the information security program in the State of Delaware has been very strong for years and explained ongoing efforts to keep information secure, including education for citizens and state employees; policies, standards and compliance; disaster recovery; identification; cloud security; threat detection and response, and network security.

With strong government and industry collaborations, international research partnerships and a variety ofeducational programs in cybersecurity, the UD Cybersecurity Initiative is well equipped to partner with the State of Delaware and contribute to efforts in blockchain, smart cities and more emerging areas of importance. “At UD, we are ready to tackle both traditional and non-traditional cybersecurity issues,” said Nii O. Attoh-Okine, interim academic director of UD’s Cybersecurity Initiative, in opening remarks.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designated the University of Delaware a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (CAE-CDE) in 2016. The five-year designation is based on the university meeting stringent CAE criteria and mapping curricula to a core set of cyber defense knowledge units.

Nii O. Attoh-Okine Named ASCE Fellow

Nii O. Attoh-Okine Named ASCE Fellow

Civil engineering society gives this honor to just 3 percent of members

Nii O. Attoh-Okine, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Delaware and interim academic director of the university’s Cybersecurity Initiative, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Only 3 percent of the society’s members have Fellow status.

Attoh-Okine has been at UD’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a joint appointment in electrical and computer engineering since 1999. His work in neural networks and graphical probability models dates to the mid-1990s, when he introduced artificial intelligence in pavement engineering.

He has published extensively in cross-disciplinary areas. Recently his work on empirical mode decomposition / signal processing technique was among the most groundbreaking achievements in civil engineering. He has authored two books that are defining the direction of research across disciplines: Resilience Engineering: Models and Analysis (Cambridge, 2016) presents a theoretical formulation of resilience in various systems and methods for addressing issues between resilience and vulnerability of various physical systems. Big Data and Differential Privacy in Railway Track Engineering (Wiley, 2017) introduces researchers and railway track engineers to the emerging areas of the book’s title. The results of Attoh-Okine’s research have been documented in journal articles as well as numerous keynote lectures at conferences and invited lectures, nationally and internationally. He has also advised numerous graduate students, some of whom are now professors at universities in the U.S. and abroad.

Attoh-Okine’s professional activities have included participation in ASCE, IEEE (senior member), and Transportation Research Board (TRB) committees. He was a founding associate editor for ASCE/ASME’s Journal of Risk and Uncertainty in Engineering Systems (which he still serves) and has done associate editing for the following ASCE journals: Journal of Infrastructure Systems, Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Journal of Bridge Engineering, and Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering and Practice. As well, he contributed to IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C, and served as Special Issues editor for other IEEE journals.

Attoh-Okine is currently a member of a group of researchers from the United States and Japan working on Smart Cities and various cyber issues related to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Under his leadership, UD is one of just a few universities in the USA working with Japanese universities working to achieve Society 5.0, a smart society proposed by the Japanese government. This includes partnerships with Japan’s University of Tsukuba and Keio University.

Attoh-Okine is a licensed professional engineer in Kansas. He earned his doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Kansas and has a Dip-Ing in applied mechanics from Rostov-On-Don Civil Engineering Institute, in Russia.

“Professor Attoh-Okine is a high caliber academician and researcher internationally recognized for his thorough evaluation of advanced computing techniques both theoretical and applied in civil infrastructure engineering,” said Ardeshir Faghri, professor of civil and environmental engineering, who is also an ASCE Fellow. “We met over 25 years ago when we were both members of the National Research Council’s committee on Artificial Intelligence (AI).  He was one of the most active members of the committee and contributed greatly to applying different AI techniques to complex civil infrastructure problems. His more than 200 refereed tier one journal publications and 10 books have earned him many recognitions, the latest one of which is having been promoted to the class of Fellow by the American Society of Civil Engineers. I have no doubt that his passion for research and interest in discovering new theoretical and applied techniques will result in many more discoveries and subsequent recognitions by the international scientific and engineering communities.”