Texas Tech Engineering receives grant from U.S. Department of Ed - FOX34 Lubbock

Texas Tech Engineering receives grant from U.S. Department of Education for cybersecurity focus

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

To make sure there are enough highly skilled people protecting the nation’s infrastructure, professors in Texas Tech University’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, housed within the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering, recently received a three-year, $750,000 graduate student training grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program, focusing on the area of cybersecurity of infrastructural systems.

“Whenever you have computer networks for communicating the sensor data and supervisory control actions, they are vulnerable to attacks. The problem of information security has been investigated for many years, but the main concentration of this grant is on safeguarding the integrity of infrastructure systems," said Vittal Rao, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and the principal investigator (P.I.) of the grant. "What we are attempting to do at Texas Tech is to create a niche, where cybersecurity and risk mitigation strategies are implemented with a complete understanding of engineering aspects of specific critical infrastructural systems.”

The GAAN program is aimed at developing doctoral-trained scientists in areas of national need. This year, it called for applications from universities in the areas of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Awards were based on the significance and impact of the research as well as the training environment of the university.

The grant required a 25-percent match from universities applying to make sure they also are invested in training students. Texas Tech was able to come up with a 40-percent match, which was provided by the Graduate School, bringing the total funding to more than $1 million.

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