CWC 2023News

University of Texas at Dallas Joins National Center for Transportation Cybersecurity

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has become one of nine universities selected to participate in the National Center for Transportation Cybersecurity and Resiliency (TraCR), a new initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Led by Clemson University, TraCR aims to develop strategies to protect the nation’s transportation system against cyberattacks, with $20 million in funding allocated over five years.Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, the Founders Chair in Engineering and Computer Science in UTD’s Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, expressed excitement about joining the TraCR team. As the founder and senior strategist of UTD’s Cyber Security Research and Education Institute (CSI), she will serve as the principal investigator at UTD and one of the national center’s associate directors.The increased connectivity of vehicles, including autonomous vehicles and drones, has given rise to new cybersecurity threats. UTD will lead research on data privacy and cybersecurity risks related to transportation systems. The university will collaborate with other institutions on projects such as adversarial machine learning, machine learning for cybersecurity, secure data management, and the applications of blockchain for transportation systems.Dr. Ovidiu Daescu, the computer science department head and Jonsson School Chair, sees TraCR as a crucial step in positioning UTD at the forefront of the transportation systems revolution. He lauded Dr. Thuraisingham’s contributions to CSI, which have been instrumental in the university’s achievements in transportation cybersecurity research and development.The TraCR consortium includes Benedict College, Florida International University, Morgan State University, Purdue University, South Carolina State University, The University of Alabama, and the University of California, Santa Cruz.In addition to Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, UTD’s co-principal investigators in TraCR are:Dr. Alain Bensoussan, the Lars Magnus Ericsson Distinguished Chair, professor of operations management, and director of the International Center for Decision and Risk Analysis in the Naveen Jindal School of Management.Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, Ashbel Smith Professor of computer science and a data privacy expert.Dr. Latifur Khan, professor of computer science and an expert in integrating cybersecurity and machine learning.The UTD team also includes Dr. Kevin Hamlen, the Louis Beecherl Jr. Distinguished Professor of computer science and CSI executive director, and Dr. Tyler Summers, associate professor of mechanical engineering and an expert in cyber-physical systems.The DOT funding agreement also involves support from UT Dallas, the Jonsson School, and the computer science department.UTD’s participation in TraCR positions the university as a leader in research and development for ensuring the cybersecurity of future transportation systems. By addressing data privacy and cybersecurity risks in connected vehicles, UTD aims to contribute significantly to safeguarding the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

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