Funded by the Department of Defense (DoD), the VICEROY Northwest Institute for Cybersecurity Education and Research (CySER) is established to train the next generation of military and national defense-aligned civilian workforce in cybersecurity.
CySER is a consortium of four institutions in the Northwest led by Washington State University (WSU). The other three partner institutions are: Montana State University (MSU), University of Idaho (UI), and Central Washington University (CWU). (In the first two years of the CySER program, Columbia Basin College participated as a member of the consortium.)
The CySER program is specifically funded through the DOD Virtual Institutes for Cyber and Electromagnetic Spectrum Research and Employ (VICEROY) initiative. The VICEROY project is managed by the Griffiss Institute.
CySER directly responds to the VICEROY initiative by designing an innovative education and research program in cybersecurity for ROTC as well as DoD-aligned civilians at the undergraduate and graduate level, with primary emphasis on undergraduate education.
Research Topics in CySER
At both the undergraduate and graduate level, research in CySER focuses on five topics:
- Cyber-Physical Systems
- AI and Machine Learning
- Networks and Information Security
- Software Security and Quality Assurance
- Cyber Education
CySER Program Elements
Students participating in the CySER program will receive wide-ranging training that integrates cybersecurity research and education with professional skills in teamwork, communication, leadership, and lifelong learning. A core principle in CySER is training that organically merges theoretical knowledge with experiential learning.
Key CySER program elements include:
- New courses and course modules in cybersecurity
- Senior design and capstone projects focused on cybersecurity
- Internships at DoD-based installations, national labs, and cybersecurity-related industry
- Intensive summer workshop featuring hands-on learning, cybersecurity best practices, and pedagogical training
- Seminars during academic semesters featuring research, current trends, and industry speakers
- Research – realized via class projects, senior design projects, independent study projects, and graduate theses
- Cybersecurity competitions
- Community outreach, including to high school students and educators
The following institutions have agreed to host CySER students for internships and site visits:
- Keyport Naval Undersea Warfare Center
- Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL)
- Schweitzer Engineering Lab (SEL)
- Fairchild Air Force Base
- Hoplite Solutions
- Idaho National Lab (INL)
- Microsoft Corporation
- Mitre Corporation
- National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)