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Two new grants to Texas A&M-Kingsville faculty member bring cyber security to the forefront

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Javelina Engineering Complex

Javelina Engineering Complex

KINGSVILLE (August 17, 2023) —  Dr. Mais Nijim, professor in the electrical engineering and computer science department at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, will be busy after two of her grants netted her about $1.5 million from the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


The goal of both grants is to increase the number of students in the cyber intelligence program within the department of electrical engineering and computer science in the Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering.


The first grant from the DHS is for just over a half million dollars and will be the Pathways to Graduate Studies in Cyber Intelligence project. The aim of this grant is to increase the number of local or domestic graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in computer science with an emphasis on cyber intelligence and cyber security at Texas A&M-Kingsville.


Nijim defines cyber intelligence as countering cybersecurity using artificial intelligence.


“This program seeks to encourage the local or domestic students at the undergraduate level to pursue the cyber intelligence minor degree program by providing financial support for them to continue to graduate studies and enroll in the master’s computer science degree,” she said.


“This will help grow the number of graduates that can join the national cybersecurity workforce to work in governmental agencies or corporate jobs,” Nijim said. “This can grow the workforce, actively building and securing the nation’s defenses against cyber threats and attacks, both for federal and corporate cyber infrastructure.


This program will improve the enrollment, retention rate and graduation rate of domestic students in computer science at the graduate level while increasing the cybersecurity workforce at the national level, she added.


The second of Nijim’s grants from the DHS is for just under a million dollars and is titled the “Tiered Education and Research for Preparing a Future Cyber Engineering Workforce” project.


“This project aims to provide South Texas students as well as industry professionals opportunities in cyber intelligence education,” she said. “It will develop an Intensive Accelerated Training in Cyber Intelligence for high school, community college and undergraduate students at the freshman and sophomore levels.


“To reach a broader audience, the program team will develop an Online Certificate Program in Cyber Intelligence that will attract industry professionals,” Nijim said.


“This will give Texas A&M-Kingsville the visibility and the capability to prepare and credential professionals to join the DHS workforce by providing cyber intelligence education, training, research experiences, awareness and professional development,” she added.


Another goal of this project is to increase the involvement and number of marginalized and underrepresented minorities available and qualified to contribute to the DHS workforce in the cyber intelligence field, Nijim said.


The Pathways grant began July 1 and will run for two years and the Multi-Tiered grant began Aug. 1 and will continue for four years.


Members of the project team from the electrical engineering and computer science department are Dr. Avdesh Mishra and Dr. Ayush Goyal, assistant professors, and Dr. David Hicks, associate professor. Representing the physics and geosciences department is Dr. Hisham Al-bataianeh, associate professor.



Category: Engineering , General Univ

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