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Young Alum Nemoy Rau wins AIChE "35 under 35" award

Nemoy Rau wins AIChE

[COOKEVILLE, Tennessee, August 2017] Nemoy Rau, Tech ‘08 chemical engineering alumnus, was honored as an American Institute of Chemical Engineering Young Professional. Rau was recognized as one of AIChE’s “35 under 35 chemical engineers,” for his significant contributions to AIChE and his profession.

“The winners represent a breadth of chemical engineering career paths,” said Chris Lowe, past chair of AIChE’s Young Professionals Committee and a member of the 35 Under 35 Award task force. “These young professionals show that the future of our profession is truly bright.”

Rau is founder and vice president of US Biometrix – a brain sciences company that uses big data analytics to create an objective platform to measure cognition, behavior, and functional effectiveness for behavioral healthcare.

Tennessee Tech University’s impact on cybersecurity continues to expand

[COOKEVILLE, Tennessee, May 15, 2017] With the news last week of the 22-year-old who halted one of the largest cyberattacks in history, it is clear that young minds are vital in the developing field of cybersecurity. One of Tennessee Tech University’s latest contributions to that field, is Vitaly Ford who graduated on May 6, 2017 as the first Ph.D. candidate to earn a doctorate in computer scienc

Vitaly Ford, first doctoral graduate in computer science

The subject of Ford’s doctoral thesis was on cybersecurity and privacy issues in the Smart Grid, which identified risks and solutions in the technology that controls electrical energy usage. Ford enrolled in Tech’s graduate program in computer science in 2012. He earned his master’s in 2015, and his doctorate in spring 2017. He credits time management, involvement in a variety of experiences, and his advisor, family and friends with his success.

“When I started my degree at Tech, I set a goal of committing time and effort to succeed in both course work, and research,” said Ford. “I planned ahead, and got involved in extracurricular activities to diversify my experience.” Ford was one of the founders of the CyberEagles Club at Tech, which raises awareness of the importance of cybersecurity and helps students network with both their peers and cybersecurity professionals.

In 2016, Ford won first place among 150 students in the National Cyber League-sponsored Capture-the-Flag competition in the Intermediate Advanced group. He has been ranked sixth nationwide among approximately 800 advanced participants. The competition challenges players to answer cybersecurity challenges, searching for digital “flags” hidden on servers in encrypted text or applications. This summer, Ford will play a crucial role in the National Security Agency-National Science Foundation GenCyber Camp at Tech for high school students, teachers and counselors.

Ford also credits his advisor, Ambareen Siraj, with playing a crucial role in making sure he stayed on track with his studies and research.

“Dr. Siraj, provided me with opportunities for personal and professional development, “said Ford, “which, in turn, greatly improved my research work. She told me when I see an opportunity, I should always consider it. I believe behind every successful Ph.D. dissertation, there is an advisor, friends and family whose support are extremely important.”

Siraj is director of the Cybersecurity Education, Research & Outreach Center (CEROC) at Tech, and program director of Tennessee CyberCorps, which was the first such program to open in Tennessee, and is now one of only two in the state. She leads four National Science Foundation projects involving education, research and outreach, and founded the Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) initiative, which seeks to generate interest among and encourage students and professional women in cybersecurity.

“Ultimately the success of a dissertation depends on the hard work, patience and utmost dedication of the candidate,” said Siraj. “Given Vitaly’s strong intellectual and technical capability and high motivation, I am extremely confident that he will do well.

“Our mission at Tech is to educate 21st Century Renaissance Engineers who are equipped to solve challenges in a global society,” said Joseph Rencis, dean of the College of Engineering at Tech. “We congratulate Vitaly on becoming the first Ph.D. graduate computer science, and anticipate our second Ph.D. computer science candidate to defend later this year. We are dedicated to continuing to expand opportunities for students to excel to the forefront of their chosen professions.

In addition to CEROC, WiCys, and graduating its first computer science Ph.D. student, Tech partners with industry and community leaders, most recently the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Digital Dream Forge, to expand the educational experience for students who will become tomorrow’s workforce in information technology services, computer programming, cybersecurity, engineering and software development.