News - Military

Cyber News Now: SRNL and Augusta University establish first joint appointment to advance cyber research

October 11th, 11:19 AM EDT

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - For the first time, Savannah River National Laboratory and Augusta University have appointed someone to a joint faculty position. Jeffrey Morris will advance research in cyber sciences.

When it comes to cyber security, Jeffrey Morris knows it’s a team sport.

“All three academia, industry and government will have to work together to secure this space, we can’t do it by ourselves," said Jeffrey Morris, assistant professor, AU School of Computer and Cyber Sciences.

Additionally, SRNL knows there’s value in having different voices in cyber.

“You can have the same group looking at a problem set, but they aren’t always going to bring out the best solutions. By having a hybrid of different thoughts coming together, it breaks away from group thought and you optimize solutions," said Jon Dollan, SRNL Cyber Strategy Director.

Now, Morris will be a part of making that happen for AU and SRNL.

“This is, really, where it’s going to be a center point and meeting of the academic and all of the researchers we have on staff, being able to reach out and do real world research, where we’re meeting the department of energy meet their research goals.” said Morris.

It will happen inside the new lab at the Georgia Cyber Center. Morris will use his expertise in cyber security, quantum cryptography and systems engineering to help ensure the resiliency of the electrical grid.

“We know that there’s issues with our infrastructure, we’ve seen the colonial pipeline attack, and then there was, in Florida, we had a water treatment plant that had the chemicals that were messed with. So, this type of security is very important to us," said Morris.

Plus, Morris feels it’s an exciting opportunity for students, too.

“I think having this joint work space will just give our students present and future just a lot of opportunities that they may not have had in the past.” 

In fact, just ask a graduate who works in the energy field.

“I see it as so much as a better opportunity to have a local presence in the building than trying to get students cleared and go places. They can just go upstairs and perform research and have their hands on national level work in seconds," Dillon Tauscher, Engineer, Savannah River National Laboratory. 

There’s also an even bigger goal at play. Savannah River National Laboratory hopes this joint appointment will play a role in developing a focused regional effort on research.

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