NCCoE Welcomes Student Interns as Guest Researchers

The NCCoE launched its internship program this June as part of the center’s commitment to help address the critical national need for computer security professionals.

The center is hosting 10 students from the University System of Maryland who are working full-time this summer as guest researchers at the center, then will transition to part-time during the 2014-2015 school year. The group includes two graduate and eight undergraduate students. Jeffrey Scheirer and Zack Rich are students in the cybersecurity graduate program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Ambika Agarwal and Zhi Xiang Lin are studying computer engineering and Bhumibhat Kerdsuwan is studying electrical engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. Joseph Penda is studying computer and network security and Dinh Phan, Samuel Zelaya, Stacey Curry, and Sohail Sattari are studying cybersecurity at the University of Maryland University College.

The student interns are joined by two U.S. Marines who have been working part-time as guest researchers since May. Sgt. Miroslav Kazimir and Sgt. Marcus Dandrea participate in the Wounded Warrior Cyber Combat Academy in Alexandria, Va., a program that trains soldiers injured in combat for new careers protecting information systems.

Together, the 12 guest researchers are working with NCCoE security engineers on center projects and are assigned to one of three groups: health IT, financial services or industrial control systems. Each group submitted a proposal this summer for a new project that combats a tangible cybersecurity problem.

The groups are developing their own example solutions to the selected security challenges, working with vendors in the center’s labs to select the necessary hardware and software components. The interns will present their work to visitors at an open house at the NCCoE in the fall.

“The goal is to give the guest researchers hands-on experiences that can’t be learned in a classroom,” says Don Tobin, a senior security engineer at the center. “They are creating real example solutions that are mature enough to be adopted by technology companies.”