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The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) received Stage 1 approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees for a $24.4 million Center for Cybersecurity Research, Education and Advanced Training. The 45,000-square-foot renovation project will establish UAH’s Bevill Center as the new home of the existing UAH Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education (CCRE), and it will modify the building to add modern classroom and training spaces, research laboratories and office space, as well as complete upgrades to the main building lobby.

“Huntsville is known for its leadership in cybersecurity, and UAH has been at the forefront, providing research and educating students and professionals in the world of cybersecurity for years,” said Dr. Charles L. Karr, UAH president. “From local initiatives like Cyber Huntsville, educational camps, the Alabama School for Cybersecurity Technology and Engineering and CyberCorps, to our degree programs and CCRE, it is only fitting that UAH becomes a larger spoke in the Huntsville hub for cybersecurity.”

The Center for Cybersecurity Research, Education, and Advanced Training, funded by an appropriation from the Alabama Legislature, is a reinforcement of the University’s commitment to bolstering the state workforce and supporting one of its fastest-growing research centers, as it will help consolidate and provide a new face for the UAH CCRE, currently located throughout various campus buildings. New classroom and office spaces will also bring additional cybersecurity and engineering faculty members into a centralized location, further strengthening UAH’s cybersecurity footprint on campus and beyond.

“This centralized location will allow for greater collaboration and the opportunity to excite more students about cyber. I want to thank Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth for his prioritization of this very important initiative, the UA System leadership and Board of Trustees, Governor Kay Ivey and Chairman Arthur Orr for their vision and leadership as we continue to show the world that Huntsville means cyber,” said Dr. Karr.

The new interdisciplinary space will help ensure UAH continues to support booming state and local cybersecurity workforce needs. The renovation will provide an interactive and collaborative environment to meet essential academic requirements for programs such as cybersecurity engineering, artificial intelligence, secure software development, cybersecurity test and evaluation, offensive security, systems architecture, reverse engineering and emerging problem-solving.

Originally constructed as a hotel and conference center in 1988, the Bevill Center boasts 93,000 square feet on three floors. The project will significantly expand the research capabilities of the CCRE with the development of a new cyber lab that will enable UAH to forge new research client and partner relationships, as well as enhance existing capabilities for current partners.

Future stages of the project are subject to approval from The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. For more information about UAH’s cybersecurity programs, see the feature story at UAH cybersecurity and on uah.edu.

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