Los Alamos National Laboratory, Auburn University partner to enhance cyber and infrastructure security

Memorandum of understanding identifies opportunities for research and collaboration

August 11, 2022

Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers from Auburn University. Top, from left: Mauren Baker, Carson May, Duncan Campbell and Zachary Leggett. Bottom, from left: Jonathan Aldridge and Aaron Scott Pope

Los Alamos National Laboratory and Auburn University have entered a partnership that will enhance collaboration in research, education and workforce development in cyber and critical infrastructure security, artificial intelligence, data analytics and related fields.

“This partnership, designed to strengthen the national security mission of each organization, solidifies the relationship between Auburn University and Los Alamos by leveraging the strengths of each to becoming greater than the sum of the parts,” said Chris Rawlings, group leader for Advanced Research in Cyber Systems at Los Alamos.  “This includes collaborative research and development, student and staff pipeline development, access to facilities, and faculty and staff exchanges.”

The Laboratory has a longstanding and successful infrastructure modeling, simulation, analysis and experimentation program built over several decades, as well as strong research and development projects in all areas of infrastructure systems.

The partnership, which was formalized with the signing of a memorandum of understanding, combines Los Alamos’ leadership in cyber and infrastructure security with Auburn University’s strengths in engineering, science and policy. Together, the two institutions will work to improve research areas that protect critical infrastructure.

“Building on the existing relationship, which was entered into in December of 2019, this MOU will have a tremendous impact on Auburn University,” said Daniel Tauritz, associate professor in computer science and software engineering, interim director and chief cyber strategist of the Auburn Cyber Research Center and founding AU director of the Cyber Security Sciences Institute. “Not only will the MOU facilitate collaborative joint research proposals, which will give Auburn University a competitive edge, we now have the opportunity for enhancing the Auburn curricula and educational opportunities by leveraging Los Alamos National Laboratory’s world-renowned expertise.”

“Infrastructure forms the basis for advanced societies to meet the needs of their populations and flourish. Understanding how infrastructures should be designed, how they are impacted by incidents of a natural or adversarial nature, and their interdependence is critical in an ever-changing world,” Rawlings said.

There is a great deal of interconnectedness between various types of infrastructure systems, with a growing dependence on the telecommunications infrastructure to ensure function across all infrastructure types. Similarly, the security of the telecommunications infrastructure is becoming a central theme in current and future society.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

About Auburn University

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.