The University of Florida and TESCAN, a leading manufacturer in electron microscopy, have partnered to create a world-class hardware security lab customized with advanced scientific instrumentation. The lab will be part of the new Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research, which operates on the UF campus under the leadership of co-directors Patrick Traynor and Mark Tehranipoor, who is the Intel Charles E. Young Leadership Chair in Cybersecurity.
“Cybersecurity is an emerging application field of tremendous importance,” said Michal Rabara, president and CEO of TESCAN USA. “UF has a rich history in electron microscopy, and Professor Tehranipoor is a world-renowned scientist in cybersecurity. His experience in setting up similar facilities and his connections throughout the industry are precursors to make this project successful.”
The new lab will open in August of 2016. It will fill the entire first floor of the Materials Engineering building, which is located just west of the newly remodeled J. Wayne Reitz Union and the site of the future Herbert Wertheim Laboratory for Engineering Excellence – scheduled to open in 2018. The cybersecurity lab will house the newest equipment available for micro and nano imaging and manufacturing.
The electron microscopy equipment – both x-ray and focused ion beam – will advance UF’s research in supply chain security, physical tampering, reverse engineering, trust verification, forensics, failure analysis, and counterfeit detection. New cybersecurity solutions will be tested, and courses and curriculum will be developed for students based on expanded capabilities.
TESCAN will benefit from UF’s advancement of applications in hardware security and protocol development, as well as direct access to faculty experts and training sessions customized for their employees. The lab’s equipment will hold significant value for startup companies and businesses around the state who – through collaboration with UF’s Florida Engineering Experiment Station, or FLEXStation – can contract to use the lab without prohibitive costs of ownership. Students in UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering will enter the workforce with unparalleled training in TESCAN’s most advanced equipment.
“This will be the single most advanced lab anywhere focused on hardware security,” said Cammy Abernathy, UF’s dean of Engineering. “This equipment is being customized to meet the research capacities of our faculty, who are the top cybersecurity experts in the world.”
“The long-term partnership between UF and TESCAN will pave the way for the development of new techniques for building secure hardware,” said John Harris, chair of UF’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. “This partnership positions the University of Florida as the world leader in hardware security and will establish new application domains for TESCAN equipment.”