USDOT’s Cybersecurity Center signs up University of Texas at Dallas


The University of Texas at Dallas has joined the new National Center for Transportation Cybersecurity funded by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and created to develop strategies to protect the nation’s transportation system against cyberattacks.

UT Dallas joins eight universities already involved in the project, led by Clemson University. They have been selected to participate in the National Center for Transportation Cybersecurity and Resiliency (TraCR). It is one of 39 University Transportation Centers that conduct research to promote the safe, efficient and environmentally sound movement of goods and people. TraCR is set to receive $20 million from the DOT over five years.

Dr Bhavani Thuraisingham

“We look forward to developing solutions to the challenging problems in transportation systems security. We are pleased that Clemson University invited us to join their team,” says Dr Bhavani Thuraisingham, founders chair in engineering and computer science in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. As founder and senior strategist for UTD’s Cyber Security Research and Education Institute (CSI), she will serve as principal investigator at UTD and as one of the national center’s associate directors.

As vehicles, including autonomous vehicles and drones, increasingly become connected wirelessly, they face new cybersecurity threats. UTD will lead research on data privacy and cybersecurity risks and collaborate with other universities on projects including adversarial machine learning, machine learning for cybersecurity, secure data management and the applications of blockchain for transportation systems.

Dr Ovidiu Daescu

“This award is the result of many years of hard work by a group of dedicated faculty at the core of the CSI and asserts UT Dallas on the national map as a leader in research and development for ensuring the cybersafety of the transportation systems of tomorrow,” says Dr. Ovidiu Daescu, computer science department head and Jonsson School Chair.

“I see TraCR as a first, yet critical, step in positioning UT Dallas among the universities at the forefront of a transportation systems revolution, powered by technologies that span across most engineering fields. I am particularly proud of the achievements of Professor Thuraisingham, who for years has been the soul and driving force behind CSI.”

Other members of the TraCR consortium are Benedict College in South Carolina, Florida International University, Morgan State University in Maryland, Purdue University, South Carolina State University, The University of Alabama and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).