Dr. Seth Hamman

Students Conduct Cybersecurity Research for Lockheed Martin

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by Heidie Raine, Student Public Relations Writer

Dr. Seth HammanLockheed Martin awarded a grant to Cedarville University’s Center for the Advancement of Cybersecurity to conduct proprietary cybersecurity-related research during the 2020 calendar year.

Dr. Seth Hamman, associate professor of cyber operations and computer science and director of the center, used the grant funding for a 3-person undergraduate student research team. The team kicked off the project in January with a day trip to Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Washington, D.C., but it forewent two additional planned trips due to virus precautions.

“Incredibly, the pandemic’s effect on our project was minimal.  We had to shift around some hours, but we were able to complete all of the work we had originally planned,” Hamman said.

The team worked on Cedarville’s campus in the new Cyber Research Room.  The room was reserved for the exclusive use of the project team and designed to safeguard the proprietary nature of their research. 

“Being able to work closely with our students right here on our campus was a blessing.” Hamman added.  “It was rewarding to witness the students’ growth both in skills and professionalism over the course of this project.  The students are highly talented and hard-working – it is easy to see why employers love hiring Cedarville grads.” 

The grant allowed team members to grow in invaluable cyber-workplace skills.

One of the students on the project said, “Our research entailed developing custom software and examining unexplored research topics.  I learned how to work on a larger scale project, and we figured out the best way to divide and organize tasks in order to achieve what often seemed like a distant goal.”

Another student shared, “I learned a lot about project management, documentation and coding in C. The whole experience provided an opportunity to practice asking the right questions and work with some amazing people at a great company.”

Hamman originally connected with Lockheed Martin through a colleague at another university in summer 2019. Lockheed Martin encouraged Hamman to submit a research proposal when they learned about Cedarville’s cyber program, including its NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations designation.

“We were so grateful for the enthusiastic reaction we received from the higher-ups at our final presentation,” Hamman said. “We hope that this partnership with Lockheed Martin continues for many years so that we can provide more students the opportunity to conduct real-world cybersecurity research.” 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Cyber Operations program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.