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NMSU partners with SecureAmerica Institute for research, workforce development

NMSU partners with SecureAmerica Institute for research, workforce development


New Mexico State University has joined the SecureAmerica Institute, a private-public partnership converging technology, economics and policy to enable a secure and resilient United States manufacturing and industrial base, as a founding member.

SAI is led by Texas A&M University’s Engineering Experiment Station, and NMSU’s involvement includes cybersecurity research, advanced manufacturing and greening of the supply chain, and workforce development.

“We are excited to join the SAI as a founding member,” said Patricia Sullivan, director of NMSU’s Office of Strategic Initiatives and associate dean in the College of Engineering. “Our faculty and staff have aligned expertise to contribute to this national focus on enhancing industrial base resilience across all sectors.”

Sullivan said the university’s strengths in cybersecurity, food security, advanced manufacturing, and an emerging focus on sustainable energy technologies are areas in which NMSU will make contributions toward applied research and demonstration site deployment.

“We expect outcomes of our membership with SAI to guide market-driven technology transition that could contribute to economic and workforce development opportunities here in New Mexico,” Sullivan said.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Enrico Pontelli will be a member of NMSU’s SAI core team.

“NMSU has been committed to providing cutting-edge education and research in cybersecurity for the last five years, with investment in bringing outstanding faculty members to NMSU,” Pontelli said. “We were the first to offer an undergraduate degree specific in cybersecurity in the region. The workforce demand in cybersecurity is incredibly high – projected to be one of the fastest growing jobs in the coming years. The collaboration with SecureAmerica will provide new links with industry partners to offer opportunities for our students and our researchers.”

SAI has more than 25 academic collaborations, including key leadership partners Georgia Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University, and more than 50 industry organizations.

“Cybersecurity and supply chain security are extremely important in the areas of renewable energy and electric grid integration,” said Olga Lavrova, Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering associate professor and another member of NMSU’s SAI core team. “A great deal of reliable operation of our electric grid and getting the electric power to end-users depends on verifiable information which is received from multiple devices in the field.”

Lavrova said researchers will work on both software and hardware aspects of trust and validation of data coming from power electronics devices and sensors. “This area of research bridges electrical engineering and cybersecurity, which is a very interesting and new area of cross-discipline research.”

Rob Gorham, executive director of SecureAmerica Institute, said SAI places tremendous value on establishing deep and long-standing partnerships.

“Our relationship with NMSU demonstrates a commitment to linking NMSU’s capabilities and role within New Mexico to the objective of achieving a resilient manufacturing supply chain across the United States,” Gorham said.

One major collaboration for SAI is working with the Manufacturing USA institutes to accelerate the nation’s advanced manufacturing. The partnership encourages cross-institute leverage of technology development investments and ideas. NMSU’s membership with organizations such as SAI helps the university reach one of its NMSU LEADS 2025 strategic goals, to elevate research and creativity.

To learn more about SAI, visit