Ushering in a new era of research, the University of Miami College of Engineering dedicated a new cybersecurity lab on Friday, April 11.
The Fortinet CyberSecurity Laboratory, said Thomas J. LeBlanc, UM’s executive vice president and provost, “will propel the college’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering to the forefront of research and education in cybersecurity.”
The dedication and luncheon honored Ken Xie, founder, chairman of the board, and chief executive officer of Fortinet, whose gift to Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami, made the laboratory possible. The Silicon Valley entrepreneur founded Fortinet, now a leader in the industry, in 2000, and pioneered the Unified Threat Management approach, resulting in an all-inclusive, system-wide security appliance that goes beyond what traditional firewalls and other security measures can do.
“While it may be obvious how the college benefits not only from their largesse, but also from their collaborations in both research and education, I am proud to say that they also see value in this growing partnership – from research products which may well be integrated into their next generation UTM appliances to student internships and employment,” said James M. Tien, distinguished professor and dean of the College of Engineering.
“Moreover, they see this partnership as a key reason why they have chosen Miami as Fortinet’s fourth major U.S. facility, in support of their growth in the Latin America and South America markets,” he added.
The Fortinet CyberSecurity Laboratory will also sustain the Fortinet Capstone Design and innovation Partnership, part of the college’s innovative program of senior capstone design experiences based on real-world, industry-provided projects. Teams of interdisciplinary seniors will annually work on these projects over a two-semester time period to produce practical solutions and possible prototypes.
Additionally, the Ken and Michael Xie Foundation is providing the college with an annual gift designated for the dean’s discretionary use. These funds have partially underwritten the expansion of a range of college facilities essential to research and educational goals. ViAComp (the cloud-based Virtual Academic Computing platform), a Prototyping Facility with a state-of-the-art 3-D printer and a newly-purchased scanning electron microscope are some of the items that have benefitted from these discretionary funds.