Enhanced collaboration in research, education and workforce development — these are the key tenets of a five-year memorandum of understanding, or MOU, executed June 26 by Auburn University and Los Alamos National Laboratory, or LANL, where Auburn and LANL personnel will:
Work together to identify opportunities for collaboration on joint research proposals.
Enhance Auburn University’s curricula and educational opportunities by leveraging LANL expertise.
Improve LANL workforce-building, revitalization and retention through student recruitment, research collaborations, LANL staff interacting with Auburn faculty and students, LANL scientists offering seminars at Auburn, Auburn faculty offering seminars at LANL and exchange visits/sabbaticals.
With a focus on cyber and critical infrastructure security, artificial intelligence and data analytics, the MOU will primarily involve the Auburn Cyber Research Center and the McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security, along with other relevant faculty from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
“Auburn Engineering is committed to fostering partnerships that advance research, improve the student experience through direct engagements with industry professionals and develop industry relationships that enhance career opportunities for our graduates beyond Auburn,” said Steve Taylor, interim dean of engineering. “This memorandum of understanding with Los Alamos National Laboratory does just that. I’m excited to watch this relationship develop into something extremely beneficial for the university, our faculty, students and Los Alamos.”
Daniel Tauritz, associate professor in computer science and software engineering, who also serves as the interim director and chief cyber strategist for the Auburn Cyber Research Center, is the founding director of the LANL/Auburn Cyber Security Sciences Institute. Tauritz said the MOU is “designed to meaningfully expand the relationship that currently exists between LANL and Auburn University.”
“Building on the existing relationship, which was entered into in December 2019, this MOU will have a tremendous impact on Auburn University,” he said. “Not only will the MOU facilitate collaborative joint research proposals, which will give Auburn University a competitive edge, but we now have the opportunity for enhancing the Auburn curricula and educational opportunities by leveraging LANL’s world-renowned expertise. Auburn students already receive a great classroom education from outstanding faculty, but exposing them to the real-world challenges LANL tackles in its national security mission will be yet another part of the exceptional student experience at Auburn. The expanded relationship will also provide Auburn students with increased career opportunities at LANL.
“The MOU is synergistic with Auburn’s efforts to be a national leader in both national security and artificial intelligence. Combining the foundational science performed at Auburn with the mission informed research of a national laboratory such as LANL is a potent combination.”