The BRADLEY DEPARTMENT of ELECTRICAL and COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Graduate Programs | ECE | Virginia Tech

Emphasis in Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity broadly covers the fields of information security, network security, and computer system security. As bad actors seek to steal information, protecting that information, the systems that process and store it, and the networks that carry it has become increasingly important. The curriculum for the ECE MEng degree, with an emphasis in Cybersecurity, provides a core technical foundation and project experience for careers in secure system design and operation. Students graduating with this degree could expect careers in software engineering, embedded systems engineering, or information systems management, with an emphasis on designing, developing, operating, or analyzing security features or subsystems. Graduates can expect to be highly qualified for careers requiring advanced degrees with government and defense contractors.


Required Courses: 3 Credit Hours

ECE 5560 – Fundamentals of Information Security (3C) – (Jerry Park, Northern Virginia)

Required Courses (4 of the following): 12 Credit Hours

ECE 5434 – Cyber-physical Systems (3C) – (Ryan Gerdes, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5565 – Network Architectures and Protocols I (3C) – (Charles Clancy, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5566 – Network Architectures and Protocols II (3C) – (Jerry Park, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5580 – Cryptographic Engineering (3C) – (Ryan Gerdes, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5584 – Network Security (3C) – (Charles Clancy, Northern Virginia)
ECE 6504 – Cyber-physical Systems Security (3C) – (Ryan Gerdes, Northern Virginia)

Suggested Out-of-Area and Out-of-Department Courses (2 of the following): 6 Credit Hours

ECE 5480 – Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (3C) – (Kendall Giles, Online/Northern Virginia) ECE 5585 – IT Security and Trust I (3C) – (Randy Marchany, Online) ENGR 5004 – The Systems Engineering Process (3C) – (A. Salado Diez, Online) ISE 5164 – Transfer and Application of Emerging Technology (3C) – (Ken Harmon, Online/Northern Virginia) ISE 5174 – Engineering Program and Project Management (3C) – (Ken Harmon, Online/Northern Virginia)

Required Courses (2 Semesters of Seminar): 2 Credit Hours

ECE 5944 – Seminar (1C) – (Paul Plassmann, Blacksburg/Northern Virginia-Zoom/Recorded)

Required Courses (Final Project and Report): 3 Credit Hours

ECE 5904 – Project and Report (3C) – (Faculty Advisor, Northern Virginia)

Elective Courses (2 ECE or Related Area Courses): 6 Credit Hours

Examples include:

ECE 5424G Advanced Machine Learning (3C) – (Joseph Wang, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5454 – Optimization Techniques for Electrical and Computer Engineering (3C) – (Guoqiang Yu, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5504 – Computer Architecture (3C) – (JoAnn Paul, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5554 – Computer Vision (3C) – (Joseph Wang, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5605 – Stochastic Signals and Systems (3C) – (Guoqiang Yu, Northern Virginia)
ECE 5984 -- Quantum Engineering (3C) – (Vassilios Kovanis, Northern Virginia)

Total Credit Hours: 32 (comprised of 27 credit hours of graded courses, 2 credit hours of Seminar, and 3 credit hours of Project and Report)

Example Curriculum

Accelerated MEng Degree Program – Cybersecurity

Fall Semester

ECE 5560 (3C)
ECE 5565 (3C)
ECE 5480 (3C)
ECE 5424G (3C)
ECE 5944 (1C)

Spring Semester

ECE 5434 (3C)
ECE 5566 (3C)
ISE 5174 (3C)
ECE 5984 (3C)
ECE 5944 (1C)

Summer I & II

ECE 5904 (3C)
ECE 6504 (3C)

Three-Semester MEng Degree Program – Cybersecurity

Fall Semester

ECE 5560 (3C)
ECE 5565 (3C)
ECE 5480 (3C)
ECE 5424G (3C)
ECE 5944 (1C)

Spring Semester

ECE 5434 (3C)
ISE 5174 (3C)
ECE 5984 (3C)
ECE 5944 (1C)

Summer

Summer Internship
GRAD 5944 (for International Students)

Fall Semester

ECE 5904 (3C)
ECE 5580 (3C)
ECE 5584 (3C)

Cybersecurity Northern Virginia Faculty

 
Dr. T. Charles Clancy Dr. Tam Chantem Dr. Ryan Gerdes Dr. Jerry Park
T. Charles Clancy Tam Chantem Ryan Gerdes Jerry Park
 

 

Faculty Profiles

T. Charles Clancy

Bradley Professor of Cybersecurity and Director of the Hume Center for National Security and Technology

Dr. T. Charles ClancyDr. Charles Clancy is the Executive Director of Virginia Tech's Hume Center for National Security and Technology and is the Bradley Professor of Cybersecurity in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. With 85 faculty and staff, the Hume Center engages over 400 students annually in research and experiential learning focused in national security and technology. Additionally, Dr. Clancy leads efforts in developing and expanding the university's role in cybersecurity research and education. He serves as co-director of the NSF Security and Software Engineering Research Center (S2ERC), a stakeholder of Virginia Tech’s Integrated Security Destination Area, and founding executive director of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI). Dr. Clancy is an internationally-recognized expert on the security of wireless and cellular networks, and regularly testifies to Congress on cybersecurity issues.

Prior to joining Virginia Tech in 2010, he served as a researcher at the Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences, a federal research lab at the University of Maryland, where he led programs in wireless communications, signal processing, and software-defined and cognitive radio. Dr. Clancy received his BS in Computer Engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has over 200 peer-reviewed technical publications and patents, is co-author to five books, and co-founder to four venture-backed startup companies.

Dr. Clancy’s Google Scholar profile.

Research Interests:

  • Wireless, 5G, and IoT security – understanding how 5G-enabled technologies impact cybersecurity for the Internet.
  • Machine learning in wireless systems – leveraging advances in deep learning for signal processing.
  • AI assurance – answering fundamental questions around testing, evaluating, and securing artificial intelligence used in national security applications.

ECE Graduate Courses Taught

  • ECE/CS 5565 – Network Architectures and Protocols I
  • ECE/CS 5566 – Network Architectures and Protocols II
  • ECE/CS 5584 – Network Security

Tam Chantem

Assistant Professor of ECE

Dr. Tam ChantemDr. Tam Chantem is an assistant professor in ECE at Virginia Tech. Her primary areas of research are embedded systems and cyber-physical systems, with focuses on the hardware/software co-design of real-time embedded systems, integrated security, energy-aware and thermal-aware system-level design, and intelligent transportation systems. She received her Ph.D. and Master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 and her Bachelor’s degrees from Iowa State University in 2005. Before joining Virginia Tech, Chantem was an assistant professor in ECE at Utah State University. Chantem received a U.S. Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship, Utah State University’s 2016 ECE Advisor of the Year, and 2011 Outstanding Research Assistant Award from University of Notre Dame. She has also served as the TPC co-chair (ISVLSI 2019, ICESS 2017, RTSOPS 2017, and LPDC 2015) and technical program committee for several conferences such as RTAS, ECRTS, RTSS, DATE, and DAC. Chantem is a senior member of the IEEE.

Dr. Chantem’s Google Scholar profile.

Research Interests:

  • Real-time embedded systems, cyber-physical systems (especially intelligent transportation systems, emergency response systems, and smart cities), energy-aware and thermal-aware system-level design, and hardware-software co-design.

Faculty Profiles

Ryan Gerdes

Assistant Professor of ECE

Dr. Ryan GerdesDr. Ryan M. Gerdes is an Assistant Professor in ECE at Virginia Tech. Dr. Gerdes’ work focuses on designing resilient computing systems, with an emphasis on cyber-physical systems operating in adversarial environments and leveraging the physical layer for defensive and offensive purposes. He is the principal investigator on NSF and DOE projects that examine the security and privacy of cooperative, automated vehicles; unmanned aerial systems (UAS); and next-generation battery electric vehicles and chargers. Recent research topics have included: use of intentional electromagnetic interference for the physical-layer manipulation of sensors and actuators, including radar and electric motors; identification and tracking of cognitive radios; attack detection and prevention for automotive systems; electromagnetic side-channel analysis for code-change detection; machine learning in adversarial environments; and detection of malicious logic in untrusted, integrated circuit designs.

Dr. Gerdes’s Google Scholar profile.

Research Interests:
Cyber-physical systems security (physical-layer sensor/actuator spoofing and countermeasures, devising/countering attacks against control systems, and secure localisation), physical layer identification (identifying devices based on electrical side-channels), and integrated circuit security (designing, detecting, and remotely triggering malicious logic).

ECE Graduate Courses Taught

  • ECE 5580: Cryptographic Engineering
  • ECE 5434: Cyber-physical Systems
  • ECE 6504: Cyber-physical Systems Security

Jerry Park

Professor of ECE

Dr. Jerry ParkDr. Jerry Park Dr. Jerry Park received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 2003. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and the Site Director of an NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I-UCRC) called Broadband Wireless Access & Applications Center (BWAC). Park is also an Executive Committee member of the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC). NSC is a large consortium of wireless industry stakeholders and universities collaborating with multiple US federal government agencies through a $1.25 billion agreement to support the development of advanced spectrum access technologies. Park’s research interests include dynamic spectrum sharing, cognitive radio networks, wireless security and privacy, applied cryptography, and IoT applications. Current or recent research sponsors include the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Army Research Office (ARO), Office of Naval Research (ONR), and several industry sponsors. Park is a recipient of a 2017 Virginia Tech College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Research Excellence, a 2014 Virginia Tech College of Engineering Faculty Fellow Award, a 2008 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, a 2008 Hoeber Excellence in Research Award, and a 1998 AT&T Leadership Award. He is currently serving on the editorial boards of a number of IEEE journals, and is actively involved in the organization of a number of flagship conferences. Park is currently serving as the Steering Committee Co-Chair of the IEEE International Symposium on Dynamic Spectrum Access Networks (DySPAN). He is an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to dynamic spectrum sharing, cognitive radio networks, and security issues.

Dr. Park’s Google Scholar profile.

Research Interests:

  • Dynamic spectrum sharing
  • Co-design and co-existence of heterogeneous wireless technologies, including coexistence of radar and communication systems
  • Emerging wireless technologies and applications, including V2X communications, 5G, and IoT
  • Wireless security and privacy
  • Security issues in machine learning
  • Applied cryptography
  • Prototyping and evaluation using large-scale wireless testbeds

ECE Graduate Courses Taught

  • ECE-CS 5560: Fundamentals of Information Security
  • ECE-CS 5566: Network Architecture and Protocols