U.S. Sen. Jack Reed to visit URI to Discuss Cybersecurity & Center of Excellence in Explosives

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FOR PLANNING PURPOSES: February 21, 2014

Reed Sees URI as key hub for cyber & security innovation and is working to boost federal resources to improve U.S. cyber defenses; Director Jimmie Oxley to address federal funding renewal, technology, and business development

WHO: U.S. Sen. Jack Reed; Gerald Sonnenfeld, URI vice president for research and economic development; Jimmie Oxley, URI professor of chemistry and director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence in Explosives, Detection, Mitigation, Response and Characterization at the University of Rhode Island; members of Oxley’s research team, including graduate and undergraduate URI students; Representatives from URI’s Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center.

Reed is a member of both the Appropriations and Armed Services committees. Oxley, whose specialty is explosives — the chemistry of thermal decomposition of highly energetic materials and pyrotechnics — consults with law enforcement agencies around the world, including the FBI, the federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, the Rhode Island State Police, and the governments of Israel, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

WHAT: Oxley will brief Reed on how a recent $500,000 federal grant renewal for the Explosives Center is being utilized. Oxley will also discuss how new technology is being used to train bomb-sniffing dogs and a potential new company to research and develop additional technologies. The primary goals of the center are to prevent catastrophic damage to society that can be caused by explosive attacks.

Reed will also meet with representatives from URI’s Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center (DFCSC), named a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and in Information Assurance Research by the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in 2012. Reed is backing efforts to build a cybersecurity partnership at URI as part of a new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute. Rhode Island, along with a New England consortium, is applying for a U.S. Department of Defense grant that would create a regional advanced manufacturing cluster to help bridge the gap between research and development, bringing together companies, universities, and government partners.

Reed’s DFCSC visit comes days before a February 27 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. Cyber Command, and on the heels of recent news that cyber-attacks are on the rise, including a prolonged attack on the U.S. Navy by Iran, which federal officials acknowledged this week.

WHEN: Monday, February 24, 2014, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Pastore Hall, 51 Lower College Road, Professor Oxley’s laboratory, second floor.


URI Marketing & Communications

Jhodi Redlich, , 401-874-2116, cell: 862-0879, or email, jredlich@mail.uri.edu.

Sen. Reed’s office

Chip Unruh, 202-224-4642, Chip_Unruh@reed.senate.gov.