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College of Arts and Sciences Newsroom

Cyber Security Leader

A founding member of the Air Force Institute of Technology Center for Cyberspace Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has been named the University of Dayton's first distinguished research professor in computer science.

Rusty Baldwin, a retired U.S. Air Force officer who most recently served as director of research at Riverside Research's Cyber Center of Excellence, starts his new role Aug. 16. He will teach and develop computer science courses, mentor graduate students and collaborate with faculty and others on research projects.

During his career, Baldwin has secured more than $31 million in research funding as a principal or co-principal investigator, said Mehdi Zargham, professor and chair of the department of computer science. He brings a wealth of both theoretical and practical experience and knowledge in the areas of cyber security and autonomous systems.

"Dr. Baldwin's dedication will help further the computer science department's mission to continue to be a leader in cutting-edge technology fields, and allow students to gain exposure and knowledge in the most current areas of computer science," Zargham said.

In his April 2017 inaugural address, University President Eric F. Spina said the rapidly growing autonomous systems field is one of three research focus areas for the University.

Safeguarding those systems — from networked light bulbs and thermostats in homes to driverless vehicles on the streets — will necessitate new advances in cyber security, Baldwin said.

"Ensuring new cyber technologies are secure and are used in a way that benefits the common good will require a multidisciplinary approach to cyber security," Baldwin said. "One that requires not only cutting-edge research in computer science, electrical and human factors engineering, but an approach that also incorporates developments in law, ethics and other appropriate disciplines. The exciting thing about UD is that all these capabilities and expertise are already here and working toward that vision of cyber security. It's a privilege to be able come and contribute to making that vision a reality."

Baldwin joined Riverside Research in 2014 and directed five staff researchers on military-focused research in offensive and defensive cyber operations. He was co-principal investigator on a $7.6 million, four-year Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency research contract award in 2016. In addition, he co-authored 10 peer-reviewed articles, wrote 15 white papers, and was awarded two patents with another patent pending.

He served 23 years in the Air Force, retiring in 2004 with the rank of major, and nine years in civil service. He was a professor of computer engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and research director for the Air Force Cyberspace Technical Center of Excellence. From 1999 to 2013, he obtained more than $24 million in research funding as a principal or co-principal investigator on 58 funded proposals. He also directed more than 74 research efforts resulting in over 100 publications, six patents, seven Air Force inventions and one commercial license agreement.

"Dr. Baldwin is an accomplished computer science educator and researcher with proven entrepreneurial skills and demonstrated success in cyber security technology, education and research," said Jason Pierce, College of Arts and Sciences dean. "His addition will help us advance the University's strategic vision to be a research leader and prepare students for careers in the high-demand fields of autonomous systems and cyber security."

Baldwin holds a doctorate degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech, a master's in computer engineering from AFIT, and a bachelor's in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University.

- Dave Larsen, communication coordinator, College of Arts and Sciences

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