College of Engineering & Mines

Updates for students, alumni, supporters and constituents

Upcoming CARS 2023 Symposium presents exciting new opportunities

Cybersecurity Awareness & Research Symposium 2023 on October 30, 2023 at Memorial Union Ballroom, University of North Dakota

In collaboration with the Center for Cyber Security Research (C2SR) and UIT for the promotion of cyber security and awareness

The University of North Dakota is the home of the Cyber Awareness & Research Symposium (CARS), held annually by the Center for Cyber Security Research (C2SR). As a research-based event within the College of Engineering and Mines, the symposium offers a professional platform for networking among industry professionals from various sectors. The conference provides the opportunity to explore the latest developments in artificial intelligence and how it caters to addressing real-world problems.

Last year, CARS 2022, the second annual symposium hosted by C2SR, featured the presence of Senator Kevin Cramer, as well as numerous other prominent speakers and faculty members. The event spanned two sessions, with a virtual session on October 28th, 2022, followed by an in-person session on October 31st, 2022, and was widely celebrated within the college community. The poster competition, designed to enhance students’ knowledge during the event, saw eight poster winners selected and evaluated by esteemed professors and industry experts.

A research poster presentation was part of CARS 2022 at UND’s Cyber Awareness & Research Symposium. Photo by Tom Dennis. Retrieved from CARS Symposium 2022 Gallary.

All about this year’s Cyber Awareness & Research Symposium for 2023

This year’s symposium will occur on Monday, October 30th, 2023, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Memorial Union Ballroom, University of North Dakota. While the symposium is an in-person event, the poster competition held at the end of the symposium is in a hybrid format to accommodate student participants who will not be present in North Dakota. This year’s symposium is jointly hosted by C2SR and bronze sponsor UND UIT, and Waterfall-Security, an industrial cybersecurity company providing critical protection throughout industrial networks.

  • The conference is organized into two tracks: the Awareness Track (AT) and the Research Track (RT), and a full schedule of the symposium has been released.

This year’s conference boasts an impressive lineup of featured symposium speakers, including eleven featured speakers and numerous other esteemed industry professionals who are expected to participate in the event. A full biography of each speaker in attendance can be found here.

  • Mr. Dale Meredith is a seasoned cybersecurity professional with over two decades under his belt. As an EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker and Instructor, a Microsoft Certified Trainer, and a recent finalist in the 2023 CEH Hall of Fame awards, Dale has a knack for making the complex simple and fun.
  • Mr. James Reinders is an engineer at Intel with parallel computing experience spanning four decades, focused on enabling parallel programming in a heterogeneous world.
  • Dr. Ijaz Ahmad is a senior scientist at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and is an adjunct professor at the University of Oulu, Finland.
  • Tom D’Aquino is the founder and lead developer of HAVOC, an open-source Adversary Emulation As Code platform and framework.
  • Dr. Jacob Benjamin is the Director of International Services at the industrial cyber security company Dragos, Inc.
  • Ms. Shruthi Gorantala leads the practical FHE team at Google. Previously, she worked on large-scale machine learning in Google Assistant and Google Maps.
  • Mr. Uriah Burchinal managed a team of Information Security Officers and Risk Analysts at the University of North Dakota ITD, providing leadership and direction to ensure efficient and effective operations.
  • William S. Cromarty is the CEO and Founder of Kirkwall, a Fargo-based software company that uses Machine Learning to defend autonomous systems from critical failure. Kirkwall’s algorithm enables cyberattack detection, diagnostic monitoring, and preventative maintenance for UAVs, IoT-enabled AgTech, and industrial systems.
  • Mr. William Swearson currently leads the Advanced Research & Design group at Northrop Grumman Grand Sky. He has designed complex integrated architectures for autonomous systems operating in extremely dynamic environments for the last 18 years.
  • Mr. Chadd Damm has served as the IT Security Officer at the University of North Dakota (UND) for the past two years. He holds a Master of Science degree in Cybersecurity from UND.
  • Mr. Andrew Ginter leads a team of experts who work with the world’s most secure industrial enterprises. Before Waterfall, he led the development of high-end industrial control system products at Hewlett-Packard, of IT/OT middleware products at Agilent Technologies, and of the world’s first industrial SIEM at Industrial Defender.

The event registration is currently open until October 30, 2023, for all participants interested in attending both the CARS 2023 Conference and the ChatGPT Poster Competition.

An opportunity to get yourself involved with CARS 2023 through the ChatGPT Poster Contest

Cybersecurity is a complex and continuously evolving field, with artificial intelligence serving as a key component in a holistic cybersecurity strategy. The increased deployment of artificial intelligence systems, including ChatGPT, especially in industrial settings, has raised concerns regarding cybersecurity automation and its capacity to effectively analyze substantial volumes of data for detecting potential security threats. As certain human roles are inevitably being replaced by AI applications in the near future, it becomes crucial to assess the cybersecurity awareness and research that has been dedicated to addressing this matter.

An exciting chance awaits students from diverse disciplines to demonstrate their professional skills and stand a chance to win significant recognition, showcasing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven education in the ChatGPT Poster Contest. This competition is open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, and it offers the flexibility of in-person and online participation through Zoom. The submission deadline is October 20, 2023, and the winning entries will be unveiled at the symposium on October 30, 2023. For further details about the contest and to submit your entry, please visit the C2SR website to get started.



Written by John Nguyen  //  UND College of Engineering & Mines