University of Florida Culls Multiple Talents To Create A More Secure IoT Future

University of Florida opens a new resource for the design, development, and testing of state-of-the-art IoT systems.


The IoT, connected world, and security issues have been trumpeted and tromboned in the media until near deafness is inflicted upon all. One article will portray the IoT and mass connectivity as the greatest thing since the last imagined great thing, which could’ve been white bread. Other articles will ring the bells of doom and gloom over security threats greater than the common cold, which they claim will plague all connectivity short of paper cups connected by string.   

Fortunately and unfortunately, most of the brass ballyhoo tends to be true. All the IoT connectivity will have its stellar moments and, yes, there will be great security issues. In response, the University of Florida (UF) is stepping up to the plate and addressing these issues via a new resource for the design, development and testing of state-of-the-art IoT systems: The Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World.

The university is culling its talented people in data analytics, sensors, networking, and cybersecurity, teaming them with cross-campus disciplines, and putting them under one roof in the spirit of sharing and collaboration. “For our students, this institute will open up opportunities for hands-on learning in a field many are calling the next industrial revolution,” said UF President Kent Fuchs. “For the rest of the world, the research and technology transfer we’re focusing on will help to create a more secure and connected future.”

The institute will work closely with industry, as well as with resident expert faculty in the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research (FICS Research) to integrate comprehensive security considerations into all design efforts. Additional faculty in ECE along with other engineering departments will contribute their established leadership in IoT research and enabling technologies, including those in the Multi-Functional Integrated System Technology Center (MIST), and Collaboration to Enable Transnational Cyberinfrastructure Applications (CENTRA).

David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover Financial Services and a mechanical engineering alumnus says, “My vision for the Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World is that UF will become one of the leading places anywhere for educating the best and brightest engineers to securely connect all the world’s devices. UF will become a magnet for attracting people like my dad, engineers who can dream big and create a future that most people can’t imagine.”

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