Rolls-Royce Launched Cybersecurity Research Network with Purdue, Carnegie Mellon

Rolls-Royce has launched a new cybersecurity research network with two of the leading universities in the field, focused on enhancing product security for platforms with the company’s propulsion and power systems.

Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana, and Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have joined the Rolls-Royce Cybersecurity Technology Research Network and have already begun research projects. Carnegie Mellon and Purdue feature prominently in the field of cybersecurity technology and will conduct additional research funded by Rolls-Royce to strengthen the security of Rolls-Royce propulsion and power systems. The first research project will focus on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for intrusion detection in resource-limited embedded systems, with both universities participating.

“Our customers rely on Rolls-Royce to anticipate, plan for, and defend against any potential cybersecurity threat – for our products to be cyber-resilient,” Tom Bell, Rolls-Royce North America, CEO and chairman, says. “This new research network with Purdue and Carnegie Mellon universities puts Rolls-Royce at the cutting edge of advancements in cybersecurity protections for our products and customers. This partnership will enable us to lead and pioneer new solutions to the ever-changing cyber threat, as we concentrate on delivery of cyber-resilient products.”

Neil Cassidy, Rolls-Royce, Chief Information Security Officer, adds, “It is crucial for global technology companies like Rolls-Royce to be continually vigilant and proactive in identifying and defending against cyber threats. This new network with these leading universities will ensure we are focusing on the most vital research areas and constantly evolving to meet ever-changing threats.”

Similar to other advanced technology, the lines between cyber and physical are being blurred as manufacturing, critical infrastructure, national defense, and commercial systems all are being inter-connected through a myriad of digital and physical networks.

Artificial Intelligence is one effective method to detect undesired or anomalous behaviors within systems. However, traditional AI requires significant computing resources. This new research is focused on developing AI approaches that can be utilized in resource-constrained embedded systems that are prevalent in many of our products.  

“Our researchers possess substantial breadth and depth in cybersecurity expertise, making our partnership with Rolls-Royce a perfect fit,” Michael McQuade, Carnegie Mellon University, vice president for Research, said. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with both Purdue University and Rolls-Royce to strengthen security.”

Theresa Mayer, Purdue University, Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships said, “Purdue’s world-class cybersecurity researchers and commitment to expanding resources in this important area will enable us to be a strong partner in the ongoing effort to anticipate and prevent cyber attacks. We look forward to expanding our long-standing relationship with Rolls-Royce and engaging with leading researchers at Carnegie Mellon to develop new techniques and strategies to combat critical cybersecurity concerns and advance the field in the process.”

The technology research network is expected to conduct two to three projects with each school per year and is funded by Rolls-Royce. Three major projects have already launched by the two universities with additional projects expected to begin later in the year.

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