The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is collaborating with the US Space Force to fill the gap in cybersecurity professionals working on space technologies.
The new Cyber Halo Innovation Research Project (CHIRP) will partner with colleges and universities to provide students with two years of training and research experience working on real-world scenarios at PNNL, the Department of Energy’s laboratory based in Richland, Washington.
The idea is to prepare students for potential jobs with the Space Force, the space services branch of the US armed forces that launched in 2019, or with its industrial partners.
“There is an urgent need for professionals with the specialized expertise to protect our critical space assets against cyber threats from adversaries,” Col. Jennifer Krolikowski-Stamer, chief information officer at Space Systems Command, said in a statement. .
Students will receive a scholarship to support their participation in the program. The first institutional partner is California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), which landed a separate $10.5 million National Security Agency grant in 2020 for cybersecurity workforce development. The first CHIRP cohort will support four CSUSB cybersecurity students.