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Georgia Cyber Center opening new lab for AU students

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - There’s a new tenant at the Georgia Cyber Center.

We got a first look inside the new space for the Savannah River National Laboratory.

Soon, students from Augusta University will get to use the lab to get hands-on experience in the cyber world.

Next week is Cyber Security Careers Awareness Week, and it’s pretty timely given the growth in the Georgia Cyber Center recently.

The new lab will host computer science students from AU. And we’re told the program is a streamline which will hopefully keep them in the area post-grad.

Michael Schaffer, Georgia Cyber Center executive vice president of strategic partnerships and economic development, says the area under construction is about to become the center’s next collaborative space.

“This is what we call the innovation floor,” said Schaffer.

Getting different organizations together to think tank is what the center is all about.

“It’s about bringing people together, and typically you get better solutions to whatever the challenge is,” he said.

And though this workspace is still under construction — a new collaborative project has just opened.

“We’re creating an ecosystem here,” said Dr. Jeffrey Morris, AU assistant professor of computer and cyber sciences.

The Savannah River National Laboratory has just moved in and it has a new computer lab and a partnership with AU. Computer science students will be heading there to get hands-on experience from the experts.

“We’re trying to provide trained and educated students to become a work force for them so that people can come here, they can be educated here, and they can stay here and hopefully contribute to the field of cyber security,” said Morris.

It’s a win-win for everyone. Students get their foot in the door and SRNL gets eyes on some possible future employees.

“Right now cybersecurity has about 40 percent more jobs than there are people fill them,” said John Dollan, SRNL cyber strategy director.

Educating here and keeping those jobs here.

“I’m excited to see it, you know because this is about keeping great talent in the area and building on what we have here already,” said Dollan.

Getting people experience and opening the door for future employees who will hopefully keep their knowledge here and continue to grow our cyber hub.

And there’s also several scholarship programs available to computer science students who work for federal agencies after they graduate. For more information, visit: https://www.augusta.edu/ccs/dod-cyber-scholarship.php.

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