Two men in military uniforms stand at the front of a classroom, presenting in front of a screen.

La troisième année: Collaboration between SCCS, French military academy expands

Fall 2023 marked the third year, or “la troisième année” in French, for a growing partnership between Augusta University’s School of Computer and Cyber Sciences (SCCS) and the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan in France, and both sides are seeing more potential for this collaboration in the coming years.

For three months in the fall, Second Lieutenants Justin Dreux and Victorien Noël, cadets at Saint Cyr Coëtquidan, were part of an immersive cybersecurity internship program with SCCS at the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center. The experience afforded the cadets the opportunity to conduct extensive research with AU faculty and students by working on an industrial control systems (ICS) research project with Michael Nowatkowski, PhD, head of the cyber program at AU.

Two French soldiers stand outside in military regalia.
Second Lieutenants Victorien Noël and Justin Dreux of the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan in France.

“Every year, we see the value of our investigations increase, and the results become more and more fruitful for our teaching and research activities,” said Patrice Parraud, associate professor at the Military Academy of Saint Cyr Coëtquidan and head of the Cyber Academic Option.

The research project titled “ICS and Network Framework for cyber training” is a continuation of the research done by the French cadets who took part in the internship the previous two years, but the two cadets brought their unique perspectives and expertise to contribute to the collaborative exchange of knowledge and skills between the institutions.

“This is a very exciting project because every year we build off the previous year by incorporating new perspectives from the different cadets. I enjoyed working with Justin and Victorien as they set up the environment so they could experiment with different security techniques. They conducted the experiments, and we mentored them along the way, and then we helped them develop their final presentation,” said Nowatkowski.

On top of participating in research, the French cadets gained a better understanding of American culture by interacting with AU students, including training with AU’s Jaguar Army ROTC Battalion, as well as taking trips to Atlanta and Florida.

“It was very interesting to be able to work with students and researchers from another country because we had to adapt our methods and knowledge,” Noël said. “It was also an excellent opportunity for us to improve our English, which is really important for us as students in the military.”

“The majority of our time was spent conducting our research because that was the heart of our internship, so we really focused on the job at hand. Apart from the professional experience, it was interesting to learn more about the American way of life, the habits of the citizens. Once we became more familiar with that, it was easier to interact with the people we came into contact with.”

In addition to their research at the Georgia Cyber Center and military training, the duo visited a French 1002: Beginning French course taught by E. Nicole Meyer, PhD, professor of French and Women’s and Gender Studies in Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences who was named a chevalier, or knight, in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Republic of France in 2021.

According to Meyer, the experience of speaking to the cadets in their native language left her students excited as they were able to put what they learned in the classroom in a real-world situation.

“My students very much appreciated their visit. The cadets spoke in French with them. They explained why they were in Augusta, what work they were doing and they answered questions,” Meyer said. “They also explained how they got in to St. Cyr – it is an exceptional set of exams where only the best of the best gain entrance – and what they are doing as they work toward their diploma, including the internships they do during their studies. My students were so excited they were able to ask questions and understand them.”

Two men in French military uniforms pose for a photo in a classroom with a large group of college students.
Second Lieutenants Victorien Noël and Justin Dreux visited a French 1002: Beginning French course taught by E. Nicole Meyer, PhD, during their visit to Augusta University.

The partnership between AU and the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan was first created in 2021 to allow French military cadets to visit SCCS to receive cybersecurity training and education by completing a foreign academic internship. The proximity to Fort Eisenhower, as well as the strong relationship between the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence and AU, only enhances the partnership.

“Between the academic training received in cyber security and the engineering skills acquired during the internship, our cadets came out of it more operational. The work of the last two courses has been migrated and deployed on our cyber range to be integrated into different types of scenarios. If this collaboration remains true to its projection in terms of needs and expectations, it is destined to grow. I’m delighted to see this collaboration evolve, and I have no doubt it will be effective,” Parraud said.

Alexander Schwarzmann, PhD, dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, echoed Parraud’s assessment and is optimistic the partnership will continue to grow and evolve.

“The School of Computer and Cyber Sciences was honored to once again host two French cadets from Saint-Cyr, and I was impressed with their presentation and all they accomplished on their project,” Schwarzmann said. “We will continue to build on this international partnership to hopefully create new opportunities for students, both from Saint-Cyr and from Augusta University, including reciprocal student exchange.”

Five men, three in French military uniforms, pose for a photo outside.
Michael Nowatkowski, PhD; Second Lieutenant Justin Dreux; Second Lieutenant Victorien Noël; Alexander Schwarzmann, PhD, dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences; and Lt. Col. Clément Gleiyse, French liaison officer at the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence.
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
man with glasses standing in front of blue background
Written by
Milledge Austin

Milledge Austin is a senior communications and marketing strategist for Communications and Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

View all articles
man with glasses standing in front of blue background Written by Milledge Austin

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

graphic that says download jag mobile with icon buttons below that say download on app store and download on google play with a picture of a phone