For the second year, the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences at Augusta University welcomed two students from the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan in France to participate in an internship opportunity.
The partnership between the two institutions was first created in 2021 to allow French military cadets to visit SCCS to receive cybersecurity training and education. This year, 2nd Lt. Sandro Caballo and 2nd Lt. Audrey Lardennois had the chance to take part in the unique internship.
“Our time here was very good,” said Lardennois. “We learned a lot of things about American life and the Georgia Cyber Center.”
The two cadets spent four months in Augusta at the Georgia Cyber Center working on an Industrial Control Systems research project with Michael Nowatkowski, PhD, head of the cyber program of study at Augusta University. The research project is a continuation of the research done by the French cadets who took part in the internship last year.
“It was very interesting and beneficial to have the opportunity to take part in this trip. Not only are there a lot of differences culturally to learn, but it was also very interesting to learn new things, like control systems,” said Caballo.
As the cadets’ internship supervisor, Nowatkowski worked closely with the two to help develop the research topic and provided them with the materials needed to conduct their experiments.
“We helped them get the environment set up so they could experiment with different security techniques. They did the experiments and we mentored them along the way and then we helped them develop their presentation,” said Nowatkowski.
Lt. Col. Nicolas Pierson, French liaison officer at the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, says that during his first visit to the Georgia Cyber Center, he knew this would be the perfect place for a student to take part in an internship.
“I only have one wish, that this partnership will continue and even grow and that we will be able to send some U.S. students to the Military Academy of Saint Cyr Coëtquidan,” Pierson said.
The cadets will continue their research back in France with the help of Patrice Parraud, PhD, associate professor at the Military Academy of Saint Cyr Coëtquidan and head of the Cyber Academic Option.
“Once again, this internship has highlighted the relevance and the scientific impact of our collaboration on industrial cybersecurity,” said Parraud. “This year we are witnessing an increase in scientific production with a direct and useful integration in our research and teaching activities. This collaboration remains faithful to the trajectory that we have traced in order to respond in a fruitful way to our common needs and expectations.”
Alex Schwarzmann, PhD, dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, and Nowatkowski visited the Military Academy of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan over the winter break to participate in the defense of the cadets’ research study.
“I have been impressed with the work and presentations done by the French cadets,” said Schwarzmann. “We are very glad to continue this internship for a second year and we look forward to growing this international partnership to create new opportunities for students both from Saint-Cyr and from Augusta University.”