New Purdue University facility to boost cybersecurity research capabilities

SOURCE: Michael Dziedzic/Unsplash
The new facility will expand the university's research capabilities in cyber security.

By U2B Staff 

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The Purdue University Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) has expanded to include a new cybersecurity laboratory facility in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories

Named the Scalable Open Laboratory for Cyber Experimentation (SOL4CE), this new facility will increase Purdue’s cyber-physical research, emulation and analysis capabilities. 

“This new laboratory is a mirror of the facilities already within Sandia National Labs that have served as the platform for joint CERIAS and DOE research since 2017,” said Purdue University executive vice president for research and partnerships Theresa Mayer. 

“The opening of SOL4CE at Purdue allows us to increase both the speed and impact of our national security research collaboration with Sandia National Labs.”


The resources at SOL4CE will be available to faculty and students across the Purdue University system. Users will be able to utilise the facility for quick modelling and simulation work of cyber and cyber-physical systems. 

The lab will also facilitate extended experimentation of evolving systems in areas of security, resiliency, privacy, autonomy, and machine learning development and application. 

According to Kamlesh Patel, manager of Purdue partnerships at Sandia National Laboratories, the term ‘emulytics’ has been specifically coined to represent the new lab’s capabilities to provide emulation and large-scale analysis in a secure virtual environment. 

“By deploying the lab on campus, we look to grow the impact of our collaborative research with Purdue faculty, students and industry partners. This lab deployment aligns with a number of initiatives Sandia has been implementing with its network of academic alliance partners,” he said. 

Purdue University
The facility will also serve to encourage students to pursue careers in cybersecurity. Source: Danial Ricaros/Unsplash. 

“SOL4CE enables the research being conducted at Purdue to quickly and easily contribute to the work being conducted inside Sandia’s classified facilities,” said CERIAS director Dongyan Xu. 

“SOL4CE is also serving as a platform for our emerging research and education in cybersecurity for cyber-physical systems, including advanced manufacturing and autonomous vehicles.”

The first project deployed on the new facility is a collaborative research initiative conducted by Xu and researchers at Sandia National Labs. 

In order to inform the university community regarding the research capabilities this new facility possesses, a series of workshops are being hosted by CERIAS and Sandia. 


SOL4CE’s main goal will be to further advance research, development, and system design. While doing this, it will also serve to facilitate advanced curriculum development by the Purdue faculty and will be utilised by the Department of Energy for gamification exercises to encourage students to pursue careers in national security and cybersecurity. 

“SOL4CE brings cyber emulation and analysis capabilities to Purdue that until now were only available in a handful of classified laboratories around the world, and only came about after a long history of delivering impactful research to the DOE,” said CERIAS managing director Joel Rasmus. 

“We’re grateful for their long collaborative support, for placing this asset at Purdue, and for allowing other industry and commercial partners to collaborate with our faculty in the new SOL4CE lab.”