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Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) Interns Ended Intense 10-Week Program with Capstone Events and Graduation Ceremony

Applications for the 2022 ACE program are now being accepted

ACE Graduation 2021ACE Program graduates stand and get recognized at the ACE Graduation Ceremony on August 13, 2021

 

ROME, NY — On Friday, August 13, 2021, after a grueling 56-hour Capstone event earlier in same the week, the 2021 Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) interns were honored during their graduation ceremony on the evening of Friday, August 13, Rome, NY.

Approximately 100 friends and family members gathered in the Auditorium of the Innovare Advancement Center that evening to honor and wish well the 36 ACE interns that completed the 10-week long program.

ACE logoThe ceremony began with the Presentation of Colors and National Anthems of the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, representing the three countries of the 2021 ACE Interns.

During the graduation ceremony, the interns were presented with graduation certificates and ACE coins. Keynote speaker, Dr. Shiu-Kai Chin, Professor, Dept of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Syracuse University, addressed the graduates. Dignitaries, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney and Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, were also on hand with kind words to wish the graduates well.

Matthew Rodrick, from Newcastle University, was named 2021 ACE valedictorian.

Earlier in the week, the interns endured a 54-hours Capstone event where they applied their previously learned knowledge to achieve mission objectives in a simulated cyber warfare exercise.

“The winning team captured the core lessons of the ACE program to merge cyber and warfighting concepts with leadership skills in a contested environment,” said Dr. Erich Devendorf, Director of the ACE Program and Computer Engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate.

The 2021 ACE Capstone played out as a regional rivalry between three powers. Participants had to create a plan to translate operational objectives into tactical actions achieved through kinetic and cyber effects. A rich cyber battlespace provided the fabric to couple the cyber and kinetic domains with the opportunity to attack traditional network enclaves, aircraft, integrated air defense systems, and supply/logistics systems among others. The ACE Team assessed success in the exercise based on the participants ability to achieve their operational objectives while denying the adversary their own. Winners of the Capstone won well-earned bragging rights and the cyber war-training experience of a lifetime.

“Congratulations ACE graduates! You are now ACE alumni. You have done things that were beyond what you thought you could do before the summer started,” said keynote speaker Dr. Shiu-Kai Chin, Professor, Dept of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Syracuse University. “This is a major accomplishment of which you can be proud. I am an ACE graduate. ACE has defined who I am since day one of my professional career…You’ve done something extraordinary, and you have experienced and gained insight into what it takes to assure missions and systems.”

In 2003, Dr. Kamal Jabbour, ST, Senior Scientist for Information Assurance at the Information Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RI), in Rome, New York, started the Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) Cyber Security Boot Camp. The 10-week program educates interns on the science of information assurance and trains them in the art of cyber warfare. The leadership development component of the ACE focuses on problem solving through technical excellence, communication skills, and on-time performance.

The ACE experience is designed with four mission imperatives.

  • First, to develop highly competent and credible problem solvers and change agents who can bring order to technical chaos by appropriately framing wicked problems and decisively applying sound technical judgment under complex and uncertain conditions to provide solutions on time.
  • Second, to inculcate a warrior ethos by developing “a hardiness of spirit and moral and physical courage” to challenge erroneous paradigms with creative transformational approaches.
  • Third, to shape cyber leaders who can exercise competence, commitment, courage, and compassion in leading change through cohesive teams based on mutual trust.
  • Fourth, to hone clear, concise, and compelling communication skills enabling cyber leaders to provide purpose, direction, and motivation in fostering a shared sense of purpose and enabling empowered execution.

Applications for the 2022 Advanced Course in Engineering (ACE) program are now being accepted at www.ace-cyber.com/ace/apply. Deadline to apply is December 7, 2021.

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