The universities of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Iowa State are joining forces in the ReCIPE project to tackle a critical challenge: preparing a skilled workforce to defend our nation’s vital infrastructure from cyber threats. UIUC’s Information Trust Institute brings extensive research and testbed development expertise, while ISU’s Information Assurance Center contributes deep knowledge in workforce training and industry partnerships.

This powerful combination should translate into the potential for comprehensive cybersecurity curriculum to be developed for undergraduate and graduate students, along with seasoned professionals seeking to upgrade their skills. The modular format allows for targeted learning, covering both established and emerging threats in the ever-evolving cyber landscape. Hands-on exercises and capstone projects will equip graduates and professionals alike with the practical skills and expertise to become frontline defenders.

ReCIPE goes beyond the university setting, it actively engages with state and local government agencies, industry leaders, and critical infrastructure operators. This collaboration ensures the curriculum remains relevant to real-world needs and prepares graduates for seamless integration into the workforce and education and real-world training for those already in it.

Sustainability is key for ReCIPE’s long-term success. Revenue-generating modules and an industry-led advisory board will position us to create a financial foundation upon which to continue the momentum of the program. Additionally, the project has plans for continuous expansion and engagement with new partners across the nation, ensuring its impact extends beyond the initial grant period.