Roane State to develop cyber defense training for manufacturers

Roane State Community College will play a key role in what is described as an ambitious program to establish the Tennessee Valley as the national hub for machine tool research, development and training.

The community college’s nationally recognized cyber defense department has received a $250,000 grant to develop training for businesses that will help protect digital components of next-generation machine tools and manufacturing processes.

The funding is part of a $5 million grant awarded to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville to address machine tool vulnerabilities. It’s called the Southeastern Advanced Machine Tools Network, or SEAMTN (pronounced “see mountain”).

Machine tools are used to make parts using discrete processes, such as milling, turning, drilling, and forming, and continuous processes, such as carbon fiber, polymers, and iron/steel.

“Revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing base is a top priority for the federal government,” according to a report outlining the SEAMTN proposal. “Because machine tools support both prototyping and production operations for virtually all manufactured products, every commercial and defense manufacturer is a stakeholder.”


Professor George Meghabghab, head of Roane State’s computer science department, will develop training for businesses to learn how to protect digital manufacturing equipment.

“Manufacturing is becoming more digital, and we have to be able to protect it and make sure everything is safe and secure," Meghabghab said. That will entail “establishing information security standards throughout the industry, mastering risk assessment and risk management strategies, and reporting cyber intrusion incidents once detected.”

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