Published: Aug 30, 2016 7:00:00 AM
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Anthony Skjellum has been named director of Auburn University’s newly created Charles D. McCrary Institute, which focuses on critical infrastructure protection, cyber systems, and the responsible development and conservation of natural resources. His appointment is effective immediately, according to an announcement from Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
Since 2014, Skjellum has served as director of the Auburn Cyber Research Center and the COLSA Professor of Cybersecurity and Information Assurance in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. He is also the university’s lead cyber scientist.
Founded through a gift from the Alabama Power Foundation in 2014, the McCrary Institute will focus on practical, interdisciplinary research and innovation in infrastructure and cyber security. The institute is tasked with developing next-generation technologies aimed at improving the security and operation of the nation’s infrastructure.
“With Tony’s outstanding credentials and national profile in cyber systems research, he is a natural fit to serve as the inaugural director of the McCrary Institute,” Dean Roberts said. “Tony’s knowledge and record of innovation will help advance the institute’s mission and be extremely valuable as we leverage this generous gift from the Alabama Power Foundation to develop advanced technologies.”
Faculty from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts are already involved in the institute’s work.
“Leading a new research institute presents many exciting opportunities,” Skjellum said. “I am honored to have been provided this opportunity for leadership in this critical area of national need, and I look forward to collaborating with researchers from across campus to achieve the institute’s goals.”
After completing his undergraduate physics education at the California Institute of Technology in 1984, Skjellum earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Caltech in 1985 and 1990, respectively, while minoring in computer science. From 1990-93, he was a computer scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory before joining the Mississippi State University faculty and spending a decade there. In 2003, Skjellum joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham and served as chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences until coming to Auburn in 2014. At UAB, he also co-founded the Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensic Science.
The McCrary Institute is named in honor of former Alabama Power Co. president and CEO Charles D. McCrary, a 1973 Auburn graduate in mechanical engineering. McCrary, who retired in 2014 after a 40-year career with Alabama Power, has served on the Auburn University Board of Trustees as an at-large member since 2004 and is currently president pro tempore.