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WWU team tops in the state at Department of Energy CyberForce Competition

by Kayna Dean, WWU Office of Communications and Marketing intern
  • Image of the WWU Cyber Competition team

The Western Washington University Cyber Competition team competed against 70 other colleges and universities in the Department of Energy Competition at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Richland on Dec. 1.

The team placed first in Washington state, second in the Pacific Northwest and sixth nationally.

The team roster, comprised of five Cybersecurity majors and one Computer Science major, is Emerson Powers of Yelm; Jack Stratton of Bainbridge Island; Miranda Skar of West Jordan, Utah; Ky Tran of Bellingham; Kevin Virk of Bellingham and Kyle Pak of Yelm. The team is advised by WWU’s Erik Fretheim.

Run by the U.S. Department of Energy National Labs, the CyberForce competition focuses on defending computer networks used in energy labs against a team of hackers.

“In this competition, the students needed to build and defend a network with an industrial control system and several customer facing applications,” Fretheim said.

Seventy college and university teams at seven national labs compete at this event.

“We had an exceptional team for this competition,” said Emerson Powers, team captain. “We all worked extremely hard during the weeks leading up to the event to ensure we were ready.”

Some of the WWU team’s members also participated in the Pacific Rim Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition last spring, where they took second place. The team will compete in that event again in March.

For more information on the WWU Cyber Competition team, contact Erik Fretheim, team advisor, at

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Friday, December 7, 2018 - 12:10pm