Boeing Gifts 50 Computer Servers to Western Washington University for its New CyberRange

by John Thompson, Office of Communications and Marketing

Boeing has given 50 computer servers to Western Washington University for use in its new CyberRange Poulsbo, a virtual environment where students in Western’s Computer Information System Security (CISS) program will practice cyberwarfare training and cyber technology development.

Without the gift, Western would have had to spend about $250,000 on the server systems.

“Boeing is proud of our long lasting relationship with Western and the pipeline of talent the university brings to the business environment.  Boeing contributes to WWU in the form of curriculum development, scholarships, internships, grants and equipment donation,” said Kendall Nolan, the 737 Director of Quality at Boeing. “The equipment donation to support the cyber range is just one of the latest projects between Boeing and Western where both the community and students will benefit.”

Nolan’s colleague, Boeing’s Marie Deschene, echoed Nolan’s thoughts.

“As a large multi-national corporation, Boeing recognizes the risks in the worldwide cyber ecology and the need to help educate those who will protect us all.  Therefore, Boeing determined the best use for information technology equipment they no longer needed would be to contribute it to programs such as Western’s CISS CyberRange where it can help educate future cyber-security experts,” she said.

Erik Fretheim, director of Western’s CISS program, said the gift was extraordinarily valuable and will get the Cyber Range, which will be housed at Western Washington University Center at Olympic College in Poulsbo and is one of only nine in the country built for educational use, completed far more quickly than would have been possible otherwise.

“It’s important to note that the CyberRange will support all of the state’s cybersecurity programs, not just ours at Western.  With the CyberRange, we will be able to implement a variety of hands-on exercises which will help our students to learn and practice cyber-security techniques.  It also allows a safe environment for these types of exercises where students can practice their techniques and investigate viruses without carrying risky activities over the Internet,” he said. 

Western hopes to have the infrastructure in place for the CyberRange by mid-September.

For more information on the Cyber Range or the Boeing gift, contact Erik Fretheim at (360) 650-6879 or Erik.Fretheim@wwu.edu.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 11:05am