ECPI University recently unveiled a new Cyber Lab at the Manassas campus in Northern Virginia. The lab took six months to construct and features seven networking racks and 28 computers.
CIS Associate Dean David Breeding was intricately involved with the planning and logistics of the new lab. His fellow faculty members even took to referring to him as “The Architect” of the new laboratory.
“The cybersecurity industry continues to grow, especially here in Northern Virginia. Our campus is working to meet the need for real world experience from working with physical computing devices, creating simple to complex network and security architectures, and how to protect those architectures from threats.“
– Dr. Keith Morneau – Dean of Cyber & Information Security Technology, Manassas campus
“The objective was to connect everything together the way that you would, if you were programming in the real world,” said Breeding. “Imagine taking a cable and wiring it to the PC. Now you have a cable running across the floor. If they lay on the floor, then that’s fine. But in the previous lab they would sometimes be raised around shoulder level.”
It’s just a small issue with one single computer, shared Breeding, but it becomes a wiring and space issue in a room full of PCs. Thankfully, the design of the new cyber lab mitigates this issue and allows our students to “concentrate on something other than dragging cables around,” said Breeding. “We’re trying to teach them how to program and how to do wiring, so instead of worrying about the logistics, they are actually concerned with learning.”
Dr. Keith Morneau, Dean of Cyber & Information Security Technology, is pleased with how the lab turned out. “The design enables students to learn more through actual experience rather than simulation alone,” says Dr. Morneau. “The cybersecurity industry continues to grow, especially here in Northern Virginia. Our campus is working to meet the need for real world experience from working with physical computing devices, creating simple to complex network and security architectures, and how to protect those architectures from threats.
To showcase the lab and campus, ECPI University’s Manassas location hosted the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce for a “Business After Hours” where Campus President Sheri Delozier and Development Manager David Potamianos joined the faculty and staff for a special ribbon cutting of the lab.
“The Business After Hours was a great opportunity to highlight our new computer Cyber Lab and demonstrate how our students are preparing to protect and defend networks against threats, among other technical skills,” said Development Manager David Potamianos.
Members of the business community also had the opportunity to tour the campus, visit the University’s additional hands-on labs for nursing, health science and engineering technology, and learn about ECPI University’s accelerated programs.
“We really enjoyed connecting with business leaders and are poised to assist businesses and the Northern Virginia community with its continued economic growth and expansion,” said Potamianos.