UAH Vice President for Research will speak at cybersecurity event

Ray Vaughn 1

Dr. Ray Vaughn during a cyber-security presentation. Michael Mercier | UAH

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Aug. 4, 2014) - University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) Vice President for Research Dr. Ray Vaughn, also a distinguished professor of computer science, will be the keynote speaker for the first day of this summer's Rocket City TakeDownCon.

Vaughn will address the topic of critical infrastructure security with his presentation, "Industrial Control Systems Insecurity," at the premiere cybersecurity event scheduled for Aug. 18-19 at the Dynetics Solutions Complex, 1004 Explorer Blvd. in Huntsville's Cummings Research Park. The conference will be preceded by four days of training opportunities.

Vaughn joined UAH, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, in May 2013 after serving as associate vice president for research and the department head for Computer Science and Engineering at Mississippi State University. He was also named an eminent scholar and most outstanding faculty member in 2008. Prior to entering academia, he completed a career in the U.S. Army, where he retired as a colonel followed by three years as vice president of DISA Integrated Services at EDS Government Systems.

Vaughn's research interests are cyber-security and software engineering with a special focus on industrial control systems security. His past experience includes an assignment at the National Computer Security Center (NSA), where he conducted classified research and participated in the development of national computer security guidance. He has more than 100 publications to his credit and has obtained more than $40 million in funded research projects. He received his doctorate in computer science from Kansas State University.

Rocket City TakeDownCon will feature two tracks during two days, with Monday focused on the "Attack," teaching participants how even the most protected systems can be breached. The theme for Tuesday will be "Defense," featuring topics that will challenge attendees to determine if their defense mechanisms are prepared to thwart nefarious and persistent attacks.

Eric Lopez, EC-Council's director of conferences and events, said, "Dr. Vaughn is an example of the diversity of speakers we have lined up for this year's event. We are excited to bring a wide range of topics by speakers with various backgrounds and experience to Rocket City TakeDownCon."

Dynetics Vice President Jonathan Whitcomb said, "Huntsville has many cybersecurity experts, and Dr. Vaughn is nationally recognized. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle has a cyber initiative with a goal to be 'a community that is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in cyber research and development, modeling and simulation, engineering and experimentation, and test and evaluation.' We are proud to host speakers from our own area, as well as others from all over the United States."

The TakeDownCon Training Academy, which will take place Aug. 14-17, will offer four days of intense training just prior to the conference. EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), CHFI (Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator), Certified Security Analyst (ECSA), Mobile Hacking and Forensics, Securing Windows Infrastructure, Advanced Network Defense and Hacking Secure Encryption are some of the classes on the agenda.

For more information about the event and the current lineup of speakers, visit

For more information, contact:
Jim Steele