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Registration for this event has closed. However, if you are interested in attending, please contact Ty Butler at iyb5026@psu.edu.

All Penn State faculty with security-related research interests are invited to the Center for Security Research and Education’s Interdisciplinary Security Research Workshop on February 27 in 122 Heritage Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center in University Park. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m., with the program running from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be served.

The workshop is designed to bring faculty and researchers together from across Penn State to explore new interdisciplinary themes and future funding possibilities. Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to participate.

Penn State Associate Vice President for Research Shashank Priya will offer introductory remarks. The keynote will be delivered by Jerry Epstein, who has held a variety of positions in the U.S. government, including deputy assistant secretary for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear policy in the Department of Homeland Security and assistant director for biosecurity and emerging technologies in the National Security and International Affairs Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. His is also the former director of the Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Epstein’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion on research funding trends and then thematic interest breakout groups. Topics may include the following:

  • Climate Security
  • Food / Water / Energy Security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Autonomous Systems
  • Elections Security
  • Immigration
  • Bioterror and Disease Control
  • Infrastructure Security
  • Violent Extremism
  • Other

Each topic area will be facilitated by a content expert.  General supplementary presentations will include discussions of seed funding opportunities, national funding prospects, and insight into policy trends.


To catalyze funded research projects among Penn State researchers in the security field.


  • To build on last year’s Security Day event
  • To provide space for co-creating project ideas for collaboration
  • To establish working groups to pursue specific opportunities

Tentative Agenda

8:00–8:30: Registration and coffee
8:30–8:45: Welcome by Jim Houck, Director, CSRE
8:45–9:00: Comments by Shashank Priya, Associate Vice President for Research
9:00–9:30 Presentation by Jerry Epstein
9:30–10:00: Panel Discussion on Funding Trends, including the following panelists:

  • D. Scott Bennett (moderator), Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of the Liberal Arts
  • Vivek Kapur, Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences
  • James Piazza, Professor of Political Science, College of the Liberal Arts
  • Heng Xu, Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology, College of Information Sciences and Technology
10:00–10:30: Networking coffee break and first working groups breakout
10:30–noon: First working groups
noon-1:00: Light lunch
1:00-2:00: Second working groups
2:00: Summary and adjourn