Penn State Brandywine, SAP support development of cybersecurity professionals

SAP Next Gen lab logo

Penn State Brandywine is partnering with SAP to support the development of cybersecurity professionals.

Credit: SAP

MEDIA, Pa. — Penn State Brandywine has formed a new partnership with SAP to support the global software firm’s efforts to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Since 2018, Penn State Brandywine has hosted an SAP-designated Next-Gen Lab. Brandywine’s Next-Gen Lab fosters innovation and creativity, while offering students a chance to connect with companies for both experience and recruitment purposes. Inspired by SAP University Alliances, the Next-Gen Lab is geared to clients of any size whose challenges or goals can be assisted by University resources, and it offers students opportunities that will encourage responsible, productive and research-based skills that directly apply course concepts in action.

With the new partnership, SAP will fund Penn State Brandywine undergraduate research and provide professional internship opportunities, including experiential learning and job opportunities. This summer’s undergraduate SAP Next-Gen Lab research projects are focusing on industry and SAP-specific security challenges. SAP aims to bring a more diverse talent base to the cybersecurity industry, as well as provide guidance on ways to enrich universities’ cybersecurity curricula. To support this goal, SAP will fund student memberships in Women in CyberSecurity, which promotes the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in the cybersecurity profession.

“This partnership with SAP is enabling our students to further their cybersecurity skill sets and network directly with industry professionals.”

—Andy Landmesser , assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology

“This partnership with SAP is enabling our students to further their cybersecurity skill sets and network directly with industry professionals,” said Andy Landmesser, assistant teaching professor of information sciences and technology. “Often students can’t afford to take advantage of opportunities to build their professional networks and conduct research. SAP resources are helping level the playing field so all Brandywine cybersecurity students can receive various experiential learning opportunities.”

Under this sponsorship, SAP will be the naming sponsor for a regional one-day cybersecurity conference that will include regional academic institutions and their students, industry leaders and community members. The academic cybersecurity conference, hosted by Penn State Brandywine, will be held on Sept. 9 both in person and virtually.

“By supporting Penn State Brandywine, it is SAP’s commitment to foster a diverse talent pipeline with qualified professionals. We need creative problem solvers and look forward to the solutions these future leaders will bring to the security domain,” said Tim McKnight, chief security officer of SAP.

Elena Kvochko, chief trust officer of SAP, added, “Innovative collaboration models such as this are essential to expanding the talent pool in today’s cybersecurity workforce. We look forward to continued support to prepare future leaders with a career in security.”

“By supporting Penn State Brandywine, it is SAP’s commitment to foster a diverse talent pipeline with qualified professionals."

—Tim McKnight , chief security officer, SAP

Aligned with SAP’s goal of providing experiential learning opportunities, planned conference topic areas include: education and workforce development; cyber defense innovation; security operations center improvement; specialty cyber in law, business and ethics; and cyber program diversity, policy and business opportunities. Penn State Brandywine will also work on SAP security curriculum development for SAP University and Academic Alliance conferences, workshops and boot camp opportunities.

Penn State’s Corporate Engagement Center assisted with this initiative for Penn State Brandywine. The Corporate Engagement Center is a joint initiative of Penn State's Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and the Office of University Development, working in partnership with Career Services.

Penn State Brandywine provides an undergraduate education among the arts, sciences and professional fields to a highly diverse student population from Greater Philadelphia and beyond. Brandywine offers a challenging and rewarding college experience, combining a small-campus environment with the extensive resources of a world-class public research university. The campus empowers students to fulfill their potential and prepares them for meaningful careers and lives as engaged citizens.

Penn State Brandywine establishes partnerships through business and industry, community and civic, and K-12 and higher education organizations to positively impact the region. As a Penn State Commonwealth Campus, Brandywine pursues the University’s land-grant mission of excellence in teaching, research and outreach.