USD Hosts Smart Cities Technology, Cyber Security Symposium

Chell Roberts, Dean of EngineeringDr. Gordon Romney, director of USD's Center for Cybersecurity, Engineering and Technology, makes a point during a panel discussion.

Technology. It’s a word everyone understands and its importance. Cybersecurity. That’s another word that is understood and continues to grow in stature and goes hand-in-hand with technology. Both technology and cyber security, along with concepts connected to them — such as public safety, trust and privacy — had the full attention of those in attendance at and International Smart and Safe Cities Symposium at the University of San Diego on Thursday.

USD’s Hahn University Center Forum C served as the gathering spot for the symposium, which was one of three days of bringing together industry stakeholders and key decision makers to discuss aspects of IoT (Internet of Things) and Smart Cities. A Smart and Safe Cities kickoff event took place in Bankers Hill on March 20, the all-day symposium was at USD March 21 and a Smart and Safe Cities Walking Tour happened in downtown San Diego on March 22.

The event in San Diego, put on by CyberTECH and the City of San Diego, followed meet-up opportunities in Las Vegas and San Francisco already in 2019 and there will be an international destination event in Barcelona, Spain in November before a return to San Diego for the International Smart and Safe Cities Symposium in March 2020.

The goal of Thursday’s event at USD was, according to CyberTECH, “to help make San Diego attractive and welcoming to the people who live there. We talk broadly about the healthcare system or the education system, and we acknowledge the regional nature of transportation systems, energy and water systems, and even food systems. All of these systems need to be deployed with cybersecurity in mind. As sensors, data, connectivity, networks, and analytics offer opportunities to improve each of these systems independently, the common elements of the technology infrastructure offer more opportunities for interoperability across systems and to reframe how we optimize and make decisions about these systems.”

Throughout the day, the audience heard from keynote speakers on issues such as a primer on Smart City mobility, a Quest for Cyber Security and Smart City Trust, Smart and Safe City Resiliency and one by a UC San Diego director on Building Robot Valley.

Multiple city leadership panels took place during the day, too. Dr. Gordon Romney, director of the Center for Cybersecurity, Engineering and Technology at USD, was a featured expert on a panel devoted to “How Smart Cities Leverage Privacy by Design and Other Trusted Privacy Models.”

Earlier in the day, the symposium was welcomed by Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering Dean, Chell Roberts, PhD. He shared the scope of USD’s engineering and cyber security programs and the importance of the university's graduates being an asset as San Diego grows as a strong and recognized Smart City. 

— Ryan T. Blystone

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