Nearly two years after the Virginia Cybersecurity Challenge first kicked off in May 2021, two teams – representing Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Military Institute- were announced victorious at the annual CCI Symposium on April 17, 2023. The two winners are: 

Virginia Commonwealth’s ElectroDefense team includes, from left, Mechanical Engineering major Rodney Davis, Electrical Engineering major Mac Salter, and Assistant Professor Radhika Barua, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. ElectroDefense  

CCI Member University: Virginia Commonwealth University

Team Members: Dr. Radika Barua, William Salter, Dustin Hulse, Fahim Chowdhury, and Jonathan Lundquist

This team created a multifunctional coating that can provide high-frequency electromagnetic radiation shielding and passive thermal management to prevent electromagnetic sabotage of wireless components.  

ElectroDefense plans to generate revenue by licensing the technology to companies in the IoT field. Over the long term, the solution has the potential to impact every network-connected device – an IoT market that Cisco estimated to be worth 14 trillion dollars in 2022.

CCI Executive Director Luiz DaSilva, left, presents VMI’s Network Sense team with the CCI Innovation Award at the CCI Symposium. Team members include Assistant Professor Sherif Abdelhamid, Computer Science, center, and computer science major Kolby Quigg.


CCI Member University: Virginia Military Institute

Team Members: Tanner Mallari, Kolby Quigg, and Dr. Sherif Abdelhamid

Netsense offers a web-based modeling and analytical environment for running network dynamics and predicting the spread of malicious behaviors and computer viruses on 5G networks. 

Netsense plans to offer packages with different combinations of their product’s features to customers in 5G network security. The Market Research Future (MRFR), a leading research firm, estimates that global revenue in the 5G security market will reach $5,226 million by 2026.

“As a faculty member, I didn’t learn any of this at school.” Sherif Abdelhamid, Netsense team member

As winners of the Virginia Cybersecurity Challenge, ElectroDefense and Netsense received mentoring, guidance, and support from US Ignite in refining their prototypes and identifying the best pathways to commercialization. 

“As a faculty member, I didn’t learn any of this at school,” said Sherif Abdelhamid, a Netsense team member. 

The Virginia CCI Challenge offered a unique chance for translating research into marketable products to the academic community at CCI member universities. Through this competition, both winning teams took home tens of thousands of dollars, and most importantly US Ignite will continue to work with them through their commercialization efforts. 

Read the full announcement