Garrett Jares, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University and Graduate Research Assistant in the Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory, has been awarded a 2020 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.
Garrett earned the BS degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University with a minor in Cybersecurity and a minor in Mathematics, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2017. He has been working in the Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory (VSCL) with his advisor, Dr. John Valasek, since his undergraduate senior capstone project in 2017. During his undergraduate education, Garrett studied extensively in cybersecurity including research in cryptography topics. Garrett’s work with VSCL has been developing embedded systems for Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), and overseeing the operation of the Engineering Flight Simulator Laboratory. Garrett is combining his undergraduate knowledge with his experience in VSCL to investigate Cybersecurity for air and space vehicles.
Garrett’s doctoral dissertation will investigate cyber-attacks designed that are designed to take control of an aircraft by targeting the vehicle’s sensor data. This research will help identify and better understand the vulnerabilities in current systems and develop safeguards against such attacks. Garrett is a recipient of the Crawford & Hattie Jackson Foundation Scholarship, the Edward C. Clay ’47 Memorial Scholarship, and the 2018 Lechner Graduate Fellowship.