Doug Jacobson, University Professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Iowa State’s Center for Cyber Security Innovation and Outreach, was awarded the Sunil & Sujata Gaitonde Professorship in Cybersecurity in a medallion ceremony on May 5, 2023.
“As the inaugural holder of the Sunil & Sujata Gaitonde Professorship in Cyber Security, I know Dr. Jacobson will value this position and what it means to the overall success of the department,” said W. Samuel Easterling, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Dean of Engineering. “And thanks to the generosity of Sunil and Sujata, this gift will have a great impact on out college and further raise the profile of our electrical and computer engineering department.”
Jacobson has been at Iowa State for more than four decades, both as a student and professor. He is one of the country’s leading experts in cyber security issues and has been involved with cyber security since the concept began.
“I am absolutely humbled and honored to be named the Sunil & Sujata Gaitonde Professorship in Cyber Security, especially since Sunil is a former student of mine,” Jacobson said at the medallion ceremony. “Iowa State is a special place, and we do a lot in cyber security to make an impact, and this endowed professorship really does bring more attention to the college and department.”
Jacobson spoke about his and Sunil’s long-time relationship, first as student and professor, and then as friends. He is thankful for the special friendship through the years.
Sunil talked about how he came from India to Iowa State, having no idea what to expect. He said he couldn’t have come to a more welcoming community and never felt like an outsider.
“What I first admired about Dr. Jacobson was how hands on he was, despite his busy schedule of research and teaching,” Sunil Gaitonde said. “Over the last few decades, he has taken the cyber security and research practices to another level. I want to see that work at Iowa State continue and I look forward to the results.”