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Former US Navy Distinguished Engineer named executive director of cybersecurity innovation

Rob Templeman brings decades of cybersecurity experience to his new role at IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research

News and events Jan 25, 2024

Rob Templeman, Indiana University’s new executive director of cybersecurity innovation, is an engineer at heart. Before coming to IU, Templeman developed shipboard systems for the Department of Navy for 22 years, specializing in cybersecurity engineering of critical national defense capabilities. In this new IU role, he hopes to connect with students, faculty and staff who have a passion for cybersecurity and work with them to attract those with the same passion to IU.

“Nationally, we need over half a million people to fill open cybersecurity jobs, so I’m very excited about how we can bring more students to IU who are specifically interested in cybersecurity to solve some of the problems in our field together and to go off into the workforce as prepared as possible,” Templeman said.

Robert Templeman at IU Bloomington on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Photo by Chris Meyer/Indiana University) Robert Templeman at IU Bloomington on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Photo by Chris Meyer/Indiana University)

Rob Lowden, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, said he is excited for Templeman to bring his passion and knowledge of cybersecurity into his new role.

“Rob’s work with the U.S. Navy and wealth of cybersecurity knowledge made him an ideal choice for this position. I look forward to leveraging his expertise to continue to support and improve upon IU’s ever-growing network of cybersecurity professionals, technology and research,” Lowden said. “His experience at IU has given him an inspiring passion for cybersecurity education and ensuring student success.”

“I’ve always been drawn to solving problems, specifically using technology to address pressing national security and community challenges,” Templeman said. “While I was a developer of shipboard systems, about 12 years ago, cybersecurity became a major issue. The systems that I was supporting were being undercut because of cybersecurity challenges.”

Because of this, Templeman made a career change in 2011 and was awarded a Department of Defense Fellowship to pursue his Ph.D. at IU. As part of the fellowship, he spent 3 1/2 years conducting cybersecurity research in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering with graduate advisor Apu Kapadia, a professor of computer science and chair of IU’s Cybersecurity Risk Management Program, and David Crandell, another Luddy professor who sat on his dissertation committee and now directs the Luddy AI Center.

“After that my world became cybersecurity,” Templeman said. “I focus on ensuring that systems and organizations function as intended in the face of cyber threats that we have.”

“We’re thrilled that Rob is joining the team at CACR and is taking on this important role for IU,” said Scott Shackelford, executive director of the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research and Provost Professor of Business Law and Ethics at the Kelley School of Business. “He is extremely well-positioned to find new and innovative opportunities for IU to leverage its deep and diverse cybersecurity expertise across a number of fields and is ready to hit the ground running.”

Templeman said the multidisciplinary aspect of cybersecurity was a driving factor that attracted him to the discipline.

“It’s not just an electrical engineering or computer science problem,” Templeman said. “You’re also looking at physical science, policy and law, mental and physical health ramifications, and IU really stands out because they recognized the interdisciplinary nature of cybersecurity decades ago. It was why I came to IU to get my cybersecurity graduate education.”

Now Templeman said he is pleased to build on IU’s cybersecurity leadership at his graduate alma mater.

“While cybersecurity is a relatively young field, IU and CACR have made contributions over the last 20 years to establish an impressive legacy,” he said. “I am overjoyed to be part of this team, and I look forward to increasing IU’s impact in cybersecurity.”

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