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Mission Impact

With the University of Nebraska at Kearney

NSRI At A Glance

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$207.5 Million

Total awards
since 2012

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147

Total contracts and grants
since 2012

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44

NU principal investigators leading projects through NSRI since 2012

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30

Current, active projects
contracted through NSRI

Recent Projects

Nuclear deterrence theory for a multi-polar world

Through an NSRI IRAD project, Dr. Jacques Bou Abdo, UNK assistant professor of cyber systems, and NU colleagues aim to extend game theory and agent-based modeling to gain insight into this tripolar dynamic. Game theory is an important tool that is used to help decision makers understand how individuals, groups and nations may interact when engaging with one another.

Significant work was done to develop the game theoretic models of bipolar conflict and deterrence, but research in the tripolar domain is lacking. Conflicts with two or more powers are much more complex than conflicts presented in past research, and the research team aims to help distill these complexities to begin to understand how the U.S. can prevent catastrophes in a world where many nuclear powers exist.

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Mitigating cyber vulnerabilities induced via electromagnetic spectrum pathways

Under the umbrella of electromagnetic spectrum operations, two NU students recently investigated best practices to mitigate cyber vulnerabilities induced via radio frequency (RF) pathways. A specific interest area in this research is whether crowd-sourced ethical hacking could be a viable solution. Understanding the latest RF threat mitigation efforts emerging in the commercial world, which was the focus on the students’ work, will allow for more informed recommendations to guide U.S. Strategic Command's cybersecurity.

"In addition to solidifying my career choice of cybersecurity, this internship has excited my interest in the space of national security. Moving forward, I hope to engage in work that will not only benefit the cyber realm, but also the overall security of the nation."
— Jordan Schnell, UNK cybersecurity operations major

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NSRI Fellows

Through the NSRI fellows program, NSRI brings UNK researchers closer to its mission space, supports their endeavors and optimizes innovation.

Jacques Bou Abdo

Cyber Systems

Kim Carlson

Biology

Angela Hollman

Cyber Systems

Kristy Kounovsky-Shafer

Chemistry

Julie Shaffer

Biology

Melissa Wuellner

Biology

NSRI Fellows

Featured Researcher

Dr. Jacques Bou Abdo wasn’t born in a place where he could take his safety for granted. Growing up in Lebanon, his family’s well-being was frequently threatened.

"I come from a country where we have security conflicts on a regular basis," he said. "In 2012, we had ISIS closer to my hometown than Lincoln is to Kearney. That was just one of many security incidents. Around 2000, we had another organization similar to ISIS, and before that was the civil war."

Given his experiences, Dr. Bou Abdo inherently understands how much effort it takes to keep people safe. He has devoted his career to finding ways to make it easier to defend the peace.

Work with NSRI

NSRI is NU's University Affiliated Research Center

The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska (NU) is one of just 14 University Affiliated Research Centers (UARC) designated by the Department of Defense in the country. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) affiliated with NU and sponsored by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).

  • As a UARC, NSRI is a trusted agent of the federal government and DOD. It's primary customer is USSTRATCOM, but it conducts research and support across the DOD and with other federal government agencies with national security missions.
  • As NU's UARC, NSRI strategically engages university researchers, administrators and students to understand the university's capabilities and expertise so it can connect to current and potential DOD and federal government sponsors. These engagements are also used to bring forward specific customer challenges to solicit responses from NU experts.

NSRI receives funding primarily through task orders via an Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle through USSTRATCOM. The UARC designation and IDIQ contract vehicle provide an efficient contracting process for the federal government and DOD — more than 40 federal government agencies have leveraged this process to work with NU researchers and NSRI scientists.

NU researchers choose to work through NSRI to:

  • Gain access to potential funding for their work
  • Build their body of work with the purpose of helping our country's warfighters
  • Apply their expertise to defense challenges

In pursuit of its mission, NSRI guides its work, collaborations and partnerships through its:

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