Dr. Lance Fiondella receives $452,454 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation

Five-year grant presented to promising researchers to serve as academic role models

College of Engineering professor Lance Fiondella

Dr. Lance Fiondella, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received a $452,454 CAREER Award for his research on system and software reliability and security risk assessment from the National Science Foundation. The prestigious five-year grant supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Consistent growth in the software sector of the U.S. and world economies is a driving force for global prosperity and stability. Meanwhile, the spread of computing has increased society’s dependence on reliable and secure software to ensure national security and system safety. Due to its growth and complexity, secure and reliable software is a serious challenge for many large companies and government organizations.

Fiondella’s project seeks to advance the science of software reliability and security risk management. An open source software platform is being developed to foster collaboration within the international software reliability research community as well as to communicate research to software practitioners.

Research seeks to ensure that products satisfy their specifications

“As people build and design a product, they need to test it to make sure it will serve the purpose it is intended for,” Fiondella explained. “That is the case for consumer products as well as products used by the government. Multiple measures can be computed to determine if a product will satisfy contractual specifications.

“We want to make sure the product is robust and resilient. Software systems must be capable of recovery despite software failures and resist malicious attacks,” Fiondella added.

Following testing, a statistical analysis is conducted to assess whether the system is ready for use.

Collaboration with national agencies including NASA and the U.S. Navy

In his research, Fiondella works with colleagues to model complex software to reveal design flaws or security vulnerabilities. He conducts collaborative research with NASA and the U.S. Navy.

A prolific researcher and writer, Fiondella has been granted $1.25 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, Army Research Laboratory, and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). He has published more than 110 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers on the topic of system and software reliability engineering.

He earned his bachelor of science degree in computer science from Eastern Connecticut State University and master of science and doctorate degrees in computer science and engineering from the University of Connecticut.

During the summer of 2014, Fiondella was a Visiting Researcher at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Aberbeen Proving Ground, MD. In 2016, he was an Office of Naval Research Summer Faculty Fellow in the Reliability and Maintainability Division at NAVAIR in Patuxent River, MD. 

Potential to save taxpayers millions with increased oversight

“I believe that we can do a lot of good with this support,” Fiondella said. “There is the potential to save millions and even billions of taxpayer dollars. We have to take the time to do what we do better and increase oversight in order to build and buy systems that are more reliable, secure, on time and within budget.

“There are many hardworking individuals dedicated to ensuring the quality of systems and national security. Our goal is to help them establish confidence in the quality of their efforts,” he said.

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College of Engineering, Departments Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept, Faculty, Research