Faculty News

Fu served on Department of Commerce advisory board

Kevin Fu

Kevin Fu is an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering and principal investigator for the college’s Security and Privacy Research Group. He also directs the independent Archimedes Center for Medical Device Security, and recently served as one of 12 members on the Department of Commerce’s Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB).

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the ISPAB advises NIST, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget on security and privacy issues pertaining to the federal government’s information systems. Through his authority to convene expert panelists and produce briefings for executive review, Fu contributed to reforms in federal policies that improved the security of medical devices and promoted the availability of patient care in hospitals despite cybersecurity risks.

Commenting on his biggest contributions to this committee:

“I advised the executive branch of the government on how to improve medical device security, so that patient care remains safe, effective and highly available despite cybersecurity threats.”

Advice to peers who are considering this kind of engagement:

“Set aside your cynicism about government. There are many brilliant engineers and policy makers in federal agencies who do listen thoughtfully to ideas for change.”

“Some of the best research ideas come from partnerships between academia and government. For instance, engineer/inventor Vannevar Bush was instrumental in creating the National Science Foundation.”

The value of being publicly engaged — to himself, the university and society:

“Legislators need scientists to make good decisions, and there is personal satisfaction in helping them do that. And our involvement may spur more federal support for research. But there is a responsibility to contribute, too, especially for tenured faculty who are empowered to take risks in their academic pursuits to benefit society.”