Carnegie Mellon Contracted for Software R&D
Carnegie Mellon has long been one of the USA’s best universities for computer science, and was well known in those circles long before Prof. Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture made it more broadly famous around the world. Platforms like Alice are gaining wide traction for teaching computer science, and their Capability Maturity Model for software development has become a certification goal for many defense industry systems integrators. On the security side, their Software Engineering Institute’s Computer Emergency Response (CERT) group remains one of top public resources in the world for computer security, and their CyLab is a multi-disciplinary cybersecurity education and research center, involving 6 colleges from Carnegie Mellon, over 50 faculty, and over 130 graduate students.
The SEI was established in 1984 at Carnegie Mellon University as a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) dedicated to advancing the practice of software engineering and improving the quality of systems that depend on software. Their CMMI defines 5 levels of proficiency under a Total Quality Management approach; most commercial organizations are at Level 1 or Level 2. Through its sponsor, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, the SEI carries out its mission by focusing on software engineering management and technical practices.
Contracts & Key Events
These contracts are managed by the USAF’s Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, MA.
June 29/10: Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute in Pittsburgh, PA, receives a $995 million contract modification which will “provide software research and development pertinent to national defense.” At this time, no money has been obligated; awards will be made under the umbrella as needed (FA8721-05-C-0003, P00108).
Works conducted under this contract have included titles like “Software Vulnerabilities in Java,” “Measurement and Analysis Infrastructure Diagnostic (MAID) Evaluation Criteria, Version 1.0,” and “Introduction to the Architecture of the CMMI Framework.”
June 29/10: Sypris Electronics LLC announces a partnership with Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab to jointly pursue research and new technology solutions for information security and assurance challenges currently facing the U.S. Government and critical national infrastructure. As part of the partnership agreement with CyLab, Sypris Electronics plans to collaborate on cyber security and information assurance research, focusing on trusted computing architectures and automated computer defense technologies.
July 27/05: Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute in Pittsburgh, PA received a $411.1 million cost reimbursement contract to provide for software research and development pertinent to national defense. Beginning in the summer of 2004, the U.S. government conducted an extensive review of the SEI, culminating in the recommendation by government reviewers to renew the SEI contract until 2010.
Solicitation for this contract began March 2005, and negotiations were completed in June 2005 (FA8721-05-C-0003).
This marks the 4th time that the government has renewed the SEI contract; previous contract renewals were in 1990, 1995, and 2000. The SEI contract states that “the SEI shall provide services needed to accomplish R&D work in support of high-payoff software engineering areas that best address DoD mission needs, and contribute most to supporting the acquisition and sustainment of DoD systems. These areas include technology transition, software engineering support, and research and education.”