Avert 4 Universities (a4u) Program Support To The Pennsylvania State University

James Raines - ARES Security Corporation
Matthew Zerphy - Pennsylvania State University
Christine Yeager - ARES Security Corporation
Paul Zahnle - ARES Security Corporation
File Attachment
a359.pdf736.19 KB

The AVERT 4 Universities (A4U) program by ARES Security Corporation (ARES) provides access to the AVERT software suite at no charge to educational institutions for inclusion in their curriculum. AVERT, is an established suite of all-encompassing software solutions for the entire life cycle, from design to operations, of physical security systems. AVERT transforms physical security planning and assessment from a dependence on the qualitative judgement of subject matter experts to a science based on a 3D digital twin, physics-based quantitative modeling, simulation, and artificial intelligence. Building on a partnership established in 2016, ARES provided the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) with AVERT for use in the fall 2020 Nuclear Security System Design (NucE 442) class, one of five core courses in PSU’s graduate nuclear security education program covering threat, security system design, detector technologies, and global policies. AVERT enables instructors to demonstrate and students to explore a wide range of theft and sabotage scenarios with the ability to rapidly test the impact of changes to any and all aspects of the environment, threat, and protection systems. Simple models are used for demonstrating core concepts while complex models allow students to integrate concepts and demonstrate a comprehensive attainment of course learning objectives through a series of hands-on exercises and a final design challenge project in which students use AVERT to apply “what if” scenarios to assess different security configurations and prioritize investments in system improvements. The use of industry-leading Security Risk Assessment (SRA) software enhances student achievement of learning objectives while also providing experience with a tool actively used by used by 65% of commercial nuclear plants in the U.S. as well as many industrial, corporate, and government organizations. The industry partnership also provides students with the opportunity for engagement with professionals in the field, broadening their educational experience and extending their network. This paper will introduce the A4U program, discuss the PSU experience with deploying and using the tool for both resident and online instruction, lessons learned, and student feedback.