star twitter facebook envelope linkedin youtube alert-red alert home left-quote chevron hamburger minus plus search triangle x

Heinz Students on Winning Team at National Cyber Analyst Challenge


Five CMU students that won National Cyber Challenge

CMU graduate students best teams from nine other schools to snag top cybersecurity prize.

Pittsburgh is the City of Champions. No, we’re not talking about the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins. We’re talking about the team of Carnegie Mellon University students who stormed into the National Cyber Analyst Challenge (NCAC) and took home 1st place in the competition.

Four of the team’s five members—Krishna Chirumamilla, Sara Mitchell, Daniel Widya Suryanat, and Jennifer Urgilez—are students in the Master of Science in Information Security and Policy Management (MSISPM) program at Heinz College. The fifth member of the team was Jennifer Burns from CMU’s Information Networking Institute (INI).

The competition presented the students with a real-world cyber attack, and tasked them with analyzing the incident and formulating a response. The students presented their findings and recommendations to a fictitious “C-suite” of industry experts.

Students presenting at National Cyber Analyst Challenge

Stepping Up


The CMU team presents at the National Cyber Analyst Challenge.

“I’m really proud of the work that our students did on a tight deadline,” said Andrew Wasser, Associate Dean of Heinz College’s School of Information Systems and Management.

“The students effectively diagnosed the breach and discovered the root cause of the threat. They then prioritized a set of remedies to best address the risk and minimize future incidents. To be able to do all of that, and then present that information to C-suite executives, is reflective of the skills that all of our students learn here at Heinz College," said Wasser.

The NCAC, jointly sponsored by Leidos and Temple University, was created with the mission to support the development of the best students pursuing cyber related degrees in the top cyber programs in the nation, according to the conference’s website. The competition is in its second year.

Read the full story

Learn more about the NCAC

Learn more about the MSISPM Program