Bringing together business academia and government

Jul 31, 2018
Bringing together business academia and government
Marlena Hochmuth is a Florida Polytechnic University senior majoring in computer science with a concentration in cybersecurity. She is taking part in her second internship through Florida Poly's partnership with SOFWERX.

Partnering with Florida industry is a critical component of Florida Polytechnic University’s commitment to student success. One of the many examples of this is its connection with SOFWERX, a non-profit located in Tampa, Florida, providing high-tech solutions for U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

Created in 2015, SOFWERX brings together small and large businesses, academia and government to inform USSOCOM about rapidly changing technology capabilities so Special Operations Forces and USSOCOM personnel can make better acquisition decisions.

SOFWERX has provided 11 internships and several senior capstone design projects for Florida Poly students during the past three years. These are especially invaluable for institutions like Florida Poly where STEM fields rely heavily on a hands-on approach.

“There’s a lot of great work coming out of Florida Poly, and we’re excited to be part of that,” said Brian Andrews, chief technology officer at SOFWERX.

Marlena Hochmuth has taken part in two internships at SOFWERX. The Florida Poly senior from Miami said she’s grateful for those out-of-class opportunities afforded her as a result of the partnerships.

“I feel I really got a taste of what I’d be dealing with out in the workforce,” she said.

Hochmuth is majoring in computer science with a concentration in cybersecurity. Through her time at SOFWERX, she has worked on a packet capture analysis system, which is designed to detect malicious traffic over a network. This summer, she is collaborating on wireless mesh network technology, which allows access to the internet in hostile environments without being detected.

With the capstone design projects, students and faculty help provide solutions to some of the complex tech problems being worked on by SOFWERX.

“Universities play an important role at SOFWERX,” said Andrews. “There are a lot of great minds out there, and they’re part of the problem solvers.”

Lydia Guzman
Assistant Director of Communications