Image: Dr. Le Guan has recently received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER Award is the most prestigious award that the NSF awards to young faculty, and it comes with a 5-year grant. Dr. Guan earned this award for his project "CAREER: Improving the Lifecycle Security of Microcontroller Devices". Project summary: Microcontroller units (MCUs) drive many security- and safety-critical embedded applications. However, they inherit software bugs present in all computing systems. Due to restricted resources on MCUs, traditional security mechanisms can hardly be deployed on these devices. To address this problem, around a unifying theme--offloading security analysis from the original application workload to more capable nearby workstations or hubs--this project will deliver a series of new methodologies and theories to significantly improve the lifetime security of MCU devices. This research will also be integrated into the investigator’s education plan to develop a set of Virtual Machine-based labs to educate young minds and future embedded system developers and architects about MCU security.