Drexel Student Team Qualifies for Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

A Drexel University cybersecurity student group, Drexel CyberDragons, ranked among the top eight teams at the Mid-Atlantic regional virtual qualifiers for the Collegiate Cybersecurity Defense Competition (CCDC), presented by the National CyberWatch Center.

As one of the top-ranking teams, Drexel students will compete in the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC) this month in Baltimore, MD. The winner of the MACCDC regional will advance, along with the other regional winners, to the national CCDC competition, which will take place between March 30 and April 1.

This is Drexel’s first year of competing in the CCDC. The team was mentored and coached by Chuck Ludwig, head of information security at Susquehanna International Group (SIG), an international financial firm headquartered in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Ludwig and several information security experts from his team at SIG have been helping to train Drexel students for this competition since summer 2016.

“As a first-time contending team, their placement among the top eight teams marks a great accomplishment for both these students and those who have supported them along the way,” said Professor and CyberDragons Faculty Mentor Steven Weber, PhD, who also directs the Isaac L. Auerbach Cybersecurity Institute.

The Drexel team is comprised of eleven undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), College of Engineering (CoE) and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health (BIOMED):


  • Maksim Bazhydlouski (computer science major, CCI)
  • Jennifer Bondarchuk (computer science major, CCI)
  • Chuck Clift (software engineering major, CCI)
  • Supriya Mahadeva Gowda (cybersecurity major, CoE)
  • Nahid Sarker (software engineering major, CCI)
  • Michelle Septak (cybersecurity major, CoE)
  • Henry Traylor (computing & security technology major, CCI)
  • Colbert Zhu (computer science major, CCI)

Alternates (practiced alongside team but did not compete):

  • Jace Beaudoin (computer science major, CCI)
  • Thinh Nguyen (biomedical engineering major, BIOMED)
  • Jiho Yoo (software engineering major, CCI)

The Drexel CyberDragons are a new student group open to all Drexel students, of all backgrounds and majors, who wish to learn more about cybersecurity. Financial support for the CCDC team has been provided through the generosity of Drexel's Office of Research and CoE.

The mission of the Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) system is to provide institutions with an information assurance or computer security curriculum a controlled, competitive environment to assess their student's depth of understanding and operational competency in managing the challenges inherent in protecting a corporate network infrastructure and business information systems. Learn more at nationalccdc.org

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