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U.S. Air Force Academy CyberWorx (AF CyberWorx)

U.S. Air Force Academy CyberWorx is collaborating with academia and industry to solve "wicked" problems.

U.S. Air Force Academy CyberWorx is collaborating with academia and industry to solve "wicked" problems.

Educating airmen and cadets while simultaneously partnering with industry to solve cyber problems facing our nation.


AF CyberWorx is a new venture for the Air Force, a public-private design center focused on cyber capability that melds AF, academic and industry expertise with state of the art technology and innovative thinking to solve wicked operational problems.

AF CyberWorx stood up in the fall of 2016 and in the first year we’ve tackled several AF problems using “design thinking” as our methodology. This approach focuses on rapid prototyping and teaches a willingness to take risks. We try to fail fast so that we can succeed sooner.

AF CyberWorx is based at the Air Force Academy to harness the ingenuity of 4,000 digital-native airmen and cadets and more than 100 Ph.D. faculty members, its vibrant research partnerships with industry, as well as the growth of the cyber business sector in Colorado Springs.

We are growing. We currently have the capacity to have 2-3 simultaneous design efforts underway, but we’ve been directed to expand that up to 10 simultaneous projects in campus studios and maker spaces. To support that, we have plans to build a 33,000 square foot facility as a public-private partnership.

AF CyberWorx Mission - Partnering with AF CyberWorx provides airmen and cadets with the opportunity to work with real-world practitioners, creating teaming environments that will help with their leadership skills in their Air Force careers. Airmen and cadets are immersed in the concepts of collaboration, innovation, and fearlessness when solving tough problems--something they aren't exposed to in a regular squadron or classroom.

AF CyberWorx focuses on Human Centered Design.  We are solving real, multi-faceted military problems to foster war-winning innovations that support a more agile and intuitive Air Force. Human-centered design achieves success by using empathy and human-centered solutions that actually work for our airmen. The transdisciplinary design approach teases out meaningful solutions that are intuitive and desirable to airmen. Teams use techniques of rapid, low-fidelity prototyping to find out what ideas work, don't work, and can be made better to improve the end-user's experience. We deliberately reach across academic and industry specialties to bring diverse perspectives to problems in a non-threatening environment and evoke ideas that would otherwise be missed or stifled. To create diverse problem-solving teams, we bring together airmen from operators through decision and policy makers and partner with industry innovators and academia. Our collaboration promotes bold, new creative solutions that benefit the warfighter by combining non-traditional individuals, enhanced by a rich diversity of thought.

AF CyberWorx collaboration communities include:

  • Military & Government - Accelerate the Air Force's operational advantage in cyberspace through unique collaborations with business thought leaders and design projects.

  • Business & Industry - Gain insights into Air Force priorities, vision, goals, and challenges while helping to design and transition meaningful solutions quickly to warfighters.

  • Innovators & Academics - Spark new opportunities to solve real operational challenges while sharing your technology & research to empower the warfighter by partnering with airmen and cadets.