AFCEA International Announces The Cyber Edge Writing Contest Winners

Top 3 articles to be published in SIGNAL Magazine

Fairfax, Virginia, UNITED STATES

Fairfax, April 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The challenges from individual and nation-state cyber adversaries continue to grow, making the future of cyber warfighting a whole-of-government as well as an industry and academia set of problems. In AFCEA’s third annual The Cyber Edge, sponsored by ManTech, nearly two dozen thought leaders submitted articles that addressed ways to move forward as part of this year’s contest theme, Revolutionizing Cyber Operations. The solutions will be many faceted, but all will require innovation, advanced technologies, strategies, tactics and policy or legislative changes that might revolutionize operations for future cyber warriors.  

The article that took third place in the writing contest is “Physical-Cyber Convergence Outside the Perimeter: Keeping Federal Personnel Out of Harm's Way,” by James Carnall, of Purcellville, Virginia. Most recently with ZeroFox, Carnall has more than 20 years’ experience in technology and security. Before joining ZeroFox, he held key positions at firms such as Cyveillance, a LookingGlass Cyber company, and QinetiQ. 

Second place went to Cmdr.  Clayton Robinson, USN (Ret.), from Tampa, Florida, for his article “Robotic Pawns: Unmanned Surface Vessels and Gray Zone Warfare.” Robinson is currently a strategic planner with COLSA Corporation. Previously, he served as a Navy surface warfare officer and anti-terrorism/force protection specialist. 

Roger Khazan, Samuel A. Mergendahl and Richard W. Skowyra were chosen as the first-place winners for their article, "Holding the High Ground: Defending Satellites from Cyber Attack.” 

Khazan, from Arlington, Massachusetts, leads the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory (MITLL) Secure Resilient Systems and Technology (SRST) Group, helping solve some of the hardest technical problems relevant to national security. 

Mergendahl, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an associate staff member in the MITLL SRST Group. He works on secure system engineering, including work that leverages advances in programming languages, such as Rust, to ensure functional and cyber assurance of critical mission systems. 

Skowyra, who resides in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is a technical staff member at the MITTL SRST Group. He currently leads the group's efforts in designing cyber-resilient satellite systems.  

All three winning articles will be published in SIGNAL Magazine’s April 2023 issue as part of The Cyber Edge. 

Contest entries were judged by a panel of reviewers on content originality, usefulness, objectivity and writing quality. All top winners will receive engraved awards, monetary prizes and the opportunity to be recognized at an awards ceremony during AFCEA International’s TechNet Cyber conference, to be held May 2-4 in Baltimore, Maryland. Details about the 2023-24 contest will be available in fall 2023 at


AFCEA International is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit international professional association that connects people, ideas and solutions globally. Established in 1946, the membership association serves the military, government, industry and academia by developing networking and educational opportunities and providing an ethical forum. This enables military, government, industry and academia to align technology and strategy to meet the needs of those who serve. AFCEA operates under the guidance of a board of directors, international staff and committees. A large network of chapters is managed by a group of regional vice presidents. Join online