UNK professor Liaquat Hossain named Tech Educator of the Year

Liaquat Hossain, chair of UNK's Department of Cyber Systems, will be recognized Nov. 11 during the annual AIM Tech Awards celebration at the Omaha Design Center.
Liaquat Hossain, chair of UNK’s Department of Cyber Systems, will be recognized Nov. 11 during the annual AIM Tech Awards celebration at the Omaha Design Center.

OMAHA – University of Nebraska at Kearney faculty member Liaquat Hossain will be recognized as the Tech Educator of the Year during the annual AIM Tech Awards.

Presented by the AIM Institute, an Omaha-based nonprofit that promotes diversity, equity and inclusion in the tech industry through its education and training programs, the AIM Tech Awards celebrate educators, students, businesses and community leaders for their dedication and contributions to the tech community. This year’s event will be hosted Nov. 11 at the Omaha Design Center.

Hossain, a Ron and Carol Cope Professor and chair of UNK’s Department of Cyber Systems, will receive one of seven awards presented that evening.

“The AIM Institute is honored to recognize Dr. Hossain’s contributions to tech education in Nebraska. Our nonprofit mission to build a thriving tech community where everyone can pursue a rewarding tech career cannot happen without the commitment of educators like him,” said Itzel Lopez, vice president of advancement and community relations at the AIM Institute.

Tim Jares
Tim Jares

Since joining UNK in May 2019, Hossain has led a dramatic transformation within the Department of Cyber Systems that strengthened course curriculum, increased student enrollment and attracted talented faculty. His focus on multidisciplinary collaborations allows UNK to pursue new research opportunities and degree options that combine technology with areas such as business, social science, teacher education and health care.

“We are now prepared to train more students at a much higher and more consistent level than ever before. This will have a long-lasting, meaningful impact on our state,” said UNK College of Business and Technology Dean Tim Jares, who called Hossain’s contributions to information technology “truly incredible.”

According to the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, the state faces a shortage of 10,000 tech workers by 2025. Hossain is addressing this challenge on multiple levels.

Located in Discovery Hall, a state-of-the-art STEM facility that opened in fall 2020, the UNK Department of Cyber Systems trains highly skilled professionals who are ready to make an immediate impact. UNK’s cyber systems programs had a 100% job placement rate last year, with 75% of those graduates remaining in Nebraska to start their careers.

Itzel Lopez
Itzel Lopez

Hossain is also part of the Nebraska Tech Collaborative, an initiative focused on growing the state’s tech workforce. He and Jares are working with external partners to improve the availability and quality of K-12 STEM education, particularly in rural communities, while increasing the number of high schoolers interested in tech careers.

“Dr. Hossain is helping to make outstanding educational opportunities more accessible throughout the state, which is crucial to building and sustaining a tech talent pipeline,” Lopez said.

Recognized as a top researcher in his field, Hossain has secured more than $10 million in competitive research funding during his academic career and published over 200 international peer-reviewed articles. His research is guiding cyber systems preparedness and response in the face of COVID-19 and other adverse events.

Prior to joining UNK, he spent time at Lund University in Sweden, the University of Sydney in Australia, Syracuse University in New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of Hong Kong.