In August 2017, I joined the Undergraduate Research Scholars program and began research with Prof. Kate Davis at Texas A&M. I was alerted to this research opportunity due to an essay I wrote the previous spring, which detailed my interest in power systems and cybersecurity. As Prof. Davis just joined Texas A&M this fall, she was looking for new students to work with. Her research interests include Operation and Control of Power Systems, Interactions between Computer Networks and Power Network, Security-oriented Cyber-physical Analysis Techniques, Data-driven and Model-based Coupled Infrastructure Analysis and Simulation, and Cyber-Physical Situational Awareness (CyPSA).
Based on my previous experience with sensors through my work at Sandia National Labs, we decided that a good project for me would be sensor verification cyber-physical systems. My goal is to verify that the signals a control system receives from different sensors placed throughout a power system are in fact the actual, real-time signals, and have not been tampered with.
I spent most of the semester learning more about power systems, cyber-physical systems, current attack, detection, and remediation techniques, and conducting other literature review. Prof. Davis and I wrote a paper for the IEEE GreenTech conference, where we hope to present in April about new directions we are researching. I am working on writing a thesis that I will finish this spring. While I don't think my research this year will produce any major breakthroughs, I have been satisfied with my introduction to the academic research world. I have learned a lot about research processes in my field, and I am looking forward to continuing my work this spring and beyond.