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Cyber, Physical, and Cyber-Physical Electric Grid Analysis of Threats, Impact, and Defense

Course Director: Dr. Katherine Davis

Course Date: February 18 – 20, 2020


Electric power system threats of a cyber-physical origin have the potential to significantly disrupt the operation of the electric grid. Historically, the electrical and cyber, communications, and control components have been analyzed separately, yet these electrical and cyber systems are highly interdependent. The purpose of this three day short course is to put grid cyber-physical security issues into operational and actionable context by providing a comprehensive coverage of what is currently known about the impact, modeling, assessment, and defense of cyber-physical threats on the grid.

The course philosophy is to provide in-depth coverage of the topics, using a practical, hands-on approach and will contain interactive, real-time simulations of operational impacts and defense mechanisms of cyber attacks on the grid. The course instructors have wide experience on cyber-physical modeling, analysis, and defense of electric power systems. (Hours: CEU 2.1, PDH 21).

Who Should Attend

The course is designed to provide a comprehensive coverage of state of the art knowledge on grid cyber-physical threats, modeling, situational awareness and defense, with an operational focus on impacts of these threats in bulk electric power systems.  The course is ideally suited for engineers and analysts who work in power system areas such as grid planning, operational technology, and information technology, and for new graduates who would like to gain experience in this emerging area of grid cyber-physical modeling, analysis, and defense.  The course will also benefit technical staff, managers, academics, and others wishing to gain practical knowledge in this important area for the power industry.


  • Fundamentals of power system operations
  • Fundamentals of grid cyber security
  • Malware, device & network security
  • Hands on device security
  • Grid cyber-physical threats and impacts
  • The electric grid as a cyber-physical system: modeling, risk assessment, analysis, and evaluation of cyber-physical threats
  • Hands on relay threats and transient stability impact
  • Modeling needs for grid cyber-physical security studies
  • Hands on real-time electric grid simulations of cyber-physical event impacts
  • Real-time monitoring, analysis and visualization of cyber attacks
  • Hands on network security and NERC CIP
  • Measures for mitigation


Kate Davis (Course Director) -Texas A&M

Dr. Katherine “Kate” Davis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University.  Dr. Davis has worked for the past 12 years on advancing cyber physical modeling and analysis capabilities in power systems. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Dr. Davis was a Software Engineer and Senior Consultant for PowerWorld Corporation. Dr. Davis was then with University of Illinois’s Information Trust Institute as a Research Scientist.  Her expertise includes large scale modeling, analysis, and simulations of cyber-physical critical infrastructure, where she has particular interest in security-oriented control system analysis techniques. She founded kaedago Inc. in 2016 to facilitate transition to practice of state-of-the-art cyber-physical situational awareness capabilities for power utilities. She joined TAMU in July 2017.

Saman Zonouz – Sekurity LLC & Rutgers

Dr. Saman Zonouz is founder and CEO of Sekurity LLC, an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Rutgers University, and the Director of the 4N6 Cyber Security and Forensics Laboratory. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science in intrusion detection and malware analysis, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Dr. Zonouz’s work focuses on mobile and IoT systems security and privacy, trustworthy embedded, IoT and cyber-physical systems, binary/malware analysis and reverse engineering. His applied research and development efforts received numerous awards including the NSF CAREER Award in 2015. At Sekurity LLC, Dr. Zonouz is working closely with Siemens to incorporate his embedded system security solutions into products.

Robin Berthier – Network Perception

Dr. Robin Berthier is a co-founder and President of Network Perception. He was previously a Research Scientist in the Information Trust Institute (ITI) at UIUC. He received his Ph.D. in the field of cyber security from the University of Maryland College Park in 2009 and has been working at UIUC since then, studying system and network monitoring solutions for critical infrastructures. His projects include the design and development of a specification-based intrusion detection sensor for smart meters deployed in advanced metering infrastructures. Robin Berthier brings a strong academic background and leads the implementation of the company roadmap as well as the growth of the business.

Tracy Rolstad – Power System Consultants

Tracy Rolstad is a Technical Director for Power System Consultants (PSC North America in Kirkland, WA).  He received his BSEE from the University of Idaho and a graduate diploma from the Naval War College (College of Naval Command and Staff).  He started his career in power systems as a Reactor Operator and Engineering Watch Supervisor in the United States Navy (onboard USS Hawkbill) serving 22 years in the Navy and Navy Reserve.  His experience in power system planning and modeling began at the Joint Warfare Analysis Center and then developed and evolved at the Bonneville Power Administration (technical operations), as a Principal Engineer at Utility System Efficiencies, as a Consulting Engineer at Avista Utilities, and now as a Technical Director for Power System Consultants.  Tracy presently serves as the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) Data Subcommittee Chair and as a member of the WECC Reliability Assessment Committee (RAC) governing body.  He has served as the WECC Technical Studies Subcommittee Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.  Additionally, he served as the WECC RAS and Relay Workgroup Chair addressing modeling issues related to 2011 AZ to CA outage.  He is a member of the IEEE,  the VFW and serves as a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Board for the University of Idaho.