OPEN 2012
Champaign, Illinois
Project Term:
04/05/2013 - 08/31/2016

Technology Description:

The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is developing scalable grid modeling, monitoring, and analysis tools that would improve its resiliency to system failures as well as cyber attacks, which can significantly improve the reliability of grid operations. Power system operators today lack the ability to assess the grid’s reliability with respect to potential cyber failures and attacks. UIUC is using theoretical and practical techniques from both the cyber security and power engineering domains to develop new algorithms and software tools capable of analyzing real-world threats against power grid critical infrastructures including cyber components (e.g. communication networks), physical components (e.g. power lines), and interdependencies between the two in its models and simulations.

Continuing the project work started by UIUC, Avista Utilities is now developing technology to automatically extract and map electrical switch information to generate cyber-physical models. These cyber-physical models can be used to identify network vulnerabilities as well as identify and prioritize critical assets which will allow utilities and others to conduct simulations, perform analysis, and fortify networks against cyber-attacks.

Potential Impact:

If successful, UIUC’s grid modeling and analysis tools could help make the grid resilient against malicious attacks.


Making the grid resilient against potential attacks helps protect U.S. economic security, public health, and public safety.


Finding a way to predict potential grid failures and attacks would help increase the grid’s reliability and overall energy efficiency.


A more secure and reliable grid would help protect U.S. businesses from costly power outages and brownouts that stop automated equipment, bring down factories, and crash computers.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Timothy Heidel
Project Contact:
Dr. Peter Sauer
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


University of Miami
Rutgers University
PowerWorld Corporation
Oregon State University

Related Projects

Release Date: