Berkeley IEOR Professor Javad Lavaei and EECS Professor Somayeh Sojoudi have received a $300,000 grant from the UC Noyce Initiative, a collaborative effort involving five University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara). This initiative, dedicated to honoring the legacy of Ann S. Bowers and Robert N. Noyce, is committed to advancing computing, information science, and engineering for the benefit of society. The funding will support Professors Lavaei and Sojoudi’s leading-edge research on cyberattacks targeting the US Power Grid, one of thirteen pioneering projects supported by the UC Noyce initiative across the five campuses.
In order to enhance the efficiency, resilience, and sustainability of power systems while addressing pressing climate concerns, the operation of power systems is shifting towards a data-centric approach. Data analytics now plays a pivotal role in ensuring the economic and reliable operation of the grid. Critical operational challenges, such as security-constrained optimal power flow, contingency analysis, and transient stability analysis, hinge on insights extracted from sensory data. However, the prevailing industry practices, rooted in heuristic iterative algorithms devised in the 1970s, have proven empirically effective in typical scenarios but tend to falter in adverse conditions like natural disasters, equipment malfunctions, and cyberattacks. Professors Lavaei and Sojoudi’s project seeks to pioneer robust tools underpinned by artificial intelligence and machine learning, providing mathematical assurances in detecting cyber threats and anomalies.
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