Graduate Course

Soldering a motherboard

Smart Grid: Security, Privacy, and Economics

Rapid deployment of advanced communication and networked computer control is revolutionizing the electric power system.  The “Smart Grid” as it is often referred to, is allowing greater decentralization, potentially greater energy efficiency, and lower environmental impacts.  However, it requires a high degree of connectivity between devices controlled by different parties.  The data being exchanged will be highly personal and granular, potentially compromising individual privacy and safety.  If not done correctly, decentralized control will dramatically increase the range and severity of cyber security vulnerabilities.

This interdisciplinary, team-taught course covers the fundamental engineering, economic, and legal principles underlying the grid.  It focuses on building the skills needed to design and test the protocols, policies, and specifications for enabling technologies that will guarantee the security and integrity of the grid while preserving personal privacy and providing maximum market flexibility with minimal need for new regulation.  Students who complete the course will be able to integrate four perspectives—technology, security, economics, and law—allowing them to lead the development of the next generation electric grid.

Students become familiar with:

  • Use case methodology.
  • Engage in economic and regulatory analysis of electricity markets.
  • Conduct privacy assessments.
  • Analyze information flows and control.
  • Review of standard setting bodies,  encryption, network protocols.
  • Explore the laws of privacy and cybersecurity.

A student in Syracuse University's SmartLab.