ISSACS’ Dr. Ken Loparo Awarded $15K NSF Planning Grant

Kenneth A. Loparo

Dr. Loparo is the Principal Investigator (PI) for this planning grant award that will be used to study the feasibility of establishing a multi-university-industry Center for High-Assurance Secure Systems and the Internet-of-Things (CHASSI) that will focus on areas where both security and high assurance are necessary to support operations of high mission criticality, due to safety or economic impact. Examples include medical devices, manufacturing, the energy grid, real-time financial markets, construction, and defense. Co-PIs are Dr. Pan Li, Dr. Wei Lin, Dr. Michael Rabinovich, and Dr. Daniel Saab.

The grant was awarded under the auspices of the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC) program that “accelerates the impact of basic research through close relationships between industry innovators, world-class academic teams, and government leaders.”

Dr. Loparo commented, “CHASSI will support precompetitive research aligned with industry needs and is a strategic initiative for the Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems (ISSACS) to deepen industry-university engagement at CWRU.”

CWRU brings expertise in industrial controls, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Industrial Internet-of-Things (IIoT), and manufacturing and energy applications to this endeavor, and will partner with four additional university sites: University of Kansas, University of Minnesota, Syracuse University, and Indiana University. These university partners provide complementary expertise in mission assurance and systems security, assurance of medical devices, networking, cyber-physical systems, mobile security, and human factors that align with CHASSI’s four main research thrusts:

  1. Architectures, design and formal modeling for systems-level security, privacy, stability, and performance
  2. Secure communication, sensing, and devices
  3. Scalable trust and privacy
  4. Human behavior for privacy and security.

Working with industry partners, CHASSI faculty members will gain an understanding of the specific interests and actual needs/barriers of industrial companies. Likewise, companies will benefit from exposure to cutting-edge university research across all sites; networking with and learning best practices from other industry colleagues in and out of their sector; students who may be potential hires; and faculty that might perform center projects or proprietary research.