Texas Tech to establish electric cybersecurity center with $2.5M federal grant

Texas Tech University, as seen on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.
Texas Tech University, as seen on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.

Texas Tech will create a center aimed at protecting rural America's electric grid, thanks to a multimillion-dollar federal-government grant announced Monday.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Tech with about $2.5 million to establish a university-based electric power cybersecurity center, one of six the DOE is funding nationwide, according to a news release from the university.

Tech's project, led by Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering chair Stephen Bayne, will conduct cybersecurity research and develop training materials in partnership with the energy sector and DOE National Laboratories.

The center will focus on rural utilities in the Texas power grid, working to address the various stages of cyber attacks on the grid, including attack detection, prevention, impact analysis and recovery plans, the university said.

“This research project is an outstanding opportunity for Texas Tech researchers and students to work in the area of cyber-physical security for the electrical power grid,” Bayne said in the release. “Cyber-physical attacks are a growing concern for national security. This project will help train the next generation of energy professionals, which is critically needed for the cyber-physical resiliency of the electrical power grid.”

The project was selected as part of a $15 million investment from the DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) to increase the nation's grid resiliency.

“This investment in university-based cybersecurity centers will enable us to simultaneously grow the U.S. cyber workforce and build the expertise we need to take on the evolving cyber threats to our nation’s energy systems,” CESER Director Puesh M. Kumar said. “The U.S. competitive advantage has always depended on cutting-edge research and a high-skilled workforce. Through these projects, we are advancing our economic and national security.”

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Texas Tech to establish electric cybersecurity center with $2.5M grant