Industrial Control System Trusted Platform Module (TPM)

EADS / Lancaster University EPSRC PhD Case Award

Project Background

The European Union has become highly dependent on the electrical power grid, indeed power is one of the central dependencies that underpins many of the other Critical National Infrastructures. For the purposes of efficiency, dependability, sustainability, and economics the smart electrical power grid is seen as a cornerstone of the environmental energy transition envisioned by the EU and its member states ("20-20-20" targets of the EU). This key European innovation comes at the cost of using Internet technology in the control backplane of the grid - and thereby, at the risk of potential cyber threats. 

Project Description

This PhD project is designed to investigate the securitry issues around current and state of the art smart grid and other power generation technologies with the view of devising a novel Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for the embedding of security mechanisms and security monitoring.

This includes the development of a Wide Area Measurement System which provides real-time, wide-area voltage and current measurements to the Energy Management System (EMS), considers cyber security monitoring and makes links between the status of security and power loads/balancing.

The development of the power TPM will require architectural design and development to meet the requirements specific to power generation, protocols, and outputs. Consideration should be made for the distributed nature of the networks and the aggregated monitoring of both power and communications networks.

Therefore, the proposed study will have an output that provides an enhanced situational awareness, which has the following advantages: improved operation planning, optimised transmission assets utilisation, system stabilisation and security, and disturbances containment.


Formal application should be made via the Postgraduate Applications Portal, MyLancaster. More details can be found here.

Informal enquiries regarding the studentship maybe directed via email to Prof. David Hutchison.

Informal enquiries regarding the application process to the School of Computing and Communications may be made via email to the SCC PhD applications team