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Texas A&M-Kingsville Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science project receives DOE funding

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Dr. Taesic Kim Mug

Dr. Taesic Kim

KINGSVILLE (March 8, 2024) — The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is receiving grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which announced a $45 million total investment to 16 different projects that will help protect Americans from cyber threats and improve cybersecurity in America’s Energy Sector.

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Dr. Taesic Kim and his partners were one of the 16 teams to receive funding for their project: Zero-Trust Authentication: Multifactor, Adaptive, and Continuous Authentication with Post-Quantum Cryptography.

“This is a great honor and the greatest achievement in my career as this award is so competitive,” said Kim, who serves as the principal investigator on the project. “This is the first DOE Research and Development and Demonstration (R&DD) project in which TAMUK is a lead institution . This award may provide a good example of how TAMUK is transforming into a research-intensive school.”

According to the DOE’s announcement, the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) selected projects that will help develop new cybersecurity tools and technologies designed to reduce cyber risks and strengthen the resilience of America’s energy systems, which include the power grid, electric utilities, pipelines, and renewable energy generation sources like wind or solar.

Kim’s project is focused on Authentication Mechanisms for Energy Delivery Systems, one of six different topics the selected projects specialized in.

According to the Kim’s Zero-Trust Authentication project summary, the goal is to “develop, and demonstrate a zero-trust authentication mechanism which provides a novel multifactor, adaptive, continuous authentication tools and technologies with post-quantum cryptography (PQC) to reduce the cyber-physical security risks to distributed energy resources (DER) devices and networks in the energy delivery systems.” 

That means the mechanism will continuously verify the user trying to access the DER and networks within the energy delivery systems despite the use of ID and passwords.

Dr. Sung-won Park, Texas A&M-Kingsville Professor of Electrical Engineering also serves as a key investigator to the project, along with partners from the following institutions:

  • The University of Illinois-Chicago (Sudip K. Mazumder)
  • The University of Minnesota (Chris Kim)
  • The University of New Mexico (Eirini Eleni Tsiropoulou)
  • The University of South Florida (Attila Altay Yavuz)
  • Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) (Georgios Fragkos and Jay Johnson)
  • Patria Security, LLC (Bryan T. Richardson)
  • South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC) and Nueces Electric Cooperative (NEC) (Varzavand Irani)
  • TMEIC Corporation (Larry Truong)
  • DTE Energy (Hyojong Lee)
  • Texas Instruments (Lei Ding and Ze Wang)


Category: Engineering , Awards/Honors

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