About Us


The Center for Infrastructure Trustworthiness in Energy Systems (CITES) focuses on research issues in the critical area of cyber resilience and the trustworthiness of energy systems, such as electric grid generation/transmission/distribution, which are developing an extensive dependence on cyber technology.

Legacy systems that use closed, serial communications can today, through networking, nevertheless be exposed to adversaries, and indeed appear today to be increasingly targeted by nation-states and independent actors.  Adversaries’ skills are rapidly escalating as evidenced by the 2016 Ukraine power grid attack (an automated attack that did not require direct interaction by the adversary during the attack) and system defenders are hard pressed to keep pace.  The notions of “trust” and “energy systems” are broad; the former including resilience, reliability, safety, and cyber-security, the latter including electric power, oil and gas, energy markets, the infrastructure supporting electric vehicles, smart buildings, and smart cities.  The proposed center reduces the threat by developing advanced capabilities that rapidly detect attacks, enable robust infrastructures that continue to operate in the presence of such attacks, and quickly restore the infrastructure after an attack. With the above goals in mind, this effort brings together uniquely qualified academic researchers in a partnership with a diverse group of stakeholders and national laboratories that share the vision of the center to optimize security solutions specific to the protection of energy systems.

Director and University of Illinois Site Lead:  Professor David Nicol

University of Arkansas Site Lead:  Professor Qinghua Li

Florida International Site Lead:  Professor Osama Mohammed  

Industry Liaison:  Dominic Saebeler – Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois

Program Manager:  Mike Prosise – Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois