CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University researchers have been awarded $1.5 million as part of a new consortium to help protect the nation's electric grid from cyber threats.

Eleven universities and national laboratories are part of the Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium, a $22.5 million, five-year initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and led by the University of Illinois.

"Cybersecurity is one of the most serious challenges facing grid modernization, which is why maintaining a robust, ever-growing pipeline of cutting-edge technologies is essential to helping the energy sector continue adapting to the evolving landscape," said Patricia Hoffman, assistant secretary for the DOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

OSU has growing expertise in the field of cybersecurity. The interdisciplinary team members who will work with this project specialize in power systems, cybersecurity and applied cryptography. Research will focus on projects such as preventing manipulation of sensors and devices on the power grid that could lead to cascading power outages.

"Being part of the consortium offers us more opportunities for collaboration and helps us transition our research into industry applications," said Rakesh Bobba, an assistant professor of computer science in the OSU College of Engineering.

Organizers of the consortium say they hope to work with industry partners who will sustain the costs of research beyond the initial five years of funding.

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