Purdue and DOE Partner On Cyber-Physical Research Lab

Purdue University’s CERIAS (Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories to create a new laboratory facility to enhance Purdue’s efforts around cyber and cyber-physical research.

Known as SOL4CE (Scalable Open Laboratory for Cyber Experimentation), the lab is a mirror of the facilities already within Sandia National Labs that have served as the platform for joint CERIAS and DOE research since 2017, according to Purdue officials. 

SOL4CE will be a resource facility available to faculty and students across the Purdue University system. Joel Rasmus, Managing Director of CERIAS says the facility will be involved in quick modeling and simulation of cyber and cyber-physical systems. The laboratory also will facilitate extended experimentation of evolving systems and architectures for security, resiliency, privacy, autonomy and machine learning development and application.

“You can inject a physical flaw into an area because of a cyber connection. Attackers are using the cyber connection to make systems do something other than what they were connected for,” said Rasmus. 

Kamlesh Patel, manager of Purdue partnerships at Sandia National Laboratories, said SOL4CE lab is already conducting cyber-physical research into aircraft vulnerabilities and the threats to aircraft stemming from their interconnectedness. Other areas of exploration include power plants, electrical grids, gas lines and other critical infrastructure. 

Workshops are being hosted by CERIAS and Sandia to demonstrate the new lab’s capabilities and foster new research ideas. While the new lab’s primary goal is advanced research, development, and system design, it also will facilitate advanced curriculum development by Purdue faculty, and will be utilized by the DOE for gamification exercises to encourage students to pursue national security and cybersecurity careers. 

  • Share this Article:

Article Written by Joan Goodchild | View all articles by Joan Goodchild