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Research ENTEG Smart Manufacturing Systems Research Projects

Resilient control for cyber-physical networks

Energy, telecommunications, and transportation infrastructures are becoming increasingly complex. There is in fact a trend to build modern infrastructures as large-scale networks, possibly geographically distributed, where multiple computational and physical elements interact with one another. The goal is to tie a global objective with distributed assets, thus allowing for more flexibility in terms of management, coordination and re-engineering. Due to the tight conjoining of and coordination between computational and physical resources, these infrastructures are referred to as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPSs). Many CPSs such as electric power distribution, transportation and water supply systems are safety-critical. Because of this, in 2009, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has identified them as a key area of research.

CPSs pose several challenges for their efficient, secure and reliable operation. Overlays of interconnected sensor/computing units raise the question of how to efficiently handle communication resources. More importantly, the strong interdependency among the various elements of the network is such that a failure in one part of the communication infrastructure can rapidly create global cascading effects. This issue is amplified by the fact that failures in the communication infrastructure can be caused not only by equipment failures or human errors but also by intentional attacks. The number of documented cyber attacks and intrusions worldwide has been rising very rapidly in recent years. For instance, cyber attacks in the form of Denial-of-Service (DoS) can be trivially launched against wireless-based communication infrastructures. In the context of a smart grid it has been shown that DoS attacks have the potential to disrupt smart grid functions such as smart metering, demand response and outage management.

The research project will be focused on the development of control architectures for CPSs that are resilient against malfunctioning in communication networks, possibly of a malicious nature , in continuation of the research activity initiated in the Smart Manufacturing Systems group.


Prof.dr. C. de Persis

PhD student

Shuai Feng

Contact information

Secretary Frederika Fokkens
Telephone +31 50 363 8493
Postal address University of Groningen
Nijenborgh 4
NL-9747 AG Groningen
The Netherlands
E-mail secsms
Last modified:16 December 2014 4.27 p.m.