About I-CPIE

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What does I-CPIE do?

The Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy (I-CPIE) at Lehigh 

  • Creates a broad and interdisciplinary research community
  • Engages with industry, government, and academic partners
  • Catalyzes, grows, and supports successful interdisciplinary research teams
  • Attracts outstanding faculty and students

Resulting in new knowledge and solutions to critical challenges related to CPIE systems.

I-CPIE faculty have demonstrated capability to form successful interdisciplinary teams that combine cyber systems modeling and design with physical systems modeling and design. These teams leverage recognized interdisciplinary strengths in: Large Structural Systems, Smart Grids, Cybersecurity, Resilient Infrastructure Systems, Data and Computation, Optimization and Decision Making, Mobile Sensing and Sensor Networking, Energy Efficiency, Natural Hazards Mitigation, Renewable Energy Systems, Fossil Fuel Energy Systems, Energy Efficient Materials and Devices, Water and Energy, and Environmental Science, Technology, and Policy.

What are CPIE systems?

Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy (CPIE) systems underpin all aspects of modern society. These interdependent and adaptive systems provide communities with shelter, water, food, medicine, communications and internet, electric power, and fuel. A CPIE system is a physical infrastructure system with cyber components that take measurements, gather information, and allow for automated decisions and changes in the physical system.  CPIE systems interact with the local community and its citizens who utilize the system.

What are the challenges to CPIE systems?
Modern local economies are driven by CPIE systems like the power grid, manufacturing and processing facilities, transportation and logistics systems, and waste recycling and disposal systems. While these systems are critical to local communities, they tend to go unnoticed until something goes wrong: a massive power outage, a bridge collapse, a train derailment, drinking water contamination.  Rapidly changing physical, social, and economic environments, at local and global scales, create risks for CPIE systems which, in turn, pose risks to the communities they serve.  Moreover, when one CPIE system goes down, say the power grid, it causes a ripple effect to other CPIE systems, for example the transportation network, the telecommunications infrastructure, and so on.
Thus, CPIE systems must be sustainable and resilient. They face increased demands, deteriorate over time, and have life cycles, so they require processes for assessment, maintenance, upgrading, and replacement. These systems may be damaged by natural or man-made events and must be able to adapt and restore themselves after such events.  Day-to-day, these interdependent systems must be efficient and meet the objectives of the communities and citizens they serve.

Societal questions that I-CPIE will answer:

What are the future CPIE technologies that will sustain, advance, and protect critical infrastructure, energy, and other cyber physical systems?

Example Solutions:  A power grid that can detect and eliminate cyber attacks before customers ever lose power or equipment gets damaged; smart energy systems that support massive electrification of transportation systems; smart manufacturing facilities that make economical use of locally available energy resources; future automated public and private transportation systems; alternate renewable or high-efficiency energy resources for the power grid.

How can smart, connected communities exploit data to improve vital services and infrastructure systems, and advance health and well-being for their residents?

Example Solutions:  Exploiting crowd-sourced data to monitor bridges and other transportation infrastructure; using sensors and drones to better monitor, operate, and upgrade power grid assets and resources; real-time merging of data from a variety of sources (sensor measurements, video feeds, meteorological data, social media feeds, etc) to optimize public mass transportation systems; in-water drones for surveillance applications.

What are the challenges to harnessing the power of internet-of-things (IoT) to improve existing and future cyber physical systems?

Example Solutions: IoT solutions to support smart buildings, smart manufacturing facilities, and smart logistics facilities; extending IoT to support CPIE systems with massive mobility as in smart transportation systems; exploiting blockchain and IoT technology.

How do we communicate to stakeholders the risks posed by natural and man-made hazards to critical infrastructure and energy systems, and how do we improve the resilience of these systems?

Example Solutions: Ensuring community transportation, power, and telecommunication systems survive catastrophic disruptions; designing transportation systems to survive earthquakes; interacting with communities about natural hazard risk perception and disaster mitigation.

How do we move CPIE systems research to implementation, resulting in product and process advances, technology leadership, economic growth, and, ultimately, more sustainable and resilient CPIE systems?

Example Solutions: Collaboration with industrial partners and municipal and government agencies; tech transfer; community-university-industry partnerships.