October 31, 2023
Staff Accomplishment

Science for Security: Thomas Edgar

Advancing cybersecurity research and technology for national security

Thomas Edgar wearing a collared shirt in front of a green background

Thomas Edgar was promoted to scientist and engineer Level 5, one of PNNL’s most senior research roles, earlier this year.

(Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is highlighting scientific and technical experts in the national security domain who were recently promoted to scientist and engineer Level 5 (S&E 5), one of PNNL’s most senior research roles. These individuals have contributed significantly to groundbreaking scientific advancements, cutting-edge technology, and innovative solutions developing at PNNL.

Thomas Edgar is a senior cybersecurity research scientist. During his more than 15 years at PNNL, Edgar has worked in the fields of secure communications protocols, cryptographic trust management, insider threat, security standards, and scientific approach to security. “I've always seen myself as a person that likes to kind of find the puzzle pieces and put them together to come up with some innovative solution,” said Edgar.

Through his natural motivation to solve unique and challenging problems, Edgar found himself working to protect critical infrastructure systems that are commonly taken for granted. “Most of my work is in critical infrastructure, the things that get us power and water and all of the things that make society go,” said Edgar. “I get to work on securing those systems and making sure that they continue to do the job that we expect them to do.”

Video by Eric Francavilla, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Edgar has multiple patents, two R&D100 awards, and has successfully commercialized multiple technologies for secure serial communication protocols, passive sensors for legacy control systems, and model-driven deception defense that have improved cybersecurity for our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Along with being recently promoted to S&E 5, Edgar serves as the Science and Technology Thrust Leader for Cyber-Physical Systems Observational Science in the RD2C initiative and is a chair for the cybersecurity track of the IEEE International Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security.

“I think the culture of PNNL is very open and academic, allowing you to explore your passions and go after the research that you want, which has led me to be able to explore a number of research topics that have made my career successful today,” said Edgar. “And I really like to think that I'm doing that for the next generation and mentoring those around me to also explore a range of their interests that will help protect our critical infrastructure in the future.”

Click here for more of the Science for Security video series 

Published: October 31, 2023