December 5, 2022

PNNL and Georgia Tech Launch Joint Institute

Combined capabilities accelerate security for the critical infrastructure community

PNNL Joint Institutes

Image by Shannon Colson | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) announced the launch of a joint institute focused on the critical infrastructure community. Work accomplished through this collaboration serves to support national efforts to strengthen and maintain a secure, functioning, and resilient critical infrastructure.

“This collaboration brings together the capabilities of PNNL and Georgia Tech to accelerate our combined contributions to the security of the critical infrastructure community,” said Deb Gracio, associate laboratory director of National Security Directorate at PNNL.

The institute will guide technology development roadmaps for critical infrastructure sectors, directly supporting national strategies such as the White House’s Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative.

“Georgia Tech is proud to partner with PNNL to accelerate vital infrastructure research that will benefit people nationwide," said Chaouki Abdalla, executive vice president for Research at Georgia Tech. "This collaboration leverages Georgia Tech’s and PNNL’s complementary strengths, catalyzes new and exciting research directions, and will serve as a national resource for all infrastructure sectors."

This institute combines PNNL’s strengths in advanced computing and data science, grid controls, secure architectures, and critical infrastructure security with Georgia Tech’s strengths in cybersecurity for embedded systems, distributed energy systems, and workforce development. The institute will serve as a leading national resource that delivers the technologies, testbeds, and talent necessary to invent and apply advanced automation techniques to secure the nation’s critical infrastructure control systems. 

The partnership will offer a distinctive value proposition founded on three areas of expertise that Georgia Tech and PNNL can uniquely combine: threat intelligence and assessments, deep technical understanding of cybersecurity and engineering domains, such as electric power systems, and an ability to translate threat-informed technologies and technical knowledge into operational impact,” explained Georgia Tech Research Institute director James Hudgens. James Hudgens

This will become the seventh joint institute that PNNL has launched with university partners to bring together a critical mass of researchers, facilities, and students to address complex technical questions beyond the capabilities of a single institution. 

“This partnership is an important and exciting step forward in building multidisciplinary teams of researchers who are dedicated to protecting our nation’s energy infrastructure so our future energy systems are resilient, reliable, and secure,” said Jud Virden, associate laboratory director for Energy and Environment Directorate at PNNL.

Published: December 5, 2022