Experts discuss critical infrastructure protection at annual Penn State workshop

Electricity worker and pylon silhouette

The 2022 Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Workshop featured six virtual sessions with topics ranging from information security, cyber threats, energy infrastructure, risks to supply chains, and others.

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Twenty-eight experts from various fields participated as panelists and presenters at the 2022 Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Workshop, jointly hosted by the Penn State Center for Security Research and Education (CSRE); Center for Energy Law and Policy; and the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Science. The workshop, held from March 29 through April 1, drew more than 200 attendees from the United States and across the world.

“We are pleased and honored that the workshop provoked a high level of participation and engagement from within Penn State as well as with our partners in academia, industry and government,” said Vice Adm. (Ret.) James W. Houck, director of CSRE and interim dean of Penn State Law in University Park and the School of International Affairs. “Critical infrastructure protection is a vital topic for global, national, and individual security, and Penn State has significant capabilities to support critical infrastructure research, education, and outreach, particularly with respect to the energy and security nexus.”

The workshop featured six virtual sessions with topics ranging from information security, cyber threats, energy infrastructure, risks to supply chains, and others.

  • “Information Security in the Power Grid” was moderated by Seth Blumsack, professor of energy policy and economics and international affairs, and director of the Center for Energy Law and Policy.
  • “The Cyber Threat to America’s Infrastructure” was presented by Will Parker, head of the Offensive Security Department of the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory, and Christopher Taschner, head of Cyber/Intelligence Analytics and Operations Department, Applied Research Laboratory.
  • “Regulating and Managing Energy Infrastructure Interdependencies” was moderated by Chiara Lo Prete, associate professor of energy economics in the John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering.
  • “Developing Research Requirements to Secure America’s Critical Infrastructure” was moderated by Nicholas Eftimiades, assistant teaching professor of homeland security at the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs.
  • “Securing America’s Critical Supply Chains against Global Risks” included a series of presentations and was hosted by Alfonso Mejia, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and affiliate researcher in the Institutes of Energy and the Environment.
  • “Next Steps,” led by CSRE Associate Director John Hodgson, concluded the week’s events with a discussion on how Penn State and its partners can better work together to support critical infrastructure protection research, education and outreach.


For more details on each session, visit the workshop event page.

The next Penn State event to address, in part, the energy and security nexus is the annual Energy Days conference on May 25 and 26, hosted by the Institutes of Energy and the Environment. The Energy Days conference brings together professionals working in all areas of energy to discuss topics ranging from energy technology to energy policy and justice. The goal is to create an opportunity for a diverse range of stakeholders to collaborate, and to identify and discuss critical regional, national and global energy challenges and opportunities for society. Ultimately, the conference looks to create new partnerships to address key research needs and provide innovative solutions to energy challenges. More information and registration information is available on the event webpage.