Computer science professor wins funding to help secure nuclear energy infrastructure

Milos Manic, Ph.D.
Milos Manic, Ph.D.

Milos Manic, Ph.D., has received $200,000 from the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to develop technologies to integrate and secure critical systems for nuclear power. Manic is a professor of computer science at VCU College of Engineering and director of the VCU Cybersecurity Center. He holds a joint appointment with the INL.

This project is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) program,  launched in early 2019 in an effort to modernize nuclear research and development infrastructure. The project is led by the INL in partnership with five national laboratories and university partners.

Manic, who is a fellow of IEEE and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative, is working with researchers from the INL, TerraPower and North Carolina State University on a digital engineering approach that uses computer and mathematical sciences to integrate systems with asset engineering, design and operations. The VCU team is working on statistical and AI-based systems analysis. Their goal is to provide advanced automation and analytics for more secure nuclear energy infrastructures.

In all, this multi-institution project is expected to deliver $1 billion in reductions of anticipated costs and a 25% productivity increase using virtual design and construction. It will also significantly reduce errors and risk in the design of complex systems.