URI Engineering Prof. Yan Sun elevated to IEEE fellow

KINGSTON, R.I. – December 13, 2018 — University of Rhode Island College of Engineering Professor Yan (Lindsay) Sun has been elevated to the rank of Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Fellow is the highest grade of institute membership. Sun was one of 296 members, out of 423,000 worldwide, who were approved for the distinction by the IEEE Board of Directors for 2019.

The honor recognizes Sun’s contributions to trust modeling and statistical signal processing for cyber-physical security.

“We are proud of all the outstanding research and scholarly work that Yan has achieved,” said Haibo He, chair of URI’s Department of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering.

Sun, who is the director of URI’s Network Security and Trust (NEST) Laboratory, is considered a pioneer on addressing the power grid security challenges from the holistic view of information, signal processing, and networking.

Her research team was the first to discover two potential methods of cyber-physical attacks: the joint attack and the sequential attack.

In a joint attack, the perpetrators target both transmission lines and substations. In a sequential attack, the guilty parties orchestrate the order of attacks at different operation points of a power system.

“We realize how vulnerable we are to cyber-attacks after sensitive information of millions of Americans was exposed in recent years,” Sun said. “We need to protect data, people and the national infrastructure. I am driven by a sense of urgency to combat these threats to our security.”