Mr Peter Beaumont

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Research interests

My research interests relate to the security of Distributed Industrial Control Systems (ICS).  Distributed ICS are becoming increasingly common in applications where the system under control consists of a number of discrete sub-systems, some of which may be in different physical locations.  The aim of distributed ICS is to ensure that sub-systems are collaborating and that the system of systems is working optimally.  Control of this nature requires data to be passed across the nodes of the system; this message passing can lead to vulnerabilities if adequate control measures are not in place.  My research aims to investigate the nature of these vulnerabiltites and the means by which they can be mitigated.

My research uses electrical microgrids as a vehicle through which to explore distributed ICS security.  Typically, microgrids employ hierachical control structures in which the lower levels are highly localised and the upper levels are increasingly distributed.  I plan to employ models and simulations of these upper layer controls to explore and demonstrate microgrid ICS vulnerabilities.  Although my research is focused on microgrids it is anticipated that the findings will also be relevant to other control applications.  

Personal profile

Prior to starting my PhD studies I spent 16 years working as a military engineer specialising in the electrical and mechanical domains.  I undertook a number of roles as a military engineer and developed experience as a project manager, contract manager and design engineer.  I am a chartered engineer and member of the Institute of Engineering Technology (IET).  

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