Cyber Infrastructure

About This Strategic Research Area

From the time researchers at Iowa State University invented the world’s first electronic digital computer, Iowa State has been a leader in computing technology. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE) recognizes that the world’s computing and networking infrastructure, embodied in the Internet, has dramatically altered the technological, scientific, and sociological landscape. Our department aims to help this technology realize its full potential, particularly with respect to embedded devices.

To this end, the ECpE department’s research focuses on seamlessly integrating new capabilities into existing computing infrastructure, as well as advancing the state-of-the-art in this area.

Cyber Infrastructure Poster

Specifically, the department’s research efforts have a strong emphasis on:

  • Cybersecurity and information assurance
    • Android-based anti-malware systems
    • Internet-scale modeling for cyber defense
    • Cyber-physical systems security for critical infrastructure
    • Accountable anonymity systems
  • High performance computing
    • Reconfigurable computing for accelerating Big Data applications
    • CPU/GPU architecture
    • Energy efficiency and power management
  • Networks
    • Cloud and Fog network design
    • Self-healing 4G and 5G cellular networks
    • Spectrum‐energy efficiency optimization
    • Polymorphic and mobile embedded systems

The ECpE department’s cyber infrastructure research has applications in Internet security, privacy, security policy, systems biology, and electric power infrastructure.



  • Arun Somani served as principal investigator for a proposal that brought a $1.8-million NSF grant for a high-performance computing (HPC) system. The equipment supports broad-based, interdisciplinary research.
  • With funding from NSF, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ECpE uses the state-of-the-art PowerCyber testbed to protect the nation’s power grid from cyber attacks.
  • Suraj Kothari was awarded a $4.1-million DARPA grant to develop malware-detection software for Android-based devices
  • Internet-Scale Event and Attack Generation Environment (ISEAGE), established in 2006, was the first virtual cyber defense laboratory in the world
  • Iowa State University has been a designated National Security Agency Center of Excellence in Information Assurance since 2000
  • Iowa State University is a founding member of the Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation

Faculty in This Area

  • Raj Aggarwal
  • George Amariucai
  • Morris Chang
  • Thomas Daniels
  • Manimaran Govindarasu (group chair)
  • Yong Guan
  • Doug Jacobson
  • Phillip Jones
  • Ahmed Kamal
  • Sang W. Kim (secondary area)
  • Suraj Kothari
  • Ratnesh Kumar (secondary area)
  • Tien Nguyen
  • Daji Qiao (secondary area)
  • Diane Rover
  • Arun K. Somani
  • Alexander Stoytchev (secondary area)
  • Srikanta Tirthapura (secondary area)
  • Akhilesh Tyagi
  • Joseph Zambreno
  • Zhao Zhang
  • Julie Rursch
  • Mai Zheng

Cyber Infrastructure Research Centers, Institutes, and Laboratories


Research Projects and Publications

For complete information on research projects and publications in this area, consult individual faculty members’ websites, our graduate student thesis archives, and individual research center and laboratory websites.

Graduate Student Research Areas

Cyber infrastructure research at Iowa State encompasses the following core areas of graduate study in electrical and computer engineering: