Power Seminar with Megan Culler: All Hazards Approach to Grid Modernization


October 31, 2023    
1:10 pm - 2:00 pm


3043 ECpE Bldg Addition
Coover Hall, Ames, IA

Event Type

Title: All Hazards Approach to Grid Modernization

Abstract: Resilience hazards for electric power systems are on the rise, exacerbated by both a rise in extreme weather events and manmade physical and cyber attacks. At the same time, grid modernization challenges plague the United States, covering everything from increased electrification and ambitious renewable energy targets to aging infrastructure and regulation that lags behind today’s challenges. This talk will cover an all-hazards risk based approach that addresses both rising resilience and grid modernization challenges. Examples of this approach taken for national laboratory research projects will be discussed, including a deep dive into a project that addressed black start, resynchronization, distributed control, and cybersecurity challenges for an operational microgrid up to sub-transmission voltages. As takeaways from this project are translated from demonstration scale to real-world exercises, key lessons are noted on the translation from research into practice and how this can inform risk-based research moving forward.

Bio: Megan Culler is a power engineer and researcher in the Infrastructure Security group at Idaho National Laboratory. Her work focuses on risk and resilience for power systems, with a concentration on cybersecurity and energy security needed for grid modernization challenges, which includes the increased penetration of renewable energy and inverter-based resources, transmission congestion and queuing delays, and increased digitization. Culler’s key contributions to these projects include modeling and simulation, risk analysis, training development, system design, and red-team analysis. She is the principle investigator for a multi-lab distributed wind project and a technical lead for cybersecurity, cyber analytics, and inverter-based resources on numerous other projects. She earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Texas A&M, with a concentration in power systems, and minors in cybersecurity and computer science. She earned an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with dual concentrations in power systems and cybersecurity. Culler’s work has been shared through peer-reviewed publications, invited presentations, conferences, panels, and more.

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