2012 - railway traction, and cooperative vehicle systems that promise improved accessibility, fewer

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  • 2012

    Idea Generation

    3D printing at nanoscale

    Cruising on electrical roads

    Pushing back against cyber-attacks

    Changing the world with big data

  • 4 kth School of Electrical Engineering 2012 kth School of Electrical Engineering 2012 5

    a word from the dean tatatiur | safety

    Creating a sustainable future through eleCtriCal engineering

    Professor Stefan Östlund, Dean, School of Electrical Engineering.


    04 A word from the Dean 05 Table of contents

    i n f r a st r u c t u r e 06 Cyber-security for critical infrastructure

    acc e s s C e n t r e 08 The Smart Mobility Lab takes on transportation 09 Traffic solutions with a smartphone 10 Measuring the impact of smart homes 12 Changing paradigms with big data 14 About the access Centre

    m i c r o a n d n a n o s c a l e 15 Taking 3D printing to the nanoscale 18 Fighting cancer with a “lab on a chip” 21 A sensor almost as small as a cell

    e u r o p e a n r e s e a r c h c o u n c i l 22 Fulfilling the promise of wireless speeds 24 Winners of erc grants

    e l e c t r i c a l t r a n s p o r tat i o n 25 The power of electrical roads 27 A new model for electric vehicles

    a lu m n i 28 Working at Google to revolutionize communication

    p r o f i l e 30 The industrial relevance of Chandur Sadarangani

    e d u c at i o n 33 Melding theory and practice to make music

    37 fac t s a n d f i g u r e s

    45 t h e s e s


    in 2012, kth performed a comprehensive as- sessment of its research across the university, and the results were clear: the kth School of Electrical Engineering (kth ee) is making a global impact.

    Just to give you some examples: our researchers are developing both highly efficient drive systems for railway traction, and cooperative vehicle systems that promise improved accessibility, fewer traffic jams and lower fuel consumption. We are also commercia- lising the world’s largest pure-play micro-electrome- chanical systems (mems) foundry, and building vital infrastructure such as electric field measurement systems for nasa to use in space.

    For me, these achievements validate our mission of deepening our societal influence while maintain- ing, and continually improving, our position as a world-class research and educational institution, a synergy exemplified by the 2012 QS World University Rankings, which ranked kth ee among the top 50 schools in the world within our field.

    We are also immensely proud of the performance of two centres within our school — Swegrids and the access Linnaeus Centre of Excellence. Sweg- rids is a national research centre focused on smart electrical grid and energy storage technology, which was established last year at kth and is headed by Professor Rajeev Thottapillill from our school. ac- cess is a long-term interdisciplinary kth collabora- tion on complex networked communication systems, and a 2012 evaluation commissioned by the Swedish Research Council concluded that access “is the lar- gest and leading research centre in its field in Europe, being able to generate world-class research and being highly attractive for international recruitments and exchanges.”

    A first-class school must also provide a first-class study and working environment. Since 2007, we have increased the number of teaching faculty by nearly 65 per cent, from 46 to 72. This growth has strengthened our research capabilities and allowed us to offer our students a more intensive and more supportive educational experience.

    In fact, a recent survey of kth’s Master of Science in Engineering students showed that they are, in general, extremely satisfied with both their teachers and the curriculum. Among all schools at kth, we have the second-highest number of paying students, and we are proud that the number continues to grow.

    We recently started working on a development plan for the 2013 to 2016 period. The plan will include increased recruiting efforts to attract top students from around the world, as well as pursuing research that lays the foundation for important social infrastructure. This is exemplified by our work on smart grids, cyber security and electrical roads, some of which is presented in this yearbook. Creating this plan is an exciting task, and everybody involved knows that there is only one way to go for kth ee, and that is forwards.





  • KTH School of Electrical Engineering 76 KTH School of Electrical Engineering

    As the power grid and other systems become smarter and more interconnected with other it infrastructure — such as home appliances, cars, the internet, and, not too far into the future, electric roads, augmented reality glasses and driverless cars — security is crucial. text david callahan | photo istock photo

    proteCtion from unseen threats

    passing the lonely hours during a night shift in the natio- nal power utility’s control centre, a network transmission operator connects his workstation to the internet and chats with friends over a popular social network. Accustomed to accepting friend requests from strangers, the ope- rator blithely accepts yet another — this time with devastating consequences. He has opened up the network to a hacker who unleashes a national blackout.

    This hypothetical cyber-attack scenario was simulated as part of the eu-financed viking project, an investigation of vulnerabilities in supervisory, control and data acquisition (scada) systems for critical infrastructure, such as power, water and transport. Mathias Ekstedt, an associate professor from kth ee’s Indu- strial Information and Control Systems department, says that a unique dimension to the viking project was its final module, which analysed the cost of cyber- attacks to society. Ekstedt was

    one of three researchers from different disciplines at kth ee who collaborated on the Fram- ework 7 Collaborative strep Project, in partnership with eth in Switzerland, abb ag and eon in Germany, Astron Informatics in Hungary and mml Analys &

    Strategi in Sweden. t h e c a l l for the study stems from the fact that many scada systems were not built to connect with general business it systems or the internet and without a thought given to why anyone would want to penetrate them, Ekstedt says. But, like the fences and walls that have always pro- tected critical infrastructure, it systems represent a “new surface” for intruders to breach.

    “ t h e r e ’s a new way in,” Ekstedt says. “These systems were not built with security in mind, so new competence is needed. The complication is that it security is very difficult to assess.”

    viking, which underwent its final review in early 2012, provides utilities with models for assessing their risk level and making risk-management calcula- tions. For example, Ekstedt says, a power company using these models could more accurately de- termine how it should distribute its security resources. “Parts of the it structure can vary in their resiliency and at the same time, the consequences of damage vary according to which part of the in- frastructure is attacked,” he says.

    t o u n d e r s ta n d the full scope of the problem and to present findings in a context that industry can use, Ekstedt collaborated with the access Linnaeus Centre senior researchers György Dán, Assistant Professor with the department for Communication Networks, and Henrik Sandberg, associate professor with the Auto- matic Control department.

    Together, they developed models for a scada system, for the power grid processes, and for the society that is dependent on the electricity supply. The team then proposed actions to decrease

    risks. Ekstedt says that although the scada model was based on a power grid, such control systems have enough in common with those used in other utilities that several of the models they defined can apply to other kinds of public infrastructure.

    Finally, the project results were evaluated on a testbed that simulated the critical infrastruc- ture of a power network and a range of attacks. “We looked at what happens if some attacker goes here and manipulates some part of the system,” Ekstedt says. “We could observe the conse- quences in the power system and, by using a monetary index that we developed, we could cal- culate the loss in gross national product.”

    t h e t e s t b e d referenced a hy- pothetical “viking country,” with a power grid and some fictional cities, that could be parameteri- sed to mimic any country in the eu, to some extent, Ekstedt says. “The scenarios were a way of con- necting all of the traditional aca- demic models. Taken separately, excellent work was done in each academic domain, but we needed to connect our work for it to meet the needs of industry. The sce- narios provided a way of putting the research into context.”

    t h at c o n t e x t is valuable to public utilities, which Ekstedt says require better risk-analysis tools. “Understanding your risks requires better understanding of how vulnerable your system is and what parts need better pro- tection,” he says. “Then you have to understand the connection and impact of the it asset on the physical world.

    “There’s no silver bullet or sing- le method for utilities to follow, but by having better information, they will make us all safer.” ■

    Researchers at the smartts lab at kth ee are working to build real-time analy