Critical Infrastructure Protection

Since the attacks on September 11, 2001, the importance of information assurance and security to society has increased dramatically and the production of trained and educated professionals in this area is paramount. Research, teaching, and outreach strengths are traditions at Texas A&M University. Through the land-grant mission and the Engineering and Agriculture network in the State, Texas A&M offers great advantages in dissemination and training in Texas and the nation. Texas A&M is dedicated to ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability for business, government, and commercial information systems, which is imperative to the nation’s progress and security. Texas A&M centers and laboratories serve as interdisciplinary units that combine some of the most advanced expertise in the nation to address a broad spectrum of issues involved in the expansion and protection of information and communications infrastructure systems. These centers and laboratories include:

Center for Information Assurance and Security (CIAS)

  • National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence
  • Performs security requirements research for critical infrastructure
  • Builds provable kernel/OS services that will be resilient to common attacks and higher-level applications to enforce the systems
  • Researches appropriate policies to employ technologies for cyber security including privacy, preservation of individual rights, and respect for Constitutional divisions of authority

Center for Infrastructure Engineering

  • Six major areas of research infrastructure: roads, transportation services, water, waste management, buildings and recreation, and energy production and distribution
  • Models and simulates infrastructure performance, waste management, and risk assessment

Power System Automation Laboratory

  • Conducts research in all aspects of automation, control, and protection of electric power systems
  • Specializes in real-time, high-fidelity data capture and analysis on operating systems to detect faults and abnormal operating conditions
  • Performs data analysis to detect incipient failure conditions for line and apparatus

Critical Infrastructure Protection faculty expertise and research focus areas include:

  • Abnormal situation management research
  • Advanced materials
  • Anomaly and intrusion detection and prevention
  • Autonomous underwater and aerial vehicles
  • Blast-resistant designs
  • Border and port protection technologies and analysis
  • Cargo screening technologies
  • Chemical incident data systems
  • Consequence analysis
  • Cyber and information security
  • Damage detection and non-destructive testing
  • Design of physical security for critical infrastructure
  • Electric power and petrochemical security
  • Electric power attack detection and fault monitoring
  • Food safety
  • Inherent safety research
  • Layer of protection analysis
  • Monitoring, surveillance, and reconnaissance technologies
  • Network security protection and testing
  • Offshore safety, refinery process safety
  • Offshore technologies
  • Performance evaluation and testing of waterfront boat barriers
  • Pipeline and railcar leak detection technologies
  • Quantitative risk assessment
  • Resilient engineered systems
  • Robustness and vulnerability assessment of critical infrastructure networks
  • Safety climate
  • Seismic and wind performance
  • Smart and protective materials
  • Survivability of electric power systems
  • Total protection for power systems
  • Traffic control, communications and transportation management for high consequence events
  • Vulnerability assessments of transportation operations, water distribution, and freight railway system infrastructure
  • Water safety monitoring systems

With teaching, research, extension, laboratory, and service facilities throughout Texas, Texas A&M AgriLife serves people of all ages and backgrounds. Texas A&M AgriLife collaborates with members of the A&M System and takes on critical issues in agricultural production and economics, environmental stewardship, animal and public health, and energy development for the future. Texas A&M AgriLife centers cultivate collaborative research groups, foster relationships, develop communication portals, and focus on research to prevent, identify, and recover from disease outbreaks, and provide warnings to individuals and government agencies. These centers include:

Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (formerly the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense)

  • Researches the prevention, detection, and mitigation of transboundary, emerging, or zoonotic diseases, which may be introduced intentionally or through natural processes

Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) research collaborations have made significant impacts on the health, safety and quality of life of Texas citizens and have contributed to the state’s economic growth and development. TEES researchers conduct relevant research and provide practical answers to critical state and national needs. TEES centers provide technology, expertise, and services needed to advance efficient use of electric energy, development of drilling, and modernization of electricity grid, as well as promote collaboration of multidisciplinary research to investigate smart grid and ocean environments. These centers include:

Smart Grid Center

  • Explores new concepts, technologies, and integrated systems to meet growing power demands of residential, corporate, and the public while ensuring reliability, sustainability, and security of the electric power grid
  • Key smart grid areas: electricity production/consumption; clean energy enabling technologies; transportation system; the built environment; computer information services; and energy-related markets

Offshore Technology Research Center (OTRC)

  • National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center jointly operated by The University of Texas at Austin
  • Fluid-structure interaction research including experimental measurement of extreme waves, coupled dynamics of floating structures, and scale model testing in wave basins
  • Soil-structure interaction research including plasticity, coupled fluid dynamics, and finite element modeling and scale model testing
  • Metocean and seafloor characterization including high resolution seafloor mapping, nonlinear modeling of storm waves, GIS databases, and assessment of environmental risks

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) is an internationally recognized leader in the delivery of emergency response, homeland security and workforce training, exercises, technical assistance, and economic development. Capabilities of emergency responders and officials to prepare for, respond to, and recover from catastrophic events resulting from natural events, accidents, or terrorist attacks are enhanced by TEEX centers, including:

National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center

  • Founding member and initial chair of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium
  • State administrator for DHS Strategy Development Program
  • Nationally renowned Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)/Terrorism Responder Training Program
  • Administers the Texas Foreign Animal Disease Incident Exercise Program

Through research and development, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute seeks solutions to the problems and challenges facing all modes of transportation. The Institute has made significant advancements in transportation safety, mobility, planning, systems, infrastructure, the environment and other areas vital to an efficient transportation system. TTI’s facilities and centers conduct basic research to develop technologies to improve the mobility, safety, security, reliability, and economics of transportation, benefiting both the nation and the state of Texas. These facilities and centers include:

Proving Grounds Research Facility

  • Evaluates perimeter-security devices which are developed to prevent or control entrance or exits of sensitive sites
  • Tests homeland-security anti-terrorist, anti-ram structures to prevent vehicle-borne terrorist threats
  • Evaluates highway-safety devices

Center for International Intelligent Transportation Research

  • Improves border-crossing efficiency and security through tracking of goods
  • Provides for safer movement of hazardous materials
  • Integrates road network models along the border with Mexico
  • Assesses security screening for trucks

Center for Ports and Waterways

  • Improves the productivity and efficiency of ports and waterways
  • Augments maritime and marine industry efforts to become more competitive internationally
  • Tests new technologies and supports implementation

Center for Railway Research

  • Performs technology scanning to identify emerging technology for the railroad industry
  • State-of-the-art facilities, (structures labs, proving grounds, and testing facilities)