This summer I’m working on an interdisciplinary team of four students. There are two computer science students, one bioengineering student, and one business student. Their names are Jason, Bell, and Daley! These past few weeks have given me the opportunity to learn a lot about their personalities, how they learn, and what their thought process is. We spend many hours of the day together in meetings and interviews, which has only sped up the process of getting to know each other. It is really nice to be on such a diverse team because there is constant conversation and dialogue of different ideas.
Since the Shure Grid program is completely new, there is a lot of flexibility in how we interpret our problem that we are trying to solve and the methods that we choose to employ for our solution. Our project is constantly evolving and pivoting as we learn from more and more industry professionals. There is another cohort of SHURE-Grid students, but the problem our group is solving is figuring out how to balance the tradeoffs to cyber informed engineering. The idea is to prioritize cybersecurity at every step of the engineering process, especially at the beginning in the planning and design phase. However this comes with many obstacles such as cost, resources, time, etc. On the flipside, without proper cybersecurity a company stands to lose a lot of private information, money, and time. We are focusing on the energy sector since they have a lot of critical infrastructure that needs to be protected. Our cohorts have had tours of the Eaton lab and the University of Pittsburgh laboratories at the Energy Innovation Center. These tours allowed us to more deeply understand the electricity industry and how it functions. It also showed us the massive scale and dangers that could occur if something were to go wrong. Currently we are interviewing people working in the industry as security professionals, engineers, and financial analysts to gain more insight into the thought process each of them goes through when solving various problems. It is fascinating to hear from people in a variety of fields and being able to recognize patterns in the workflow and process of how implementations happen. I am excited to see how our project will continue to evolve in the upcoming weeks as we collect more data and refine our minimum viable product.