National Academy of Engineering members Arun Phadke and James Thorp are part of a Chinese funded research team directed to improve the protection and security of the worldwide, interconnected electric power grid. China's Ministry of Education and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs is sponsoring the five-year, $1.2 million project, called the "Expertise-Introduction Project for Disciplinary Innovation of Universities."
Phadke and Thorp are both leading experts in power system digital protection. Traditionally electric power networks have used the computer and communication networks in a variety of critical applications. However, researchers are looking at new configurations of power, communication and computer networks that could be more easily controlled and protected for optimum security, economy, and performance.