Stan McClellanIn less than two months, it will be my pleasure to join thousands of international communications professionals, academics and government officials at the IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2012) to discuss the newest advances in global voice, data, image and multimedia technologies.

Held from June 10 – 15, at the newly-opened, $170 million Ottawa Convention Centre located at the cultural center of Canada’s beautiful capital city, IEEE ICC has rapidly gained worldwide recognition due to its ability to keenly focus on the latest and brightest research, while fostering the delivery and reception of the next wave of advanced interactive networking services and global business opportunities. Themed “CONNECT – COMMUNICATE – COLLABORATE,” this year’s conference will be punctuated by more than 1,500 presentations from global communications experts, who will explore everything from “Humanitarian Communication Applications” and “Machine to Machine Communications Architectures” to “Intelligent Vehicular Networking” to “NATO Cyber Defence Policies.”

In addition to the standard array of high-level keynotes, panels, tutorials, workshops and technical sessions, IEEE ICC 2012 has also scheduled 18 Industry Forums offering the viewpoints and detailed experiences of global authorities addressing topic likes eGovernance, cloud computing enabling technologies, end-to-end Ethernet management, future home gateway services and true green data centers. In fact, on the morning of June 13 several of my colleagues and I will have the opportunity to join this esteemed dais by addressing “Cyber Security & Threat Management in the Smart Grid.”

Fourth in an ongoing series of discussions that extends from the IEEE Annual Computer Communications Workshop, IEEE ICC 2011 and IEEE GLOBECOM 2011 to this year’s event, the four-person panel, which I will moderate, was specifically-selected to highlight the topics of Smart Grid security, threat identification & management and best practices in a lively, interactive forum designed to challenge both audience members and our team of distinguished presenters. Fortunately, venues like IEEE ICC and IEEE GLOBECOM are ideal for the knowledgeable exchange of timely topics like these because of their sizable base of influential and informed attendees, who are generally not at all shy about sharing their varying encounters and significant topical insights. 

Chosen for their established track-record of contributions, each panelist will have the opportunity to share their views on the rapid evolution of Smart Grid technologies and implementations. This includes challenges related to interoperability, security, and threat management in the latest meters, networking equipment, measurement systems and so on. These issues have produced Smart Grid systems & networks susceptible to unfortunate breaches and malicious security attacks. Key to these discussions will be the presentations of:

  • Nakul Jeirath, Group Leader for Embedded System Security at the Southwest Research Institute (SWRI), who has worked extensively with Smart Grid vendors and service providers as a “hands-on ethical hacker” developing countermeasures to system weaknesses and challenges
  • Ernie Hayden, Managing Principal for Energy Security in Verizon's Global Energy & Securities practice and a member of the NERC Smart Grid Task Force and the NIST Smart Grid Security Working Group
  • Bill Lawrence, Chief Technologist for Lockheed Martin's Energy & Cyber Security Organization, who will address the design of Smart Grid “situational awareness” protocols used to identify advanced, persistent threats involving SCADA systems, networks and other subsystems
  • Dr. George Arnold, Director of the Smart Grid and Cyberphysical Systems Program Office & National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability – NIST (US Dept. Commerce) as well as the co-chair of  the Smart Grid policy subcommittee for the White House Nat’l Science and Technology Council

Please feel free to join us at the upcoming IEEE ICC 2012 to discuss the reliable, safe, and carefully managed distribution of electric power as well as the latest advances in the entire range of communications. For more information on IEEE ICC 2012, please visit or feel free to contact Heather Ann Sweeney of IEEE ComSoc at Furthermore, all website visitors are also invited to network with colleagues and peers, share their professional experiences or address IEEE ICC 2012 issues through the conference’s Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter pages.


Posted by Ron M. Seidel, Editorial Intern

April 25, 2012