Logo: University of Southern California

June 4, 2013: Northrop Grumman and USC Energy Institute Collaborate to Improve Security for the Oil and Gas Industry

Press Release
Contact: Megan Hazle - 213-821-5555 or hazle@usc.edu
June 04, 2013 —

Northrop Grumman and the USC Energy Institute (USCEI), located in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, have agreed to work together in developing capabilities to support the application of integrated cyber and physical security systems to the critical infrastructure of the oil and gas industry. This collaboration expands the breadth and depth of the long-standing relationship between Northrop Grumman and USC. The program uniquely combines Northrop Grumman’s world-class capabilities, experience, and linkages in defense, physical and cyber security, and information systems, with USC’s leading strengths in petroleum engineering and operations, advanced information systems, and cyber security technology development. To enable the program’s development and the engagement with the oil and gas industry, Northrop Grumman will provide a grant to USCEI.

According to Dr. Donald Paul, Executive Director of the USC Energy Institute, “This USC-NGC program adds an exciting new and vital dimension to the mission of the USCEI and builds on the long-standing relationship of the university with Northrop Grumman. The program supports the development of unique technical and operational capabilities to support the oil and gas industry in securing their critical infrastructures from an increasingly complex set of threats.”

The plans for the USCEI-Northrop Grumman collaboration will involve an integrated technology and process systems approach to securing oil and gas infrastructure, including physical protection, operational integrity and resilience, and defense against cyber attack. For example, in the cyber protection area, a full security solution must encompass both the 'pure IT' networks as well as the field and facility control networks that are essential to the operation of oil and gas production, processing, and distribution facilities.

The program developed through the Northrop Grumman-USCEI collaboration will be designed to go beyond traditional R&D approaches to focus on complex system integration, the convergence of cyber and physical security technologies, and the development of field demonstrations of scale with key oil and gas industry partners. These programs will also create new educational, employment, and workforce development opportunities at the intersection of IT, security, energy infrastructure, and petroleum engineering.

About the USC Energy Institute
The USC Energy Institute (USCEI) was launched in 2008 to create a multi-disciplinary framework to develop opportunities in energy system-related research, education, and public policy development. Part of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, USCEI’s current mission is to support and implement cross-disciplinary research and demonstration programs focused on energy systems and infrastructures. Included in the integrated systems approach to energy is the growing impact of information technology, security, and social-behavioral dimensions. Key to the mission is the development of strategic partnerships for R&D, demonstration at scale, and education with select energy industry operators and technology suppliers. USCEI programs are designed around a solution focus, aimed at both short and medium-term outcomes. http://energy.usc.edu/

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 177 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 60 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu

About Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. www.northropgrumman.com

Megan Hazle (USC Viterbi) – 213-821-5555 or hazle@usc.edu
Matt Szemborski (Northrop Grumman) – 703-556-2384 or matthew.szemborski@ngc.com