Resilience and Security of Infrastructure Systems

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community



Umar Niazi
Postdoctoral Associate, Laboratory for Information & Decision Systems, MIT


"Resilience and Security of Infrastructure Systems"


Modern society relies heavily on infrastructure systems such as transportation networks and power grids. These systems are inherently complex, integrating physical infrastructure with sensing and actuation, communication networks, computing elements, and human involvement. This intricate interplay raises critical questions about resilience and security in the face of cyberattacks, technical malfunctions, cascading failures, and even strategic and selfish behavior of human agents.

In this talk, I will focus on how to make infrastructure systems more resilient and secure from the control systems perspective. I will delve into my past work on designing monitoring algorithms for large-scale systems that guarantee resilience against cyber-physical threats like sensor failures and malicious attacks. Additionally, I will discuss my recent work on designing incentive mechanisms to encourage human agents in the system for adopting behaviors that improve system efficiency. Such incentives can mitigate sociotechnical vulnerabilities and enhance resilience against strategic and selfish actors. Finally, I will wrap up by outlining some exciting areas for future research.

About Speaker

Dr. Niazi is a postdoctoral researcher at MIT, where he is affiliated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems. Prior to this role, he was a postdoctoral fellow at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Dr. Niazi earned his Ph.D. in automatic control engineering from Grenoble INP at the Grenoble Alpes University in France, where he was affiliated with INRIA Grenoble and GIPSA-Lab. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from COMSATS University, Pakistan, and Bilkent University, Turkey, respectively.

Dr. Niazi holds a Marie-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship grant from the European Commission. In 2023, he was designated as a Future Digileader by Digital Futures in Stockholm, Sweden. Additionally, he was a finalist for the Best Student Paper Award at the European Control Conference (ECC) in 2019.

Dr. Niazi serves as a Finance Chair of the NextCOM committee for students and early career researchers in the IEEE Control Systems Society. He also serves as a mentor in the Fatima Al-Fihri Predoctoral Fellowship program for underrepresented students.