Engineering | School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering

Lalitha Sankar

Assistant Professor
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ERC 585

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Research expertise: Cyber-security and privacy in the Smart Grid, privacy of electronic data, information- theoretic privacy measures, applications of game theory to privacy problems, finite block-length source coding, distributed state estimation and optimal power flow with security and privacy guarantees in the Smart Grid

Lalitha Sankar received a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, in 1992, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1994 and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Rutgers University in 2007. From 2010-2012, she was an associate research scholar at Princeton University. From 2007-2010, Sankar was a postdoctoral fellow supported by the Princeton University Council on Science and Technology. Prior to her doctoral studies, she was a senior member of technical staff at AT&T Shannon Laboratories from 1995-2002. She received the NSF CAREER Award in January 2014, and an academic excellence award from Rutgers in 2008. She is also the lead PI on a $1.4M 4-year NSF grant on cybersecurity of the electric power system.

Collaborations and industry affiliations
IEEE Information Theory Society, Communications Society, Signal Processing Society

Professional preparation
Ph.D., electrical engineering, Rutgers University
M.S., electrical engineering, University of Maryland
B.Tech., engineering physics, Indian Institute of Technology

Recognition and awards
Rutgers Academic Achievement Award (Doctoral Student of the year in ECE) 2007-2008
IEEE Globecom 2011 Best paper award
NSF CCF award for work on privacy 2010-2013 (co-PI with H Vincent Poor as PI)

Selected publications

J. Zhang and L. Sankar. “Physical System Consequences of Unobservable State-and-Topology Cyber-Physical Attacks,” IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, June 2016.

C. Huang, L. Sankar, and A. Sarwate. “Designing Incentive Schemes for Privacy-Sensitive Users,”Journal of Confidentiality and Privacy, issue 1, vol.7, 2015-2016.

J. Liang, L. Sankar, and O. Kosut. “Vulnerability Analysis and Consequences of False Data Injection Attack on Power System State Estimation,” IEEE Trans. Power Systems, accepted September 2015.

E. V. Belmega, L. Sankar, and H. V. Poor. “Enabling Data Exchange in Interactive State Estimation under Privacy Constraints,” IEEE Journal Special Topics in Signal Processing (JST-SP), Special Issue on Signal Processing for Privacy, vol. 9, no. 7, pp. 1285-1297, Oct. 2015.

J. Hu, L. Sankar, and D. Mir, “Cluster-and-Connect: A More Realistic Model for the Electric Power Network Topology,” Proc. IEEE Conference on Smart Grid Communications, Nov. 2015.

J. Hu, L. Sankar, and D. Mir, “Cluster-and-Connect: An Algorithmic Approach to Generating Synthetic Electric Power Network Topology,” Proc. IEEE Allerton Conference on Computers, Communications, and Control, Sep. 2015.

B. Moraffah and L. Sankar, “Private Interactive Mechanism,” Proc. IEEE Allerton Conference on Computers, Communications, and Control, Sep. 2015.

O. Kosut and L. Sankar, “New results on third order coding rate for fixed-to-variable source coding,” submitted IEEE Trans. Information Theory, Jan. 2015, under review.