Integrated Cyber-Secure Edge Computing (ICEC)


The proposal is to conduct a three month scoping study and roadmap that will underpin secure and resilient Cyber-Physical Systems used in the design and management of the built environment, involving an industrial partner (Atkins), government agency (UKAEA), research councils (STFC), and university sectors (Cambridge, Oxford and Vanderbilt). It will promote interdisciplinary research with the goal of identifying, exploring, and understanding patterns of complexity that cross disciplines and application domains. The activity will feed into current plans that will underpin next steps proposed through UKRI and future infrastructure calls as well as DETi, Brunel, and other funding.

The project responds to a real-world use case for fusion reactor design at the edge of computing that requires the highest levels of security and integrity, with compliance maintained across the edge of evolving computing platforms. An urgent need is to understand the security requirements for Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) and digital twinning in which functionality emerges from the networked interaction of computational and physical processes. The scoping study will inform a systems science of secure and resilient CPS and digital twins for PETRAS.

In its collaborative structure, the project draws on an extended pool of expertise in the areas of engineering design and construction, supported through the Centre for Digital Built Britain, and expose the findings of PETRAS to a much broader range of users, particularly those experimenting with CPS to manage engineering complexity. The joint involvement of Atkins and Hartree critically brings the PETRAS programme to a very large group of “flagship” infrastructure projects across a variety of domains, including HS2, Sizewell, Hinkley Point, and cycles back into CDBB, thereby recursively building expertise. Oxford and UKAEA provide the technical lead in engineering systems at the edge of computing. Vanderbilt University’s involvement significantly brings the project to international prominence through the NSF Science of Security Virtual Organisation and Institute for Software Integrated Systems. The primary deliverable is a scoping study and roadmap that addresses the complex issues of interrelated cyber-physical systems and digital twinning security at architectural and policy levels. This will form the basis for developing capacity for safety and mission critical use of CPS. As an element of this, the project partners will be negotiating collaborative frameworks that will enable partnerships, knowledge transfer and sustainability through joint development and community building. The result will support the establishment of formal engagement and promote sustainability through programmes of investment, engagement, and development.