Aranya Chakrabortty

Associate Professor

Electrical and Computer Engineering
FREEDM Systems Center
100-26 Keystone Bldg.
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695.      
Tel: 919-513-3529




I am on sabbatical leave for the 2016-17 academic year at the Coordinated Science Lab (CSL) at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. I’ll be using my NC State email all throughout. For urgent matters please contact our secretary Karen Autry at 919-513-3334


Brief Biography

1.       BE in Electrical Engineering, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, 2004  

2.       Research Student, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, Summer 2003

3.       MS in Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2005.

4.       PhD in Electrical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2008 (thesis advisors: Dr. Murat Arcak & Dr. Joe H. Chow)

5.       Postdoctoral Research Associate, Aeronautics & Astronautics Department, University of Washington, Seattle, 2008-2009

6.       Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Texas Tech University, 2009-2010

7.       Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, NC State University, 2010-2015

8.       NSF CAREER Award, 2011

9.       Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, NC State University, 2015-present

My CV can be found here.


  What’s Relatively New:

1.       June 2017 - Visiting Lund University, Sweden for LCCC Workshop

2.       Aug. 2016-2017 – My sabbatical leave at UIUC, Tokyo Tech, and USC

3.       June 2017 – Invited talk at NSF-DFG-JST smart grid workshop in Tokyo

4.       June 2017 -  ExoGENI-PMU testbed demo at US Ignite 2017 in Austin

5.       May 2017 – Invited talk at Internet2 Global Summit in Washington DC

6.       July 2016New:  Mini-Course on ‘Composite Control of Power Systems’ in MTNS 2016 (pdf)

7.       July 2016 – Invited tutorial on wide-area control in ACC 2016 workshop – photos, talk

8.       Jan 2016 - Associate Editor of IEEE Trans. on Control System Technology

9.       Sep 2015New NSF CPS, EPCN, and US Ignite grants on WAMS – link 1, link 2, link 3

10.    Sep. 2013 - New NSF grant on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS WAMS) - link

11.    May 2013 - New DOE grant, new ABB grant on wide-area communication & control

12.    Sep. 2012 - New NSF grant on Sustainable Energy Pathways

13.    Sep. 2011 - PMU research featured in American Institute of Physics – video link

14.    Sep. 2011 - PMU data analytics article in IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter

Click here for a list of my past and current graduate students

New Papers and Results

1.       Control Inversion: a new technique for designing simpler wide-area controllers using H2-clustering techniques  – arXiv 2017, CDC 2016, ACC 2017

2.       Sparsity-promoting distributed wide-area control of power systems - Paper, ACC 2017 

3.       A Cyber-physical framework for wide-area control of power systems considering communication delays –  IFAC CEP 2017

4.       Catching Data-Manipulators in Wide-Area Estimation Loops via ADMM – arXiv 2017,   ACC 2017

5.       A new tutorial on new challenges in power system modeling & simulations –  Tutorial Paper

6.       Tutorial on Wide-Area ControlTutorial paper,  slides

7.       Modeling and Equilibrium Analysis of Solid-State Transformers -  Paper

8.       Parallel and distributed algorithms for WAMS monitoring – TPWRS 2016, TSG CPS 1, TSG CPS 2

9.       Creating Power System Models using Synchrophasor data – TPWRS 2016, TSG 2016, Technical Report

                    -   Check out additional simulations of the WECC model with wind integration in RTDS

10.   Experiments on wide-area monitoring and control using our Exo-GENI WAMS network testbed – paper 1, paper 2

11.   Two new papers on coherency properties of wind-integrated power systems – paper1, paper2



News Release and Other Events

My recent talk at the CPS-IoT center at Univ. of Southern California - link

NSF viewgraphs for my CPS projects – viewgraph 1, viewgraph 2, Youtube video
My recent talk at NSF CURENT Center at Univ of Tennessee - link

NSF Press Release on ExoGENI-WAMS testbed - link
WAMS Cyber-Security research for the Smart-America Initiative (collaboration with USC and Iowa State) -
Wind power dynamic modeling research with Chandra and Gayme featured in National Geographic -
Jennifer’s research on power grid visualization is featured in NCSU Alumni mag
Best Internet App Prize for power monitoring at US-Ignite -
My recent talk at CMU –
video link
My recent talk at TCIPG seminar in UIUC –
video link
Research featured in ‘Five to Watch’ article in NC State Engineering Magazine
Interview in Discoveries & Breakthroughs Inside Science, American Institute of Physics,
video link
NCSU-SRI Workshop on Cyber-Physical Applications in Smart Power Systems, 2011
Sciencedaily article- “
New Approach to Modeling Power System for Better Monitoring”  Jan. 2011


Research Interests

My research activities span all branches of control theory with applications to electric power systems. At NC State I am a part of the NSF FREEDM Systems Center, currently investigating several system and control-theoretic research problems for the US power grid using Wide-area Measurement Systems (WAMS), or Synchrophasor technology, its cyber-physical implementation via service-oriented wide-area communication networks, and its integration with renewable energy sources such as wind energy. 

As of Fall 2016, I have graduated 5 PhD students and 1 postdoc, and currently supervise 8 PhDs, 1 MS, and 2 undergraduate research students. Some specific topics of research that my group is currently looking into are:

1.  Wide-area Monitoring and Control –Model identification, grid stress assessment, modal analysis, and wide-area control of power system networks using Synchrophasor measurements

2. Distributed Algorithms & Communications for WAMS – Various cyber-physical challenges for wide-area communication, and how distributed optimization and control can address those challenges.

4. Testbed Federation for Verification & Validation of WAMS Applications - Experimental verification of wide-area control algorithms via Exo-GENI WAMS network testbed developed recently at NC State

5. Localization and Mitigation of Cyber-attacks in Power Grids – Using algebraic graph-theory and game theory for developing algorithms that can localize and control manipulative cyber-attacks in power system networks

6. Impacts of Wind Integration on Power System Dynamics – Analyzing how spectral properties of power systems change due to heterogeneity brought in by wind penetration

7. Optimization and Control of Power Distribution Systems – Over the past one year, my research has also broadened to new problems on dynamics, optimization and controls at distribution-level power systems arising due to integration of power electronic
converters such as Solid State Transformers (SST), coupled with wind and solar generation. I am serving as a co-PI for the FREEDM Systems Modeling and Control (SMC) sub-thrust to explore these problems.


As the number of PMUs scales up into the thousands in the next few years under the US Department of Energy’s smart grid demonstration initiative, it is rather intuitive that the current state-of-the art centralized communication and information processing architecture of WAMS will no longer be sustainable, and a distributed cyber-physical architecture will need to be developed. Motivated by this challenge, over the past year my group in collaboration with the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) of UNC Chapel Hill have developed a wide-area communication testbed, referred to as the ExoGENI-WAMS testbed at the FREEDM Systems Center. The testbed has been recently federated with the DETER testbed of Information Sciences Institute at University of Southern California as a part of the Smart America Initiative of NIST. The testbed consists of two layers:

1. A hardware-in-loop set-up consisting of Real-time Digital Simulators (RTDS) integrated with multi-vendor PMUs

2. A cloud-based multi-port, multi-user ExoGENI+DETER network that can transport PMU data from the RTDS to a network of virtual PDCs (phasor data concentrators), and execute distributed monitoring and control algorithms in real-time.

ExoGENI allows users to create custom topologies using resources from multiple federated providers via a control and management software called the Open Resource Control Architecture (ORCA) to orchestrate the networked cloud resource provisioning. It showcases the fact that the current design practice based on the centralized servers and IP-based Internet architecture is not an economical and efficient solution to satisfy the real-time requirement of processing large volumes of Synchrophasor data. Instead, an IaaS based solution is much more practical. ExoGENI service allows dynamic provisioning of virtual machines of different CPU and memory capacities with customized software images. With this capability, the WAMS communication network can automatically request for the right virtual machine to run the best real-time algorithm – eg. distributed oscillation monitoring, state estimation and wide-area controls. Connection to DETER, on the other hand, allows us to carry out diverse cyber-security related experiments on wide-area monitoring and control loops.


Check out a concept paper for this testbed, presented at CPS Week in Seattle, WA, Apr. 2015.


The project is funded partly by the US Department of Energy, NSF CPS grant, and ABB Corporate Research.

Check out some links on ExoGENI-WAMS:

1.       Distributed Wide-area Oscillation Monitoring using ExoGENI and Software Defined Networks  

2.       Constructing attack-resilient communication topologies via a federation of RTDS-WAMS testbed and DETER-lab (collaboration with Univ of Southern California)

3.       Demonstration at the US Ignite Event in summer 2013

4.       Check out the report for creating dynamic network topologies in ExoGENI integrated with RTDS and PMUs

An introductory research brochure for my PhasorLab, featuring several recently procured PMUs, can be found here.



Please click here for a full list of my publications.

Some Poster and Powerpoint presentations about my work on phasor measurements can be found at the following links:

Wide-area Control with Cloud-in-the Loop, US Ignite, Austin 2016
SVC-based Wide-Area Control Design, IEEE PES General Meeting 2015
Decoy Algorithms for Eavesdropping Attack Detection in Power Systems, NC State Undergraduate Symposium, 2014
Electrical Distances and their Impacts on Power System Response, NC State Undergraduate Symposium, 2013
New posters on localization by Tom
Synchrophasor Research at FREEDM Systems Center, FREEDM Annual Site Visit, 2012



NC State University:

1. ECE 451: Power Systems Analysis – Fall 2012, 2013
2. ECE 736: Power Systems Stability and Control – Fall 2010, 2011, Spring 2013 - present
3. ECE 726: Optimal ControlSpring 2012, Fall 2014 - present

Texas Tech University:

1. Power Systems Dynamics and Stability – Fall 2009
2. Wind Power System Modeling and Simulation – Spring 2010


Professional Activities:

·         Committee member for IEEE CSS and CS Smart Grid Vision documentation.

·         Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Control System Technology (2016-present)

·         Associate Editor for IEEE Control System Society Conference Editorial Board (2013-present)


·         Conference TPC or Operating Committee member for:

1.       Vice-President for Invited Sessions – American Control Conference 2019, Philadelphia

2.       Vice-President for Industry Applications – American Control Conference 2016, Boston

3.       International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS, CPS Week) 2017, 2016, 2013

4.       IEEE GlobalSip 2016, 2015 - Symposium on Signal and Information Processing for Optimizing Future Energy Systems

5.       TPC Chair for Smart Grid Control Workshop at WiSATS 2015, Bradford, UK, 2015.

6.       IEEE Conference on Smart Grid Communications (Smartgridcomm) 2012-2013

7.       American Control Conference -  2013, 2015

8.       2nd IEEE INFOCOM Workshop on Communications and Control for Smart Energy Systems, 2013

9.       Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems, Euromicro Conference on Digital System Design (DSD), 2013


·         Journal Reviewer for Automatica (Elsevier), IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, IEEE Transactions on Smart Grids, IEEE Transactions on Control and Network Systems, IEEE Power Electronics Letters, Journal of Process Control (Elsevier), Control Engineering Practice, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (Elsevier),  Mathematical Problems in Engineering, SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization, IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems, etc.


·         Conference Reviewer for: IEEE Conference on Decision and Control,  American Control Conference, IEEE MSC, IEEE PES General Meeting, IEEE ISGT, IEEE T&D Conference, IEEE Smartgridcomm, European Control Conference, IEEE Powertech, AIAA Conference on Guidance, Navigation and Control  


·         Senior Member of IEEE, IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS), IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES).



IEEE Explore, Sciencedirect, NASPI, FNET, IEEE PES, SAMSI, NSF, Phase-plane diagrams for nonlinear systems