Dr. Omaima Bamasaq

Associate Professor
Computer Science, Faculty of Computing and Information Technology
King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

MIT Department/Faculty Supervisor(s): 

Mechanical Engineering, Kamal Youcef-Toumi and Civil and Environmental Engineering, John R. Williams

Fellowship Dates: 

09/01/2014 to 08/31/2016

Sponsors: 

Saudi Aramco
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)

Biography: 

Dr. Omaimah Bamasag is an associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. She received her M.Sc. and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the School of Computer Science at University of Manchester in 2001 and 2006, respectively. Her area of expertise is designing security solutions and protocols for distributed applications, trust management in e/m commerce applications, RFID security, intrusion detection systems, and mobile agent security. 

She has peer-reviewed publications and participated in a number of conferences and workshops. She serves in the technical program committee of several international conferences. She is also a member of the editorial board of "Computer & Security Journal" and 'Journal of Systems and Software', both by Elsevier, and 'Journal of Information Processing Systems JIPS". 

She was the Head of Computer Science Department at the Faculty of Computing and Information Technology, King Abdulaziz University during 2006-2010. She then served as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Computing and Information Technology during 2010-2014. She has been teaching undergraduate course in Information Security and supervising PhD and Master research and senior projects, while also a Co-Investigator in funded research projects. 

Research Plan: 

Communication & Control Architecture for Smart and Secure Power Grids

Saudi Arabia’s near future power system infrastructure will need to be a smart power network. Indeed, the KSA has made major investments in multi-technology renewable energy stations. This new power system infrastructure will require more flexibility and versatility in its planning and scheduling tools from both technical and economical point of views.  Such tools are essential paths towards modernizing the KSA’s power network and leading to an (a) Efficient use of KSA’s conventional and renewable resources in production of electricity and its consumption, (b) Modern power system that is capable of integrating variable energy resources and energy storage systems in smart ways, (c) Healthier population due to a less polluted environment, and (d) Modern secure power system capable of connecting intelligently with grids of neighboring countries.

This project will investigate design and control architectures for intelligent and secure future power grids. The methods will address the needs of future grids especially from the point of view of information technology related to demand side resources, advanced algorithms and smart grid cyber security & privacy.  The approach will take into account the coordination and decision-making in the face of physically-distributed systems and potentially multiple areas of jurisdiction.  Other issues of interest will include the physical distribution of devices and their control implies significant transfers of information across a robust communication infrastructure. The measurements and control signals associated with real-time power injections cause concern over personal privacy as well as the ultimate security of the newly designed control system. 

Future Smart Grid (SG) will measure its users' power consumption data (CD) and send the CD to authorized entities. Having access to CD will allow users to be more aware of their power consumption and costs, and power suppliers to predict their consumers' demands in an accurate way. This will result in an improved Smart Grid in terms of reliability and efficiency. However, uncontrolled access to CD may lead to building individual's users' power consumption pattern, and hence, breaching user's privacy.  Therefore, it is important to improve SG's reliability and efficiency together with maintaining security and privacy to consumers' data. This research will propose a security solution to address the aforementioned need.