About Seeds

Using industry input, an interdisciplinary approach, and multi-university research, the Cybersecurity Center for Secure Evolvable Energy Delivery Systems (SEEDS) researches and develops innovative cybersecurity technologies, tools, and methodologies. Our goal is to advance the energy sector’s ability to survive cyber incidents while sustaining critical functions.

Part of our work is to verify and validate efficacy of the solutions and methodologies developed by SEEDS research, so that they can be transitioned to practical applications and commercialization in the energy sector.

SEEDS develops solutions for vulnerabilities across the United States’ energy delivery systems. This serves to protect hardware assets, make systems less susceptible to cyber threats, and provide reliable delivery of electricity, oil, natural gas, and other resources if a cyber incident occurs.

The management structure of the team includes a Project Leadership Team, including the technical and campus leads, as well as industry representation. The Center’s membership-based Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) makes recommendations regarding industry relevance and alignment with the programmatic objectives. This membership-based model allows the center to be sustainable beyond CEDS funding, in order to continue to address ever-present cyber threats to energy delivery systems.

The University of Arkansas SEEDS Center is a CEDS academic R&D program, focused on providing solutions outlined by the “Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems (EDS) Cybersecurity,” in support of the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, the Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, and the Government Coordinating Council for Energy, under the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) Framework.

Our Leadership

H. Alan Mantooth

Ph.D., P.E., FIEEE
Principal Investigator & Director

Alan Mantooth is the Center’s Executive Director. He has 17 years of academic experience in addition to eight years in industry. He has served in several leadership positions in both industry and academe, and currently serves as Executive Director for several research centers at the UA and as Deputy Director for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Power Optimization in Mobile Electronics (POETS). He ran a research group of 10 engineers for 3 years in industry on a project worth nearly $5M. After returning to academe he has built an electronic-based research group of 25 students, on average, with research expenditures of over $3M a year. Since its inception in 2005 he has served as the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transport’s (NCREPT) Executive Director and overseen its research and building program, which includes the $5M test facility, which was completed in 2008. Dr. Mantooth has published well over 200 refereed publications in modeling and electronic design, as well as three books. He is an IEEE Fellow, has served on the IEEE PELS Advisory Committee since 2004 and was elected PELS VP of Operations in 2013.

Shannon G. Davis

Ph.D., CRA
Managing Director

Shannon G. Davis is the Managing Director for the Center. She received her Ph.D. in 1998 from the University of Kansas in the Division of Government. She focused her studies on political psychology, organizational behavior and bureaucratic decision making in the world of public policy. She has put this to practice in the form of proposal writing, contract negotiations and project management of government and nonprofit organization funding for the past 32 years. She has served the College of Engineering by managing the research infrastructure, collaborating to develop proposals, negotiating contracts with various types of sponsors, and addressing project management issues. She is an active member of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and has participated regularly in paper panels. During her 19 years at the University of Arkansas, she has written and co-written proposals that have resulted in over $23 million in funding.

Jia Di

Associate Director of Technology Integration

Jia Di is the Associate Director of Technology Integration. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tsinghua University, China, in 1997 and 2000, respectively. He completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Central Florida in 2004. He joined the Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Arkansas as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2004, where he is now a Professor and 21st Century Research Leadership Chair. His research area is asynchronous integrated circuit design and hardware security. Dr. Di has published one book and over 90 papers on technical journals and conferences. He also has 5 U.S. patents. Dr. Di is a senior member of IEEE and an elected member of the National Academy of Inventors.

Qinghua Li

Associate Director of Research

Qinghua Li is the Associate Director of Research for the Center. He received his B.E. degree from Xi’an Jiaotong University in 2004, his M.S. degree from Tsinghua University in 2007, and his Ph.D. degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2013. He then joined the University of Arkansas, where he is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering. His research interests include cybersecurity and privacy, smart grid, mobile computing, and Big Data. In these areas, he has published more than 30 papers. He is a member of the IEEE.

Chris Farnell

NCREPT Managing Director and Test Engineer

Chris Farnell is the NCREPT Managing Director and Test Engineer. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas in 2010 and 2017, respectively, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. Prior to obtaining these degrees, Chris served in the United States Air Force as a Flying Crew Chief on the C-17A Globemaster III. His research interests include embedded system design, wireless sensor networks, FPGAs, and power electronics testing and design. Chris remains active in K-12 outreach activities.

Our Partners