NREL Smart Grid Educational Series: The Utility Smart Grid is in Danger of Prolific Cybercrime and Network DDOS Caused by the Explosion of Unprotected IoT Devices in Our Homes

The proliferation of IoT and connected devices in the home, offices and major industrial centers is exposing every utility and Smart Grid to unwanted intrusions and cyber-hacking. To make IoT devices smarter, they need to communicate over short-range low-rate wireless networks like ZigBee and BLE, but also across the Internet to cloud systems, creating an almost endless opportunity for cybercrime with entry points from less secure devices and rogue applications that control the latest IoT solutions. While artificial intelligence, automation, and Smart Homes provide tremendous life-style benefits such as energy savings, security, home care, or entertainment, the utility industry and InfoSec must lead the way in ensuring that our critical electric grids are not undermined when we need those most. Gartner believes that by 2025, the average home will have over 500 connected devices, controlling both mundane and mission critical functions in our lives.

Scott Wu and Richard Yim discussed the emerging threat landscape of the exploding IoT space and the reasons why attackers are surfacing everywhere, anywhere and anytime at a webinar held at SyracuseCoE on May 19. By showcasing several threat events, the webinar articulated why traditional technologies such as antimalware and firewalls are not the solution for IoT infrastructure, and why consumers and their utility providers should seek next generation IoT solutions for their homes now.

The presentation was a segment of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) Smart Grid Educational Series, a series of educational webinars on smart grid-related topics, featuring speakers from the lab and the energy industry. The webinar was hosted by Erfan Ibrahim, Ph.D., Director of Cyber-Physical Systems Security & Resilience at the NREL, and introduced by Chetna Chianese, Associate Director of Research at SyracuseCoE.


Scott Wu is CEO of NewSky Security and has led many behavioral detection initiatives in security since 2003. He held engineering/research and management roles for Symantec, Microsoft and McAfee, shipped flagship products of Norton, Windows Defender and McAfee Total Protection, each with over 500 million users. His research team in McAfee spearheaded predictive threat intelligence system, enabling Intel Security’s foothold in APT hunting space. Scott owns multiple patents of behavioral and predictive intrusion detection technology.  Scott is a marathon runner and Cascade cyclist.

Richard Yim is VP Product Management for People Power Company. Early in his career, he helped design the first versions of Symantec’s antivirus and security solutions, going on to lead the development of Oracle’s database for Linux. Recently, he was VP and GM of IGT’s Systems Division, the leading provider of highly regulated and secure gaming platforms, for the world’s largest casinos. Previously, he was Vice President Marketing, Platforms and Ecosystems at SAP. Protecting what’s most valuable to all of us, our homes and families is a passion he shares with his teams at People Power today. In his spare time, Richard enjoys networking with the AI and IoT communities in the Bay Area, and building tree houses.

SyracuseCoE Seeking Innovation Programs Intern

Interested in pursuing a career in energy or environmental research organizations? SyracuseCoE is seeking candidates to work as an intern with its Innovation Programs team. The team supports SyracuseCoE Partner researchers and companies with a variety of programs and projects related to our core focus areas:

  • High performance building
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Energy and water resources.

The Intern will assist the team with the development of a weekly Funding Guide update for SyracuseCoE Partners and Researchers highlighting new funding opportunities available at the federal and state levels, as well as from non-profit organizations. In addition, the intern will support several staff members and faculty with the development of tasks related to ongoing programs and projects, including events, workshops, sponsored research projects, and development of project proposals.

Interns will develop hands-on research and communications skills through the support of Innovation Programs staff with various assignments: 

  • Research on grant opportunities, identifying those with potential to match Partner interests for weekly outreach
  • Production of weekly outreach to Partner firms and researchers on grant opportunities of interest
  • Assistance to staff on sponsored research projects and/or proposals
  • Updates to databases of Partners and stakeholders
  • Updates to content on SyracuseCoE web site

Additional requirements include:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with people at all levels of the organization, as well as with visitors from all levels of outside organizations/agencies
  • Good written communications skills
  • Ability to manage and prioritize multiple, competing tasks
  • Organized, with keen attention to detail
  • Ability to work both independently and in cooperation with others
  • Ability to understand/calculate capacity for new projects and ask for help when needed
  • Familiarity with and interest in environmental and/or energy issues
  • Familiarity with WordPress and Adobe InDesign valued, though not required

View the Innovations Program Internship application.

Check out our Students Page to learn more about the experience you can have at SyracuseCoE!

2018 Faculty Fellows Program Request for Proposals

This RFP deadline has passed.


SyracuseCoE invites applications for its 2018 Faculty Fellows Program to strengthen faculty scholarship in SyracuseCoE research areas, support SyracuseCoE engagements with industry partners, and provide research leadership to SyracuseCoE. Individuals who hold faculty appointments at Syracuse University, and SyracuseCoE partner institutions SUNY Upstate Medical University (UMU) and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) are eligible to apply.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) will support seed funding for research in our core technical areas:

  • Clean and renewable energy
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Water resources

Proposals are intended to support new research efforts and directions that advance SyracuseCoE’s research areas, rather than incremental steps forward on existing research programs. All proposals must address how the use of the Faculty Fellow seed funding will lead to a significant “next step” in the research, lead to or leverage follow-on funding opportunities, and contribute to establishing SyracuseCoE and its partner institutions as thought leaders in the targeted area.


The 2017-2018 Faculty Fellows Program RFP is open to faculty at SyracuseCoE Academic Partners: Syracuse University, SUNY-ESF, and UMU. Individuals who hold appointments as tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track full-time faculty are eligible to apply. SyracuseCoE strongly encourages proposals to include the participation of multiple faculty members, including teams from multiple departments, colleges, and/or institutions. Teams are encouraged, but not required, to include non-university participants, especially collaborators from SyracuseCoE Partner companies. However, funds may be disbursed only to academic institutions. Faculty may serve as the primary PI for only one proposal; however, any individual may serve as a Co-Investigator on multiple proposals. Multi-investigator teams are considered to be those with more than one eligible faculty member.


Up to $10,000 for a single investigator; up to $25,000 for a multi-investigator team. SyracuseCoE intends to award up to $100,000 in this round. All funds must be expended by June 30, 2018.


View all the information about the 2018 Faculty Fellows RFP including the proposal format and project narrative.
Download the 2018 Faculty Fellows Budget Template here.


SyracuseCoE Hiring Communications Interns For Summer 2017

Ever wonder what it’s like to develop communications collateral for a niche industry such as environmental and energy systems engineering? SyracuseCoE is seeking hardworking and results-driven communications students to intern throughout the summer months. Interns will develop hands-on interpersonal and tactical skills through carrying out various departmental tasks:

  • Maintaining website graphics and copy
  • Supporting print and web-based design to include such items as: writing copy for news and outreach, designing flyers and posters, exhibits, handbooks and other publications
  • Coordinating and executing social media and emarketing campaigns in accordance with monthly communications goals
  • Writing and distributing press releases and other external communications
  • Contributing to the execution of SyracuseCoE and other events
  • Assisting in other departmental projects as needed

Student must have a good understanding and demonstrated experience with written communications, graphic design and typography, MS Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Proficiencies in Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign) are a plus. Excellent communications skills, both written and oral. Knowledge of WordPress is preferred.

View the Summer 2017 Internship application.

Check out our Students Page to learn more about the experience you can have at SyracuseCoE!

2017 Innovation Fund Call for Proposals Now Open to Partners

This call for proposals is closed. Check back soon for the deadline for fall 2017.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) invites proposals to the SyracuseCoE Innovation Fund from current SyracuseCoE Partners for up to $10,000. The Innovation Fund is funded by SyracuseCoE Partner Program and is designed to support Partners’ efforts to overcome barriers to the commercialization of potentially transformative innovations. Projects must be aligned with commercialization of innovative products/technologies and focused on one or more of SyracuseCoE’s three core areas:

  • Indoor Environmental Quality and Building Energy Efficiency
  • Clean & Renewable Energy
  • Water Resources

Last year, the Syracuse 2016 Innovation Fund Award granted five companies a total of $36,199. This year, it is anticipated that there will be up to six awards.

To apply, you must submit the application below and complete and return the following documents by 5:00pm EST, Friday, March 31st, 2017.

Learn More

SyracuseCoE Accepting Applications for Funding of Paid Student Internship Opportunities

SyracuseCoE is seeking applications from its Industry Partners for funding available through the 2017 Summer Industry Collaboration Internship Program.  The program supports paid internship opportunities for SyracuseCoE Partner Program companies to host a student pursuing a degree in science, engineering, or architecture. Throughout the course of the internship, the student will increase his or her knowledge and technical skills by engaging in hands-on work at SyracuseCoE Partner firms related to indoor environmental quality (IEQ), high performance/green building, clean and renewable energy, and water resources.

In addition to increasing the technical skills of students, the program also aims to introduce students to local industry leaders. Program goals include increased post-graduation student retention in the Central Upstate region and the establishment of valuable relationships between college students and local firms. Interns will be invited to SyracuseCoE networking events throughout the summer, and they will develop and present an end-of-summer poster showcasing the project(s) on which he/she worked.

To date, 31 companies and 93 students have participated in this program, which is supported by annual fees paid by companies that participate in the SyracuseCoE Partner Program. This year, SyracuseCoE intends to fund up to 8 summer internships at Partner firms, with each commitment providing up to $3,000 per company.

View the 2017 Summer Industry Collaboration Internship Program page and application.

R&T Forum – ‘Precision’ Medicine and Environments: Emerging Opportunities for Individualized Care and Comfort

SyracuseCoE and Central New York Biotechnology Accelerator (CNY BAC) partnered in a joint Research and Technology Forum yesterday that explored emerging approaches at the interface of health care and environmental control. The Forum included presentations by Dr. Robert Corona, SUNY Upstate Vice President for Innovation and Business Development, and Mike Wetzel, President and CEO of Air Innovations. The presenters offered insight about how to utilize precision medicine to customize healthcare and to take into account the biological, environmental and behavioral factors that drive disease.

Right from the start, many SyracuseCoE partners have pursued a vision for leveraging one of Central New York’s signature industry clusters to catalyze innovations in technologies for built environments that would improve occupant health and wellness. Synergistically, the Central New York Biotechnology Accelerator (CNY BAC) envisions building on regional strengths to advance innovations in precision medicine.


Dr. Robert Corona, DO, MBA, FCAP, FASCP, John B, Henry and Chair of Pathology, Medical Director of Neuropathology/Pathology, Vice President for Innovation and Business Development, Central New York Biotech Accelerator, Upstate Medical University

Mike Wetzel, President and CEO, Management Board of Directors, Air Innovations


Ed Bogucz, Executive Director, SyracuseCoE, Associate Professor, Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Lt. Governor Hochul Visits SyracuseCoE As It Continues Its Indoor Air Quality Research Efforts

New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul visited the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE) again on Tuesday, December 13, to take a tour of the building and labs and learn about ongoing projects to study human health and performance in indoor environments. Hochul was joined by SyracuseCoE Executive Director Ed Bogucz for a tour and discussion of the research initiatives going on within both the Intelligent Control of Urban and Built Environments (ICUBE) and Willis H. Carrier Total Indoor Environmental Quality (TIEQ) Lab.

Researchers from Syracuse University, Upstate Medical, and SUNY ESF use the labs to determine how different indoor environmental factors influence human productivity and efficiency. The TIEQ Lab allows researchers to control environmental factors such as humidity, lighting, temperature, and sound in order to study and document how to improve internal environmental quality and energy efficiency. The factors are tested and documented within the ICUBE test bed, which is designed to simulate a wide variety of common settings in commercial office buildings, including cubicles, offices and meeting rooms.

Hochul was interested in how these research projects and facilities promote entrepreneurship and ultimately boost the economy in Central New York. The support of student researchers and entrepreneurs prepares them for jobs at companies within Central New York, and the facilities help to draw bright faculty members to Syracuse University and SUNY ESF.


R&T Forum: From Idea to Market: Perspectives from Student, Faculty, and Industry Entrepreneurs

Research & Technology Forum
November 15, 2016

From Idea to Market: Perspectives from Student, Faculty, and Industry Entrepreneurs

SyracuseCoE celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week with a Research & Technology Forum that featured three perspectives on commercializing innovations energy and environmental systems. Those who presented were a founder and CEO of a student-led venture, a faculty entrepreneur who participated in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program, and a founder of a start-up company that brought game-changing LED lighting to sporting arenas across the country, including a stadium that hosted the Super Bowl. The presenters offered personal insights on opportunities and challenges along the paths of entrepreneurship and innovation.

Joe Casper
Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ephesus Lighting
Joe is uncompromisingly committed to creating a whole new evolution in LED lighting technology. He drives design and engineering solutions to deliver what the customer needs rather than what the industry has been making. Joe brings to Ephesus 30+ years of experience and career achievements, which include work with industry leaders like Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor, Lockheed Martin and part of the startup team for WaferTech, a Washington state-based semiconductor facility he helped grow to 1400+ employees and $1 billion in revenue.
Yan-Yeung Luk 
Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences, Syracuse University
Luk is a faculty member in the Chemistry Department of Syracuse University since 2004. With a few of technologies spun out of his laboratory, and with his scientific advisory experiences to two biotechnology companies, Luk founded LifeUnit LLC, a startup company that develops chemical innovations for controlling bacteria-related diseases and problems. LifeUnit LLC has won the Innovation Corps grant from National Science Foundation, and Luk is the acting Chief Scientific Officer for the technical operation of LifeUnit.
Joshua Aviv 
Founder and CEO, SparkCharge
Josh Aviv, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SparkCharge, holds a bachelors degree in Economics from Syracuse University with a focus in Environmental Economics and currently finishing his master’s degree in Information Science, with a C.A.S. in Data Science. Josh is in charge of product development and day-to-day operations including establishing relationships with electric vehicle (EV) owners. Josh, an EV owner himself, has extensive EV expertise and has been in the industry for the past 3 years.