USC Center For Energy Informatics

About the Center

Welcome to the Center For Energy Informatics (CEI) at USC, an Organized Research Unit (ORU) housed in the Viterbi School of Engineering. Energy Informatics is the application of information technology to integrate and optimize assets in the energy domain including energy sources, generation and distribution infrastructure, billing and monitoring systems, and consumers.

Energy sustainability is a critical, global mission that has both economic and social implications. This process is occurring through a combination of consumer behavior, improved flexibility of utilities in power management and favorable government policies. The mix of energy use is increasingly shifting from conventional, carbon-based sources to renewable and synthetic sources. Use of hybrid vehicles and clean-energy vehicles is reducing energy usage, while dynamic pricing by utilities through smart grids is allowing optimal use of available energy capacity. There is also heightened concern about the security of the energy infrastructure.

Achieving sustainability and leadership in the energy economy poses challenges, but also provides opportunities for research in diverse areas. Comprehensive solutions to these problems requires the coming together of energy experts, computer scientists, and social and behavioral studies experts. While there are obvious challenges for engineering disciplines, the rapid rollout of smart grids makes information collection, integration, management, analysis and control of energy assets of vital importance. This area of research is referred to as Energy Informatics, as it applies traditional and novel information technology practices to solve complex problems in the energy domain using scalable cyber-infrastructure.

The mibsion of the Center For Energy Informatics at the University of Southern California is to define and advance the science of energy informatics, as well as to train the workforce for the emerging energy economy. The center will serve as a platform for researchers and practitioners from both academia and industry, to collaborate and address the energy challenges that are facing us today.

CEI is an inter-disciplinary center with research focus in areas, including, but not limited to software engineering, data management and integration, social computing and behavioral studies, and system and security.