Research work presented at ISGT 2022

This year’s IEEE Power & Energy Society Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT 2022) in New Orleans was an enormous success! In between engaging keynotes, interactive panels and the extensive T&D exhibition, there were many great opportunities to meet experts from academia and industry in person – after two years of online conferences, that is not something to take for granted.

Dominik Vereno, part of the research group DeSoS here at the CSE, presented his research work which he conducted together with Katharina Polanec and Christian Neureiter on model-based assessment of data quality. Anyone interested in Data Science by Design in Smart Grids should take a look at the preprint here.

Congratulations to FH-Prof. Priv.-Doz. Dr. Günther Eibl on his habilitation at the University of Innsbruck!

Already the second colleague from the Centre for Secure Energy Informatics has achieved the highest-ranking qualification in the Austrian university system. We congratulate Günther Eibl on the successful completion of his habilitation, the highest academic examination in which outstanding achievements in scientific research and teaching are demonstrated.
Günther Eibl wrote his habilitation thesis on “Methods for Data-Privacy: Privacy Analysis and Privacy Enhancing Technologies ” and dealt with methods and technologies for improving data protection. Günther Eibl developed these methods during his research work at the Centre for Secure Energy Informatics and applied them specifically in the area of future digitalised energy systems.
The storage, use and processing of personal data must always be related to a specific purpose (purpose limitation). If a company or a person is allowed to process personal data but processes this data for another purpose for which it was intended, this causes a data protection breach.
Therefore Günther Eibl investigated what could be done with the data apart from the intended purpose: specifically which private information can be elicited from consumption data measured with smart metering systems, so-called smart meters. The methods used for this come from the field of data analysis with a focus on visualisation, statistics, machine learning as well as problem-specific methods such as NILM (nonintrusive load monitoring), i.e. the use of machine learning methods for fully automatic analysis.
As a second focus Günther Eibl dealt with measures for the data protection principle of data minimisa-tion: how can only the necessary data be processed, such as the sum of the measured values of households, without having to disclose the individual basic data. The protocols used for this are based on (public key) cryptography, secure multiparty computation and statistics. In addition he dealt with often neglected formal evidences of the desired properties of these protocols, which also enable a comparison of protocols with regard to data protection.
Günther Eibl studied mathematics and physics at the University of Innsbruck. He wrote his dissertation in the field of machine learning, especially on boosting methods for multi-class problems. As a PostDoc at the Institute of Theoretical Physics he carried out numerical simulations of plasma. Then he moved to the private sector where he was mainly involved in statistical analysis and the application of machine learning methods.
Günther has been teaching and researching at the FH Salzburg since 2013. His teaching focuses on mathematics, statistics and basic methods in data science. At the Centre for Secure Energy Informatics he conducts research in the research area of data privacy.
Günther Eibl explains: “My research focus is data protection especially in the application domain of energy. The focus is on data and not on legal issues or regulations. On the one hand it is about analysing which private information can be obtained from transmitted energy data. The methods used for this are mainly in the areas of visualisation, statistics and artificial intelligence. On the other hand at the Centre for Secure Energy Informatics we are developing efficient protocols for data minimisation. In simplified terms this involves calculating with data without having to reveal the original data. By determining only the information necessary for the application – such as average values – systems can work despite compliance with data protection. For the development of these protocols, methods from cryptography are typically used. As a mathematician I’m also concerned with formally proving the properties of the methods developed.”
We warmly congratulate our colleague on the highest scientific degree and recognition of this outstanding achievement!

New colleague Lars-Kevin Klüver

We are pleased to welcome Lars-Kevin Klüver as a junior researcher at the Center for Secure Energy Informatics. Lars-Kevin is doing research work in the thematic area of IoT security and is team member of the research project “WhichWay” . The project deals with intelligent energy systems (IoT middleware platforms, security and privacy). Further information on the project here.

Welcome to the team!

Anton Fink Science Award for Artificial Intelligence

The excellent master thesis by Jonas Harb and Sarah Riedmann on the topic of “Adaptability and Robustness Analysis of a Deep Reinforcement Learning-based Supervisory Controller for Production Systems” was also honoured with the young talent award of the “Anton Fink Science Award for Artificial Intelligence“.

Jonas Harb is continuing his research as a junior researcher at the Josef Ressel Centre for Dependable System-of-Systems Engineering, part of the research group DeSos here at the CSE, and is currently working on how artificial intelligence can be trained in simulations of complex power grid systems using reinforcement learning methods.


With the initiative #WirsindZukunft Salzburg AG promotes young talents and strengthens the further expansion of Salzburg as a science and business location. This year again 10 master or bachelor theses were awarded with the SALZBURG AG SCIENCE AWARD FOR TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION & SUSTAINABILITY.
Congratulations to this year’s award winners!
We are particularly pleased about the award for their innovative master theses of our master’s graduates from the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences:
Jonas Harb and Sarah Riedmann: “Adaptability and Robustness Analysis of a Deep Reinforcement Learning-based Supervisory Controller for Production Systems”.
Dominik Vereno: “Evaluating and improving model-based assessment of contextual data quality in smart grids”.

Dominik Vereno and Jonas Harb are currently doing research work at the Josef Ressel Centre for Dependable System-of-Systems Engineering on how to use reinforcement learning in a smart grid context. We are proud and happy with our colleagues about their personal successes, which are also a confirmation of the research work they have done!

Please find more about Dominik and Jonas here.

Science award for Clemens Brunner

With the Science Award 2021, the “Arbeiterkammer of Salzburg” supports students who dedicate themselves to new research questions to promote our society. 19 prizes in four categories were awarded. We are very pleased about the award of Clemens Brunner.

Until August 2021 Clemens was a researcher at the Center for Secure Energy Informatics and is now concentrating on growing his start-up sproof. In his dissertation, he dealt with “Decentralized Trust Management for Privacy-preserving Authentication in the Smart Grid”. The increasing number of different actors and exchanged messages and the trend towards decentralisation due to the integration of renewable energy sources poses new challenges for Smart Grid in the area of authentication. Insecure or deliberately manipulated communication channels increase the risk of an unstable energy grid. Worst case this can lead to a complete power failure. Centrally controlled trust management systems and authentication providers can no longer meet the requirements of decentralised infrastructures and therefore new solutions have to be developed. The dissertation addresses the question of how a practically usable blockchain-based trust network can be created to provide privacy-friendly authentication processes within the smart grid.

Also another two award winners completed their studies in Information Technology & Systems Management at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences.
Congratulations to:
Dr. Clemens Brunner, MSc BSc
Dipl. Ing. Philipp Grubmüller, BSc
Dipl. Ing. Mario Siller, BSc

Brief presentation of the award winners here.

Research projects in the field of Energy Communities

With the research project ECOSINT (Energy Community System Integration), an Austrian-wide consortium is providing valuable and practical research work to enable the efficient integration of Local Energy Communities (LECs) into the overall system. The consortium is led by the Center for Secure Energy Informatics.

You can find further research projects on the topic here.

Foto: FH Salzburg/fotolia/freepik – redgreystock
Foto: FH Salzburg/fotolia/freepik – redgreystock

Radio podcast it’s TALK: Career paths – from studies to science, to business, to start-ups

Digital signatures, privacy, IT security – our researcher Fabian Knirsch talks about his career and research at the Center for Secure Energy Informatics in the current radio podcast “it’s TALK”. He recently received a high six-figure investment for his start-up that deals with legally compliant digital signatures.
The podcast can be listened at

Fabian Knirsch sproof

State-of-the-Art Systems Engineering at the Josef Ressel Centre for Dependable System-of-Systems Engineering

The team of the Josef Ressel Centre for Dependable System-of-Systems Engineering was honored to represent INCOSE, the International Council on Systems Engineering, at this year’s NAFEMS World Congress.

INCOSE is a world-wide renowned membership organization founded to develop and disseminate the transdisciplinary principles and practices that enable the realization of successful systems. “This is where the state-of-the-art of systems engineering is written. Precisely for this reason, it is a special honor that we were able to officially represent INCOSE at the World Congress”, announces center director Christian Neureiter, who is delighted about this special confirmation and appreciation of the research work of his team at the Josef Ressel Center for Dependable System-of-Systems Engineering.

NAFEMS World Congress
The biennial NAFEMS World Congress is held on a large scale and provides a forum for presenting a combination of innovative techniques and best practices. This year, the simulation world came together in an international forum to push engineering analysis. Numerous companies from the field of automotive and avionic participated, such as RIMAC Automobili, Ford Motor Company, Airbus Group, Boeing Commercial Airplanes and many more. “It was a unique opportunity for us to report on our research work at the well-known world congress for simulations and to exchange ideas with representatives from industry and academia,” Christian Neureiter proudly states.

Paper on User Simulation Published

Reserach on energy informatics especially in the residential sector requires the consideration of human behavior and their influence on the performance of corresponding demand response programs. Judith Schwarzer  from the Center for Secure Energy Informatics (CSE) developed an agent-based model to simulate customers’ decisions in this context and presented her results as full paper at the 16th annual Social Simulation Conference 2021 (Cracow/online). The conference were open to all topics around social simulation and computational social science at which several papers deal with social-technical aspects and provide a very good platform for fruitful discussions. In a final state “Judith’s model” should provide quantifiable results for the optimal adjustment of incentives both for general participations in demand response program and short-term energy price adaptions.

  • [PDF] J. Schwarzer and D. Engel, “Consumer Participation in Demand Response Programs: Development of a Consumat-based Toy Model,” in 16th Annual Social Simulation Conference 2021, 2021.
    author = {Judith Schwarzer and Dominik Engel},
    title={Consumer Participation in Demand Response Programs: Development of a Consumat-based Toy Model},
    booktitle={16th Annual Social Simulation Conference 2021},