August 1, 2004
ECE Professor Sarosh Talukdar's work was referenced in the August 2004 issue of IEEE Spectrum's cover story, "The Unruly Power Grid." Talukdar is studying cascading failures and the means for reducing their ill effects along with a team of Carnegie Mellon researchers including ECE affiliated faculty Marija Ilic and Granger Morgan, as well as Jay Apt and Lester Lave from the Tepper School of Business.
According to Talukdar, the blackout on August 14, 2003, was caused by a cascading failurea succession of shocks and faults, one precipitating another, that spread through Ohio, several other Northeastern states, and part of Canada.
"Cascading failures are not confined to the electric grid. They threaten all networks. And they provide the mechanisms by which disasters, such as earthquakes and forest fires, spread their effects," said Talukdar. "We believe that in electric grids, as in many other situations, cascading failures cannot be completely eliminated. But it is possible to design good ways by which to survive those rare occasions when they happen," he explained.