Mr. Valdes is a Principal Research Scientist with the Information Trust Institute at the University of Illinois, responsible for a portfolio of diverse research activities, including the Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium, the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid project, and the Illinois Center for a Smarter Electric Grid.
Valdes is the Illinois lead on industry-academic partnerships studying secure inter-operability of electric microgrid assets as well as high-voltage direct current interconnects, and successfully led a previous partnership developing security solutions in time-critical distributed substation protection systems. His research interest focuses on security and resiliency of infrastructure systems, particularly innovative techniques for intrusion detection, as well as security implications of renewable energy integration and smart grid mechanisms.
Valdes regularly participates in infrastructure security road-mapping efforts at the invitation of the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He is active in international collaborations, with KTH (Swedish Royal Institute of Technology) through the University of Illinois INSPIRE program, NWO (Netherlands equivalent of the NSF), and the European Union (as external advisor to the SUCCESS and previously CRISALIS project securing critical infrastructures).
Valdes was formerly a Senior Computer Scientist in the Computer Sciences Laboratory at SRI International, leading several projects in information security for clients such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Advanced Research and Development Activity, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Energy. His later research at SRI focused on security of critical infrastructure systems in the Oil and Gas and Electric Sectors. He is co-inventor on two patents in cyber-security.
Mr. Valdes holds an AB (Mathematics) from the University of California, Berkeley and a MS (Operations Research) from Stanford University.