Season 2 Episode 9

Emma Stewart on the future of grid security

Portrait of power and grid security strategist Emma Stewart.
Emma Stewart

Power and energy security strategist Emma Stewart is always on the lookout for what’s next in the U.S. electric grid, whether that be an influx of renewable energy or cyberattacks by malicious hackers. Her engineering background helps her understand how things work so she can break them to build them again, but stronger. Emma has announced she’s joining Idaho National Laboratory as Chief Power Grid Scientist and Research Strategist in the lab’s National and Homeland Security Directorate, putting her on the forefront of efforts to keep Americans’ electricity networks resilient in the face of cyberthreats.

Emma previously worked as Chief Scientist for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which represents the nation’s roughly 900 non-profit electric co-ops. Because rural infrastructure can lack the same level of funding or support compared to bigger electric companies, she often had to puzzle over how to fortify distributed resources from nation-state cyberthreats.

Listen to this episode to hear more about:

  • How cyber mutual assistance programs can help level the playing field in the fight against adversaries

  • Emma’s cancer survivorship

  • Takeaways from the S4 industrial cybersecurity conference in Miami Beach, where Emma was a speaker