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Women @ Energy: Carol Hawk

March 13, 2013 - 5:05pm

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Dr. Carol Hawk is the Manager of the Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Program for the office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in the Department of Energy (DOE)

Dr. Carol Hawk is the Manager of the Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Program for the office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in the Department of Energy (DOE)

Dr. Carol Hawk is the Manager of the Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems (CEDS) Program for the office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability in the Department of Energy (DOE). Her current duties include coordinating the CEDS program, which includes an industry-directed program, a research-directed program, the National SCADA test bed program, and an academic-directed program including the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid center. Collectively these programs will lead to resilience of the nation's energy delivery cyber infrastructure enabling critical operations to continue even in the presence of cyber attacks. Dr. Hawk conducted her Ph.D. research in high-energy physics at Rutgers University as a member of the Collider Detector at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Collaboration. In addition, she brings a variety of work experiences to DOE including telecommunications (at Bell Communications Research, now known as Telcordia) as well as fuel cell electrochemistry (at United Technologies Research Center and later at the University of Connecticut). Prior to joining the DOE, Dr. Hawk performed operations research with the Center for Naval Analyses.

1) What inspired you to work in STEM?

Physics is beautiful, and it is real. A rainbow is as awe inspiring as the physics that governs its creation. Physics reveals itself through the elegant language of mathematics, which reflects the symmetries in nature and is also beautiful. These were the ideas that first drew my attention to physics.

2) What excites you about your work at the Department of Energy?

Everything!  It is endlessly interesting because cybersecurity for energy delivery systems is a multidisciplinary research arena that integrates physics, power systems engineering and the computer science of cybersecurity. It is a lot of fun since I work together with fascinating, highly talented professionals with expertise in a great variety of disciplines throughout the energy sector, within DOE and with other government entities. We are working in partnership to advance the vision of the energy sector’s Roadmap, that resilient energy delivery systems are designed, installed, operated and maintained to survive a cyber incident while sustaining critical functions. The work is important, interesting and fun – what more could anyone ask for?

3) How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?

I would like to change this question to ask how we can engage more people in science and technology fields. Physics is physics. There is not girl-physics or boy-physics, there is just physics – and physics is beautiful. We can help children see the beauty of an elegant mathematical equation and wonder at the physics of the natural world that it reveals. We can show them this at a very young age, before they start “self-selecting” out of the science and technology fields.

4) Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

Keep in mind that interesting things happen at the intersection of disciplines, such as where power systems engineering and computer science meet in the research domain of cybersecurity for energy delivery systems.

5) When you have free time, what are your hobbies?

My husband is an exceptionally skilled physicist and we have two bright, beautiful daughters. We always find something interesting to do together, like hiking or reading – sometimes concurrently. These days my favorite authors are Dr. Suess and Roald Dahl.

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