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ECE Explorations (200): Hardware Security Work at The Aerospace Corporation

Event Type
The Aerospace Corporation
1002 Grainger Auditorium, ECEB
Oct 11, 2023   5:00 pm  
Vikram Rao, Senior Project Leader, The Aerospace Corporation
Kat Darr | Office of Advancement
Originating Calendar
Illinois ECE Explorations

Title: “Hardware Security Work at The Aerospace Corporation” 


Hardware security vulnerabilities and exploits in our personal electronics are gaining increased attention, as they can result in the exposure of our private information. However, the consequences of such vulnerabilities for national security space can be much more serious. The Aerospace Corporation plays a key role in hardware security research, including vulnerability assessments, assurance guidance and requirements development, and pre-silicon and operational vulnerability detection and mitigation. This talk will present an overview of some hardware security focus areas, including some of the hardware security work we do at Aerospace.  

Speaker:  Vikram Rao, Senior Project Leader, The Aerospace Corporation


Vikram graduated with a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002, with an MS thesis titled “An FPGA-based testbed for reliability and endurance characterization of non-volatile memories”. He joined the Aerospace Corporation in 2002, where he spent 11 years in a group performing Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) audits and risk assessments and FPGA prototyping tasks. In 2014, he founded a hardware security section at Aerospace, where he has been supporting several national security space programs and internally funded hardware security research projects. Working to expand Hardware and Embedded Security efforts at The Aerospace Corporation, Rao is currently  a senior SME leading teams focused on developing ASIC/FPGA security guidance, vulnerability and risk assessments, and independent hardware security research. He and his team are actively supporting the development of pre-silicon and operational ASIC/FPGA security projects, as well as new assurance standards, guidance documents, and many other projects. 

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