Matthew Backes, Research Engineer at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, will be the final speaker in Decorah Power’s fall Learning Series. His presentation, which will be virtual, is entitled, “Microgrids, Storage, and Cybersecurity at the Community Level.” It will be held Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. at Luther College in Valders 362. The event is free and open to the public.
An Elkader native, Backes recently completed a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in the same field from Iowa State University in 2015, where he was selected as top outstanding graduate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department.
Backes’ interest in power and energy systems led to undergraduate research assignments at Iowa State, the University of California, Berkeley, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Energy Systems Group. In graduate school, his research activities centered around improving substation protection and automation security. His Master’s thesis concerned microgrid cybersecurity threats and control techniques for mitigating some of these threats.
Backe’s presentation concludes Decorah Power’s fall Learning Series, designed to investigate the opportunities and challenges involved in a Decorah municipal electric utility—a locally owned, city utility that would provide electricity services in the same way it provides water and sewer services. With the support of the City Council, local citizens group Decorah Power is conducting a feasibility study with privately-raised funds. The study is expected to be completed before the end of the year.