Mark Petri to lead Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute

Mark Petri has been named director of the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CIRI consists of collaborating researchers from 16 U.S. universities and national labs.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to be part of CIRI,” said Petri. “The health of the nation’s infrastructure is vitally important to all of us, and I look forward to joining the outstanding team of innovators CIRI has gathered to improve the ability of our infrastructure to quickly recover from natural or manmade disruptions.”

Petri comes to CIRI from the Iowa Energy Center, where he had served as director since 2013. The Iowa Energy Center is a state institution administered by Iowa State University. While there, Petri developed strategies to improve the center’s ability to enhance Iowa’s economic growth through the development of alternative energy and energy efficiency technologies, which included technology related to the power grid.

“Mark brings a wealth of experience to CIRI,” said Jeff Binder, director of the Illinois Applied Research Institute, which houses CIRI. “His recent work at the Iowa Energy Center on translating research initiatives into economic and educational opportunities will fit well with CIRI’s mission. His proven record of partnering with government entities and of encouraging entrepreneurship will be a great asset.”

“We’re delighted to have Mark Petri join as the CIRI director,” said Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor David Nicol, principal investigator for CIRI and director of the Information Trust Institute. “He brings to the job valuable experience in the national lab space, and more recently, experience directing a research institute with close ties to universities. We’re confident he can hit the ground running.”

Before joining the Iowa Energy Center, Petri had spent 23 years at Argonne National Laboratory, where he served as the technology development director of the Energy Engineering and Systems Analysis Directorate from 2008 to 2013. There he oversaw a wide range of research initiatives that included power grid modeling and simulation; advanced transportation fuels; photovoltaic, wind, and geothermal systems; and building technology.

Petri will use his many experiences in working with research, government, and private entities to develop the impact of CIRI. “CIRI’s strength is that it will be a source for practical solutions,” Petri said. “Our multi-institutional team will be working closely with government agencies and the private sector to develop useful and useable policy tools and resiliency solutions.”

Petri has served on the board of directors of the National Center of Security and Protection;  the Steering Committee of the Midwest Energy and Sustainability Leadership Alliance; and the Advisory Committee for the Council on Competitiveness Energy Security, Innovation, and Sustainability Initiative. He is a past chairman of the Scientific and Editorial Committee of the International Journal of Nuclear Hydrogen Production and Applications.

About the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute

The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) is a national center of excellence established by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate in 2015. It is led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and includes collaborators from 16 U.S. universities, national labs, and the private sector. CIRI is home to innovative research and education initiatives that enhance the resiliency of the nation’s critical infrastructures and the businesses and public entities that own and operate those assets and systems. CIRI acts as a bridge between researchers and the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to ensure that impactful products, technologies, policies, procedures, and services effectively transition from research to practical application in the real world.

CIRI is based within the Illinois Applied Research Institute (ARI) and is affiliated with the Information Trust Institute, both of which are based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.