Dr. Justin Ruths first joined UT Dallas as an Assistant Professor in 2016 after working for five years as a faculty member at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).  With a central focus on control theory, Dr. Ruths divides his research efforts into two categories: security of cyber-physical systems and control of networks. His research team is currently developing a process control system, which emulates a chemical plant, to test for ways that security on automated processes may be improved. This project is reflective of his near-term, readily-applicable, research focus that aims to improve security of cyber-physical systems through analysis from a control theory perspective. The analysis of how we control and influence networks expands his research into far-reaching efforts with a wide range of applications.

Research Opportunities and Development to D.C. (R.O.A.D. to D.C.)

The use of control systems across nearly every industry has led to a large number of federal funding agencies demonstrating an interest in advancing this research, but the aims of each agency remain widely differentiated – leading to Dr. Ruths’s participation in the R.O.A.D. to D.C. program hosted by the Office of Research. He hopes to meet with several agencies on his upcoming trip: the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and even the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These meetings will offer an opportunity to discuss a wide range of applications for Dr. Ruths’s research, including advancing control theory, security applications, and network control in neuroscience.

Dr. Justin Ruths has greatly appreciated the networking opportunities already provided by the R.O.A.D. to D.C. program, including making connections with faculty at similar points in their careers and receiving guidance from leadership regarding the proposal process. The participants of the program have already begun strategizing on collaborative interdisciplinary external funding opportunities and thus creating a platform to convey the significance of their research to people outside their field. These relationships have helped form a safe space for participants to practice communicating their advanced research to peers outside their field. Dr. Ruths has found that these connections have positively impacted his ability to approach the proposal writing process by helping connect his research with its potential human impact.