Professor Dave Bakken’s Personal Web Page

Welcome to my personal web page!  I am a Professor of ComputerScience in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, USA.

My Research

I am involved with a number of research projects.  Most of them involve improving the state of the art in what I call infrastructure software, software that others build large distributed software systems on top of.  In particular, most of my work directly involves devising new kinds of middleware.  Many of them involve fault tolerance, because that is my core expertise.  All involve pragmatic research in systems software that involves significant prototyping activities; I have neither patience nor time for ivory tower research that has no practical application, i.e. it is strictly “academic” in the full sense of the word.

All my projects over the last 10 years involve GridStat, which I started in 1999. This is next-generation wide-area mission critical data delivery for the power grid. GridStat has had a big impact on the shape of the emerging NAPSInet initiative, and I’m blessed to be considered the leading expert in this area.

Recent activities

  1. Chair, Workshop on Closed-Loop Wide Area Applications, Communications, and Security. IEEE SmartGridComm 2013, Vancouver, Canada, Oct 21, 2013.
  2. Chair, IEEE SmartGridComm Symposium on Wide-Area Monitoring, Control, and Protection (WAMPAC). Tainan City, Taiwan, November 2012. Also program committee member of networking symposium.
  3. Co-Editor of book “Vision for Smart Grid Communications: 2030 and Beyond”. IEEE Communications Society. To be published in 2013.
  4. Co-editor of book Smart Grids: Clouds, Communications, Open Source, and Automation. CRC Press, 2014.

Recent Invited Keynote Presentations

2011.09.29   Plenary speech, Smart Grid World Forum, Beijing, China. In same session as GE CEO Jeff Immelts.

2010.05.18   International cooperation meeting with EC industry; only non-EC researcher; U. of Naples "Parthenope", Italy. Only non-EC participant.

2009.01.20   European Commission ICT- Energy Research Information Day, Brussels Belgium

Select Recent Publications

  1. D. Bakken, A. Bose, C. Hauser, D.Whitehead, and G. Zweigle. “Smart Generation and Transmission with Coherent, Real-Time Data.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 99(6), June 2011.  Note: Bakken was directly invited to submit this paper, an extremely high honor (this is the most prestigious journal of the IEEE, which is the largest professional organization in the world). Preprint in case IEEE access not available.

2.      David E. Bakken, Richard E. Schantz, and Richard D. Tucker.  Smart Grid Communications: QoS Stovepipes or QoS Interoperability”, in Proceedings of Grid-Interop 2009, GridWise Architecture Council, Denver, Colorado, November 17-19, 2009.   Available

·         Best Paper Award for “Connectivity” track.  This is the official communications/interoperability meeting for the pseudo-official “smart grid” community in the USA, namely DoE/GridWise and NIST/SmartGrid.

  1. C. Hauser, T. Manivannan, D. Bakken. "Evaluating Multicast Message Authentication Protocols for Use in Wide Area Power Grid Stat Delivery Services", in Proceedings of the 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Maui, Hawaii, January 4-7, 2012, 2151-2158. (Title says it all... hint: RSA (despite being mandated by IEC 61850 90-5 earlier) is too expensive for closed-loop control and protection and for smaller devices)
  2. K. Tomsovic, D. Bakken, M. Venkatasubramanian, A. Bose.  “Designing the Next Generation of Real-Time Control, Communication and Computations for Large Power Systems”, Proceedings of the IEEE (Special Issue on Energy Infrastructure Systems), 93(5), May, 2005.
  3. Failure to Communicate: Next-Generation Communication Requirements, Technologies, and Architecture for the Electric Power Grid”, IEEE Power and Energy, 3(2), March/April, 2005, 47–55.

My Teaching

I teach applied courses in distributed systems, networking, and fault tolerance, at the senior and graduate level.  Classes I teach include:

  • CptS 224, Programming Tools
  • CptS 464/564, Distributed Computing Concepts and Programming
  • CptS 500, Proseminar
  • CptS/EE 562, Fault Tolerant Computer Systems
  • CptS 580 (soon 565): Advanced Distributed Computing

My Education and Background

My current CV is online.

I am a hands-on middleware builder for wide-area distributed systems; more detailed information about my background and the impact of my applied research can be found here.  My applied background also includes consulting, and my consulting web page has deeply-technical letters of reference documenting this. I’ve consulted for, Intel, Network Associates, TriGeo, Real-Time Innovations, and others.

Like a number of applied experimental “systems software” researchers, I like to skirt the line between the academia and industry, because neither is perfectly satisfying.  In the academe, prototypes lead to papers but are rarely fully shaken down, released, used by others, etc.  But in industry you rarely get to look at the fundamental issues of a problem in depth.  So this skirting the line I my way to try to have it both ways!  It never quite works out perfectly that way, but it seems much like being stuck completely on one side or the other of the industry-academia chasm.

Contact Info

David E. Bakken

School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

PO Box 642752 (for postal mail); or 102 EME Building, Spokane Street (for Fedex)

Washington State University

Pullman, WA 99164-2752.

Phone: +1 509 592-0238   Fax:   +1 509 335 3818



Here are a few pictures of me, if you insist on viewing my ugly mug shot (caveat emptor):

David Bakken May2004