Kartik Palani

About Me

I am a second year graduate student in Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, advised by Prof. David Nicol. I am affiliated to the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid group and the Information Trust Institute at the Coordinated Science Laboratory. I also work closely with Prof. Sean Smith and his students at the Trust Lab at Dartmouth College.

My research focuses on security for the smart power grid and the Internet of Things. I work on developing scalable security architectures for these critical applications. Being a systems engineer by heart I have a particular affinity towards designing and building reliable and secure large scale systems.

Prior to Illinois, I was a researcher in the Smart Energy Informatics Lab at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. I worked with Prof. Krithi Ramamritham to develop smart sensor solutions to retrofit in buildings in order to make them energy intelligent.

I got my undergraduate degree in Telecommunications Engineering from SRM University, Chennai, India. For my senior year, I went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I fell in love with systems engineering and research. My senior thesis at MIT dealt with seamless data transfer over a local P2P cloud, among mobile devices.


palani2 [at] illinois [dot] edu
448 Coordinated Science Laboratory

1308 W. Main Street

Urbana, IL 61801


These are a few of the interesting projects I have worked on. Some of the projects that I have worked on (or am working on) may not be open-source yet and hence are not listed here. Feel free to contact me if you would like to know about them or if you want to know how the following were implemented or if you want to add new features to them.


Work Experience



I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, "because of you, I didn't give up."
  • Firmware Engineering Team, Grainger

    Team Lead

  • Smart Energy Hackathon, IIT Bombay

    Chief Orgainzer

  • Mobile Autonomous Systems Lab, MIT

    Team Lead

  • Living Group Council, MIT


  • MIT Media Lab Workshop, Mumbai

    Team Lead

  • 98th Indian Science Congress, SRM University


  • Joy of Giving Week, SRM University

    Chief Orgainzer


I love taking classes that are project-based since I find that to be the best kind of learning experience. Below is a list of the coursework I have been exposed to.




This is a list of the tech electives I took as an undergraduate. The other courses are listed on the Department of Telecommunications Engineering webpage.
  • TE0400: Wireless Network Security
  • TE0402: Spread Spectrum and Multi Carrier Techniques
  • TE0405: Broadband Communications
  • TE0403: RF System Design
  • TE0300: Microwave Communication Laboratory
  • TE0320: Optical Communication Laboratory
  • TE0303: Digital Communications
  • TE0301: Antenna and Wave Propagation
  • TE0202: Information Theory and Coding


Below is a list of my academic publications. More information about the bibtex and citations can be found on my Google Scholar profile.


  • Putting Smart Meters To Work: Beyond The Usual

    K Palani, N Nasir, VC Prakash, A Chugh, R Gupta, K Ramamritham
    ACM E-Energy 2014
    [Abstract | PDF]

  • Invisible and Forgotten: Zero-Day Blooms in the IoT

    K Palani, E Holt, SW Smith
    IEEE PerCom 2016

  • Namespace and Cryptographic Complexity in the Consumer IoT

    K Palani, P Anantharaman, DM Nicol, SW Smith
    IEEE PerCom 2016


  • Fusing Sensors for Occupancy Sensing in Smart Buildings

    N Nasir, K Palani, A Chugh, VC Prakash, U Arote, AP Krishnan, K Ramamritham
    Springer Distributed Computing and Internet Technology
    [Abstract | PDF]


"If you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough".

Below is a list of the major talks that I have given.

  • Smart Connected Products: The Industry Perspective

    Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire - August 5, 2015 [PDF | Prezi]

  • Key Management

    Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid Reading Group - October 24, 2014 [PDF]