Foreword: Resilient and Sustainable Interconnected Critical Infrastructure Systems

Written by Wentao Zhu

There is widespread agreement that critical infrastructure security and resilience must be enhanced. In the UK, sector security and resilience plans provide the strategic vision to guide the national effort to manage risk to the Critical National Infrastructures (CNI) [1]. Nevertheless, the complexity of CNIs and their inherent interdependencies make it difficult to realise this aim. Therefore, research efforts are devoted to developing new methodologies for understanding and consequently, managing the risks associated with interconnected CNIs.

Assessing the CNIs’ interdependencies requires the accurate modelling and simulation of complex and multidimensional elements. Analytical methodologies, such as Complex Network Theory (CNT)-based approach, provide efficient yet flexible means to understand the non-trivial risk elements within coupled CNIs [2]; whereas co-simulation platforms are useful in developing new technologies and evaluating existing methods [3].

The August Special Issue includes three articles on this important topic of smart cities. The first article develops a co-simulation environment to enable the investigation of the threat of cyberattacks with a detailed simulation of multiple domains of interest within smart cities. The second article introduces the concept of data-driven maintenance management of smart cities critical infrastructures, with a demonstrative case study of energy distribution systems' maintenance management scheduling. The third article provides a review of critical emergent issues in managing emergencies and thus enhancing the resilience of smart cities, from a system-of-systems perspective. The last article introduces two recent international events that involve high-level discussions of interconnected critical infrastructure systems and their resilience and sustainability issues.

Wentao Zhu
IEEE Smart Cities eNewsletter Guest Editor



  1. UK Cabinet Office, (2017), Public Summary of Sector Security and Resilience Plans, Available:
  2. W. Zhu, M. Han, J. V. Milanović and P. Crossley, "Methodology for Reliability Assessment of Smart Grid Considering Risk of Failure of Communication Architecture," in IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 4358-4365, Sept. 2020.
  3. D. van der Velde, Ö. Sen and I. Hacker (2021), "Towards a Scalable and Flexible Smart Grid Co-Simulation Environment to Investigate Communication Infrastructures for Resilient Distribution Grid Operation," 2021 International Conference on Smart Energy Systems and Technologies (SEST), 2021, pp. 1-6.


To view all articles in this issue, please go to August 2022 eNewsletter. For a downloadable copy, please visit the IEEE Smart Cities Resource Center.

Wentao Zhu is a Technical Consultant with TNEI Services in Manchester, UK. He has 6 years of experience in power system studies, with a particular interest in modelling and assessment of power systems and their interconnected critical infrastructure systems (e.g., communication networks and water systems). Wentao has a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from The University of Manchester where he developed a tool to assess the vulnerability of interconnected communication and power networks under random failures/targeted attacks. As a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Manchester, he worked on FutureDAMS project where he built the power system model for a partner country and carried out the techno-economic analysis and Generation Expansion Planning studies for the hydropower-dominant system under optimisation of dam portfolios. He published four papers in top power system journals and presented at various IEEE/IET conferences. He is the UK representative of CIGRE D2.56, and an active member of the IEEE Smart Cities Committee and several IEEE Task Forces.

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