Bill Sanders

Interim Director, Discovery Partners Institute

Bill Sanders is the interim director of the Discovery Partners Institute and a Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As DPI’s interim director, Sanders will lead all facets of strategy, planning and operations including planning to build the new downtown Chicago institute, faculty and staff engagement and hiring, development of research and educational programs, and forging agreements with corporate and academic partners.

Formerly the head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UIUC (serving 2014-2018), Sanders is a professor in ECE and in the Department of Computer Science. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the ACM, and the AAAS; a past Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Fault-Tolerant Computing; and past Vice-Chair of the IFIP Working Group 10.4 on Dependable Computing. He was the founding Director of the Information Trust Institute at Illinois (2004-2011), and served as Director of the Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois from 2010 to 2014.

Dr. Sanders' research interests include secure and dependable computing and security and dependability metrics and evaluation, with a focus on critical infrastructures. He has published more than 270 technical papers in those areas. He served as the Director and PI of the DOE/DHS Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Center, which did research at the forefront of national efforts to make the U.S. power grid smart and resilient. He was the 2016 recipient of the IEEE Technical Field Award, Innovation in Societal Infrastructure, for “assessment-driven design of trustworthy cyber infrastructures for societal-scale systems.”

He is also co-developer of three tools for assessing computer-based systems: METASAN, UltraSAN, and Möbius. Möbius and UltraSAN have been distributed widely to industry and academia; more than 1,900 licenses for the tools have been issued to universities, companies, and NASA for evaluating the performance, dependability, and security of a variety of systems. He is also a co-developer of a tool for assessing the security of networked systems that is available commercially under the name NP-View from the startup company Network Perception, which he co-founded.