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Ashraf Tantawy, Ph.D. - VCU College of Engineering. Richmond, VA, US

Ashraf Tantawy, Ph.D. Ashraf Tantawy, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering | VCU College of Engineering


Dr. Tantawy's research focuses on AI-Enabled Cyber Physical Human Systems (CPHS), Cyber Security, and Reinforcement Learning.


Dr. Ashraf Tantawy is an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Virginia Commonwealth University, where he conducts research in the new generation of AI-Enabled Cyber Physical Human Systems (CPHS) that utilize AI algorithms in perception, decision making, fault detection and diagnosis, safety, security, and human-in-the-loop learning. His current research focuses on the development of tools, algorithms, and architectures for the co-design of safety and cyber security systems, particularly using machine learning techniques, to safeguard CPHS against adversaries and AI-instigated unsafe behavior. His other main research thrusts include the development of new algorithms for Human-CPS interaction and transfer learning, and Reinforcement Learning and its applications. He focuses on applied research, with application domains including autonomous vehicles and drones, and industrial control systems.

Dr. Tantawy is currently serving as a Co-PI/Collaborator on several research grants, summing up to over $1 Million, and funded by government agencies and industrial partners including Virginia Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI), Virginia Catalyst, NASA, and Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM).

Dr. Tantawy received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Vanderbilt University, under the supervision of Professor Xenofon Koutsoukos. Prior to joining VCU, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Qatar University, from 2016-2018, conducting research on cyber security for industrial control systems. From 2012-2018, he worked in the Oil & Gas industry for multinational organizations, including British Petroleum, Qatar Gas, and Schneider Electric (then Invensys), where he designed, verified, and implemented a variety of embedded systems including distributed control systems, SCADA systems, and safety instrumented systems. He is a certified Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) Expert, from the International Society of Automation (ISA), NC, USA, in 2015. He is a member of the IEEE.

Industry Expertise (13)

Training and Development


Plant Engineering and Operations



Computer Software

Computer Networking

Computer/Network Security


Industrial Automation

Oil and Gas

Renewables and Environmental


Areas of Expertise (6)

Modeling and Simulation

Model-Based Design

Safety & Security of Cyber Physical Systems

Embedded Computing

Cyber Physical Systems

Detection and Estimation

Education (2)

Vanderbilt University: Ph.D., Electrical Engineering 2011

Vanderbilt University: M.Sc., Electrical Engineering 2008