Rui Tan       

Rui Tan

Associate Professor
School of Computer Science and Engineering
Nanyang Technological University

Address: N4-02C-85, 50 Nanyang Ave, Singapore 639798
Phone:   +65 6790 5491

[ NTU IoT Sensing GroupNew! | Publication | Funding | Members | Awards | Patents | Teaching | Services ]


  • [12/2020] Join the Editorial Board of ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks as an Associate Editor.
  • [11/2020] Multiple research positions at the ranks of Research Fellow (for PhD degree holders), Research Associate (for Master degree holders), and Research Assistant (for Bachelor degree holders) in the direction of AIoT are available. Check out the details.
  • [04/2020] NTU IoT Sensing Group website is online.
  • [04/2020] Appreciated as Distinguished TPC Member of INFOCOM'20.
  • [07/2019] Our paper on air free-cooled data centers in tropics is accepted to BuildSys'19. The paper receives (highly) positive comments from all Reviewers!
  • [07/2019] Our paper on counteracting adversarial example attacks on deep visual sensing is accepted to SenSys'19.
  • [02/2019] Two papers accepted to IoTDI and ICCPS of CPS-IoT Week 2019!
  • [02/2019] Two papers on exploiting indoor powerline radiation presented at / accepted by MobiCom'18 and MobiCom'19!
  • [09/2018] We use a smartphone to emit a 2 milliseconds inaudible chirp and record audio for just 0.1 seconds to recognize a room. The paper will be presented on Ubicomp'18.
  • [11/2017] Our paper on using LoRaWAN to build control plane for multi-hop wireless networks is accepted to INFOCOM'18.
  • [07/2017] Our paper on using skin electric potentials to synchronize the clocks of wearables is accepted to SenSys'17!
  • [04/2017] Our IPSN'17 paper won the Best Paper Award! In this research, we show that the electromagnetic radiation from powerlines contains time information with errors down to 50 milliseconds.
    Photo NTU/SCSE news Illinois news
  • [04/2017] Our CPSR-SG'17 paper won the Best Paper Award! NTU/SCSE news
  • [01/2017] Appreciated as Distinguished TPC Member of INFOCOM'17.
  • [08/2016] Our paper on secure clock synchronization is accepted to RTSS'16. Our system achieves 0.1ms sync error for two nodes 10km apart and is provably secure against the packet delay attack!
  • [05/2016] ADSC Communications about our PopSeCo project: ADSC research to enhance cybersecurity in energy systems.
  • [01/2016] Our paper on attacks against power grid electricity generation control system is accepted to ICCPS'16. In this work, we really attacked a generator of a microgrid to deviate the 50Hz system frequency.
  • [12/2015] Story about my research: ADSC's Cybersecurity Research Tackles Big Smart Grid Problems (Illinois version)

Research focus

My research focuses on networked sensing in various cyber-physical systems carried by humans, embedded in infrastructures (e.g., buildings, data centers, and smart grids), and distributed in wild environments. With an experimental basis, my research tries to understand how the physical processes affect the cyber systems (e.g., sensor networks and the broader Internet of Things) and exploit certain properties of the physical processes to advance the functional and non-functional (e.g., resilience) aspects of the cyber systems. My ongoing research topics include:

  • Sensing for resilient system functions (e.g., timing, synchronization, location, etc)
  • Embedded AI for sensing
  • Efficient and secure LoRa/LoRaWAN via radio sensing
  • Thermal and energy management in data centers
  • Secure sensing and control in smart grids

Selected publications (☞ full list)

Names underlined are students, research staff, visiting students who worked directly with me in my group for the publication.
  1. [ACM/IEEE IPSN'21] Wenjie Luo, Zhenyu Yan, Qun Song, Rui Tan. PhyAug: Physics-Directed Data Augmentation for Deep Sensing Model Transfer in Cyber-Physical Systems.
  2. [ACM TOSN] Linshan Jiang, Rui Tan, Arvind Easwaran. Resilience Bounds of Network Clock Synchronization with Fault Correction. [pdf]
  3. [IEEE ICDCS'20] Chaojie Gu, Linshan Jiang, Rui Tan, Mo Li, Jun Juang. Attack-Aware Data Timestamping in Low-Power Synchronization-Free LoRaWAN. [pdf]
  4. [ACM SenSys'19] Qun Song, Zhenyu Yan, Rui Tan. Moving Target Defense for Embedded Deep Visual Sensing against Adversarial Examples. [pdf]
  5. [ACM MobiCom'19] Zhenyu Yan, Qun Song, Rui Tan, Yang Li, Adams Wai Kin Kong. Towards Touch-to-Access Device Authentication Using Induced Body Electric Potentials. [pdf]
  6. [ACM BuildSys'19] Duc Van Le, Yingbo Liu, Rongrong Wang, Rui Tan, Yew-Wah Wong, Yonggang Wen. Control of Air Free-Cooled Data Centers in Tropics via Deep Reinforcement Learning. [pdf]
  7. [ACM UbiComp'18] Qun Song, Chaojie Gu, Rui Tan. Deep Room Recognition Using Inaudible Echos. [pdf] [slides]
  8. [ACM SenSys'17] Zhenyu Yan, Yang Li, Rui Tan, Jun Huang. Application-Layer Clock Synchronization for Wearables Using Skin Electric Potentials Induced by Powerline Radiation. [pdf] [slides]
  9. [ACM/IEEE IPSN'17] Yang Li, Rui Tan*, David Yau. Natural Timestamping Using Powerline Electromagnetic Radiation. *Corresponding author. Best Paper Award. [pdf] [slides]
  10. [IEEE RTSS'16] Sreejaya Viswanathan, Rui Tan*, David Yau. Exploiting Power Grid for Accurate and Secure Clock Synchronization in Industrial IoT. *Corresponding author. [pdf] [slides]
  11. [ACM/IEEE ICCPS'16] Rui Tan, Hoang Hai Nguyen, Eddy. Y. S. Foo, Xinshu Dong, David K. Y. Yau, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk, Ravishankar K. Iyer, Hoay Beng Gooi. Optimal False Data Injection Attack against Automatic Generation Control in Power Grids. [pdf] [slides]
  12. [ACM CCS'13] Rui Tan, Varun Badrinath Krishna, David K. Y. Yau, Zbigniew Kalbarczyk. Impact of Integrity Attacks on Real-Time Pricing in Smart Grids. [pdf] [slides]
  13. [ACM/IEEE IPSN'13] Guojin Liu, Rui Tan*; Ruogu Zhou; Guoliang Xing; Wen-Zhan Song; Jonathan M. Lees. Volcanic Earthquake Timing using Wireless Sensor Networks. *Co-primary authors. [pdf] [slides]
  14. [IEEE PerCom'13] Dennis E. Phillips, Rui Tan*; Mohammad-Mahdi Moazzami; Guoliang Xing; Jinzhu Chen; David K. Y. Yau. Supero: A Sensor System for Unsupervised Residential Power Usage Monitoring. *Co-primary authors. Mark Weiser Best Paper Award Finalist. [pdf] [slides] [video]
  15. [IEEE RTSS'10] Rui Tan, Guoliang Xing, Jinzhu Chen, Wen-Zhan Song, Renjie Huang. Quality-driven Volcanic Earthquake Detection using Wireless Sensor Networks. [pdf] [slides] [code]
  16. [IEEE RTSS'09] Rui Tan, Guoliang Xing, Benyuan Liu, Jianping Wang. Impact of Data Fusion on Real-time Detection in Sensor Networks. [pdf] [slides]
  17. [ACM/IEEE TON, ACM MobiCom'09] Rui Tan, Guoliang Xing, Benyuan Liu, Jianping Wang, Xiaohua Jia. Exploiting Data Fusion to Improve the Coverage of Wireless Sensor Networks. [pdf] [appendices]

Technical reports

  1. Duc Van Le, Yingbo Liu; Rongrong Wang; Rui Tan. Tropical Data Centre Proof-of-Concept. Technical Report, Nanyang Technological University, 2019.
  2. Xinshu Dong, Hui Lin, Rui Tan; Ravishankar K. Iyer; Zbigniew Kalbarczyk. Software-Defined Networking for Smart Grid Resilience: Opportunities and Challenges. Coordinated Science Laboratory Technical Report UILU-ENG-15-2203, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Feb 2015.


  • Air-Cooled Tropical Data Centre 2.0
    Funded by Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF). PI. S$1.62M, Apr 2021 to Mar 2023.
    As part of an NRF IAF-PP Programme (Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed).
  • Attack-Resilient AI-Empowered Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems.
    Funded by Singapore's National Satellite of Excellence in Trustworthy Software Systems (NSoE-TSS). PI. S$550K, Oct 2020 to Mar 2023.
  • Practical Touch-Based Access Control for Indoor IoT Objects.
    Funded by Singapore's Ministry of Education Tier-1. PI. S$90K, Nov 2019 to Jul 2021.
  • Location Sensing using Inaudible Echolocation and Powerline Electromagnetic Radiation.
    Funded by Singtel Cognitive and Artificial Intelligence Lab for Enterprises. PI. S$567K, 2019 to 2021.
  • Feasibility of Object Localization using LoRa Radios.
    Funded by The Joint NTU-WeBank Research Centre of Eco-Intelligent Applications (THEIA). PI. S$100K, June 2019 to Dec 2020.
  • AIoT for Predictive Maintenance.
    Funded by HP-NTU Digital Manufacturing Corporate Lab. NTU PI. S$3M, Oct 2018 to Oct 2022.
  • Tropical Data Centre Proof-of-Concept.
    Funded by Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) of Singapore. NTU PI. S$1.39M, Dec 2017 to Dec 2019.
  • Strategic Capability Building for IoT Research.
    NTU CoE seed grant. PI. S$120K, September 2016 to August 2018.
  • Resilient Cyber Infrastructure for Cyber-Physical Systems.
    Funded by Signapore National Research Foundation (NRF) as part of Delta corporate lab in NTU. Co-PI. S$600K, July 2016 to June 2019.
  • Resilient Cyber-Physical Systems by Advanced Sensing and Computing.
    NTU Start-up Grant. PI. S$200K, Jan 2016 to Jan 2020. Project yield: 19 conference papers and 20 journal papers.
  • PopSeCo: Power Plant Security by Advanced Sensing and Computing.
    Funded by Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore. Co-PI. S$2.72M, Apr 2015 to Oct 2018.


  • Current members:
    • Zhenyu Yan (Research Fellow, 2020-; PhD student, 2016-2020), PhD thesis: Exploiting Induced Skin Electric Potential for Body-Area IoT System Functions.
    • Chaojie Gu (Research Fellow, 2020-; Research Assistant, 2016-; PhD student, 2017-2020), PhD thesis: Exploiting LoRaWAN for Efficient and Resilient IoT Networks.
    • Linshan Jiang (PhD student, 2017-), PhD program working title: Privacy-Preserving Collaborative AIoT.
    • Qun Song (PhD student, 2018-; Visiting Student @ NTU, 2017-2018), PhD program working title: Secure Machine Learning for Cyber-Physical Systems.
    • Wenjie Luo (PhD student, 2019-), PhD program working title: Exploiting Physical Knowledges for AIoT.
    • Dr. Van Duc Le (Research Fellow, 2018-)
    • Rongrong Wang (PhD student, 2020-; Research Associate, 2018-;), PhD program working title: Toward Energy-Efficient and Smart Built Environments via Advanced Sensing
    • Dongfang Guo (Research Associate, 2019-)
    • Siyuan Zhou (PhD student, 2020-; Research Associate, 2019-), PhD program working title: Embedded Deep Visual Sensing in Industrial IoT
    • Jiale Chen (Research Associate, 2020-)
    • Qiping (Joy) Yang (Project Officer, 2020-)
  • Former members:
    • Hangtai Li (Visiting Student from CQUPT, 2019/07-2020/01)
    • Dr. Yingbo Liu (Research Fellow @ NTU, 2018-2019)
    • Mengyao Zheng (Visiting Student from XJTLU, 2019/03-2019/11)
    • Dr. Rutvij H. Jhaveri (Research Fellow @ NTU, 2018-2019)
    • Chongrong Fang (Visiting Student from ZJU, 2018/11-2019/08)
    • Dixing Xu (Visiting Student from XJTLU, 2019/03-2019/07)
    • Dr. Xin Lou (Postdoctoral Researcher @ ADSC, 2016-2018)
    • Sreejaya Viswanathan (Senior Research Engineer @ ADSC, 2015-2018)
    • Dima Dafer Rabadi (co-supervised PhD student @ ADSC)
    • Dr. Yang Li (Postdoctoral Researcher @ ADSC, 2015-2018)
    • Jue Tian (Research Assistant/Visiting Student @ NTU, 2016/08-2017/08)
    • Jothi Prasanna Shanmuga Sundaram (Research Assistant/Visiting Student @ NTU, 2017/02-2017/07)
    • Dr. Subhash Lakshminarayana (Researcher @ ADSC, 2015-2017)
    • Zhan Teng Teo (Research Engineer @ ADSC, 2015-2016)
    • Hoang Hai Nguyen (Research Engineer @ ADSC, 2013-2015)
    • Sheng-Yuan Chiu (Visiting Student @ ADSC, 2013, 2014)

Awards and honors

  • Distinguished TPC Member, INFOCOM 2020
  • Best Paper Award, 2 (tie) out of 19 accepted papers selected from 104 submissions, IPSN 2017
  • Best Paper Award , CPSR-SG 2017
  • Distinguished TPC Member, INFOCOM 2017
  • Best Paper Award Runner-Up, 2 out of 23 accepted papers selected from 111 submissions, IPSN 2014
  • Mark Weiser Best Paper Award Finalist, 3 out of 19 accepted full papers selected from 170 submissions, PerCom 2013
  • Outstanding Academic Performance Award, City University of Hong Kong, 2009
  • Research Tuition Scholarship, City University of Hong Kong, 2009
  • Rockwell Master Scholarship, Rockwell Automation, Inc., 2006


  • Method and System for Carrying Out Timing Related Tasks.
    Inventors (ordered alphabetically): Yang Li, Rui Tan, Sreejaya Viswanathan, David Yau.
    US Patent 16464264 (applied in May 2019; granted in Oct 2020).
  • An Automated Calibration Approach for Data Center Digital Twin via Neural Surrogate Model.
    Inventors: Ruihang Wang, Xin Zhou, Yonggang Wen, Rui Tan.
    Singapore provisional patent application 10202009828S, Oct 2020.


  • 2021 Spring: CE/CZ4171 IoT Communications and Networking, CE3005/CZ3006 Computer Networks/Net-Centric Computing (Tutorial)
  • 2020 Fall: CE3005/CZ3006 Computer Networks/Net-Centric Computing, CE/CZ4023 Advanced Computer Networks, AI6128 Urban Computing
  • 2020 Spring: CE3005/CZ3006 Computer Networks/Net-Centric Computing (Tutorial)
  • 2019 Fall: CE3005/CZ3006 Computer Networks/Net-Centric Computing, CE/CZ4023 Advanced Computer Networks
  • 2019 Spring: CZ1012 Engineering Math (Tutorial), CZ3006 Net-Centric Computing (Tutorial)
  • 2018 Fall: CE3006 Digital Communications, CE/CZ4023 Advanced Computer Networks, CZ1012 Engineering Math (Tutorial)
  • 2018 Spring: CE3006 Digital Communications, CZ1012 Engineering Math (Tutorial)
  • 2017 Fall: CE3006 Digital Communications
  • 2017 Spring: CE3006 Digital Communications, CZ1012 Engineering Math (Tutorial), CE3002 Sensor-Interfacing-Control (Tutorial)
  • 2016 Fall: CE3006 Digital Communications
  • 2016 Spring: CZ1012 Engineering Math (Tutorial), CE3002 Sensor-Interfacing-Control (Tutorial)

Education and employments

  • Associate Professor (2021-now), Assistant Professor (2016-2021), School of Computer Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Research Scientist (2012-2015), Senior Research Scientist (2015), Adjunct Senior Research Scientist (2016-2018), Advanced Digital Sciences Center (Singapore), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Senior Research Affiliate (2012-2015), Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate (2010-2012), Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • PhD (2010) in Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong
  • MS (2007) in Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Systems, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • BEng with Honors (2004) in Automation, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Professional services

  • Editorship
    • Associate Editor, ACM Transactions on Sensor Networks (TOSN)
    • Associate Editor, Frontier in Communications and Networks (Section: IoT and Sensor Networks)
  • Conference chairs
    • Finance Chair of ACM BuildSys 2021
    • Workshop Co-Chair, BuildSys 2020
    • Poster+Demo Co-Chair, IoTDI 2020
    • Finance Chair of ICDCS, 2020
    • Joint Finance Chair of ACM SenSys and ACM BuildSys, 2019
    • Co-Chair, The 2nd Fog Computing+ Workshop: Trustworthy Fog, 2018
    • Poster Co-Chair, International Conference on Embedded Wireless Systems and Networks (EWSN), 2019
    • Publicity Co-Chair, The 1st IEEE International Conference on Industrial Internet (ICII), 2018
    • Publicity Co-Chair, The 3rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Internet of Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI), 2018
    • Finance Chair, The 21st IEEE International Symposium on Real-Time Computing (ISORC), 2018
    • Session Chairs for IPSN'20, SenSys'19, IoTDI'19, SenSys'17
  • TPC members
    • IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), 2020, 2021
    • ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems (SenSys), 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021
    • ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks (IPSN), 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
    • ACM/IEEE International Conference on Internet of Things Design and Implementation (IoTDI), 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
    • IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium (RTSS), 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019 (demo)
    • IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (INFOCOM), 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
    • International Conference on Embedded Wireless Systems and Networks (EWSN), 2017, 2018, 2020 (poster/demo session), 2021
    • IEEE International Conference on Sensing, Communication and Networking (SECON), 2018, 2021
    • Annual International Conference on Distributed Computing in Sensor Systems (DCOSS), 2018
    • IEEE International Conference on Mobile Ad-hoc and Sensor Systems (MASS), 2019, 2020
    • IEEE International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Systems (ICPADS), 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019
    • IEEE International Conference on Industrial Internet (ICII), 2018, 2019
    • IEEE International Conference on Embedded and Real-Time Computing Systems and Applications (RTCSA), 2017, 2021
    • ACM Cyber-Physical System Security Workshop (CPSS), 2015, 2016, 2017
    • ACM Workshop on Cyber-Physical Systems Security & Privacy (CPS-SPC), 2015, 2016
    • Workshop on Benchmarking Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things (CPS-IoTBench), 2021
    • The 15th ACM Workshop on Wireless Network Testbeds, Experimental evaluation and CHaracterization (WiNTECH'21), with MobiCom'21
  • For university and government
    • Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA) Coordinator, appointed by NTU/SCSE, 2020/08-2022/07
    • Singapore's Tropical Data Centre Guidelines Working Group member, appointed by IMDA, 2018-2019

Invited talks

Outreach talks

  • "Tropical Data Centre Proof-of-Concept", Towards Green Data Centres with AI, September 19th, 2019, SGTech, Singapore.
  • "Transforming Data Centre Operations and Management with AI", Singapore Cloud & Datacenter Convention, July 11th, 2019, Singapore.
  • "Tropical Data Centre Proof-of-Concept", Industry Sharing Session on BCA-IMDA Green Mark for New and Existing Data Centres, July 3rd, 2019, Singapore.
  • "Tropical Data Centre Proof-of-Concept", Singapore Digital Industry Day, November 22nd, 2018.