ALERT MSI Collaborations Work to Build a Diverse Homeland Security Workforce

This summer, ALERT Collaborator, Prof. Joaquin Aparcio- Bolanos is continuing his work on a project initiated through the DHS Summer Research Team (SRT) Program, which seeks to engage faculty, undergraduate and graduate students in research that provides opportunities to better understand the mission and research needs of DHS. Prof. Aparicio-Bolanos received $50,000 in follow-on funding from DHS to continue his research with Prof. Samuel Hernandez at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, related to ““Traces and Detection Limit of RDX, PETN, and AN in Synthetic Skin by Quantum Cascade Laser Based Spectroscopy (HEMs-SYNTH-HS).”

ALERT Research Thrust Leader, Prof. Jimmie Oxley of the University of Rhode Island, is also hosting a new DHS SRT group this summer led by Dr. Sayavur Bakhtiyarov from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. They are working on a project titled, “A Complex Variable Method to Predict an Aerodynamics Arbitrary Shape Debris.”

The DHS Office of University Programs sponsors initiatives through the Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) program which are designed to build a cadre of university students and faculty who are well-qualified, diverse and ready to enter the homeland security science and engineering workforce. ALERT has collaborated with MSI institutions many times over the past 8 years through both the DHS Summer Research Team Program for MSIs and the DHS Scientific Leadership Award Program, which are closely linked with the DHS Centers of Excellence (COEs).

Another aspect of this initiative is the DHS Scientific Leadership Award Program, which helps develop enduring homeland security science and engineering research and education programs at MSIs by supporting the development of homeland security science and engineering teaching initiatives, curriculum development and scholarships. In 2014, Prof.. Aschalew Kassu of Alabama A&M University received this award to work with ALERT Research Thrust Leader, Prof. Steve Beaudoin of Purdue and ALERT Education Director, Prof. Steve McKnight of Northeastern on Dr. Kassu’s program titled, “Developing HS-STEM Workforce through Education & Research Emphasis on Explosives Detection Techniques.”

[Photo caption: Prof. Joaquin Aparcio-Bolanos, center]

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