ALERT Demos Tech at Centers of Excellence Technology Showcase June 28, 2016
June 28, 2016
ALERT brought its advances in explosives detection research to the 2016 Centers of Excellence Technology Showcase in Washington D.C. last month. The event featured “Chat with an Expert” sessions, informational tables for each center, information on training opportunities, and live demonstrations. The Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Office of University Programs hosted the showcase at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C. for over 250 government agencies and first responders.
Professor Jimmie Oxley represented ALERT in one of the “Chat with an Expert” sessions, which allowed participants to have 10 minutes of one-on-one time with each expert to discuss specific technologies, center research, or opportunities for partnership. Professor Oxley also led ALERT’s live demo of the day: “Trace Explosives Aids for Scent (TEAS).” Her research team developed a method of polymer encapsulation that is used to create safe trace explosives sources. Their research results show that Polycarbonate microspheres containing only a low percentage of Triacetone Triperoxide (TATP) last for years, yet produce pure TATP vapor when heated at the designated program rate. Although they contain small amounts of actual explosives material, these TEAS are called pseudo-explosives because they have no potential to explode, thus providing users with safe access to stored hazardous explosives at trace levels for the purpose of training K-9s and calibrating instrumentation.
Currently, 29 groups have tested prototypes of ALERT’s training aids, including NY MTA Police, MA State Police, Toronto Police, and industry collaborators such as K-9 Search On Site, and FLIR Systems, Inc.
The Live Demo
Officer William Qualls and his K-9 partner, Nate, demonstrated how they use TEAS in the field by having attendees hide one of the activated TEAS somewhere in the Showcase space and then having Nate work to find it. Travis Kisner, Director of Engineering from Detectachem, presented the microsphere heater Detectachem developed for use with ALERT’s TEAS.
ALERT’s Research and Networking with End Users
ALERT team members, Emel Bulat (Industry Liaison) and Deanna Beirne (Director of Computer Services), presented ALERT technologies and center capabilities to the broad showcase audience. Center tools like VAST, PIMS and MVCTC were highlighted by the team and were of great interest to the participants. Videos and Fact Sheets for each tool were also on display.
The event resulted in dozens of connections for the center and a better understanding of what challenges end users like U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration are facing. ALERT is looking forward to furthering linkages with end users and providing solutions to those challenges in our areas of expertise.
Photo caption: Using ALERT’s Trace Explosives Aids for Scent (TEAS), Officer William Qualls interacts with his K-9 partner, Nate, as he identifies a bag containing TEAS. Nate sits by the location where he detects explosives.
TSA Industry Day – Innovating the Future Symposium, June 7-9th May 24, 2016
Dates: June 7-9, 2016
Location: TSA Security Integration Facility
The Innovating our Future Symposium is the first in a series of annual technology conferences being hosted by OSC. This three day event will consist of presentations and interactive breakout sessions for a variety of topics, with time made available for questions.
The Innovating our Future Symposium expands upon the following initiatives:
OSC System Architecture and follow-on technical discussions from Industry Day in February 2016.
TSA’s Passenger Screening Request for Information (RFI) to be released May 2016.
TSA’s Primary Carry-on Screening System Targeted Broad Agency Announcement (T-BAA) to be released Fiscal Year 2016 Quarter 2.
TSA’s Future Innovation Task Force T-BAA to be released Fiscal Year 2016 Quarter 3.
TSA’s update to the AIT Detection Standards.
TSA’s future update to the AT Detection Standards.
TSA update on Cybersecurity
Registration is open: Your written registration must be emailed no later than:
5:00 PM EDT on May 30, 2016 for U. S. Citizens
5:00 PM EDT on May 17, 2016 for Non U. S. Citizens
5/19 – DHS S&T Center of Excellence Technology Showcase May 9, 2016
Registration is open!
Date: May 19, 2016
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Washington, DC
The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office of University Programs and Stevens Institute of Technology invite you to attend the Spring 2016 Centers of Excellence(COE) Technology Showcase May 19, 2016 open 9:00 am- 4:00 pm.
Explore tools and technology or talk to experts in: Border Security – Explosives Detection – Risk and Economic Analysis – Natural Hazards – Data & Visual Analytics – Food Defense – Terrorism Studies – Animal Disease Defense – Maritime and Arctic Security – Critical Infrastructure Resilience – Training Opportunities – Hosting Interns – Working with the COEs
Experience demonstrations of COE tools, technologies, knowledge products
Connect with university experts (one-on-one if desired) to discuss pressing challenges
Develop new collaborations to support homeland security missions
Meet the newest COEs focused on Arctic security; critical infrastructure resilience; and borders, trade and immigration
Learn how to bring interns and professional development opportunities to your office
Congratulations to our ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS Scholars! April 29, 2016
This year, ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS had the honor of hosting 15 freshmen engineering students as participants in the ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS Scholars Program.
After two semesters of active involvement in the program — which includes participation in an ALERT or Gordon-CenSSIS research project, K-12 STEM outreach, and Scholar meetings, seminars and activities — they completed the program on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016, when they presented their final research presentations to their faculty advisors and other members of the Scholars community. The final presentations consisted of 3-minute overviews of each Scholar’s research project, addressing their project’s overall mission and activities, their specific contributions to the project, as well as what knowledge and skills they gained.
The ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS Scholars Program is designed to provide freshmen engineers with the opportunity to get involved in research and STEM outreach, but also focuses on building their professional development. Throughout the year, Scholars attended seminars on Public Speaking Skills, Research Ethics, Lab Safety and Research Poster Building Skills.
2015-2016 Scholars [L-R], Top Row: James Dowd, Sule Sahin, Jennifer Silva, Peyton Perry, Sofia Catalina, Amanda Barbour, Kalina Yang, Matthew Greenlaw, Kevin Kimelman, Sarah Fayerweather; Bottom Row: Justin Xia, Aayush Parekh, Ryan Birke, Darya Malkova, August Howell.
The program also aims to provide Scholars with multiple resources for mentorship and guidance. In addition to their faculty advisor, the program coordinator, and the STEM Center team, each Scholar is assigned a specific Scholar Mentor, who regularly connects with them regarding program-related activities, as well as questions or concerns related to their overall experience at NU. Scholar Mentors are undergraduate engineering students who have previously completed the Scholars program, and who apply to participate in this supporting role. As part of their involvement this spring, the Mentors each gave a presentation to the Scholars on their research, outreach and co-op experiences.
All ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS Scholars who successfully complete the program requirements receive an NU Bookstore Voucher of up to $1,000.
The program is hosted and sponsored by the Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT) Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, and the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS), a Graduated National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center.
ASPIRE: Linking Students to Great Opportunities April 29, 2016
The fifth Annual Student Pipeline Industry Roundtable Event (ASPIRE) was held on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 at Northeastern University in Boston. It successfully brought together ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS industrial partners, government stakeholders and current students of all levels involved in center research in order to build strong collaborations and provide networking opportunities for all participants. This year’s ASPIRE included students from 5 academic partner institutions and representatives from 10 industrial and government collaborators.
ASPIRE is part of the ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS ongoing efforts to create robust partnerships within our industrial base and government stakeholders, while also giving our students the opportunity to network as they transition through academia and into the Homeland Security Enterprise.
The event is coordinated and led by our Industrial and Government Liaison Officer, Emel Bulat. The agenda includes industry and government presentations, followed by 2-minute presentations made by students. In the afternoon, representatives from industry and government meet face-to-face with students, as well as with each other, during a two-hour networking session, in conjunction with the student poster session.
We look forward to holding our next ASPIRE in the spring of 2017!
DHS S&T hosts “The Nose Knows” Twitter Chat 12/17, 12pm December 17, 2015
Join the @dhsscitech#STTechTalk “The Nose Knows” Thursday December 17th at noon EST. Tune in and chat about improving canine explosives detection.
The Nose Knows: The Science of Threat Detection Canines
Did you know dogs’ noses are a million times more sensitive than a human’s nose? Dogs can be trained to detect a wide variety of specific scents, such as drugs, fruits, and explosives and are trained to alert their handlers to the presence of these hazardous items by pawing, barking or, in the case of something dangerous, sitting or lying quietly.
Canines have been used by law enforcement agencies for decades to alert their handlers to threats or objects of interest. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Canine Program is working with DHS partners, including the Transportation Security Administration, other federal agencies, and state and local first responders to provide independent verification of canine teams’ performance, as well as ways to enhance overall detection capability…
If you have any questions regarding the topics and technologies discussed at the workshop, please contact Carl Crawford at [email protected].
SciX 2015, Presented by FACSS, Preliminary Program is Now Available September 18, 2015
SciX is the annual meeting of the Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS). The conference represents the future of international scientific exchange in the fields of analytical sciences – comprehensive, intimate, all inclusive. This is the meeting where all the member societies of FACSS present their newest, most innovative research.
Preliminary Program is now available. For a list of the scheduled sessions, click “Sessions”
SciX 2015 will take place on September 27 – October 2, 2015 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, RI.
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR POSTER PRESENTATIONS IS JULY 31. Submit Abstract
The 4th International Conference on Image Formation in X-Ray Computed Tomography (“The CT Meeting”) will be held July 18 – 22, 2016 in Bamberg, Germany. A call for participants and submissions has been issued by the organizing committee for this event which is “dedicated to basic problems related to X-ray CT.” Abstract Submissions by authors wishing to participate have a deadline of January 18, 2016. Interested parties should visit http://www.ct-meeting.org to find more information about the event and submission process.
ALERT Collaborators, Carl Crawford and Harry Martz will be coordinating a session on Security CT Applications. Any ALERT researchers who are interested in participating, or have questions about this session should contact Carl Crawford at [email protected].