Center Team

Management Team

  • Michael Silevitch
    Director of ALERT

    Bio
  • Carey Rappaport
    Deputy Director & Bulk Sensors and Sensor Systems Lead

    Bio
  • Jimmie Oxley
    Charaterization & Elimination of illicit Explosives Lead

    Bio
  • Stephen P. Beaudoin
    Trace & Vapor Sensors Lead

    Bio
  • David Castanon
    Video Analytics and Signature Analysis Lead

    Bio
  • James Smith
    Education Program Co-Lead

    Bio
  • Stephen McKnight
    Education Program Co-Lead

    Bio
  • Emel Bulat
    Industrial and Government Liaison Officer

    Bio
  • John Beaty
    Director of Technology Programs

    Bio
  • Horst Wittmann
    Research Evaluation Advisory Panel Leader

    Bio

Partner Institutions

Northeastern University (Lead)

Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in worldwide experiential learning, urban engagement, and interdisciplinary research that meets global and societal needs. Our broad mix of experience-based education programs – our signature cooperative education program.

Boston University (Strategic Partner)

Boston University is an international, comprehensive, private research university, committed to educating students to be reflective, resourceful individuals ready to live, adapt, and lead in an interconnected world. Boston University is committed to generating new knowledge to benefit society.

Purdue University (Strategic Partner)

Purdue University is a vast laboratory for discovery. The university is known not only for science, technology, engineering, and math programs, but also for our imagination, ingenuity, and innovation. It’s a place where those who seek an education come to make their ideas real — especially when those transformative discoveries lead to scientific, technological, social, or humanitarian impact.

University of Rhode Island (Strategic Partner)

The University of Rhode Island is the State’s public learner-centered research university.  The University is committed to enriching the lives of its students through its land, sea, and urban grant traditions.  Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are united in one common purpose: to learn and lead together.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Established in 1925, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem  is a large, well-established research and teaching institution, encompassing humanities, science, medicine, education and agriculture. HU researchers figure at the forefront of international science – from biotechnology and computer science to astrophysics and cancer research, from microbiology to solar energy and genetic engineering, as well as the humanities, including Jewish studies, social sciences and law.

New Mexico State University

We are a comprehensive research, land-grant university excelling in teaching, research and public service that fuels the economy and prepares students to be productive citizens.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the nation’s oldest technological university. For almost two centuries, Rensselaer has maintained its reputation for providing an undergraduate education of undisputed intellectual rigor based on educational innovation in the laboratory, classroom, and studio.

Texas Tech University

Founded in 1923, Texas Tech is located on the South Plains of West Texas and carries the distinction of being the largest comprehensive higher education institution in the western two-thirds of the state of Texas. Texas Tech University is dedicated to shaping the future of their students by providing them a comprehensive, quality education that prepares them to enter careers in a timely fashion.

Tufts University

Tufts University School of Engineering educates engineers committed to the innovative and ethical application of technology to solve societal problems. The school provides national leadership in enhancing the role and visibility of the engineering profession in the education of youth and the development and implementation of public policy. Our students, faculty, and alumni, develop and disseminate transformational knowledge and technologies that further society’s well-being and sustainability. Strategic areas of emphasis include programs in health, sustainability, and the human-technology interface.

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame is a Catholic academic community of higher learning, animated from its origins by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The University is dedicated to the pursuit and sharing of truth for its own sake. As a Catholic university, one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where, through free inquiry and open discussion, the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity.

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaquez

The Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico is a co-educational, bilingual, and non-sectarian school comprising the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, and the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies.

Washington State University

Washington State University is a land-grant university that conducts transformational research and provides world-class education to more than 25,000 students statewide. Students are taught in an environment enriched by research activities and graduate study.

Weizmann Institute of Science

The Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research institutions. Hundreds of scientists, laboratory technicians and research students working on its lushly landscaped campus embark daily on fascinating journeys into the unknown, seeking to improve our understanding of nature and our place within it.

Michael Silevitch
Director of ALERT

Prof. Silevitch is the Director of ALERT and also serves as the Director of the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. Previously he directed of the Center for Electromagnetics Research (an NSF Industry-University Center) and the Center for the Enhancement of Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME). Michael received the BSEE, MSEE and PhD from Northeastern University in 1965, 1966, and, 1971, respectively. He joined the faculty of Northeastern in 1972, and was appointed to the Robert D. Black Endowed Chair in Engineering at Northeastern in 2003. He is an elected fellow of the IEEE.

Carey Rappaport
Deputy Director & Bulk Sensors and Sensor Systems Lead

Along with being the Deputy Director of ALERT, Carey is an Associate Director of the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. Professor Rappaport was the Principal Investigator of a $5M ARO-sponsored Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative in humanitarian demining, the lead researcher supporting Alion Science and Technology, Incs. $130M Omnibus Task Order with US Army Night Vision and the Electronic Sensors Directorate, as well as the Principal Investigator for a $4.9M Dept. of Homeland Security Advanced Spectrographic Radiation Portal Monitor for special radioactive materials.

Jimmie Oxley
Charaterization & Elimination of illicit Explosives Lead

Dr. Oxley is the Characterization & Elimination of Illicit Explosives Lead for the ALERT Center. Dr. Oxley is also a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and co-Director of the Forensic Science Partnership of URI. She earned a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia (Chemistry) and joined the faculty of New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology (NMT) where she founded a Ph.D. program in explosives and created a Thermal Hazards Research group. Oxley’s lab specializes in the study of energetic materials—explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics. Dr. Oxley has organized numerous symposia and short courses for government and industrial laboratories on topics ranging from hazards analysis to bomb threats. Dr. Oxley has authored 80 papers on energetic materials (explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics).

Stephen P. Beaudoin
Trace & Vapor Sensors Lead

Dr. Beaudoin is the Trace & Vapor Lead for the ALERT Center. Stephen P. Beaudoin received his Bachelor of Science degree from MIT in 1988, his Master of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, and his PhD from North Carolina State University in 1995.  All of his degrees are in Chemical Engineering.

Dr. Beaudoin was appointed Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering at Arizona State University in the Fall of 1995, and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Fall of 2000.  In the Spring of 2003, he joined the faculty of the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue, where he was promoted to the rank of Professor in the Fall of 2006.  Dr. Beaudoin has served the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue as Associate Head, as Director of Undergraduate Studies, and as Director of Graduate Admissions.   Dr. Beaudoin has won the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation, and has been named a Purdue University Faculty Scholar and Purdue University Provost Fellow for Student Success.  He has won numerous teaching and mentoring awards, including being the inaugural recipient of the Purdue University Student Government Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr. Beaudoin’s areas of research interest are focused on particle and thin film adhesion.  His work finds applications in explosives detection and in microelectronics, food, and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

David Castanon
Video Analytics and Signature Analysis Lead

Dr. Castanon also serves as an Associate Director of the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. He received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematcis at Massachusetts Institute of Technology,(1976) and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Tulane University (1971). He is an Associate Editor of Computational Optimization and Applications. He is also a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society, Board of Governors, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Previously, Dr Castanon was Senior Scientist at Alphatech, Inc and was also a Research Scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems.

James Smith
Education Program Co-Lead
Prof. James Smith is the ALERT COE Education Co-Lead, and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rhode Island. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia, and received both his M.S. in Chemistry and B.S. in Biology from the University of Puget Sound. The chemistry of thermal decomposition of highly energetic materials is of primary interest to his research team. Among the materials they study are nitramines, nitrate esters, peroxides and energetic salts. He accomplishes his objectives using a variety of chemical instruments including gas and liquid chromatrographs, mass spectrometers, NMR and microcalorimeters
Stephen McKnight
Education Program Co-Lead

Dr. McKnight is the Education co-Leader of ALERT. Steve also serves as the Education Leader of The Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. Stephen has been a professor at Northeastern since 1980 and currently teaches the Scientific Foundations of Engineering course for the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program. He received the BA from Oberlin in 1969 and the Ph.D. from University of Maryland in 1977. Previously he was Associate Director of the Center for Electromagnetics Research (an NSF Industry-University Center).

Emel Bulat
Industrial and Government Liaison Officer

Ms. Bulat also fills this position for the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems. Prior to her current position, Ms. Bulat served as Director of Emerging Technologies at Textron Systems Corporation. She has published 16 technical papers, two business papers on Strategic Planning, and holds 10 US Patents.

“As the Industrial and Government Liaison Officer, I have had the opportunity to work with many small businesses that are the engines of the US economy, creating most of the new jobs in today’s tough business climate.  Unlike many large institutions, their agility and speed in bringing new technology to market, given the right support structure amazes me. Having the responsibility to help our industrial members achieve success through teaming with our academic and government institutions gives me great pride and satisfaction.”

John Beaty
Director of Technology Programs

John also serves as the Director of Technology Programs for the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems and co-teaches the Engineering Leadership course for the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program. Mr. Beaty has extensive experience managing research and development for the scientific instrument, semiconductor, and government contract industries. John spent 30 years with three companies, Thermo Electron Corporation, Schlumberger Test and Transactions, and FEI Company developing a wide variety of instruments and tools, using diverse technologies. In most instances, John procured development resources from a variety of sources: government, industry, industry consortia, and venture capital.

“The work being done in the fusion laboratory and with video analytics, I feel is one of the most meaningful aspects of ALERT.  I find the diversity of relationships within the consortium, academic to academic, academic to government (state and federal), academic to business to be extremely valuable.”

Horst Wittmann
Research Evaluation Advisory Panel Leader

Horst also serves as the Senior Research Development Officer in the Office of the Provost of Northeastern University and is actively involved in the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program. In 2001 he retired from the federal Senior Executive Service as Associate Director of the Sensors Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH, and from his position as Lead US Representative at the NATO Research and Technology Board, Sensors and Electronics Technology Panel. Dr. Wittmann’s field of scientific specialization is solid-state physics; he received the B.S in 1959 and the Ph.D. in 1964. He is a fellow of the IEEE and AAAS.