News & Events
Awards and Achievements

ALERT, Square One partnership leads to NSF Small Business award August 6, 2012

ALERT researchers at Northeastern University partnered with Square One Systems Design to win a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center – Small Business award in the area of automated landmine detection.  This promising partnership leverages the strengths of academic and industry experts for a project with broad humanitarian and research potential

The partnership involves pairing Square One’s Walking Tri-Sphere (WTS) robot with ALERT’s Ground-Penetrating Radar solution. The WTS robot has the ability to autonomously negotiate rugged terrain, making it well suited for operating in a buried explosives environment, but object detection was a missing critical component.  ALERT deputy director Carey Rappaport and researcher Jose Martinez are leading the Northeastern team in developing an effective and inexpensive Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) solution. If successful, the combined GPR-WTS system will enhance automated characterization of subsurface environments.

Current methods of demining involve slow and dangerous manual probing, or use very expensive and often delicate advanced technology.  Square One and ALERT hope that this partnership will blaze a path toward fully automated demining operations and serve as a jumping off point to other significant subsurface characterizations.

In addition to the humanitarian benefits, this partnership creates a wealth of opportunities for student participation. Graduate and undergraduate students at Northeastern are actively involved in this cutting-edge design project, participating in computational modeling, reconstruction algorithm development, and antenna design and testing aspects.

Northeastern Ph. D. student Margery Hines, working with Carey Rappaport, won judges’ choice in the 2012 National NSF IGERT Online Video & Poster competition for her presentation of a computational study that demonstrated an ability to locate both metallic and non-metallic anti-personnel landmines.

.

 

Gordon-CenSSIS Student awarded judges choice award in IGERT video competition June 6, 2012

Margery Hines, Gordon-CenSSIS PhD candidate, has created an online video describing her mine detection research for submission in NSF IGERT.ORG’s 2012 Video & Poster Competition.

Read More

Northeastern Students Capture 1st Place and $10,000 prize in 6th Annual National Security Innovation Competition May 7, 2012

Northeastern captured the top prize of $10,000 for their entry “Next Generation Millimeter-Wave Body Imaging for Concealed Threat Detection” in the 2012 National Security Innovation Competition (NSIC) held at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS).

Northeastern’s team consisted of ALERT graduate students Galia Ghazi, Luis Tirado, Kathryn Williams, and Spiros Mantzavinos with Professors Carey Rappaport and José A. Martinez-Lorenzo advising the team. Their project beat 39 other schools nationwide for the top prize.

The competition was among ten finalist teams from schools across the country and Canada, including USMA West Point who brought home the second place prize of $5,000, and the University of Calgary and UCCS, who won 3rd and 4th place, respectively.

The competition was judged by a panel of seven judges from government and industry that included representatives from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Counter Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO), Boeing Phantom Works, Paladin Capital Group, Popular Science Magazine, and Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

The purpose of the NSIC is to stimulate college student interest in addressing issues of national security by exposing their university-sponsored projects to a broad audience of industry, academic, and government organizations involved in aerospace, defense, security, and first responder activities.

Website for the NSIC competition

 

NSF CAREER Grant Awarded to ALERT Researcher March 15, 2012

NSF has awarded ALERT Researcher, Prof. Ashkan Vaziri the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award. This will be carried out by developing predictive theoretical and computational methods to understand the mechanical deformation of biomimetic systems and by performing detailed experiments at the micro and nano- scale.

Read More

Center Researchers are Awarded Prestigious College Appointments December 9, 2011

Professor Akram Alshawabkeh has been appointed as a George A. Snell Professor of Engineering at Northeastern University and Professor Carey Rappaport has been appointed as a College of Engineering Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University. Selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates, these appointments recognizes the scholarship, technical and professional leadership, university citizenship, positive example, and strong contribution to the reputation, impact, and success of the College and University of both individuals. Our congratulations to Akram and Carey!

Xi-Cheng Zhang wins IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award July 9, 2011

Congratulations to ALERT researcher, Dr. Xi-Cheng Zhang, as the recipient of the 2011 IEEE Photonics Society William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award. This prestigious award is given to recognize an exceptional single scientific contribution which has had a significant impact in the field of lasers and electro-optics in the past 10 years. Dr. Zang’s award will be given “for exceptional contribution of terahertz (THz) air photonics, especially free-space coherent detection of ultra-broadband THz waves.”

NOPP Names “Marine Mammal Detection and Monitoring” Funding Award Winners March 25, 2011

Gordon-CenSSIS Researcher Purnima Ratilal is one of five individuals awarded multiple-year funds for marine mammal detection, classification and localization by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. Dr. Ratilal’s proposal topic: “Instantaneous Passive and Active Detection, Localization and Monitoring of Marine Mammals over Long Ranges”.

Read More