News & Events
Fall 2013 ASPIRE – Nov. 19th November 8, 2013
The Fall 2013 ASPIRE (Annual Student Pipeline Industry Roundtable Event) will be held on Tuesday, November 19th at Northeastern University in the Ballroom in the Curry Student Center. ASPIRE is hosted by The Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (Gordon-CenSSIS) and the ALERT(Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats) Center of Excellence. ASPIRE provides an optimum setting for dialog among members of the academic, industrial and government communities and is intended to provide networking opportunities for ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS students looking for internships, co-op opportunities and full-time jobs.
The topic for this November’s event will be “Graduating STEM Students or the Lack Thereof.” In the coming decade, many Baby Boomers will retire leaving industry scrambling to replace technical expertise in the US workforce. We would like to discuss this crisis and jointly consider possible solutions.
Three Panel Discussions
With this in mind, we will host three panel discussions led by faculty moderators to obtain the perspectives of the following key stakeholder groups:
- Graduate Students
- K-14 Pre-College Community
Industrial Members Posters
Following the panel discussions, our ALERT Industrial members will be presenting posters during a networking session focused on their upcoming human resource needs, future product or company development plans and exciting employment opportunities within their companies.
Key topics for discussion will include:
Why are large numbers of Americans not continuing their quest for higher education in STEM fields?
- Cost of education?
- Career Earnings & Compensation packages?
- Competing professions where compensation/reward vs education level is more attractive?
What issues do International students face during their education and upon graduation that make it difficult to use their degrees in the US?
What are the needs of our member companies in terms of workforce development and what educational or recruitment efforts can help with these needs?
How can Industry and Academia work together to attract talented students into STEM fields and provide them with viable career opportunities?
August 1st at 1pm EDT – Technologies for Bomb Response Twitter Chat August 1, 2013
DHS S&T will be hosting a twitter chat on Technologies for Bomb Response today at 1pm EDT. Those of you that are interested can follow the conversation at https://twitter.com/dhsscitech or at #STTechTalk.
The First Responders Group, with support from the Explosives Division and the DHS Office for Bombing Prevention, is hosting a Twitter Chat August 1 from 1:00-2:00 pm EDT. The topic is Technologies for Bomb Response, and the discussion will feature the Semi-Autonomous Pipe Bomb End-Cap Remover (SAPBER), FiRST App (a smart phone application for bomb response), and more!
A Twitter Chat is a virtual, two-way conversation that allows us to reach out to targeted audiences, ask for their feedback on S&T products/services, and answer their questions. We encourage our Twitter followers to tweet (message) us during the Chat so we can provide real-time responses. Twitter users can follow the full conversation using our hashtag (#STTechTalk), a designated word that links tweets from S&T and from participants.Read More
Connections are made at ASPIRE March 28, 2013
The ALERT COE and its predecessor, the Bernard M. Gordon Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems has had a thirteen year history of close collaboration with our industrial partners. To continue this tradition, we have instituted a new annual event, the Annual Student Pipeline Industry Roundtable Event otherwise known as ASPIRE.
ASPIRE’s goal is to have our industrial partners introduce their companies, their products, and their future needs to one another, to our faculty, and to our student population. Held on March 19, 2013, ASPIRE started with 10-minute presentations by our industrial members, followed by short 2-minute presentations by students. It culminated in a two-hour networking session, consisting of twelve 10 minute “roundtable” discussion slots that companies and students selected as part of the registration process.
The initial feedback from both the industry and our student population has been extremely positive. Four of our small company members have scheduled follow-on meetings with our large member companies, such as Analogic, Raytheon and Siemens. Siemens Corporate Research is also interviewing ALERT graduate students for five new positions. Many of our participants have requested that ASPIRE be held semiannually.
Through such events, ALERT hopes to create closer collaboration amongst our industrial base, while finding the “right” match for our students and partner institutions. We expect that such alliances will respond with agility to future market opportunities as well as government BAAs and RFPs, thereby fostering effective technology transfer.
[photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo]
ADSA09 – Call for Speakers February 4, 2013
ALERT is actively looking for speakers for the ADSA09 – Ninth Workshop for Algorithm Development for Security Applications: New Signatures for Explosive Detection for Aviation Security. This event will take place on May 7-8, 2013 at Northeastern University’s campus in Boston, MA.
ALERT welcomes United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano November 19, 2012
Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats was pleased to host U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano on Monday, November 12th following her keynote address at Northeastern University’s Veteran’s Day Ceremony.
To kick off the visit, ALERT’s Director, Professor Michael B. Silevitch, provided Secretary Napolitano with an overview of the ALERT Center of Excellence. Prof. Silevitch then introduced undergraduate and graduate students involved with ALERT research and gave a summary of the demonstrations in video analytics and advanced imaging technologies that were prepared for her briefing. Michael described Napolitano’s visit as a significant opportunity for ALERT and its homeland security research, saying,
“It was very important to get validation from Secretary Napolitano about the relevance of our research and its transition to the field in the areas of video tracking of threats and passenger screening. This acknowledgement inspires us.”
Professor Octavia Camps led the first demonstration featuring ALERT’s Engage to Excel (E2E) Video Analytic Surveillance Transition project, VAST. VAST is a program developed in partnership with Siemens and the Cleveland Transportation Security Administration. The live demonstration exhibited the video analytic counter-flow program developed by Dr. Camps and her team and its ability to automatically detect when a person is proceeding the wrong way in an identified traffic pattern (for example, trying to enter through an exit). The resulting detections enable quick identification of an incident and minimize the impact on TSA resources. This project is currently installed within the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Following the video analytics demonstration, Professor Carey Rappaport showed Secretary Napolitano the capabilities of the ALERT Advanced Imaging Technologies (AIT) laboratory. This laboratory fuses together various scanning tools to create next-generation security scanning systems. Professor Rappaport, Assistant Professor Jose Martinez and graduate student Spiros Mantzavinos demonstrated the operation and data acquisition capabilities of ALERT’s advanced portal-based millimeter-wave imaging radar. During the demo, the system scanned a mannequin wrapped in a skin simulant with various representative objects attached for detection. These types of AIT systems can be used to detect illicit items that passengers may be attempting to carry on their person.
“As a DHS-supported researcher, I found Secretary Napolitano’s visit very satisfying,” Prof. Rappaport commented. “She was of course quite knowledgeable about the science and technology we are pursuing, but she seemed keenly interested in how we were improving the state of the art. She was completely supportive and she motivated the students with her passion to keeping Americans safe.”
Spiros Mantzavinos, currently a Northeastern University Doctoral Candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Gordon Engineering Leadership Fellow, had the opportunity to meet Secretary Napolitano. Mantzavinos said, “It was an honor to host Secretary Napolitano for a visit to our ALERT whole-body imaging lab. Receiving attention and recognition from such a prominent figure in the national security arena assures the relevance of the advances we are making.”
Associate Director presents at the first DHS Science and Technology(S&T) Research Council Webinar October 25, 2012
ALERT Associate Director, Carey Rappaport was invited to speak at the first DHS Science and Technology(S&T) Research Council Webinar on Monday, October 22nd. Prof. Rappaport participated in the Explosives Detection Panel, which discussed the Quadrennial Homeland Security Review mission flow down to potential technology solutions supported by S&T with subject matter experts (SMEs) from DHS labs, DOE National Labs, and S&T Centers of Excellence.
In addition to Prof. Rappaport, the panel also included:
Jon L. Maienschein, Ph.D.
Director, National Explosives Engineering Sciences Security Center
Director, LLNL Energetic Materials Center
Leader, PLS Energetic Materials Group
Physical and Life Sciences Directorate
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Richard T. Lareau, Ph.D., Chief Scientist,
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
Science and Technology Directorate
Transportation Security Laboratory
David Atkinson, Ph.D., Chief Scientist
Explosives Detection Research
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
An Introduction to the Research and Industrial Collaboration Conference (RICC) October 3, 2012
For more than a decade, the RICC has fostered in-depth dialog among members of the academic, industrial and government communities interested in collaboration in subsurface sensing and imaging and homeland security related topics. This video, taken at the 2011 RICC, provides an overview of the successful event from the perspective of its participants.
ALERT@NU hosts FEMA Region 1 Research to Resilience Workshop September 28, 2012
ALERT at Northeastern is proud to have hosted the FEMA Region 1 “Research to Resilience” Workshop held in Boston, MA on September 27, 2012. More than 200 attendees and 11 DHS Centers of Excellence (COEs) participated in this event.
The Research to Resilience Workshop was developed to link local and government agencies with DHS Centers of Excellence (COEs) in hopes of accelerating the transition of center developed research and education to improve preparedness. This inaugural event was administered through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate Office of University Programs and FEMA Region 1.
ALERT co-director, Prof. Michael B. Silevitch, gave one of the opening presentations for this half-day workshop. The day included discussions about establishing a framework for transition, examples of successful partnerships, a research showcase, and a tabletop exercise to work through the process of transitioning specific COE technology into use.
During the research and technology showcase, the COEs displayed their research achievements at 17 different booths, holding more than 30 hands-on demos for attendees. ALERT at Northeastern showcased its tools developed in video analytics, IED detection, and explosives detection sensors. ALERT at University of Rhode Island also made a strong showing in areas including the development of blast-resistant materials.Read More
RICC Presentations & Posters Now Available for Download December 9, 2011
Selected presentations and posters are now available for viewing on the RICC website.Read More
ADSA05 – May 3 & 4th, 2011 May 3, 2011
The fifth workshop in the Algorithm Development for Security Applications (ADSA) series, this workshop will focus on fusing orthogonal technologies for detecting explosives for aviation applications.This event is by invitation only. For details about this event: ALERT Offices, email@example.com
This focus was chosen for the following reasons, which were articulated by the participants at the first four ADSA workshops:
- A single modality does not exist to meet all the DHS’s future detection requirements
- There are algorithmic and operational issues when technologies are fused
The technologies that will be covered are:
- X-ray diffraction (XRD), along with diffraction enhanced and index of refraction imaging
- Quadrupole resonance (QR)
- Raman scatter
- Explosive trace detection (ETD) and sampling schemes
- Terahertz imaging and spectroscopy (THZ)