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Innovation Fast Track
VAST program featured on fedscoop.com February 14, 2014
ALERT Phase 2 is Launched! November 18, 2013
On Tuesday, October 22, ALERT hosted representatives from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate for a ceremony to launch its second phase of funding. In ALERT’s next 5 years, Northeastern University takes the lead, strategically partnered with Boston University, Purdue University and the University of Rhode Island to carry out its mission to develop effective response to explosives-related threats.
Representing Northeastern University, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Stephen Director started out the ceremony expressing his happiness to continue the relationships with the core partner universities and welcomes working with new partners like Purdue University. He mentioned that the work done at ALERT which is translational and used directly in the field, exists in Pasteur’s Quadrant – it seeks to understand fundamental science while also being beneficial to society. He then handed off the microphone to Department of Homeland Security Deputy Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Daniel Gerstein.
Gerstein recognized ALERT Director, Michael Silevitch and ALERT Phase 1 Co-Director Jimmie Oxley for their award, stating that another 5 years of funding was validation for the work that has gone on at the Center. He noted that ALERT is a consortium that creates innovation through basic research and is constantly trying to work together to fix today’s problems. Gerstein was followed up by Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate Office of University Programs Director, Matt Clark, who asked that the universities keep supporting ALERT, highlighting that it’s the partnerships that actually make a change.
Statements by the officials were followed up by brief comments by leadership of each of the core universities who all stated their optimistic vision for the next 5 years. Representatives included University of Rhode Island Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Gerald Sonnenfeld, Boston University Vice President and Associate Provost for Research, Gloria Waters, and a letter sent by Purdue University Vice President for Research, Richard Buckius.
The ALERT team looks forward to the new partnership and another successful 5 years as a Center of Excellence. ALERT’s next phase will also include partnering with other Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence as it works to carry out its mission.
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?
Washington State University ALERT Researcher, Prof. Choong-Shik Yoo, and his Team Find Unexpected Superconductor July 18, 2013
Prof. Choong-Shik Yoo, an ALERT researcher at Washington State University, and his team have found superconductivity in solid carbon disulfide, a compound that can be used as a chemical solvent when in it’s a liquid form.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]
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.
Be one of the first to back FoRCE – a new product for Data Recovery July 6, 2012
Keith Bertolino, CEO and co-founder of Cipher Tech Solutions, and former Gordon Engineering Leadership student, is launching the prototype of FoRCE. Using an advanced method of digital forensics called “carving,” FoRCE would give even non-savvy computer users the ability to recover large amounts of deleted images, text, and other data files from Windows computers. In order to fund this project, Keith is leveraging Indiegogo to crowdfund his prototype. Get your own copy of FoRCE and help fund the project at Indiegogo!
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
“Bomb Squad Plants” November 30, 2011
ALERT researcher Samuel Hernández-Rivera and team have their work investigating the ability of three Caribbean plants – Rubia tinctorum, Lippia dulcis and Spermacoce remota – to remove TNT featured in the November Issue of UK Royal Society of Chemistry’s “Chemistry World News”.Read More
Michael Silevitch quoted in FoxNews article, Northeastern News September 8, 2011
ALERT co-director Michael Silevitch was quoted in a September 8th Fox News article “After 9/11: Ten Years of Tech Made Airports Safer, Experts Say”. In the article, Prof. Silevitch discusses some of the recent ALERT work in crowd behavior and novel sensors – read more here.
This coverage dovetails with his recent Q&A with Northeastern News, available hereRead More