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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

Five NJIT Experts Available Through Aug. 14 To Discuss Liquid Explosives

“What I think they were talking about today were liquid explosives based on nitroglycerines,” said Daniel Watts. Watts, a professor in the department of chemistry and environmental science at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), is among five NJIT scientists and specialists available through Aug. 14, 2006, to discuss on the phone or in person the science and more of the thwarted terrorist plot in London.

Also available are a physicist who specializes in concealed explosive detectives, a former FBI agent who has investigated terrorism attempts, a mechanical engineer who specializes in explosives and a computer networking and security assurance expert.  

“There are very few people in the academic world who deal with nitroglycerin now,” explained Watts. “This liquid is a long-known and dangerous compound that has little interest for academic research. Conversely, the terrorists could have been plotting to use simple household chemicals such as acetone and hydrogen peroxide.” 

More information about each expert follows with their contact information. 

Organic Chemist Dan Watts can explain which common household chemicals might create an explosion or analyze how nitroglycerin works. Dan Watts is the Panasonic Endowed Chair of Sustainability and director of the Material Characterization Laboratory at NJIT. Since 2000, Watts has served as executive director of the Otto H. York Center for Environmental Engineering and Science. He also developed an integrated pollution prevention initiative and developed teams for technology development, technical assistance and more. 

Through interaction with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Watts developed the concept and support for the New Jersey Technical Assistance Program for Industrial Pollution Prevention. And, he developed a research partnership with the U.S. Army leading to the funding of the Sustainable Green Manufacturing Initiative.

One of his publications is Pollution Prevention Opportunity Assessments: A Practical Guide; ACS Taskforce on Laboratory Waste Management;  Laboratory Waste Management: A Guidebook (Washington, DC, American Chemical Society, 1994).

Watts holds a doctorate in organic chemistry and a master’s degree in botany, both from Indiana University; and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and botany from Ohio State University.  Home: 732-274-3420; Cell: 732-939-9426; Work: 973-596-3465; Daniel.Watts@njit.edu

Explosives expert Edward L. Dreizin, PhD, a professor in the department of mechanical engineering at NJIT, produces energetic compounds based on metal that can be used as explosives or propellants in munitions. Dreizin can address the potential result of most explosions. His research interests include metal combustion, high-energy density materials, solid propellants and fuels; combustion and transport phenomena in microgravity; physics and chemistry of arc plasmas and more.

He’s published more than 120 scholarly papers. His most recent was Trunov, M.A., Schoenitz, M., and Dreizin, E.L., “Ignition of Aluminum Powders under Different Experimental Conditions,” Propellants Explosives and Pyrotechnics, V. 40, No 1, pp. 36-43 (2005). The latest in print is Trunov, M.A., Schoenitz, M., Dreizin, E.L., “Effect of Polymorphic Phase Transformations in Alumina Layer on Ignition of Aluminum Particles,” Combustion Theory and Modeling, 10 (4) pp. 603-624 (2006). Dreizin holds his doctorate and master’s degree from Odessa University, Ukraine and a bachelor’s degree from Odessa College of Measurements. Cell:  267-255-4750; Work: 973-596-3327; email: dreizin@njit.edu.

Physicist John Federici, PhD, professor in the department of physics, finds ways to use technology to detect concealed explosives.  Terahertz imaging for security applications has been his key focus. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Army Research Office and National Science Foundation have provided funding for this research. 

Last year, Federici and his team published “Terahertz imaging and sensing for security applications explosives, weapons and drugs,” Semiconductor Science and Technology (Vol 20, page 266, 2005). The article examined three configurations of Terahertz systems, examining when and how best to use the rays. Transmission versus reflective detection, pulsed Terahertz detection systems versus continuous wave systems, and close proximity versus stand-off detection were compared.

Federici and other physicists at NJIT recently received a U.S. Patent for a Terahertz imaging system and method. Since 1995, Terahertz imaging has grown in importance as new and sophisticated devices and equipment have empowered scientists to understand its potential. Federici has been the lead writer on more than 50 publications in scholarly journals; he holds four patents. Research interests include the discovery of infrared quenched photo-induced superconductivity and localized energy states in nano-materials, online semi-conductor process monitoring and advanced spectroscopic imaging technologies. 

Federici received his doctorate in plasma physics from Princeton University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame. Work: 973-596-3327 or 973-596-7144; email: John.Federici@njit.edu

Former FBI agent Stephen W. Foster, adjunct instructor, was the chief information security officer at Avaya (2002-2005), responsible for ensuring the highest level of protection for Avaya’s information assets. He is now a security consultant. Information security architecture, design and implementation; corporate network security; Internet and intranet security and access control management all fall under his domain. He helps ensure that Avaya is in compliance with all rules, laws and regulations that affect information security. 

Prior to working for Avaya, Foster spent a distinguished career (1980-2000) with the FBI. Foster managed many international investigations and established the New Jersey FBI “InfraGard” program. The information outreach program, which is still operating, enhances the sharing of information among all levels of government and industry.

Foster has also been the director of information security for Pay Trust Inc, a financial services company, Chicago, a former assistant vice president of information security for TD Waterhouse Inc., the brokerage arm of the Toronto Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada. Home: 908-358-2738; Cell: 908-953-4035; email: swfoster1@comcast.net.

Information assurance expert Robert Statica,  heads the new information technology program at NJIT. Statica has worked since 1991 in computing, cyber-crime and security for public and private organizations. Since 2001, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in computer science and information technology in the College of Computing Sciences at NJIT. His classes typically include units on cyber-crime and cyber-counter terrorism, computer forensics, and information assurance. He’s also taught classes in wireless networks, systems integration and artificial intelligence. 

Statica developed the new certificate program in physical and digital counter-terrorism www.homelandsecurity.njit.edu. Statica is also the director of NJIT’s Computer Forensic and Cybersecurity Lab. Statica was responsible in 2005 for having NJIT accredited by the National Security Agency (NSA) as a center of academic excellence in information assurance education. At the same time, he helped found a center promoting information protection and research between academe and industry supported by the National Science Foundation (www.cip.njit.edu).

Statica received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degree in computer science both from NJIT.  Cell: 201-572-7243; email:  Robert.Statica@njit.edu.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.