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

NJIT Distinguished Research Professor Heads Panel Studying Sudden Car Acceleration

Louis J. Lanzerotti, PhD, a distinguished research professor in the department of physics at NJIT, will lead the 12-member panel organized by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academies (www.nationalacademies.org) to identify possible causes of unintended acceleration in vehicles in the aftermath of Toyota's large recalls. The group, which will hold its first meeting June 30 and July 1, 2010 in Washington, DC, includes notable engineers, scientists and auto safety experts.  They will review electronic systems across the auto industry.

The study is part of the government's work to learn what led to the recall of more than eight million Toyotas because of sudden unintended acceleration. The review is expected to last 15 months.

“We are all proud of Dr. Lanzerotti’s continued contributions to fundamental and applied science and technology. He brings a very broad background to a critical analytical task that has implications for the safety of millions of people,” said NJIT Provost Ian Gatley.

Lanzerotti is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is a retired Distinguished Member of Technical Staff of Lucent Technologies, where his responsibilities included supervision of laboratories and research and development. His principal research interests include space plasmas, geophysics, and engineering problems related to the impacts of atmospheric and space processes and the space environment on space and terrestrial technologies.

He has served as chair of a number of NRC Boards and Committees, including the Space Studies Board, the Committee for the Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Committee on the Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage, and the Army Research Laboratory Technical Assessment Board. He has been principal investigator on NASA and commercial space satellite missions, and is currently principal investigator (PI) for instruments on the NASA dual spacecraft Radiation Belt Storm Probes mission scheduled for a May 2012 launch.

Lanzerotti holds a BS in engineering physics from the University of Illinois and master's and doctoral degrees in physics from Harvard University.

For more information about the panel, please visit: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/projectview.aspx?key=49236

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.