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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

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.