HOMELAND SECURITY AND DEFENSE

NJIT has made a high priority of contributing to the nation’s and the state’s homeland security and defense efforts. NJIT’s Office of Research and Development has worked to identify faculty expertise as well as technologies under study within the university that have potential to assist in the nation’s security programs. University research initiatives have been adapted into applications to defend against bioterrorism, secure our borders and protect critical infrastructure such as power systems, bridges and airports. Under the leadership of Donald H. Sebastian, vice president for research and development, the university has forged partnerships with agencies like Picatinny Arsenal, the Center for Disease Control, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, the National Guard, and the New Jersey State Police for homeland security initiatives.

. . . . . . . applications to defend against bioterrorism, secure our borders and protect critical infrastructure . . . . . . .

Governor McGreevey signed the executive order designating NJIT as the state's Homeland Security Technology Systems Center. Read Governor's Office press release. The university will serve as the state’s consultant for technology evaluation and develop prototypes of integrated homeland security systems for testing, demonstration and training. The NJIT center will focus on areas already identified by the federal government as vital to national security: intelligence and warning, border and transportation security; protecting critical infrastructure and key assets, emergency preparedness and response and defending against catastrophic threats and domestic counter-terrorism.  

Some of the research efforts include:

  • AIRSHIPS TO PROTECT THE COASTLINES: NJIT is serving as the academic research and development base for a project funded by the Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency that will use high-tech, stationary airships for surveillance of the nation’s coastal waters as well as for advanced wireless telecommunications. Read an article in NJIT Alumni Magazine.
  • DETECTING CONCEALED EXPLOSIVES: NJIT researchers have developed a technology for detecting concealed explosives and biological agents using terahertz radiation. Read more.
  • VERIFYING IDENTITY BY FACE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY: Chengjun Liu, assistant professor of computer science, has developed a system that can verify a person’s identity by using facial images. Read more.
  • APPLYING BIOMETRICS FOR SECURITY: Researchers at NJIT are developing biometrics applications to address a variety of security and safety problems. Read more.
  • DETECTING HARMFUL BIOLOGICAL AGENTS: A portable detection system for detecting biological contaminants is the focus of research by Boris Khusid, associate professor of mechanic engineering. Read an article in NJIT Alumni Magazine. Read more.
  • ANALYZING FREIGHT MOVEMENTS: A recent study by George Fallat, deputy director of the International Intermodal Transportation Center at NJIT, analyzed the interruption in freight movement caused by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Read more.
  • MILITARY NANOTECHNOLOGY APPLICATIONS: NJIT researchers are working with the U.S. Army NanoValley program at Picatinny Arsenal and the U.S. Army Smart Materiel Program to develop smart coatings and other nanotechnology applications. Read more.
  • VIRTUAL CRISIS MANAGEMENT: To improve on the emergency communications seen on 9-11, Murray Turoff, distinguished professor of information systems, has designed a Dynamic Emergency Response Management Information System (DERMIS) that would allow for a virtual command center and collaborative knowledge bases, so that key decision makers can collaborate from multiple locations. Read his paper.
  • PROTECTING THE POWER GRID: Ken Chin, professor of physics, and Harry Roman '70 of PSEG are collaborating on a project designed to detect problems in the nation's power grid. Read an article in NJIT Alumni Magazine.
  • DEVELOPING FLEXIBLE SENSORS:  As part of the "smart coatings" project funded through Picatinny Arsenal to develop next-generation coatings for military equipment and vehicles, Physics Professors John Federici, Roumiana Petrova and Gordon Thomas are developing flexible electronic sensors designed to measure pressure, force, strain, and fluid flow as well as corrosion. Read a research paper.
  • SENSING AIRBORNE ORGANICS: Somenath Mitra, professor of chemistry, is developing an integrated sensing system for airborne organics using single wall carbon nanotube technology. Read more.
  • IMPROVING CRITICAL COMMUNICATIONS: David Mendonca, assistant professor of information systems studied the communications among managers of  New York City's critical infrastructures -- power, transportation and emergency services -- following the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Read his conclusions.