New Jersey Institute of Technology Vice President Advocates Homeland Security Plan Using Cutting Edge Technologies

NEWARK, August 19- The rescue response to the World Trade Center attack revealed a breakdown of communications at all levels of the security and response communities. There is thus no better place for technologists to weigh in than in managing and bringing information technologies to the people who manage emergency response teams, intelligence gathering, and planning and training of response and rescue teams.

A new Homeland Security Technology Center at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has forged an important partnership - a partnership that will bring advanced information technology to first response teams. The technology could help defend against bio-terrorism, secure our borders, and protect critical infrastructure such as power systems, bridges and airports.

NJIT has formed the partnership with two software makers -- International Analytics, developer of CRISIS, and NCI, developer of Event Broker - as well as with New Jersey Network News, the state's public broadcasting network and emergency response carrier. The three aim to apply modeling and simulation systems that will support the state's homeland security.

"The same software that aids in planning and training for a wide range of natural and man-made disasters can quickly become a virtual emergency command console, aiding a coordinated response from municipal first responders, while supporting strategic decisions in real time from state and federal agencies," says Donald H. Sebastian, Ph.D. Sebastian, the spokesman for the new NJIT center, is vice president for research and development at NJIT.

The software systems use Global Information Systems (GIS)-based information to support simulations used to coordinate a response to a disaster. People who would benefit from these simulations include members of emergency response teams, hospital workers, public and private transportation administrators and others.

The software gives New Jersey a system to prepare for anything from a natural disaster to a chemical, biological or radiological attack.

International Analytics already counts other states in its customer base, and is testing its software with the U.S. Coast Guard, FEMA, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. NJIT can provide the state with the physical infrastructure to support the software, the labor force to drive the simulation, and manage the training for planners and responders, Sebastian says.

To prepare for this responsibility, NJIT has agreements with key groups that comprise the New Jersey's homeland security team. Those efforts include the following:

  • Picatinny Arsenal and NJIT have been collaborating on a port security initiative, biometric and sensor-based detection systems, weapons, energetics and material logistics. Fort Monmouth and NJIT have joined forces for communications projects and sensor based security systems for infrastructure defense, command, control and first responder support.
  • The National Guard and NJIT have collaborated on advanced, simulation based training and performance aids, and are currently pursuing an initiative to be a partner in the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs center of excellence for command and control.

    NJIT has supported the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services as developer of a number of custom software systems for public health monitoring and emergency alert. It is working with the federal Center for Disease Control and the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services to develop bio-terrorism identification and reporting tools linking doctors, hospitals and clinical laboratories. NJIT is working with the New Jersey State Police and Office of Emergency Management to apply distance-learning technology to the special needs of first responders.

    • NJIT is home to several US Department of Transportation centers of excellence with the tools and technologies to support the wide range of issues ranging from airport management to evacuation planning and implementation.

    "The challenges facing New Jersey are complex and interconnected and need to be considered in the totality of a single system rather than isolated domains," says Sebastian. "NJIT, a technological research university, can play a pivotal role in creating a single system. We have the physical, human and intellectual resources to embrace high technology tools to empower next generation solutions to enduring problems."


    NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.

    Contact Information:   Robert Florida
    Public Relations
    (973) 596-5203 



      Sheryl Weinstein
    Public Relations
    (973) 596-3436