April 30, 2015 - In This Issue:

ASPIRE Spring 2015

The 4th Annual Student Pipeline Industry Roundtable Event (ASPIRE) was held on April 7th, 2015 at Northeastern University. The event featured presentations from ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS industry members and students, a reception and poster session, and one-on-one roundtable discussions between students and industry representatives. ASPIRE maintained it's mission to provide a dialogue among members of academic, industrial and government communities, and networking opportunities for ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS students looking for full-time jobs, internships, and co-op opportunities.   


This year's ASPIRE was attended by students from six of ALERT's academic partner institutions: BU, UPRM, Purdue, URI, RPI, and NU; and representatives from 9 of ALERT's industrial collaborators: Analogic Corporation, American Science & Engineering, Eos Photonics, HXI, LLC, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Morpho, Passport Systems, Rapiscan Systems, and Raytheon.  ASPIRE was also attended by a representative from the Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL), which is the first government agency to participate in the event.  



ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS Scholars Program
Congratulations to our Scholars on their final presentations!

This year, ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS had the honor of hosting 17 freshmen engineering students, and 7 scholar mentors, as participants in the ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS Scholars Program. After two semesters of active involvement in the program -- which includes participation in an ALERT or Gordon-CenSSIS research project, K-12 STEM outreach, and Scholar meetings, seminars and activities -- they completed the program on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015, when they presented their Final Research Presentations to their faculty advisors and other members of the Scholars community. The Final Presentations consisted of 2-minute overviews of each Scholar's research project, addressing their project's overall mission and activities, their specific contributions to the project, as well as what knowledge and skills they gained.  


Student Spotlight: Yolanda Rodriguez-Vaqueiro, Northeastern University
Completed her Ph.D. in April, 2015!

Yolanda Rodriguez-Vaqueiro, an ALERT Research Assistant, working with Prof. Jose A. Martinez-Lorenzo and Prof. Carey M. Rappaport, recently completed her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Northeastern University. Her thesis was titled, "Compressive Sensing for Electromagnetic Imaging Using Nesterov-Based Algorithm." She also recently received the ECE Research Impact Award at NEU. 


During her four year involvement with ALERT, Rodriguez-Vaqueiro's primary research focus involved compressive sensing for standoff detection of security threats using millimeter wave radar. During her ALERT research, Yolanda proposed a new geometrical configuration for a multiple-bistatic, millimeter wave radar imaging system, which could potentially be used for threat detection in outdoor environments.


ALERT Researchers Receive EuCAP 2015 Best Paper Award
April 12th - 17th, 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal

Congratulations to our ALERT researchers, Prof. Carey Rappaport and Borja Gonzalez (PostDoc), who won the Best Antenna Design and Application Paper Award at the EuCAP 2015 - the 9th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation. Their paper, "Multistatic Nearfield Imaging Radar for Portal Security Systems Using a High Gain Toroidal Reflector Antenna," was presented by Prof. Rappaport at the conference, held this year in Lisbon, Portugal on April 12th - 17th. Selected from over 1,000+ papers presented throughout the conference, ALERT proudly congratulates Carey and Borja on this impressive achievement.


2015 IEEE HST Symposium ALERT Tutorial
April 14th, 2015 in Waltham, MA

ALERT led one of two tutorials given at the 2015 IEEE Symposium on Technologies for Homeland Security on April 14th, 2015 in Waltham, MA. The tutorials launched a three day event which included a plenary talk by Dr. Reginald Brothers, the Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology, and four research tracks focused on key homeland security topics: Cyber Security; Attack and Disaster Preparation, Recovery, and Response; Land and Maritime Border Security; Biometrics and Forensics. 


The tutorial provided an introduction to explosive threat sensing technologies to over 25 representatives from educational institutions, national labs, DHS, and members of the private security industry, and was led by ALERT Director, Prof. Michael Silevitch, ALERT researchers, Prof. Jim Smith from the University of Rhode Island, and Prof. Octavia Camps from Northeastern University, and Carl Crawford, from Csuptwo, LCC. 

ALERT Director and Affiliated Students Honored at Academic Honors Convocation
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 at Northeastern University

Three former ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS Scholars were honored at the Northeastern University Academic Honors Convocation for prestigious awards they received throughout the 2014-2015 academic year. Emma Kaeli, a Chemical Engineering student who previously worked with Prof. Carey Rappaport as a scholar, received the 2015 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Neel Shah, a Computer Engineering student who currently works with Prof. David Kaeli, received the 2015 Harold D. Hodgkinson Award. Logan Jackson, a Civil Engineering student who worked with Prof. Mehrdad Sasani as a scholar and ALERT REU participant, received the 2015 Robert J. Shillman Award for Engineering Excellence.


Michael B. Silevitch, Director of ALERT and Gordon-CenSSIS, and Simon Pitts, Director of the Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership (GEL) Program, were once again recognized by Northeastern University as the recipients of the 2015 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Engineering Education by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).


ALERT Students Present at RISE: 2015
Research, Innovation and Scholarship Expo (RISE)
April 9, 2015 at Northeastern University

Dozens of ALERT students and researchers participated in the RISE: 2015 at Northeastern University earlier this month. Student poster authors and presenters included: Alastair Abrahan, Anthony Bisulco, Mohit Bhardwaj, Thurston Brevett, Alyssa Caganda, Yukinori Fuse, Galia Ghazi, Chenyang (Eric) Liu, Mohammad Nemati, Matthew Nickerson, Mohammad Tajdini, Luis Tirado,  and Michael Woulfe. (Udergraduate researchers, Alastair Abrahan, Thurston Brevett, and Michael Woulfe, are pictured to the right).

Each year, in an effort to support Northeastern University's commitment to use-inspired research and solution focused innovation, hundreds of students and faculty members participate in this event to showcase the research and innovative thinking of the Northeastern community.

ADSA12 Workshop
Screening of Personnel and Divested Items at the Checkpoint on May 12-13th, 2015 at Northeastern University

ALERT will host the 12th Advanced Development for Security Applications Workshop (ADSA12) at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. The workshop will address the following topics: emerging hardware, emerging algorithms and processes, improving the passenger experience, and assessing and using risk.      


This workshop is by invitation only, and is convened by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center of Excellence (COE) for Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT).

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DHS General Engineering Opportunity
Application period: April 23 - May 6, 2015

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate has posted an opening for a full-time General Engineering position. Applications are accepted through the USA Jobs website. For more information, and to apply, please visit the 'read more' link below. 

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Pathways to Science 
Funding opportunities for STEM students  

The Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) Pathways to Science project supports pathways to the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) by connecting students to programs such as REUs, graduate fellowships, and postdoctoral positions. Students can sign up online to automatically receive information on research, funding, and professional development opportunities customized to their interests.

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ALERT Core Partner Institutions

Northeastern University (lead)
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