Campus & Community

CSR Summer Research Institute Addresses Homeland, Maritime Security

The Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR), one of four Stevens National Centers of Excellence, has concluded its fifth annual Summer Research Institute to address homeland and maritime security through novel research. The eight-week program included the participation and research of 18 graduate and undergraduate students from Stevens, Rutgers University, New York City College of Technology (CITY Tech) and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM).

Lectures from faculty and government practitioners covered such topics as maritime domain awareness, the Marine Transportation System, emergency response and preparedness, maritime system resilience, and tools and technologies to enhance maritime situational awareness and surveillance capabilities.

Field trips included visits to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) tactical operations facility at the Port of New York/Newark and the Department of Homeland Security's National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL) in Manhattan; a mission patrol aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Sturgeon Bay in the Hudson River; and a trip to New York City's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) headquarters in Brooklyn.

These field visits and interactions with real-world practitioners are key elements of the Institute, noted Beth Austin-DeFares, education director for CSR.

"CSR’s partnerships with CBP, USCG, NUSTL and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJ OHSP), to name a few, have been instrumental in our ability to provide students with unique personal and professional insight into homeland security issues and the current state of practice in the field," she said.

This summer’s student teams produced original research contributing to the Center’s on-going and emerging projects in the areas of emergency-planning and response software tools, maritime threat scenario development, the detection and automatic classification of small vessels on the Hudson River using the Stevens Passive Acoustic Detection System (SPADES), and the integration of broadband radar and electro-optics to maximize vessel detection and camera field of view.

Since the summer program's inception in 2010, 88 students representing 18 U.S. colleges and universities have participated. In addition to producing research with direct impact and utility to security professionals, it has also been effective in inspiring students to pursue academic study and careers in homeland security, added Austin-DeFares.