Stevens Wins DHS Award to Train Future Maritime Security Leaders

NYC Harbor

Our modern, interconnected global economy depends on products and goods that were built, assembled or harvested from all over the world. Indeed, some 90% of trade is transported by sea, according to the International Maritime Organization. As a leader in maritime security and commerce education and research, the Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR) at Stevens Institute of Technology, has won its third consecutive Science and Technology Career Development Grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The grant will support fellowships, including full tuition and stipends, for three full-time Maritime Systems graduate students.

“This grant will strengthen a primary focus area of our National Center of Excellence - the education of future national leaders in the maritime security profession,” says Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean of the Charles V. Schaeffer Jr., School of Engineering and Science. “Stevens is committed to engaging our students in leading-edge research with real-world applications. This grant will offer just such an opportunity.”

As part of the Maritime Systems Fellowship program, students not only attain valuable knowledge through classroom studies, they also gain practical experience working with homeland security stakeholders such as the United States Navy, NYPD, and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The Fellowship program focuses on students’ career development, equipping them with the necessary skills to and experience to succeed in the professional world,” says Beth Austin Defares, CSR Director of Education and Coordinator of the Maritime Systems Master’s Degree Fellowship Program. “Students directly engage and collaborate with senior leadership and thought leaders in homeland security.”

The students will also participate in the CSR’s Summer Research Institute, a highly-collaborative, hands-on summer research program that emphasizes critical thinking and multi-disciplinary research to generate innovative ideas and solutions to address complex maritime security issues. One of the notable successes to have emerged from the Summer Research Institute is Magello, an online environmental monitoring tool that provides comprehensive crucial information to emergency first-responders and decision makers in order to protect our ports in the event of an environmental crisis. The technology was selected as a finalist in the 2012 National Homeland Defense Foundation (NHDF) National Security Innovation Competition.

“This is a rigorous two-year fellowship. We work closely with the students to identify their career goals and ensure their success,” says Dr. Hady Salloum, Director of Advanced Research Programs at Stevens. “We leverage all of our resources and contacts to gain employment for the fellowship students so that they can be most effective in their career.”

In addition to full-time enrollment, students are required to complete a Master’s thesis and commit at least one year post-graduation in the field of homeland security to utilize the education and experiential learning they gained from the fellowship program.

“The program is very comprehensive and tailored to the students in order to make sure they have the tools needed to obtain the best education possible,” says Alex Pollara, a current student in the fellowship program. “The commitment to ensuring the overall success of the fellowship students is unparalleled. With the program’s support, the sky is the limit.”

Stevens was awarded its first DHS Career Development Grant in 2010. Stevens is home to the Center for Maritime Systems (CMS)  and the Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence – Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce, each of which provides unique educational and research opportunities for students to collaborate with maritime security researchers, and gain invaluable hands-on research experience.

Stevens will begin recruiting students in order to place three new recipients by June 2013 for their first summer internship. For more information or to apply, visit