UM Students, Faculty Participate in Center for Secure & Resilient Maritime Commerce

Eight-week research program tackles critical issues in maritime domain awareness, emergency response, and maritime system resilience

Stevens UM Students on the campus of Stevens over the summer — (L-R) Samuel Otu-Amoah, Daniel Reynolds and Brian Paul

HOBOKEN, N.J. — July 28, 2011 — The National Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR) completed its 2nd Summer Research Institute, held on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. For the second year, the Summer Research Institute provided a stipend and free housing to three students from the University of Miami (UM) – Samuel Otu-Amoah, Daniel Reynolds and Brian Paul – along 18 with students from other CSR partner schools. The prestigious eight-week research program is designed to tackle critical issues in maritime domain awareness, emergency response, and maritime system resilience to enhance our nation’s maritime security.

UM faculty members Dr. Hans Graber and Roland Romeiser of the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science’s Applied Marine Physics division and Dr. Shahriar Negahdaripour of the UM College of Engineering were among the faculty involved in this collaborative summer program.

“The CSR Summer Institute provides students from the University of Miami an introduction to the complexity of the maritime transportation system and how to protect it from a potential harmful threat.” said Graber, UM professor of Applied Marine Physics and executive director of CSTARS (Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing),whose facility provided satellite images for students to use throughout the summer.

Students in the program focused on research issues related to Maritime Security, Transportation Systems Design for Resilience, and Cognitive Ports. They were able to visit ports, working laboratories and government sites in the region. Students also engaged in seminars and lectures by CSR researchers, maritime industry and government experts, and this year participated in hands-on modeling and simulation projects dealing with a terrorist threat inside the port of New York.

“Using a multi-tiered surveillance system consisting of radar and optical sensors on satellites, IR and HD optical cameras overlooking the Hudson River at the Stevens campus, high frequency radar tracking, and acoustic monitoring, the students tracked a small, unknown vessel entering the port and navigating up the Hudson River,” said UM Associate Professor Romeiser, “This allowed the students to get an impression of the difficulties involved in the data interpretation and of the real-world capabilities of the different instruments for such applications.”

As they prepared to leave Stevens, students drafted reports and presented their research findings and conclusions to CSR researchers and Department of Homeland Security officials. Outstanding reports will be selected by DHS officials for next year’s annual Homeland Security Summit for presentation by student representatives to the community.

“We were very impressed with the caliber of the reports and the ability of these students to digest fundamental concepts in signal and image processing,” said UM Engineering Professor Negahdaripour. “Our undergraduate students will take back invaluable experiences that they should be able to apply to their studies far beyond this summer.”

Stevens Institute of Technology was in 2008 named by the US Department of Homeland Security as one of five national Centers of Excellence and was selected to lead a national research effort to address Port Security. Stevens was one of 11 universities to partner with the DHS in its efforts. The Department’s partners serve as important team members for conducting multi-disciplinary research and creating innovative learning environments for critical homeland security missions.

The Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce (CSR), along with the University of Hawaii’s National Center for Islands, Maritime, and Extreme Environments Security (CIMES), are the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Center of Excellence for Maritime, Island and Extreme/Remote Environment Security. The two Centers have parallel objectives and complementary expertise and their close coordination enhances the capabilities of each. The Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce at Stevens, focuses on sensors, modeling and analysis to improve maritime domain awareness. The center also addresses the question: can a marine transportation system be designed for the United States that is resilient to man-made and natural threats.

About Stevens Institute of Technology
Founded in 1870 and celebrating 140 Years of Innovation, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University, is one of the leading technological universities in the world dedicated to learning and research. Through its broad-based curricula, nurturing of creative inventiveness, and cross disciplinary research, the Institute is at the forefront of global challenges in engineering, science, and technology management. Partnerships and collaboration between, and among, business, industry, government and other universities contribute to the enriched environment of the Institute. A new model for technology commercialization in academe, known as Technogenesis¨, involves external partners in launching business enterprises to create broad opportunities and shared value. Additional information may be obtained from its web page at

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

dr. hans graber •  applied marine physics •  dr. shahriar negahdaripour •  college of engineering •  cstars •  dr. roland romeiser •