Review & outlook 2005: Research at Stevens hits new highs

08/01/05

Technogenesis® Company sold, new company & research center debut

HOBOKEN, N.J. -- The Office of Institute Technology Initiatives at Stevens Institute of Technology reports that FY 2005 research expenditures hit an all-time high at the fast-growing institution: $30.1 million, with a projected growth to $50 million annually by 2009.

"This is quite phenomenal when you consider where Stevens was even five years ago," said Stevens' VP for Institute Technology Initiatives, Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski. "Our highly developed expertise in computer science and engineering, maritime systems, systems engineering and nanoscale technologies has resulted in major growth of funded research. Our high-tech applications for homeland security and defense have been of particular interest to government science and technology agencies."

In July, in partnership with the US Navy, Wisniewski announced the debut of a unique research facility, the Secure Infrastructure Technology Laboratory (SINTEL). The lab was established with an initial grant of $6.8 million from the US Office of Naval Research (ONR). An additional $6 million is earmarked for FY 2006.

"SINTEL is a synthesis and expansion of Stevens' already vast expertise in the area of homeland security technologies," said Stevens' President Dr. Harold J. Raveché. "It will serve the needs of the US Navy and others by leveraging several existing research centers, which are already engaged in Naval Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection work, as well as infrastructure security research."

Also in 2005, Stevens accomplished the first sale of a Technogenesis Company based on a set of Stevens environmental technology patents. HydroGlobe, a start-up company offering unique processes for filtering heavy metals – such as lead and arsenic – from drinking water, was sold to Graver Technologies Inc. for $2 million plus patent licensing fees and a share in future sales of products and processes based on the HydroGlobe technologies.

Attila Technologies LLC, a new Technogenesis® Company, was recently launched by Dr. Wisniewski. Attila Technologies is a wireless communications company that provides continuous broadband, on-demand communication devices and services that function despite saturated airways.

Attila's technology is critical to developing a communication system that cannot be interrupted, or jammed, resulting in ultra-reliable, high-speed communications. Attila's products are based on patent-pending, break-through technology that was developed at Stevens' Wireless Network Security Center (WiNSeC), by Dr. Patrick E. White, Director of WiNSeC, and researcher Nicholas Girard, with funding from the National Science Foundation. Dr. White and Mr. Girard are both co-founders of Attila.

Dr. Wisniewski, who is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Attila, announced that Mr. John E. Bischoff, the former Vice President of Operations and Finance AOL, has accepted the position of CEO of Attila Technologies.

"Attila's approach solves the two most important problems faced by first responders in a disaster, as stated by the Department of Homeland Security – continuous communications and interoperability," said Wisniewski. "Therefore, Attila's initial market will be first responders." Interoperability is another critical need in a disaster situation because it provides the ability to interconnect diverse first-responder agencies (e.g., federal, state and local police agencies, fire departments) responding to major emergencies, a critical shortcoming in emergency response planning.

"Additional applications of Attila include delivery of high resolution mug shots to patrol cars operating in the field, or to transmit crime-scene videos to headquarters command centers, both done efficiently and at low cost without having to build an entirely new infrastructure," said WiNSeC's Dr. White.

Projections for market potential over five years are in the billion-dollar range.

Stevens' Center for Maritime Systems (CMS) has also been strongly active in research areas that are of interest to government agencies and corporate partners.

The New York Harbor Observing and Prediction System (NYHOPS) is an open-access network of distributed sensors and linked computer estuarine and coastal ocean forecasting models. The system is designed to allow for the real-time assessment of ocean, weather, and environmental conditions throughout the New York Harbor region, and forecast of conditions several days into the future.

"This is a comparatively new research field called operational oceanography," said Dr. Alan Blumberg of CMS, "which brings together expertise in ocean physics, coastal engineering and computer science." NYHOPS is an innovative force for implementing, testing, and verifying new computational and observational technologies for urban and coastal ocean applications. The program forges a working partnership among the US Navy, NOAA and state agencies to create a modeling/observation system that functions as both an operational product and a research tool. The knowledge yielded can used to foster the economic and environmental well-being of the New York Harbor region. The Department of Homeland Security is also working with the experts in the NYHOPS program to study the tracking of potential hazardous agents released in the NY/NJ urban environment.

"For Stevens, FY 2006 holds great potential for research growth in nanoscale and biomedical engineering, wireless network and optical sensory technologies for homeland security and bioinformatics for pharmaceutical discovery and other advances," said Thomas Corcoran, Chair of the Stevens' Board of Trustees Research and Technology Commercialization Committee.

The well-known engineering school across the Hudson from Manhattan has many exciting stories to offer in the year ahead.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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