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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. News Release: S&T Awards Minority Serving Institutions for Summer Research Projects

News Release: S&T Awards Minority Serving Institutions $446K for Summer Research Projects

Release Date: February 24, 2021

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today that nine faculty members from S&T’s Office of University Programs’ (OUP) Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) program have been selected to receive a total of $446,200 in funding to continue their Summer Research Team (SRT) program for research projects at several DHS S&T Centers of Excellence (COE). 

The SRT Program, administered by S&T’s OUP, engages early-career faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in a 10-week research experience. The program provides opportunities for participants to better understand DHS’ mission and research needs, thus fostering critical advancements in DHS’ core research areas. These teams collaborate and conduct their studies at the COEs, which are led by partner universities and colleges. The COEs are designed around vital homeland security-related topics such as: risk and economic analysis, food and agriculture security, preparedness, the study of terrorism, and information analysis and visualization.

This program aims to integrate the unique intellectual capital of the nation’s MSI community with DHS’ scientific leadership in order to enhance and inspire the next generation of homeland security thought leaders, helping to build a cadre of university students and faculty who are well-qualified, diverse and ready to enter the homeland security science and engineering workforce.

The award winners, their projects, and associated COEs are:

  • Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC)
    • Dr. Eranna Guruvadoo, Bethune-Cookman University
      Project: Arctic Oil Spill Detection Using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks and Satellite Data.
  • Borders, Trade & Immigration Institute (BTI)
    • Dr. Harshica Fernando, Prairie View A&M University
      Project: High Sensitivity, low-cost field assays.
  • Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE)
    • Dr. Eduardo Perez, Texas State University
      Project: A Simulation-Based Data Driven Approach to Manage the Allocation of Airport Security Screening Resources in Airport Terminal Checkpoints.
  • Coastal Resilience Center (CRC)
    • Dr. Sambit Bhattacharya, Fayetteville State University
      Project: Storm Surge Prediction with Physics-Guided Machine Learning Models.
    • Dr.  Mauricio Cabrera-Rios, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
      Project: Enhancing Personal Decision Making During and After a Hurricane to Preserve Wellness.
    • Dr. Liping Liu, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
      Project: Combined Atmospheric-Storm Surge Modeling of Hurricane Florence (2018).
  • Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)
    • Dr. Weifeng Xu, University of Baltimore
      Project: Developing a Shared Cyber Forensic Intelligence Repository for Collaborative Cybercrime Analysis.
  • Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)
    • Dr. Yuan Shengli, University of Houston-Downtown
      Project: Improving Routing Security and Reliability in Large and Dense IoT Networks.  
  • Maritime Security Center (MSC)
    • Dr. Bruce Kim, City University of New York
      Project: SENSE: Low-Cost, Handheld Sulfur Emission Detection Device for USCG Marine Inspectors.

For more information about the S&T Office of University Programs, visit:

For more information about the SRT program for Minority Serving Institutions, visit:


Last Updated: 02/24/2021
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