Janne Lindqvist receives Award at 2018 HotSec Summit

ECE Assistant Professor Janne Lindqvist received the Most Engaging Talk Award at the 2018 USENIX Summit on Hot Topics in Security (HotSec’18). HotSec summit is arranged with the tier-1 conference USENIX Security Symposium that was held this year at Baltimore, MD. In the talk entitled "Science of security or (Science of security, is it delicious and can I have some of it?)” Prof. Janne Lindqvist argued about challenges and remedies related to the science of security. One of the points Prof. Lindqvist made in his talk is that the field of security needs to move beyond building and evaluating computer systems or statistical group comparison of humans, and instead move towards predictive models, as exemplified by his group’s work published at the main conference.

Congratulations Janne!

Common WiFi Can Detect Weapons, Bombs and Chemicals in Bags

Rutgers-led study demonstrates low-cost technology for security screening at public venues like stadiums, theme parks and schools

Ordinary WiFi can easily detect weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals in bags at museums, stadiums, theme parks, schools and other public venues, according to a Rutgers University–New Brunswick-led study.

The researchers’ suspicious object detection system is easy to set up, reduces security screening costs and avoids invading privacy such as when screeners open and inspect bags, backpacks and luggage. Traditional screening typically requires high staffing levels and costly specialized equipment.

“This could have a great impact in protecting the public from dangerous objects,” said Yingying (Jennifer) Chen, study co-author and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Rutgers–New Brunswick’s School of Engineering. “There’s a growing need for that now.”

The peer-reviewed study received a best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security on cybersecurity. The study – led by researchers at the Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB) in the School of Engineering – included engineers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and Binghamton University. 

WiFi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags to get the dimensions of dangerous metal objects and identify them, including weapons, aluminum cans, laptops and batteries for bombs. WiFi can also be used to estimate the volume of liquids such as water, acid, alcohol and other chemicals for explosives, according to the researchers.

This low-cost system requires a WiFi device with two to three antennas and can be integrated into existing WiFi networks. The system analyzes what happens when wireless signals penetrate and bounce off objects and materials.

Experiments with 15 types of objects and six types of bags demonstrated detection accuracy rates of 99 percent for dangerous objects, 98 percent for metal and 95 percent for liquid. For typical backpacks, the accuracy rate exceeds 95 percent and drops to about 90 percent when objects inside bags are wrapped, Chen said.

"In large public areas, it’s hard to set up expensive screening infrastructure like what’s in airports,” Chen said. “Manpower is always needed to check bags and we wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower.”

Next steps include trying to boost accuracy in identifying objects by imaging their shapes and estimating liquid volumes, she said.

Story by Todd B. Bates for Rutgers Today

For more information, contact Todd B. Bates at todd.bates@rutgers.edu or 848-932-0550

Pedda and Suseela Sunnuti Scholarship Recipient

Peddapullaiah "Pedda" Sannuti, Professor Emeritus and Undergraduate Director of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the School of Engineering has been instrumental in the development and growth of the institution for over four decades. Together with his wife Suseela Sannuti, Professor Sannuti created and endowed a scholarship for students majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Scholarships are awarded to full-time undergraduate students based on academic merit and financial need.

Srikrishnaraja Mahadas is the first undergraduate student to receive the Pedda and Suseela Sannuti Scholarship for the year 2017-2018.  Srikrishnaraja is an undergraduate student majoring in Computer Engineering and pursuing a double minor in Computer Science and Psychology at Rutgers University. He is currently involved in a research project called Sports Biomechanics under the guidance of Professor George Shoane. The project is about creating the ideal golf swing and analyzing the dynamics of the golf stroke. A program called OpenSim was used to create and simulate a model of the body undergoing the motions of the golf swing, while Matlab was used to measure the various dynamics of the swing. The research project has really been an enriching experience for him, as it involved applying learned concepts to real-life scenarios. Another activity that has really changed his time here at Rutgers is membership in IEEE. He is mainly involved in IEEE through VEX, which is a division of IEEE focused on robotics. As a member of VEX, he was mainly involved in the construction of a robot that participated in a prestigious competition. VEX was a wonderful experience that allowed him to express the creative and innovative aspects of the engineering discipline. 

Gazing into the future, he has near-term and long-term goals and he believes that his current experiences at Rutgers will help him to achieve them.  When it comes to the near future, he will be a Learning Assistant in the Fall of 2018. He will be sharing his outlook and knowledge with his fellow students and inspire them to accomplish their goals. Further down the line, he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering.

Rutgers Involvement Fair

Get Involved at Rutgers!

Join over 500 student organizations, university departments and community partners to learn about the amazing opportunities Rutgers has to offer.

Monday, September 3, 2018 (Rain Date: Friday, September 7)


College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901


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