• CybersecurityCybercriminals Use Pandemic to Attack Schools and Colleges

    By Nir Kshetri

    From Aug. 14 to Sept. 12, 2021, educational organizations were the target of over 5.8 million malware attacks, or 63% of all such attacks. Ransomware attacks alone impacted 1,681 U.S. schools, colleges and universities in 2020. Globally 44% of educational institutions were targeted by such attacks.

  • Cybersecurity educationTeaching Vehicle Cybersecurity

    University of Detroit Mercy recently received a $1.12-million award from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to establish the Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute, a regional-based, cybersecurity consortium. “Without an increase to the workforce now, the cybersecurity risk to DoD and commercial ground vehicles will keep falling further behind the increasing threats from actors in multi-domain contested environments,” said one expert.

  • DronesDetecting, Identifying Small Drones in Urban Environment

    DHS has awarded $750K to a Texas company to develop a detection and tracking sensor system that can identify nefarious small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in an urban environment.

  • Infrastructure protectionHelping Communities Avoid the Climate Crosshairs

    By Jared Sagoff, Carolyn Steeele, and Andrea Manning

    Scientists are addressing the vulnerabilities of infrastructure systems through the lens of climate impacts by creating and adapting climate maps to infrastructure as a way for communities to protect themselves from the effects of climate change.

  • Radiation detectionRedesigning Radiation Monitors at U.S. Ports of Entry

    Every day at ports of entry around the country, hundreds of thousands of vehicles and containers cross into the country. Since 9/11, all incoming vehicles and containers at land crossings, rail crossings, mail facilities, and shipping terminals are scanned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to detect potential threats, including radiation. The time has come to replace and upgrade the aging radiation detection systems.

  • Killer robotsNew Armed Robot to Patrol Battlefield, Border

    An Israeli defense contractor on Monday unveiled a remote-controlled armed robot which can patrol battle zones, borders, track infiltrators, and open fire. The robot can also be programmed to make decisions on its own, without human intervention, about opening fire.

  • Energy securityCan Hydropower Survive in a Future of Extreme Weather?

    By Jeannette Cwienk

    Hydropower has long been seen as a reliable renewable energy source. But during drought and heavy rain, hydropower plants often come to a standstill. Will climate change spell the end for this clean energy alternative?

  • Post-9/11 building codesHow the Terrifying Evacuations from the Twin Towers on 9/11 Helped Make Today's Skyscrapers Safer

    By Erica Kuligowski

    One legacy of the 9/11 tragedy and the harrowing experience of those who successfully escaped the Twin Towers – the disaster was the most significant high-rise evacuation in modern times —  is that today’s skyscrapers can be emptied much more safely and easily in an emergency.

  • Water securityCalif.’s Central Valley: Increased Pumping During Drought in Worsens Groundwater Quality

    Researchers, examining thirty years of data from California’s Central Valley, found that intensive pumping of aquifers during drought can speed up deterioration of groundwater quality.

  • Pandemic preparednessApollo Program-Style Pandemic Preparedness Plan

    Last week, the Biden administration announced a new biosecurity plan which it likened to the Apollo program of the late 1960s. This $65 billion proposal would be one of the largest investments in public health in American history and would “remake the nation’s pandemic preparedness infrastructure in the wake of Covid-19.”

  • Water tensionsIran-Afghanistan Water Dispute: A Test of Tehran's Ties to Taliban

    By Shabnam von Hein

    An old dispute over water rights could be the first test of Iran’s planned pragmatic cooperation with the Taliban. Without a functioning environmental agency, though, it is unclear who in Afghanistan can address the conflict.

  • 9/11: Twin Towers collapse9/11 Conspiracy Theories Debunked: 20 Years Later, Engineering Experts Explain How the Twin Towers Collapsed

    By David Oswald, Erica Kuligowski, and Kate Nguyen

    The collapse of the World Trade Center has been subject to intense public scrutiny over the last twenty years, prompting several investigations and spawning a variety of conspiracy theories. FEMA’s report was published in 2002, and NIST’s 3-year investigation produced a report which was published in 2005. While there have been critics of both reports, their explanation for the buildings’ collapse is widely accepted. They conclude it was not caused by direct impact by the aircraft, or the use of explosives, but by fires that burned inside the buildings after impact.

  • Fake videosDetecting Forged Video Evidence

    Video evidence is commonly used to prove what happened during an event. However, with the emergence and rapid development of CGI (computer-generated images), deep fakes, and video manipulation, there is a pressing need for tools to detect forgeries that would otherwise undermine the value of video evidence.

  • Climate challengesSummer 2021: Neck and Neck with Dust Bowl Summer for Hottest on Record

    The average temperature during meteorological summer for the contiguous U.S. was 74.0 degrees F, 2.6 degrees above average. This technically exceeds the record heat of the 1936 Dust Bowl Summer. In August, the U.S. was plagued by multiple deadly weather and climate disasters.

  • Hurricane IdaA Preview of What’s to Come: Climate Change Helped Intensify Hurricane Ida

    Hurricane Ida started as a disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean quickly grew to what could be the worst hurricane to hit Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While scientists are uncertain whether climate change will increase the frequency of hurricanes, one thing is clear: Climate change is here, and it’s making these storms stronger and more destructive.