Jackson State’s $470,000 Homeland Security award aims to increase awareness of natural disasters through emerging technology

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University is the recipient of a Department of Homeland Security Scientific Leadership Award totaling $470,000. Funds will be used for a collaborative interdisciplinary effort to integrate Emergency Management Technology and meteorology in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET)

In addition, the award will help form a partnership with Copiah-Lincoln Community College (Co-Lin), which is expected to serve as a pipeline for student recruitment from two-year to four-year degrees in Homeland Security-related fields.

Dr. Duanjun Lu

The project is being spearheaded by Dr. Duanjun Lu, the principal investigator and a meteorology instructor in CSET. He and his team will help develop new course modules, upgrade laboratories and implement field campaigns for case studies. Their plans will involve meteorology observations and geographic surveying through drone.

Furthermore, funding will support efforts related to conducting student and faculty research; revising existing courses; and strengthening the collaboration between JSU and its community college partner. Through implementation of the project, Lu said, “JSU expects to enhance the meteorology, emergency management technology and civil engineering programs with cutting-edge technology.”

Lu said he also expects that results will “increase the number of JSU undergraduate students pursuing careers and higher academic degrees in the fields relevant to Homeland Security and STEM so that we can strengthen the future homeland security workforce.” As well, he said he foresees extending and expanding collaboration with DHS Centers of Excellence (COE), government offices, and private-sector entities.

Lu’s co-PI team consists of the following:

  • Dr. Hui-Ru Shih, in CSET’s Emergency Management Technology
  • Dr. Kejun Wen, in CSET’s Civil and Environmental Engineering and Industrial Systems and Technology

The project, which started this month, is expected to last three years.