Michigan Tech Professor Presents Defense Research on the Hill

Michigan Tech ‘Latest News’

A computer engineer from Michigan Technological University is helping find bombs—before
they go off.

Tim Havens, William and Gloria Jackson Associate Professor of Computer Systems, Director
of both the Center for Data Sciences and the Data Science Graduate Program at Michigan
Tech, will present his research on Sensor-fused Explosive Hazard Detection at the
U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. this week at “STIx on the Hill.”

STIx stands for science, technology and information exchange and the event, boosted
as a “congressional briefing,” brings together leading experts in the defense research
community to discuss innovative areas for research and development for the Department
of Defense. The event is not your average research symposium because its location;
something Havens expressed excitement over, the opportunity to talk directly to congressional
staffers and congress people.

“Because they are driving budgets and the allocation to research dollars,” he says,
“if I can get them excited about one little thing I do, that influences where research
dollars go.”

Currently, Havens works with the U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate
out of Fort Belvoire, Virginia. He has been working in the defense research community
on explosive hazard detection for the last ten years, resulting in dozens of referred
articles and conference presentations. His defense research began as a graduate student
at the University of Missouri, thanks to his advisor Jim Keller.

“I started working on problems with him and then talked with people with money and
[started] writing my own proposals with and without him,” Havens says.

At the Capitol, Havens hopes to spark interest in his work on automatic algorithms
for detection of dangerous items buried in the road. Haven’s innovations with Sensor-fused
Explosive Hazard Detection provides lifesaving technology for both civilians and U.S.
military personnel in conflict zones like the Middle East, whose daily routine involves
driving along roads …

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