The strategic location and role of the State of New Jersey render it a key link in national and international supply chains: it has numerous port facilities and complex transportation systems, it is the most densely populated state in the nation, and it abuts the New York and Philadelphia mega-population centers. The NY/NJ port complex and the Port of Camden/Philadelphia are major marine entry points for imports, and key transportation and commerce hubs serving the eastern seaboard and the nation. The 9/11 event has heightened concerns for homeland security, including supply chain security, and especially port security. To wit, the potentially catastrophic consequences of a container carrying weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or other hazardous agents make port and transportation security a vital concern both for the State of New Jersey and the nation.
LPS aims to leverage the strengths at Rutgers University and provide leadership in port security research and education in the State of New Jersey as well as nationally. LPS will build on the strong research reputation and leadership at the Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS) and the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT) to create a unique resource for Rutgers, the State of New Jersey and beyond. It will coordinate collaborative research with a host of participants within and outside Rutgers University. Rutgers participating faculty are drawn from DIMACS, CAIT, Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), Rutgers Business School (RBS) and the Rutgers Center for Supply Chain Management (RCSCM), Mathematics, Statistics, the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS), Rutgers Center for Operations Research (RUTCOR), Wireless Network Laboratory (WINLAB), School of Communication, School of Information and Library Studies (SCILS), and Computer Science. LPS interacts with the Rutgers Center for the Study of Public Security at the School of Criminal Justice on the legal and legislative aspects of port security.
A variety of collaborating institutions from industry, government and academia outside Rutgers will enhance LPS activities. Preliminary contacts have been made with SUNY-Albany, NJ Office of Counter-Terrorism, Office of the NJ Attorney General, Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP-Newark), the Port Authority of NY/NJ (PANYNJ), NJ Department of Transportation (NJ-DOT), SUNY-Maritime College, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Labs, World Customs Organization (WTO), U.S. Coast Guard, and APM Terminals and Maher Terminals in Port Elizabeth.
LPS will build on several interdisciplinary DIMACS and CAIT projects on port security, logistics and transportation currently in progress, with funding from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), NJ-DOT, US-DOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). LPS is also intended to have a significant educational impact by introducing courses and involving Rutgers students in projects that would prepare them for homeland security careers in the post 9/11 world.