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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU will play key role in DHS Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration

New Mexico State University is a major partner in a University of Arizona consortium of research universities that have partnered to form the Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration. The center will receive $15 million over six years.

NMSU was selected to be a partner for the extensive research and development it conducts in areas related to border security and immigration across its colleges.

"We are very pleased to be part of the University of Arizona-led Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration and to serve our nation in homeland security," said NMSU Vice President for Research Vimal Chaitanya. "This Center of Excellence is a culmination of two years of collaborative effort, and we look forward to contributing critical technologies and developing policy solutions that will directly benefit New Mexico and the Southwest. Together with the newly announced Unmanned Aerial Systems Flight Test Center, this opportunity will enable NMSU to enhance its service to the nation."

The Office of Strategic Initiatives within NMSU's Vice President for Research Office managed and coordinated this multidisciplinary proposal effort working with the University of Arizona and NMSU faculty and staff from the various colleges.

The University of Arizona will lead the research functions of the center and the University of Texas at El Paso will lead the center's educational components. The establishment of the center by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security follows more than two years of work assembling a team of U.S. universities and Mexican and Canadian institutions, government agencies, technology companies and national laboratories.

Research at the center will focus on new technologies such as surveillance, screening, data fusion and situational awareness using sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles and other technologies. The center will also provide research on population dynamics, immigration administration and enforcement, operational analysis, control and communications, immigration policy, civic integration and citizenship, border risk management and international governance.

Educational programs will include training programs to develop science, technology and management solutions to prepare the next generation of border security professionals while further enhancing the skills of personnel currently in the field. The center will also provide tools and practices that can be rapidly deployed to end users.

NMSU's extensive research and development expertise includes:

* sensor nets for target detection and tracking
* use of unmanned aerial vehicles as a persistent surveillance and reconnaissance platform for large areas
* collection and fusion of data from multiple sensors to provide situational awareness
* interoperability of legacy, current, and next-generation communication systems used by local, state, and federal agencies along the border
* testing and evaluation of technologies
* policy-relevant research on border security, migration, technology, and international governance issues
* U.S.-Mexico border issues, including trade, energy, environment, demographics, cross-border relations, and population and economic dynamics

The Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration will be led by Jay Nunamker Jr., professor at the University of Arizona. He currently serves as the director of the UA's Center for Management of Information. Elyse Golob will serve as the associate director. She currently serves as the director of the UA's Office of Economic and Policy Analysis.

In addition to NMSU, the University of Arizona and UTEP, Center of Excellence partners include Arizona State University, New Mexico Tech, San Diego State University, University of Texas-Pan American, University of Minnesota, University of Washington, West Virginia University, University of Southern California and the University of Albany.