Research Project Description
Software for Drinking Water Security Research Training Opportunity
Research Participant Program
Office of Research and Development
National Homeland Security Research Center
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
A postgraduate research project training opportunity is currently available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Homeland Security Research Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. This appointment will be served with the Water Infrastructure Protection Division.
The National Homeland Security Research Center (NHSRC) was formed in 2002 to conduct research in support of EPA’s role in homeland security. NHSRC research focuses on five areas: water infrastructure protection, threat and consequence assessment, decontamination and consequence management, response capability enhancement, and homeland security technology testing and evaluation. The NHSRC’s Water Infrastructure Protection Division is working to reduce drinking water and wastewater system vulnerabilities, prevent and prepare for terrorist attacks, minimize public health impacts and infrastructure damage, and enhance recovery efforts. A major area of research is the detection of contamination within a water distribution system. Standard water quality sensors, such as chlorine and total organic carbon, provide data which can be analyzed to determine the presence of contaminants within the water. One of the tools NHSRC researchers have developed for water security is the CANARY event detection software which aids in the detection of contamination.
The research participant will be part of a software development team that is rewriting the CANARY event detection software in Java or C++ using open source statistical packages. With guidance from the mentor, the participant may be involved in the following training activities:
- Recoding the CANARY software from MATLAB into a programming language preferred by commercial vendors (Java or C++)
- Utilizing a software subversion repository
- Evaluating the recoded CANARY software using a set of tests
- Updating software documentation
- Testing and applying water security software tools at one or more U. S. water utilities
- Writing, reviewing, and editing scientific reports.
The research participant will have the opportunity to learn about water distribution systems and software tools for water security, including learning about software engineering best practices and management of open source software tools. The participant will become familiar with a variety of scientific methods being used to address research needs identified by the water sector, including data fusion and data mining, pattern recognition, chemical, biological and physical processes in drinking water, hydraulics, and water quality.
The participant will have the opportunity to serve on an interdisciplinary team of experienced researchers to solve timely homeland security issues, and may contribute to peer-reviewed journal publications and conference presentations on research results. EPA will review all research products for adherence to NHSRC policies, quality, and soundness of scientific conclusions.
Applicants must have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science, applied mathematics, engineering, or a related discipline or a related field within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date. Experience programming in C++, JAVA, and python and familiarity with MATLAB for mathematical and statistical problem solving are desired.
U.S. citizenship is required. The program is open to qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran.
The research participant will be selected based on academic records, recommendations, research interests, and the availability of funds, staff, programs and equipment. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. This can be obtained through ORISE. The participant does not become an EPA employee.
The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed for up to two additional years upon recommendation of EPA and subject to availability of funds. The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with education level and experience. Funds may be made available to reimburse the participant's travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences and attend training seminars. No funding will be made available to cover travel costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition or school fees, and participant's health insurance.
The contact person for this project is Dr. Regan Murray. Dr. Murray can be contacted at Murray.Regan@epa.gov.
How to Apply:
The Research Participation Program for EPA ORD is administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. Please reference Project # EPA-ORD/NHSRC-CIN-2012-01 when calling or writing for information. For additional information and application materials contact: Research Participation Program/EPA-ORD, Attn: Betty Bowling, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, P. O. Box 117, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0117, Phone: (865) 576-8503, FAX: (865) 241-5219, e-mail: email@example.com.
An application can be found at http://www.orau.gov/partform/EPA/EPA_Application.pdf.