Brian Harrell, Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), provides the opening keynote during the Port of the Future Conference at the University of Houston in Houston, on TX March 11, 2020. CISA, a component of the Department of Homeland Security, is the Nation’s risk advisor, working with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborating to build more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future.
The BTI Institute co-hosted the inaugural Port of the Future Conference with the University of Houston College of Technology on 11-12 March 2020 in Houston, TX. The Conference brought influential members of industry, government and academia together to discuss the current challenges and solutions relevant to land, air, and seaports. Additionally, the discussions revolved around the future of ports and the potential technologies or policies that can be implemented now to facilitate the needs of the future. Anthony Ambler, Ph.D., Director of BTI and Dean of the UH College of Technology provided opening remarks. A research showcase portion of the conference was canceled due to increased precaution and guidance over COVID-19. However, of note, multiple researchers associated with the BTI Institute were able to present during the conference to highlight their research efforts and initiatives.
Ben Rohrbaugh, the Chief Executive Officer of Lantern UAS and Principal Investigator for Exploring Homeland Security Applications Unmanned Autonomous Systems, discussed the potential uses of Unmanned Autonomous Systems during a panel on Unmanned Surveillance Systems at ports of entry.
Weidong “Larry” Shi, Ph.D., Principal Investigator for Transforming Trade and Ensuring Global Supply Chain Security with Blockchain and Smart Contracts, presented on the findings of his project during the Blockchain Technology panel.
Maria Burns, Instructional Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator of the Curriculum Development project, led the panel Intermodal Connectivity and presented during the Workforce Development panel on the status of the Curriculum Development project.
The conference also saw DHS Center of Excellence collaboration as leadership at other active and emeritus Centers participated.
Major General Randy Kee, United States Air Force (ret) Executive Director of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center of Excellence (ADAC) at the University of Alaska, gave a presentation on A New Arctic: Reflections on the Opportunities and Challenges with Arctic Ports and Shipping. The video of his presentation can be seen on the BTI Institute YouTube page.
Steve S. Sin, Director of the Unconventional Weapons & Technology Division at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), participated in the panel Emerging Trends and Threat Intelligence.
Thomas Guarrieri, Ph.D., Assistant Research Scientist at START, gave a presentation on the Cargo Aviation Insider Threat Assessment Tool.
Rhyner Washburn, Cyber Intelligence Researcher at START, participated in a panel on Cybersecurity.
Multiple distinguished professionals contributed to the discussion on the challenges and opportunities presented by ports of the future.
Brian Harrell, Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security in the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration.
Admiral James Loy (ret), former Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Alan Bersin, former Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.