Alec Rose

Modular and metamaterial approaches to physical security

Speaker: Alec Rose, Evolv Technologies

Abstract: At the same time that threats to physical security advance and modernize, the security process experienced by most individuals has become predictable and mundane. No single device better attests to this than the ubiquitous metal detector, whose state-of-the-art inception remains a recognizable relative of its 50 year old ancestors. Following the rise of the internet, the smart phone, and now crowd-sourced apps, what other vital industries can say the same? The recent advances in many other industries can be boiled down to the concept of functional modularity within a unified framework. The same could be said of metamaterials, it seems, in that a common toolbox and process can be deployed across a huge and varied swath of applications with minimal effort on the part of the engineer. How else could metamaterials come to encompass microwaves, optics, fluidics, acoustics, and seismology, and yet still be considered a device-oriented field? In this talk, I will discuss our latest modular and metamaterial conceptions of physical security, connecting our current progress in the area of antenna and sensor design for millimeter wave detection to our vision of the industry’s future as an interconnected web of inexpensive and distributed sensors. While metamaterials, in their strictest definition, may or may not reinvent each sensor, their modular framework can still prove to be a powerful driver towards the next generation of physical security devices.

Biosketch: Dr. Alec Rose received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University in 2013, under the guidance of Professor David R. Smith. As a member of the Smith research group, Rose made contributions to the theory and design of nonlinear electromagnetic metamaterials, working across the spectrum from microwaves to optics. Since graduating from Duke, he has worked as Principle Scientist at Evolv Technology, a Gates funded startup advancing physical security with breakthroughs in metamaterials, compressive sensing and object recognition algorithms. Rose’s current research interests include the modeling and analysis of millimeter wave scattering in the radiative near-field.