Technologically Speaking

Technologically Speaking is a podcast series that delivers insightful, thought-provoking, and unscripted conversations about timely national security challenges and the scientific solutions S&T is developing to tackle them.

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6 days ago

The final episode of Technologically Speaking Season Two delves into the world of soft target security with S&T’s Ali Fadel. Host Dee Saini chats with Ali about what a soft target is (hint: check out the episode title), how S&T is collaborating with agencies at every level of government to keep venues and civilians safe, and promising new technologies being used to get the job done—including barriers recently deployed to Kansas City for the 2023 NFL Draft. 

Improving the Current Fleet

Tuesday May 23, 2023

Tuesday May 23, 2023

In this episode, host John Verrico chats with S&T’s Robert Klueg from our Transportation Security Laboratory (TSL) about how the lab is servicing the existing fleet of screening systems—a key part of the Screening at Speed Program. In part two of our two-part series on the program, John and Robert discuss new technologies that will make the screening process both quick and secure and reflect on the origins of TSL following the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Be sure to listen to part one, “300 People Per Hour Per Lane,” which explains the Screening at Speed program, how it got started and where it’s going in the future. 

300 People Per Hour Per Lane

Tuesday May 16, 2023

Tuesday May 16, 2023

Could the future of the airport security line function like the self-checkout process at your local grocery store? Join host John Verrico and S&T Screening at Speed Program Manager Dr. John Fortune as they explore the future of passenger screening. Dr. Fortune and his team are working to improve the traveler experience during this vital process, and you won’t want to miss the discussions about new technologies in development that could make it happen. While this work is not without its challenges, Dr. Fortune and his team are optimistic about the impact they could have on a growing traveling public. 

Tuesday May 09, 2023

Technologically Speaking spends some time with Syed Mohammad, lead for the Science and Technology Directorate’s Modeling and Simulation Technology Center.  Host Dee Saini has a fascinating conversation about the creation and accuracy of simulations and how they can be used to train first responders in realistic scenarios, plan large events and the movements of crowds through complex venues, and many other important tasks. Syed also talks about the metaverse—how it’s already here and what you should know about it.

NUSTL’s Bread and Butter

Wednesday May 03, 2023

Wednesday May 03, 2023

Host Deepak Saini is joined by Orly Amir, program manager for Radiological/Nuclear Response and Recovery (RNRR) at S&T’s National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL). Orly, a proud New Yorker, explains how this research and development program boosts preparedness for communities of all sizes across our nation and reveals why she finds planning for disasters to be fulfilling rather than stressful. You’ll appreciate the importance of NUSTL’s role in enhancing first responder capabilities and learn about the successful tools, models, and guidance the RNRR program provides. 

Keeping Criminals Up at Night

Tuesday Apr 25, 2023

Tuesday Apr 25, 2023

Technologically Speaking spends some time with Shane Cullen, program manager for the Forensics and Criminal Investigations Program at S&T. Like last week’s guest Patty Wolfhope, Shane understands the unquestionable value and importance of S&T’s efforts to catch criminals on the dark web and beyond. In this second installment of our two-part series on digital forensics and child exploitation, Shane discusses the role these tools play in catching the criminals who commit unthinkable acts, as well as other applications of the technologies in investigations. He also delves into the ways artificial intelligence is streamlining the process of sifting through (sometimes disturbing or voluminous) data and how this protects investigators.

Tuesday Apr 18, 2023

This episode discusses sensitive topics including violence against children. Listener discretion is strongly advised.
This is the first episode in a two-part series on how S&T is working to combat online child sexual exploitation and abuse. Host John Verrico is joined by Patricia (Patty) Wolfhope, subject matter expert in digital forensic systems, for an eye-opening discussion of the scope of this insidious threat and why developing tools to enhance law enforcement effectiveness is a top priority for the Department. Though some of the descriptions of what takes place on the dark web are very dark indeed, audiences will also leave this episode more aware of how to recognize signs of online exploitation and sextortion. The second part of this two-part series features Patty’s colleague, Shane Cullen, who will delve deeper into additional aspects of S&T’s digital forensics portfolio.

Tuesday Apr 11, 2023

Technologically Speaking sits down with Dr. Ann Cox, technical lead and subject matter expert in Cybersecurity and Quantum Information Science (QIS) at S&T. QIS, a disruptive phenomenon, is going to be like cell phones or the internet, according to Dr. Cox. She speaks with host Deepak Saini about the many ways that QIS is already affecting our world, and how S&T is preparing for the opportunities and challenges that QIS will bring in the future. From solving problems like limitations in MRIs, to changing the way governments secure their data—QIS will change the world 

The Power of Play

Tuesday Apr 11, 2023

Tuesday Apr 11, 2023

Hosts John Verrico and Deepak Saini sit down with S&T’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Sam Howerton, to pick his brain about all things science. Listen as Sam takes our hosts on a journey through a world of imagination and exploration as he shares his unique perspective. Sam discusses the ways scientists can help solve homeland security challenges, S&T’s role in the future, taking risks as an organization, and more. He also talks about what motivated him to pursue his career path and gives us a chemist’s explanation for why Nashville hot chicken is so good! This episode will change the way you think about science. You don’t want to miss it!

Tuesday Apr 11, 2023

In this Tech Speak mini episode, Dr. Sarah Bereznicki from S&T’s Chemical Security Analysis Center (CSAC) discusses how the lab worked to secure both indoor and outdoor events during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVII. Listen as Dr. Bereznicki explains how her team used a predictive modeling tool to secure the event, walks through how the tool was developed, and discusses her team’s future plans. Dr. Bereznicki also runs through CSAC’s playbook and addresses a common assumption. 


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