Michael Sossong, Ph.D., 2011 Homeland Security Award

Written by on April 10, 2011 in 2011, Homeland Security Award, Researcher

Michael Sossong

Michael Sossong, Ph.D.

Director of Nuclear Technology Research
Decision Sciences International Corporation

Dr. Sossong has revolutionized the state of the art for passive nuclear threat detection using cosmic ray muon tomography (MT). He joined Decision Sciences International Corporation as Director of Nuclear Technology Research in April 2008, leading the development of the company’s Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS), a commercial multi-mode passive detector system, as well as other proprietary scanners and methods.

Under Dr. Sossong, the MMPDS has evolved from its laboratory origins into a robust, deployable commercial system that passively and effectively identifies nuclear and radiological threats in cargo within seconds, without impeding commerce flow or compromising the safety of cargo, passengers or inspection personnel.

Previously Principal Investigator for muon tomography at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Dr. Sossong was instrumental in the creation of full-physics simulation models for MT development, the application of tomographic algorithms to MT data, and the design and construction of Decision Sciences’ prototype. Also while with LANL, Dr. Sossong contributed to several homeland security and nuclear stockpile projects. Earlier in his career he participated in the muon g-2 experiment performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he was responsible for the construction, operation and analysis of data from a set of drift tube particle tracking chambers used to track positrons from the decay of stored muons. The results of the analysis of data from these chambers were used to determine several systematic corrections to the g-2 measurement and also to set a new limit on the muon electric dipole moment.

Dr. Sossong is published in several peer-reviewed scientific journals and has presented at domestic and international symposia and conferences. He holds several patents and copyrights. Dr. Sossong earned his Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. degrees in Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is honored to have had the assistance of the following distinguished individuals serving on the 2011 Homeland Security Award Evaluation Committee:

  • Stephen Cass, Senior Projects Editor, Technology Review Magazine, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Cass studied experimental physics at Trinity College Dublin before relocating to the U.S. He has worked for the nature Publishing Group, IEEE Spectrum, Discover Magazine, and is currently working for Technology Review, published by MIT. He has written about security, privacy, intelligence gathering and engineering design as well as aerospace and other science and technology topics. Mr. Cass is a member of the IEEE and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts.
  • Nicholas Isaacs, Chief Engineer, AgustaWestland North America (AWNA), Reston, VA – Mr. Isaacs serves as chief engineer for AgustaWestland North America (AWNA), the U.S. headquarters of AgustaWestland, one of the largest helicopter manufacturers in the world. Mr. Isaacs has extensive experience at AWNA, and has held posts as Assistant Chief Aerodynamicist, Chief Project Engineer (EH101 Civil), Head of Rotor Systems and Chief Project Engineer for the EH101 family of helicopters (a joint Anglo-Italian program). He was one of the team responsible for developing revolutionary British Experimental Rotor Technology in the UK, and was a member of the team that helped break the world speed record for helicopters in 1986 using that technology. He led the UK team that achieved military qualification and civil certification for multiple national and international variants of the EH101 helicopter, and was the lead engineer for AgustaWestland on the winning bid for Presidential Helicopter program.
  • Frances S. Ligler, D.Phil.,D.Sc., USN Senior Scientist for Biosensors and Biomaterials, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C.- Dr. Ligler has worked in the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory since 1985. Ten biosensors based on her inventions have been produced commercially, and her publications have over 6,700 citations. She is the 2009-2011 Chair of the Bioengineering Section of the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Ligler was the recipient of the 2003 Homeland Security Award in the Biological, Radiological, Nuclear field.
  • Richard F. Wicker, III, Principal Analyst, Systems Planning, and Analysis, Inc., Alexandria, VA – Over the past 11 years, Mr. Wicker has been the Principal Scientist on a myriad of projects on Countering Irregular Challenges including the areas of Counter Terrorism, Homeland Defense, and Homeland Security on the Assessments Branch of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. His prior career was that of a U.S. Naval Officer with significant overseas experience to include Director, Infrastructure and Logistics on a major NATO staff, retiring in 2000.


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.