Institutes & Research

Security Engineering


This program has four main components:

  1. Curriculum development in support of DHS-STEM disciplines,
  2. Scholarships, training,  and research experiences for undergraduate students,
  3. Research support and enhanced research collaboration for the young investigators,
  4. Internships and Career Placement Support for undergraduate students.

Table 1. Security Engineering Elective Courses

Course #

Course Name

Semester Offered


MEEN 4371

Intro. to UAV

Every Spring, starting Spring 2013

Dr. Selahattin Ozcelik

EEEN 4357

Wireless Sensor Networks

Every Fall, starting Fall 2012

Dr. Nuri Yilmazer

MEEN 4372

Resource Optimization for Security

Every Spring, starting Spring 2013

Dr. Kai Jin

CSEN 4367

Data Mining

Every Spring starting Spring 2013

Dr. Mais Nijim

MEEN 4373

Intro. to Information Analysis and Modeling in Security Engineering

Every Fall, starting Fall 2012

Dr. Li

2.1. Curriculum Development for a Minor in Security Engineering - Five new undergraduate courses in Table 1 will be developed in addition to selected nine core curriculum courses offered by the departments of Mechanical, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science to establish a minor program in Security Engineering. These courses will be introduced in the current undergraduate curriculum of Mechanical Engineering (MEEN), Electrical Engineering (EEEN), and Computer Science (CSEN) programs. The new courses to be developed will address:

  1. Mechanical and electronic components of UAVs from a system point of view, and operation and utilization of such systems for CBP, Coast Guard, and FEMA operations.
  2. Principles of WSN systems and their deployment and operations for terrestrial, and/or underwater monitoring activities.
  3. Fundamental techniques and approaches for digital image processing and data mining techniques for extracting the useful patterns from large amount of data taken from different sources including UAV cameras and WSN sensors.
  4. Optimization models and algorithms to solve the operation research problems in security control in order to get the best allocation of technical and human resources, and optimized Screening, Scanning and Inspection Processes.
  5. Methods and tools used in information analysis and modeling to homeland security, and skills in simulating homeland security systems using the advanced features in Arena, Visual and other software.

These courses are designed carefully taking into account different backgrounds of students from different majors and will require senior standing as prerequisite. Any science and engineering senior student is expected to have enough technical and math background to satisfactorily perform in these required minor program courses. This minor program is built on existing relevant core curriculum courses from MEEN, EEEN, and CSEN programs and they are carefully selected to strongly support the minor program. This multidisciplinary minor program prepares the undergraduate students for professional careers suitable to DHS related jobs and/or industries, as well as for graduate studies.


Table 2. Curriculum for Minor in Security Engineering

Security Engineering Minor Program Curriculum

Core Curriculum Courses from each Major

Mechanical Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Computer Science

  • MEEN 4344 Control of Systems
  • MEEN 4351 Machine Design
  • EEEN 3331 Circuits and Electro Devices
  • EEEN 4329 Communications Eng.
  • EEEN 4354 Linear Control Systems
  • EEEN 4355 Digital Systems Eng.
  • CS 4314 Database Systems
  • CS 4320 Computer Networks
  • CS 4340 Computer Security

Elective Courses for the Minor Program

(Program students must take at least 3 of the following 5 courses)

  • MEEN 4373 Intro. to Information Analysis and Modeling in Security Engineering
  • MEEN 4372 Resource Optimization for Security
  • EEEN 4357 Wireless Sensor Networks
  • MEEN 4371 Intro. to UAVs
  • CSEN 4367 Data Mining
  • Security Engineering Seminar Series

Attendance is required by all program students. Non-credit.

The curriculum for minor in Security Engineering is given in Table 2. In order to complete the minor degree in Security Engineering, the prospect students must complete three courses from the core curriculum section with a passing grade of ‘C’ or better. Additionally, they must have at least three courses from Electives in Table 2 with the same passing requirement. Naturally, students from a particular major would be taking core curriculum courses from their major and would not need to take the courses from other majors. Fox example, a CS student would be taking only three of the CS core-curriculum courses listed.

Description of Courses:

MEEN 4371 - Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

DHS and its two subordinate organizations; Coast Guard and FEMA can significantly benefit from the use of UAVs on its operations. In fact, DHS has recently started the use of UAVs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations along Texas-Mexico border. In late 2010, a UAV is based at NAS, Corpus Christi, TX. UAVs are increasingly being used by government agencies, such as DHS, Coast Guard, and U.S. Air Force. UAVs are emerging as a separate field within the aerospace industry. Currently, the need for educating/training technical personnel in this field is mostly satisfied by short workshops through continuing education activities.

UAVs have several advantages over manned aircrafts: (a) since a pilot is not required, the endurance limit is determined mainly by the fuel capacity. (b) UAVs can travel long distances without intermediate stops. (c) UAVs can carry a significant sensor payload. They have relatively less expensive cost of operation. The course will address topics including: Review of UAV Systems, Communications, Roles of Satellites, Payload, Image Capturing, Airframe and Propulsion Components, Survivability, Electronic Warfare, Launch and Recovery, Propulsion, Stability and Control. This course will be designed in a way suitable for all engineering and science major students. The level of technical knowledge of all science and engineering seniors should be satisfactory for the level required for this course. This course will cover the topics from a system point of view, components of the system, functional relations and interactions between the components, and give students practical working knowledge, rather than specific theory of the system and its components.

EEEN 4357 - Wireless Sensor Networks -

WSN can be used to monitor the activities at the borders and is becoming a crucial technology for homeland security. The WSN is an emerging technology that has been used in a wide range of applications such as habitat monitoring, early forest fire detection, environmental health monitoring, just a few to name. WSN is composed of several tiny spatially scattered sensors where they are capable of measuring physical attributes such as sound, heat and motion. Each sensor is equipped with a transmitter/receiver unit to communicate each other wirelessly, a signal processing unit and a battery. Sensors are scattered and deployed at the borders to monitor the activities in the region of interest. As the WSN finds its application in many fields and the variety of applications increases, it is important to increase and improve the workforce who will work in this field. It is very important to provide the engineers in this workforce with the best education and teach them the newest approaches and technologies. Understanding the concept of WSN will help the engineers to design new systems and will help them to overcome any technical challenges. This proposed course will prepare the students well in WSN areas so that they can design better systems for homeland security. In this course; the following topics will be covered: Introduction to WSN, Routing, Security, Storage, Network Localization, Wireless Communication, Networking, Energy-aware Systems and Algorithms, Protocols, Sensor Mobility, Optimization, Signal Processing. This is an introductory level course and basic knowledge of mathematics will be sufficient enough to follow the topics even for non- EE students. WSN could be utilized for operations such as border security, wide area surveillance, and wild fire detection as well.


MEEN 4372 - Resource Optimization for Homeland Security -

This course will introduce students to the basic operation research problems in homeland security control, such as resource optimization, airport security, and patrol scheduling. Students will learn how to model the problems and use appropriate algorithms and technologies to solve them. Students will gain a detailed understanding of the homeland security problems, the operation research models and algorithms, and practice to use them in the homeland security applications. The following topics will be covered: Linear Programming, Simplex Method, Duality Theory and Sensitivity Analysis, The Transportation and Assignment Problems, Network Optimization Models, Dynamic Programming, Integer programming, Game Theory, Decision Analysis, Queuing Theory. This course will provide students the basic scientific knowledge on modeling and optimization and prepare them for the research on homeland security simulation and modeling. Any senior level engineering major student who has completed Calculus courses will be able to complete this course successfully without any other prerequisite.

CSEN 4367 - Data Mining -

Due to innovations in technology and the availability of increasingly cheap storage devices, data in different domains has been accumulating at an impressively high rate in recent years, leading to very large databases. This course presents current research in Knowledge Discovery in Databases dealing with the data integration, mining, and interpretation of patterns in such databases. Data mining has become one of the key features of homeland security. It is used as a mean for detecting frauds, assessing risks, and product retailing. In the context of homeland security, data mining can be a potential mean to identify terrorist activities such as money transfers, identifying and tracking individual terrorists via discovering a valid patterns and relationships in large data sets. This course will give an introduction to data mining. The topics that will be covered include: Knowledge Discovery, Rule Based Learning, Statistical Analysis for Discovery of Patterns, Data Warehousing, Data Capturing and Classification, Association Rule Mining, Statistics, Prediction, Machine Learning, Sequential Patterns.

MEEN 4373 - Introduction to Information Analysis and Modeling in Security Engineering

This course will present the fundamental methods and tools used for information analysis and modeling related to homeland security. It will also introduce engineering and technical challenges of homeland security, including modeling and analysis, technological issues, command, control & situational awareness and data integration requirements. The course is to familiarize the students with the simulation of discrete, continuous and dynamic systems. Different scenarios in homeland security will be discussed and simulated using data from various national databases, such as global terrorism database. The course enables the students to develop the skills and experience in simulating homeland security systems using the advanced features in Arena, Visual and other software. Particular attention will be focused on agent-based discrete event modeling methods. Using the knowledge from this course, the students are expected to be ready to join some ongoing DHS research projects, such as Complex Event Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis (CEMSA) Project.