An alumnus of Carroll University has received a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering. Justin Jacobs, an applied research mathematician for the National Security Agency, was recognized with the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on scientists and engineers in the first five years of their independent research careers. He is one of 102 professionals to be recognized.
The Presidential Early Career Awards honor outstanding scientists and engineers who show the greatest promise to advance the nation's goals, tackle grand challenges and contribute to the American economy. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and their commitment to community service, as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.
Jacobs, a resident of Baltimore, Md., said, "This is the first year that the Intelligence Community was eligible to receive the Presidential Early Career Award. Of the thousands of possible candidates, I am honored to be one of six members who received an award."
With a specialty in timing infrastructure and geolocation, Jacobs identifies and prevents attacks to the Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and protects other interests that depend on the GNSS architecture, such as wireless networks, internet timing stability for data packet transfer, and measurements at gas pumps.
The work recognized by his award has benefited the U.S. military and the Department of Homeland Security. One example is when a truck driver installed a GPS jammer on his semi, with the intention of not allowing his boss to locate him during the workday. Unfortunately, he lived near an airport and the jammer disrupted the near-field positioning systems for aircraft trying to land. One of Jacobs' developments was a methodology for sensing the jammed GPS signals and identifying a robust method of geopositioning that allowed the planes to safely land.
He received the award in January 2014 in a meeting with James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, and was honored by President Obama in a White House ceremony this April.
Jacobs earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics at Carroll in 2003, a master's degree in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005, a master's degree in statistics from University of Maryland-Baltimore County in 2008. His doctoral degree in statistics will be conferred in May 2014, also from UMBC.