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                             Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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Troy, NY -  4/19/2001

LRC Students help Community fight Crime

Students of the Lighting Research Center are working with residents of Troy to shed some light, quite literally, on criminal activity in the city. In response to increasing concerns about drug trafficking and other safety issues in Troy, LRC graduate students met today at the Lighting Research Center with homeowners, tenants, neighborhood association representatives, community police, and others to determine how best to improve safety and overall quality of life.

LRC adjunct professor Howard Brandston, who is a world-renowned architecture lighting designer, directed the graduate students in their presentation to the community. Among his well-known projects, Brandston designed the lighting for the Statue of Liberty.

According to Troy police, residents in the area have been reporting illegal activities, such as drug dealing, gambling, and prostitution in various neighborhoods, particularly in stretch between 15th and 9th streets. Many people have asked that the wattage in streetlights be increased to deter activities in dark alleys and other hard-to-see areas.

But Professor Brandston says simply increasing wattage of the streetlights is not enough to decrease crime. "Lighting must be well thought out and well designed for it to be effective," says Brandston. Troy Police Officer Mike Carnevale says RPI’s Lighting Research Center is going to be essential in helping Troy to develop an effective lighting system. "Why should we go anywhere else," says Carnevale. "RPI has the technology and the minds to make the community at large a better place to live."

Rensselaer and the city of Troy may use the students’ proposals to seek funding from public and private sources for implementation.

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in solid-state lighting, light and health, transportation lighting and safety, energy efficiency, and plant pathology. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. With 35 full-time faculty and staff, 15 graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America's first technological research university. The university offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science "to the common purposes of life."