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April 9, 2016



From respiratory problems caused by a spike in Northwest wildfires to a rise in vector-borne Lyme disease and West Nile virus, summertime living will be anything but easy in decades to come, according to a new White House report on the health impact of climate change. Saying “every American is vulnerable," the report projects, among other dire consequences, "an increase of thousands to tens of thousands of premature heat-related deaths per year by the end of the century."

EMERGING PRIORITIES IN MANUFACTURING: A second - and more upbeat - administration report cites five technology areas as "strong candidates for future investment and expanded collaboration between government, industry, and academia": Advanced Materials Manufacturing - "To fully capitalize on the emergence of new advanced materials, industry requires new tools and approaches to tailor their design and quickly produce them at scale." Engineering Biology -  "It is becoming increasingly clear that advances in engineering biology (and synthetic biology) such as genome editing could be applied broadly for the manufacture of chemicals, materials, and cells." Regenerative Medicine - "[T]there is a critical and growing need to focus on process engineering to achieve manufacturing reproducibility to increase the reach of the emerging therapeutics." Advanced Bioproducts - "Significant work remains to increase the use of bioproducts to replace a variety of petroleum-based fuels and products, (and to) make those bioproducts more cost-effective relative to petroleum-based products." Continuous Manufacturing of Pharmaceuticals - "The implementation of end-to-end continuous manufacturing (i.e., the integration of drug substance and drug product manufacturing into a single continuous process) requires leveraging U.S. capabilities in pharmaceutical sciences, systems engineering, and real–time sensing."

POWERHOUSES: Whether their economic value is measured in "tens of billions" (NSF's estimate) or "probably in the trillions" (as IBM's Arvind Krishna calculates), NSF-funded Engineering Research Centers have worked well. No one talks about dropping the program. But agency Director France Córdova asked a National Academies symposium this week to look 20-30 years ahead and address: What models of large-scale multidisciplinary research would best enable breakthrough engineering research and discovery? What educational models are most suitable? What academic-industry partnership models would strengthen the innovation ecosystem? And what metrics of successes and risks ought to be applied ahead of time? Suggestions included better linkages between centers and between academe, national laboratories, and business (and business schools); centers that are "global by design and practice"; and "a balance of curiosity-driven and mission-driven research." Successful centers, one panelist said, have a "compelling idea," strong leaders and an environment that lets relationships flourish. 

MEP REGIONAL FORUMS: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will hold three regional forums in May (DC and Denver, CO) and June (Chicago, IL) to provide information on an 11-state Manufacturing Extension Partnership competition that will be launched in July. The MEP centers help small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. The states where funding will be available are Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wyoming. The competition continues a multiyear effort to update the program’s funding structure to better match manufacturing industry needs with resources in MEP's nationwide network. Find out more about the forums here and visit the MEP blog. To register for one of the forums, please email mepffo@nist.gov

ALL ABOARD: The National Science Board's 2016 Public Service Award has gone to Woods Hole, Mass.-based Sea Education Association (SEA), which runs "the leading off-campus environmental studies program focused on the ocean." SEA Semester tall-ship voyages, a press release says, equip "high school students and undergraduates with tools to become environmentally literate leaders prepared to address the defining issue of the 21st century: human impacts on the environment."

WE'RE ALL EARS: The National Science Foundation seeks to fund innovative collaborative research addressing large-scale challenges in Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS). Multiple directorates "are coordinating efforts to identify bold new concepts with the potential to contribute towards significant improvements in the efficiency of radio spectrum utilization, protection of passive sensing services, and the ability for traditionally underserved Americans to benefit from current and future wireless-enabled goods and services." Learn more

5 YEARS AND $162 MILLION is the scope of the Pentagon's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), which "supports research by teams of investigators that intersect more than one traditional science and engineering discipline in order to accelerate research progress." DoD has picked 23 projects involving a total of 54 academic institutions. The awards "provide strong support for the education and training of graduate students in new, cutting-edge research." For the first time, "a collaboration with the National Science Foundation’s NSF Innovation Corps program will provide entrepreneurial training for selected MURI team members." See the list of projects



Source: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Source of the bottom 2 graphics: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NSF)


APPROPRIATORS WORK AROUND BUDGET GRIDLOCK: Spending bills are moving forward in both chambers despite an impasse in the House over a fiscal 2017 budget resolution. The full Senate Appropriations Committee  will take up the Energy-Water and Military Construction-Veterans Administration appropriations bills on Thursday. Both measures are expected to clear their respective subcommittees the day before. The Energy-Water bill contains billions of dollars' worth of Department of Energy research programs. In the absence of a budget, the committee will also set discretionary spending levels, known as 302(b)s, for each subcommittee on Thursday, CQ reports.

THINGS COULD GET COMPLICATED in the House, despite appropriators' aggressive plans for the coming week. These plans include full-committee consideration of the Military Construction-VA spending bill Wednesday and subcommittee action on Energy-Water and Agriculture measures. Senate and House bills stick to the overall total agreed to in last year's bipartisan budget deal.

Conservative GOP House members, however, haven't abandoned efforts to cut money added in the budget deal. As a result, no one knows what will happen to the spending bills on the House floor. CQ reports on a couple of ways - including a "deeming resolution," to skirt the absence of a budget. Meanwhile. "House Republican leaders in recent weeks have considered a package of rules changes as one way to potentially persuade conservatives to support a budget resolution . . . ."


COST EFFICIENCIES AND NEW REVENUE STREAMS are ways public research universities have adjusted to cuts in state support since the Great Recession. An appendix to a new American Academy of Arts and Sciences report offers examples. The full report, "Public Research Universities: Recommitting to Lincoln’s Vision—An Educational Compact for the 21st Century," gives a series of recommendations, including "alliances with other colleges and universities (public or private, state or regional) to facilitate research partnerships, shared course offerings, collective purchasing contracts, common facility usage, and collaborations on innovative programs."

RUSTBELT REVIVAL: Akron, Ohio, and Albany, N.Y. illustrate how old industrial cities can reinvent themselves with the combined efforts of universities, industry, and policymakers. Akron, writes the Financial Times, has gone from a tire manufacturer outplayed by China "to a world leader for the polymer industry. Albany sits at the forefront of nanotechnology research." The FT reviewed The Smartest Places on Earth: Why Rustbelts Are the Emerging Hotspots of Global Innovation.


NEW PRESIDENT-ELECT AT ASEE: Bevlee Watford, associate dean for academic affairs at Virginia Tech, was elected President-Elect, a term she will hold for one year before assuming the presidency in 2017. Grant Crawford, professor of mechanical engineering in the Quinnipiac University School of Business and Engineering, was re-elected Vice President of Member Affairs. Check the ASEE website next week for other  election results.

NETI WORKSHOP IN WASHINGTON: An Advanced National Effective Teaching Institute (NETI-2) workshop will be held June 1-2, 2016 at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C. Faculty familiar with NETI-1 and who have more teaching experience will benefit from this advanced teaching workshop led by Drs. Susan Lord, Matt Ohland, and Michael Prince. You may obtain additional information about the workshop by going to https://www.asee.org/conferences-and-events/conferences/neti.
Participants in NETI-2 will include a maximum of 50 faculty members from all branches of engineering and engineering technology. The registration fee of $950 covers organization and presentation costs, participant notebooks, breakfasts, lunches, and breaks. Attendees' institutions are expected to cover the participants' expenses for transportation, lodging, and one meal per day.

PRESENTATIONS delivered at ASEE's Public Policy Colloquium and Engineering Research Council meeting are now online. Find them on the ASEE PEER archive.

'ENGINEERING-ENHANCED' LIBERAL EDUCATION: ASEE, with financial support from the Teagle Foundation and expert guidance by leading education consultant Sheila Tobias, has launched a website highlighting case studies that examine the benefits of greater integration between the liberal arts and engineering. Find out more.


Engineering & Engineering Technology Chairs Conclave

Join us at the ASEE Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA on June 26, 2016 for the inaugural Chairs Conclave, an exclusive forum for Engineering and Engineering Technology Chairs to exchange ideas, share experiences, talk through challenges, and build working relationships. This full day event, designed by Chairs, for Chairs, includes presentations on relevant topics including financial development and managing external connections, and facilitated opportunities for group discussion and brainstorming.  Register today – space is limited! Learn more and view the full agenda.

New Navigation Section - Papers Management:

The new section contains upcoming deadlines, guidelines, call for papers, and kits for authors, program chairs, reviewers, and moderators.

Author's Kits are Available:
• The 2016 Annual Conference Author's Kit -- available on the website -- contains extremely important information regarding the submission process as well as all relevant deadline dates.

eGFI Summer Reading: Is your school hosting an engineering camp, bridge program, or professional development session for K-12 teachers this summer? Jump-start the learning with eGFI (Engineering, Go For It), ASEE's award-winning magazine for middle and high school students. Filled with engaging features, gorgeous graphics, and useful information about engineering colleges and careers, eGFI aims to get teens fired up about engineering. To purchase copies, go to http://store.asee.org/  For bulk purchases or other inquiries, contact eGFI@asee.org or call 202-331-3500.