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July 10, 2016



The Energy Department says the more than $13 million in funding to advance hydrogen and fuel cell technologies "will leverage industry, university and laboratory expertise to accelerate American innovation in advanced hydrogen storage and fuel cell performance and durability." See the winners.

BIG DATA INTELLIGENCE: "With the flood of information pouring in from sensors and other sources, the Intelligence Community is looking for algorithms that not only can sift through all that data but use it to think ahead," Defense Systems reports. The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is seeking proposals in anticipatory intelligence, analysis, operations and collection.

HELP WANTED: The National Science Foundation's Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) is seeking a new director of the Division of Undergraduate Education. The director "oversees a substantial portfolio of research, development, and education programs related to undergraduate education, and works with other leaders at NSF and the community to advance STEM and STEM education," writes Joan Ferrini-Mundy, EHR head. "We are looking for strong applications from candidates with extensive experience in research and education related to undergraduate STEM education as well as demonstrated administrative experience." Learn more about the position here and apply here. Also check out minutes of the December, 2015 EHR Advisory Committee meeting. 



A report by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation says "growth entrepreneurship" - an index composed of the rate of startup growth, share of scaleups, and high-growth company density - "helps drive job creation, innovation, and vibrancy in the U.S. economy." In a foreward, AOL cofounder Steve Case enthuses: "Growth entrepreneurship . . . is about to revolutionize real-world sectors as entrepreneurs leverage new internet technologies." The report ranks the 25 largest and 25 smallest states according to the index.

Source: Kauffman Index: Growth Entrepreneurship State Trends


APPROPRIATIONS HIT A WALL: So reports CQ following a Senate procedural vote Thursday that "may signify the final nail in the coffin for the regular fiscal 2017 appropriations process." Hopes of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, for a return to the regular order of 12 spending bills have proved no match for election-year politics. The question now is not whether a stopgap continuing resolution will be needed but how far into FY 2017 it will extend. Some conservative Republicans are pushing for a CR that runs until next March.

HOUSE PANEL GRANTS NIH A 4 PERCENT HIKE: Given the 6 percent increase for the National Institutes of Health approved by Senate appropriators, a conference committee could settle on 5 percent - provided the measure gets that far. Even then, so-called poison policy provisions - like defunding Obamacare - might invite a White House veto. The draft approved by the House Appropriations Health, Labor, and Education subcommittee provides increases for Alzheimer's research and the BRAIN initiative, and meets the administration's request for Precision Medicine. See a committee summary and a report in Science. While pleased with the NIH numbers in the draft bill, the Association of American Universities said it was "disappointed that the House bill, unlike the bill approved by the Senate committee, does not restore the year-round Pell Grant."


GROWTH SPURT: Information Technology (IT) has grown from room-sized punch-card computers to today’s mobile devices at a rate unprecedented in human history. A National Academies workshop report, Continuing Innovation in Information Technology, “illustrates how fundamental research in information technology (IT), conducted at industry and universities, has led to the introduction of entirely new product categories that ultimately became billion-dollar industries.”

CLIP THE RED TAPE: “Research universities are critical contributors to our national research enterprise. They are the principal source of a world-class labor force and fundamental discoveries that enhance our lives and the lives of others around the world.” Do federal regulations, however, undercut university research? Optimizing the Nation's Investment in Academic Research finds that "well-intended efforts often result in unintended consequences that needlessly encumber the nation’s investment in research." The report reviews regulatory research frameworks as they exist and examines possibilities for regulation reassessment to maximize the creation of knowledge and products. 

ON THE GRID: Rural and island communities face unique challenges when it comes to electricity. In February, the National Academy of Engineering held a workshop on overcoming these challenges and finding opportunities for incorporating energy and environmental efficiency. Click here for the workshop summary.

ABET ON 3 & 5: In February, the National Academy of Engineering provided a forum on the proposed ABET changes to Criteria 3 and 5. “The presenters and attendees discussed the proposed changes and related issues such as a perceived lack of communication surrounding the development of the proposed changes and the degree to which the criteria prepare engineering students for jobs after graduation.” Read the summary.

-Compiled by Jennifer Pocock



'ENTREPRENEURS IN RESIDENCE': Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) calls it "H1-B hacking": the practice by a handful of colleges of helping foreign owners of business startups remain in the United States as "global entrepreneurs in residence." In a letter to immigration authorities, Grassley, left, complained that universities "agree to sponsor the foreign national for a cap-exempt H-1B visa.  The university appears to then employ the foreign national in H-1B status as an 'entrepreneurial mentor' to students at the university, while the foreign national is simultaneously setting up and working at his own business." He cited the nonprofit Global Entrepreneur in Residence Coalition as working in "collusion" with universities. According to the AP, "College officials say they're simply using flexibility in the law's language to address a growing problem. As more international students come to U.S. schools, many want to stay in the country to start their own businesses. But with few legal routes beyond the H-1B lottery, entrepreneurs are routinely forced to go home."


GRIPPING THE GAVEL: Louis Martin-Vega, on the left in photo, engineering dean at North Carolina State University, assumed ASEE's presidency June 29 at the Society’s annual conference. He succeeded Joseph Rencis, engineering dean at Tennessee Tech University, who will continue in a leadership role as immediate past president. See Michelle Bersabal's photos of other events and festivities in New Orleans by clicking on the Conference Connection blog.

'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.

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.