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April 1, 2015




The Senate's version of the House-passed 21st Century Cures Act adopts House language changing the Biomedical Research Service into an expanded Biomedical Research and Biomedical Product Assessment Service. Personnel would include not only those with a doctorate in biomedicine or a related field but those with "a master’s level degree in engineering, bioinformatics, or a related or emerging field." Sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the bill aims to "overhaul the development of drugs and devices and streamline review processes at the FDA in an effort to bring new treatments to market faster," CQ reports. The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which will hold what may be its last meeting on the bill April 6, will also take up measures that "streamline reporting requirements for federally funded researchers, encourage diversity in clinical research and create an approval program for limited population antibacterial drugs," according to CQ.

HOMELAND SECURITY R&D, which has drawn congressional criticism in recent years, is the subject of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing April 6. A different appropriations panel will examine the National Institutes of Health budget on April 7. 


Graphic by Jennifer Pocock. Click here for a larger, interactive version that gives the numbers. 


MANUFACTURING NETWORKS - UP AND RUNNING: Panel discussions hosted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers featured directors of all institutes engaged in the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, as well as federal officials. The network is intended to join government, industry, and academia in pursuing technological advances. According to ASME's recap, a key return to industry offered by NNMI is access to new talent and ideas. All involved gain from the participation of students in the institutes. Representing ABET, William Wepfer of Georgia Tech and Patricia Brackin of Rose-Hulman "challenged each institute to come up with engineering disciplines besides mechanical engineering that would benefit from requiring hands-on manufacturing in the curriculum. Many on stage highlighted electrical, chemical, and biomedical engineering" as disciplines that would benefit from manufacturing in the curriculum.

POINT-OF-CARE technology will be the focus of a symposium put on by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) on June 9 in Bethesda, Md. The Point-of-Care Technology Research Network (POCTRN) was created by the NIBIB in 2007 to drive the development of technologies by matching scientific and technological capabilities with clinical need. The network has centers at Boston University, Johns Hopkins, and Massachusetts General Hospital. 

15 'TOP-TIER RESEARCHERS' have been tapped by the Pentagon as National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellows. They will conduct "long-term, unclassified, basic research of strategic importance" in "quantum information science, neuroscience, nanoscience, novel engineered materials, applied mathematics and statistics, and manufacturing science." See the list.

FUTURE FIBERS: The Pentagon will fund $75 million of a new $317 million, 89-member consortium of universities, manufacturers and non-profits, all run by MIT, intended to develop cutting edge textiles. "It will integrate fibers and yarns with integrated circuits, LEDs, solar cells, and other capabilities to create textiles and fabrics that can see, hear, sense, communicate, store energy, regulate temperature, monitor health, change color, and more," DoD says. The Advanced Functional Fabrics of America Alliance will pair companies like Bose and Intel with textile manufacturers and users "to enable revolutionary defense and commercial applications such as shelters with power generation and storage capacity built into the fabric, ultra-efficient, energy-saving filters for vehicles, and uniforms that can regulate temperature and detect threats."

TRAILBLAZING WOMEN: Michelle Lee, far right, trained as an electrical engineer and computer scientist before becoming a patent lawyer. Now the first female head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Lee is one of several high-ranking Obama administration women who tell "The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology" in a series of audio clips. Lee's subject is Edith Clarke (near right photo), who "struggled to find work as a female engineer instead of the ‘usual’ jobs allowed for women of her time, but became the first professionally employed female electrical engineer in the United States in 1922." Clarke was named to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2015. 


WHAT IS A 'LEARNING ENGINEER'? He or she "is a creative professional who helps build bridges between fields of education and develops additional infrastructure to help teachers teach and students learn," according to the final report from MIT's Online Learning Policy Initiative, which calls for "greater support for this emerging profession." Learning engineers "must integrate their knowledge of a discipline with broad understanding of advanced principles from across the fields of education. They must be familiar with state-of-the-art educational technologies, from commercial software to open-source tools, and skilled in the effective use of new online tools. Moreover they must be able to work with educators, both to create new learning experiences from scratch and to integrate new technologies and approaches into existing experiences, whether online or in-person or both." Among other recommendations: "[R]esearchers from across the many fields related to education will need to work together—from the social scientists who study impact of education on social systems, to the researchers who explore pedagogical approaches and classroom structures, to the psychologists who study behavior and the neuroscientists who study learning processes in brains."

TENURED AND TENURE-TRACK: See how salaries compare in a new survey

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Educational Attainment in the United States: 2015


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.