Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to bring FASTR Act up for mark-up on July 29
After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the ‘Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act’ up for mark-up on July 29, 2015. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the ‘Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment.’
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Elsevier and ADSA announce winners of the fifth annual Journal of Dairy Science Most-Cited Awards
STM publisher Elsevier and the American Dairy Science Association have announced the winners of the fifth annual Journal of Dairy Science® (JDS) Most-Cited Awards. Papers published in JDS throughout 2012 were eligible and citations from date of publication until April 15, 2015 were taken into consideration. Awards are conferred in each of the four sections comprising the journal’s content: Dairy Foods; Physiology and Management; Nutrition, Feeding and Calves; and Genetics and Breeding.
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BMJ partners with European Society for Medical Oncology to publish new OA oncology journal
Global healthcare knowledge provider BMJ has announced a partnership with the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), with the aim of publishing a new open access cancer journal – ESMO Open – from next year. The journal represents a first in this field for BMJ, which now has a stable of more than 50 peer reviewed specialist and open access journals in addition to its flagship title The BMJ.
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Figshare and DuraSpace webinar to discuss possibilities for integration between Figshare for Institutions and DuraCloud
London-based data repository organisation Figshare and DuraSpace will host a webinar to discuss the possibilities for integration between Figshare for Institutions and DuraCloud. The webinar, scheduled for August 20, from 7pm – 8pm BST, will cover the integration and show how the collaboration combines the end-user experience of Figshare with the powerful storage, management, and preservation functionalities of DuraCloud.
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Future Medicinal Chemistry shines the spotlight on schistosomiasis
In a special free issue of Future Medicinal Chemistry, leading experts explore current and potential new treatment options for the deadly neglected tropical disease schistosomiasis. The journal is published by Future Science Group. In this issue, experts discuss drug discovery and development advances towards addressing schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, a disease caused by parasitic worms.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Rochester To Serve As Photonics Research Hub.

The AP  (7/28, Thompson) reports that Federal officials have named Rochester, New York as the national headquarters for “a $610 million research and manufacturing hub dedicated to” research in the field of integrated photonics. The piece describes the field as “a light science with the potential to transform communications, medicine and national defense.” The piece notes that there are already around 100 companies “focused on optics and photonics” in Western New York, and reports that “supporters of the new project say it will bring together government, industry and academia to advance photonics research and its commercial uses.” The article reports that Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Louise Slaughter announced the project.

The Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle  (7/27) reports that Biden said that the new “manufacturing institute for integrated photonics will give Rochester’s optics businesses the space and capability they need ‘to generate the next great breakthrough.’” The piece reports that according to a press release, the technology is expected to be used to make “cameras smaller than pills that travel within arteries,” along with other medical applications.

Higher Education

Duncan Lays Out Administration’s Higher Education Priorities.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan delivered remarks at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County on Monday laying out the Administration’s higher education priorities for its remaining time in office. Several media outlets covered the story, focusing on his calls for supporting students financially and for holding colleges accountable for providing quality education. The Los Angeles Times  (7/28, Rivera) reports that Duncan said that college is too expensive, resulting in poor value for students, and that “states and the federal government must do more to ensure that students complete their degrees.” Duncan called on states to increase funding for higher education, saying, “Make no mistake: Our administration will not let up on our efforts to help more students pay for college, to break the upward cycle of cost and to crack down on bad actors that take advantage of students. But as a nation, we must go further. We must reset the incentives that underpin the system so the focus is on the outcome that matters – completing a quality degree at a reasonable cost. And we must have the courage to embrace innovations that meet the needs of a student body that has changed enormously in recent years.”

The Washington Post  (7/28, Anderson) reports that Duncan called for “quality degrees at a reasonable cost,” saying that getting students out of school without crippling debt is “only part of the solution,” and that “politicians focus too much on what college costs and not enough on what it delivers.”

The Baltimore Sun  (7/27) reports that Duncan called for “higher graduation rates, especially for people of color, as well as an increase in state funding for higher education.” The Sun reports that Duncan called on college leaders “to focus on student success and promote innovation and transparency,” quoting him saying, “All of us … need to do a much better job of rewarding good actors and challenging those that aren’t making a difference. This is about shared responsibility and mutual accountability. I think every state should be working to have the highest graduation rates in the nation, and as a nation we have to try and lead the world.” The piece reports that ED spokeswoman Dorie Nolt “said Monday’s event was designed to bring together policy experts, leaders from local institutions, elected officials and others involved in higher education.”

The Wall Street Journal  (7/28, Belkin, Subscription Publication) characterizes Duncan’s comments as a sign that the Administration plans to ramp up accountability on colleges, quoting Duncan saying “We must shift incentives at every level to focus on student success, not just access. When students win, everyone wins. But when they lose every part of the system should share responsibility.” The piece notes that Duncan faulted accreditors for giving colleges access to Federal financial aid without being rigorous enough in their assessment of them.

Duncan Refutes Causal Link between Federal Aid, High Tuition. The Washington Examiner  (7/28) reports that Duncan “pushed back against the idea that federal aid to students raises college tuitions” as suggested in a recent New York Fed report, quoting him saying, “If you look at historical data — we’ve looked at this question very closely — that does not quite seem to be the case.” Under Secretary Ted Mitchell is quoted saying, “Historically, we do not see that correlation. [We] continue to be encouraged that states and institutions are not using the federal grant program and aid program as a way of bumping up their own tuitions. But we continue to look at that, it’s one of the things were very concerned about.”

Administration Poised To Provide Financial Aid To Prisoners.

Politico  (7/28, Grasgreen) reports that more prisoners “may soon have access to federal subsidies to pay for college under a new Obama administration initiative, ending a 20-year ban on Pell grants for state and federal prisoners.” The move “could come as soon as this week,” as Attorney General Lynch and Education Secretary Arne Duncan “are scheduled to visit Goucher College’s Prison Education Partnership at the Maryland Correctional Institution in Jessup on Friday, to make ‘an important announcement related to federal aid.’” The Wall Street Journal  (7/28, Mitchell, Palazzolo, Subscription Publication) also reports this story.

FairTest Lists Colleges That Don’t Require Entrance Exams.

The Washington Post  (7/27) reports that the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest, keeps a list of colleges that make it optional for applicants to have taken the SAT or ACT college entrance exams, noting that George Washington University is the newest addition. The article notes that schools’ specific policies vary, adding that there are some 800 schools on the list.

The New York Times  (7/28, Southall, Subscription Publication) reports in a brief item that George Washington University “will no longer require most applicants to submit SAT or ACT test scores to be considered for undergraduate admission,” making the school “one of the largest colleges in the nation to adopt a ‘test-optional’ policy.”

From ASEE
NEW edition of eGFI magazine
Over 2 million young people have read eGFI since its inception. A new edition is rolling off the presses, with features on cutting-edge engineering inventions, career choices, and how students can succeed in this rapidly advancing field – all produced with an attractive, engaging layout.

Learn more about a discounted rate on magazines with YOUR ad on the back cover. This is a great product for outreach and community engagement efforts.

Or email marketing@asee.org for more information.

Research and Development

Innovative Brain Imaging Combines Sound And Light.

NPR’s Morning Edition  (7/27, Hamilton) reports that Lihong Wang, professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, “has already helped develop instruments that can detect individual cancer cells in the bloodstream and oxygen consumption deep within the body. He’s also created a camera that shoots at 100 billion frames a second, fast enough to freeze an object traveling at the speed of light. ‘It’s really about turning some of these ideas that we thought were science fiction into fact,’ says Richard Conroy, who directs the Division of Applied Science & Technology at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Wang’s ultimate goal is to use a combination of light and sound to solve the mysteries of the human brain.”

Battery Life The “Big Issue” In Electric Plane Development.

Discovery News  (7/27, Niiler) reports on NASA and Cape Air’s efforts under the Scalable Convergent Electronic Propulsion Technology Operations Research (SCEPTOR) project “to develop an Cessna 402 9-passenger electric airplane suitable for the short hops.” Matt Redifer, chief engineer for SCEPTOR, said, “We are looking at the whole system, instead of just replacing engines with electric motors, we are looking at a design that couples electric propulsion with a redesign of the wing.” Currently, the “big issue” for Redifer and others to overcome is the plane’s battery life. However, according to the article, over time electric planes with “automatic flight controls and self-guided navigation” should be “much cheaper and easier” than current planes.

NASA’s Spacesuit Designer Wants New Suits To be More Customizable.

Ria Misra at io9  (7/27) interviews Amy Ross about the spacesuits she is designing for NASA, which could be used on future trips to “Mars—and maybe beyond.” When it comes to future missions, Ross said, “You’re going to want to make sure it’s just right for the crew member. You’re going to customize it in certain ways and you’re also going to help them be a lot more independent in doing their jobs. We’re trying to be creative and really push the tech to incorporate information technology in the spacesuits.” After detailing the Z2 prototype suit now being developed, Ross said that she looks for inspiration from multiple sources and tries to “stay open to creative solutions.” If she had her way, Ross would like to design a spacesuit that “could adapt to your own mobility, like as you’re moving.”

Blastr  (7/27, Moore) also covers the story, citing io9.

Engineering and Public Policy

First Off-Shore US Wind Farm Begins Construction.

The Washington Post  (7/28, Warrick) reports that on Monday, state and federal officials crowded on a boat off the coast of Rhode Island to witness the start of construction on the first offshore wind farm in the United States. The Post notes that officials hope that the construction of the Block Island Wind Farm will spur a race “to harness a vast energy resource capable of powering millions of homes along the East Coast.” According to Oceana campaign director Claire Douglass, “Once the benefits of offshore wind can be demonstrated on a small scale, the industry can focus on larger projects that will provide more power at lower costs.”

Similarly, The Hill  (7/28, Cama) reports that the Monday tour by officials of the Block Island Wind Farm construction site included “Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D).” In a statement following the tour, Jewell said that the Block Island Wind Farm will “serve as a beacon for America’s sustainable energy future.”

The New York Times  (7/24, Cardwell, Subscription Publication) reports that Hopper said, “Steel in the water off Block Island is an important step in proving that offshore wind is a viable technology off the coast of the United States. Having an offshore wind project that people can see and understand and study will take away a lot of the concerns that folks had.”

The AP  (7/28) reports that “one hurdle, however, is that the renewable energy industry has to fight, regularly, to keep the tax credits and incentives it has, while the well-established oil and gas industry has tax credits it no longer needs, Jewell said.”

McCarthy Says House Will Not Take Up Senate Highway Bill.

Reuters  (7/27, Lawder) reports that Majority Leader McCarthy announced yesterday that the House will not take up the Senate transportation bill. Instead, McCarthy argued that the “best option” to fund necessary transportation funds is that the House approve the measure passed by the lower chamber – which does not renew the Ex-Im Bank’s charter. The AP  (7/28, Werner) notes that, in addition, the House bill “is a five-month extension of current programs while the Senate’s version authorizes $350 billion in transportation programs for six years, though only three of those are paid for.”

The Hill  (7/28, Wong, Cirilli) reported that “McCarthy’s declaration is a blow not only to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) had teamed up to craft the bipartisan, long-term highway bill,” but also “to backers of the Ex-Im Bank, who had hoped the 81-year-old institution would be revived by catching a ride on the back of the Senate transportation bill.” The Washington Times  (7/27, Howell) indicates that while “conservatives say the bank hands out corporate welfare and should die off…a large majority in the Senate supports” it. The Wall Street Journal  (7/28, Peterson, Hughes, Subscription Publication) runs a similar report this morning.

Elementary/Secondary Education

Arizona Teen Takes Part In NASA Aviation Challenge.

The East Valley (AZ) Tribune  (7/28, Ochoa) reports that Gilbert, Arizona seventh-grader Nicholas Cain took part in NASA Aviation Challenge, a week-long camp in Huntsville, Alabama that “uses fighter pilot training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects.” As a participant in the camp’s MACH II Program, Cain spent his time on “activities that ranged from flying planes in a simulator, learning the history of different planes and how they are flown, and completing military missions.”

Microsoft Grant Will Fund Children’s Computer Skills Education.

The Daytona Beach (FL) News-Journal  (7/27, Haug) reported Microsoft awarded a $7.3 million grant to the Children’s Home Society of Florida to help “7,000 disadvantaged kids across the state gain the computer knowledge they need for a brighter future.”

Arizona Engineering Firm Creates High School Internships.

The Arizona Republic  (7/27, Samoy) reported Arizona engineering firm Assured Engineering Concepts started an internship program last spring to help high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain exposure to STEM careers.

Texas School District Could Get Up To $2 Million To Fund STEM Teacher Training.

The Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram  (7/27, Berardy) reported Lockheed Martin “had pledged to donate up to $1 million in a dollar-for-dollar match if a partner, such as a private foundation, chips in” to fund STEM teacher training in the Forth Worth School District. The district is also planning to set aside $350,000 in federal money to train teachers how to better teach STEM subjects.

Also in the News

Scientists Take AAAS To Task For Perpetuating Stereotypes.

The Huffington Post  (7/28) reports that a group of 600 scientists and other stakeholders have written an open letter to “the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science” criticizing the group for “feeding into ‘harmful stereotypes’ about minority groups, including publishing sexist advice columns and transphobic cover photos” in its publications. The letter “suggests the AAAS should introduce diversity training for its editorial staffs and more closely monitor the comments sections of its online materials to weed out insensitive statements.”

Monday’s Lead Stories

Latest Images Show Pluto’s Glaciers, Hazy Atmosphere.
Essay: Private Colleges Less Able To Scale Engineering Education Than Public Universities.
Kanzius Machine To Undergo Clinical Trials.
Tech-Savvy Millennials Seen As New Face Of Nuclear Revival.
Fiat Chrysler To Pay Record $105 Million Fine.
Aging Rail Infrastructure Threatens Safety, Efficiency Of Northeast Corridor.
University Of Akron Event Targets Girls For STEM Careers.

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Synthesis Digital Library Update June, 2015

Yu-Ting Chen, Jason Cong, Michael Gill, Glenn Reinman, and Bingjun Xiao
University of California, Los Angeles
Synthesis Lectures on Computer Architecture

Feicheng Ma, Centre for Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, China
Synthesis Lectures on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services

Christian Tominski, University of Rostock
Synthesis Lectures on Visualization

Soung Chang Liew, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Lu Lu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shengli Zhang, Shenzhen University
Synthesis Lectures on Communication Networks

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Publishing sector has the lowest level of illegal downloads in the entertainment industry, notes UK survey
Publishing sector reportedly has the lowest level of illegal downloads in the entertainment industry, with book piracy at half the rate of copyright theft in film and music. For publishers, fresh from winning a landmark ruling forcing internet service providers to block illegal ebook download sites in Russia and the US, pirates are the enemy. Research commissioned by the government shows that that the literary world has the lowest level of illegal downloads in the entertainment industry.
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Thieme and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons publish Neurosurgery Knowledge Update: A Comprehensive Review, an up-to-date board review guide for neurosurgeons
Medical and scientific publisher Thieme and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons recently published the Neurosurgery Knowledge Update: A Comprehensive Review, which claims to be the most up-to-date board review guide for neurosurgeons. It features actual cases, over 300 high-quality illustrations and images, clinical overviews, and a question and answer section that mimics the ABNS exam format.
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E-library project led by NGO Electronic Information for Libraries transform scholarship in Myanmar
An e-library project led by the international NGO Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) is providing instant access to resources across all disciplines for unlimited number of students to use the same book or journal at the same time. For over a year now, 166,000 students and 4,000 academic staff at seven universities in Myanmar have had round-the-clock access to more than 10,000 scholarly journals and 130,000 academic books.
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ICIS adds CFR northeast Asia price assessment to Asian phenol price report
ICIS, an information service provider for the chemical industry, has enhanced its Asia phenol price report by adding a CFR (cost & freight) northeast (NE) Asia price assessment, to better reflect current trading patterns and give a vital benchmark for industry players operating in the region. By adding CFR NE Asia prices to the report, ICIS has widened its geographical pricing coverage, offering increased transparency of deals for exports out of China to growing markets, Taiwan and South Korea.
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New global initiative to create sustainable educational ecosystem giving engineering students access to diverse, rigorous and low-cost teaching materials
ARM, a registered trademark of ARM Limited, has launched a new university alliance partnership that allows industry partners to develop high quality teaching materials based on their own technologies for engineering students around the world. The hardware and software kits will be centered around ARM teaching materials and will offer the most up-to-date professional-standard platforms and tools.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Latest Images Show Pluto’s Glaciers, Hazy Atmosphere.

ABC World News (7/25, 6:42 p.m. EDT) broadcast that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft spotted “a slow-moving icy glacier” on Pluto. It also returned “the first full-color images” and an image of “Pluto’s back side, back-lit by the sun.”

The AP  (7/25) reported that on Friday, principal scientist Alan Stern said that these were among the new “mind-blowing discoveries,” including that the atmosphere was hazier than expected. William McKinnon of Washington University in St. Louis said that it is “a dream come true” to have observed ice flows that are only tens of millions of years old at most, which indicates an underground ocean. Furthermore, it is now “evident” that “Pluto’s bright heart-shaped feature” is made up of two distinct regions that are “quite different.” After this latest series of images, there will be few new ones for several weeks because transmissions will be filled with “engineering or other technical data.” Stern said that after this period, “the spigot opens again” until fall 2016.

The New York Times  (7/24, Chang, Subscription Publication) noted that Stern said that the data indicates that Pluto’s atmosphere is potentially seeing the beginning of the atmosphere’s disappearance as Pluto moves along its orbit. Michael Summers of George Mason University said that the haze may in fact be what is causing Pluto to have a reddish color.

The Los Angeles Times  (7/24, Khan) reported that Summers said that scientists now have to rework everything that was thought to be known about Pluto’s atmosphere in light of the new findings. Stern said that the complexity of Pluto implies that it must be a planet and that the term needs to be redefined.

AFP  (7/25) reported that John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, said, “With flowing ices, exotic surface chemistry, mountain ranges, and vast haze, Pluto is showing a diversity of planetary geology that is truly thrilling.”

Higher Education

Essay: Private Colleges Less Able To Scale Engineering Education Than Public Universities.

In commentary for Inside Higher Ed  (7/23), Andreas Cangellaris, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, writes about his reaction to the recent announcement that Harvard University’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science has received a $400 million gift and is expanding, noting that public universities have historically “set the standard” for “world-class engineering education for the masses.” Harvard, by comparison, “has set the standard for the liberal arts and sciences.” He writes that despite Harvard’s ambitions to expand its engineering and applied science program, private schools like Harvard “simply cannot satisfy the demands of 21st-century engineering alone.”

CFPB Accuses FAFSA Firm Of Deceptive Practices.

Inside Higher Ed  (7/24, Ed) reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last week accused of the firm Student Financial Aid Services Inc., which operates the website FAFSA.com, of bilking consumers by “using deceptive sales tactics and illegally enrolling customers an automatic annual subscriptions without their permission.” The piece notes that the firm charged fees to help families fill out their FAFSAs, and reports that it had agreed earlier this month to relinquish control of the FAFSA.com domain to ED.

Impact Of Gainful Employment Rule On For-Profit Sector Examined.

CBS News  (7/27, O’Shaughnessy) reports that ED’s new gainful employment rule, which kicked in this month, “has the potential to shut down roughly 1,400 schools that enroll 840,000 students.” The article explains colleges’ obligations under the new rule, noting that almost all “of the colleges in the regulation’s bull’s-eye are for-profit institutions, an industry that has been reeling from repeated setbacks in recent years.” The piece points out that if a Republican president takes office after the next election, the rule may fizzle, preventing any schools from closing. The piece includes a quote from Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who said when the rule took effect, “The clock is ticking for bad actors in the career college industry to do right by students. We know many have taken steps to improve or to close programs that underperform, but we believe there is more work to be done across the board so students get what they pay for: solid preparation for a good job.”

NACIQI Seeking Broader Authority To Recognize Accrediting Agencies.

Inside Higher Ed  (7/24) reports that the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity “is calling on policymakers to give it the final authority to decide which accrediting agencies deserve the federal government’s recognition,” noting that the agency “currently only makes recommendations to the education secretary about whether an accreditor meets the federal standards to be a gatekeeper of federal funds.” The piece notes that the agency “also wants greater power to force accreditors to focus more on student learning and student outcomes.”

Maryland’s Montgomery College New Approach To Remediation.

The Washington Post  (7/27, George) reports on the challenges the college’s face surrounding the need for remedial instruction for incoming students, noting that Maryland’s Montgomery College is testing an idea which “takes a broader view of how to measure who really needs remediation,” noting that even if students have poor standardized test results, if they got good grades in their high school math courses “they might be allowed to move into college-level math.”

ED Gives Colorado College STEM Grant.

The Durango (CO) Herald  (7/26) reports that ED has given Colorado’s Fort Lewis College a $1.1 million grant “to continue its work supporting first-generation, low-income and disabled students who are pursuing degrees in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines.” The piece explains that the funding will support the college’s STEM3 program.

From ASEE
NEW edition of eGFI magazine
Over 2 million young people have read eGFI since its inception. A new edition is rolling off the presses, with features on cutting-edge engineering inventions, career choices, and how students can succeed in this rapidly advancing field – all produced with an attractive, engaging layout.

Learn more about a discounted rate on magazines with YOUR ad on the back cover. This is a great product for outreach and community engagement efforts.

Or email marketing@asee.org for more information.

Research and Development

Kanzius Machine To Undergo Clinical Trials.

Newsweek  (7/31) profiles, as part of its series on cancer, the Kanzius machine, designed by “retired radio engineer” and cancer victim John Kanzius. Kanzius conducted initial research into developing a device for using radio waves for destroying cancer cells while living surrounding tissue unaffected. The article follows Dr. Steven A. Curley, who devoted his career to continuing Kanzius’ research, noting that the current variant will undergo clinical trials that “will involve exposing 15 to 20 pancreatic and liver cancer patients to radio waves in the Kanzius machine, primarily to prove the process will not harm them, and to study the impact on their cancer cells.”

Workforce

Tech-Savvy Millennials Seen As New Face Of Nuclear Revival.

The National Geographic  (7/25, Koch) reports that Transatomic Power Co-founder Leslie Dewan is the “millennial face of next-generation nuclear.” Dewan, a “look-alike to actress Amy Adams,” defies the stereotype of “the middle-aged male nuclear scientist.” That is the case with much of the “tech-savvy push to reboot nuclear power.” It “bucks tradition” with “many U.S.-based startups with advanced reactor designs” backed by venture capitalists, not the U.S. government. And unlike “American scientists of the 1950s and 19560s, who were locked in an atom-splitting Cold War race with the Soviet Union,” the new breed “aim[s] to combat climate change.” Dewan, an MIT nuclear engineer and National Geographic emerging explorer, said she is “an environmentalist. I’m doing this, because I think nuclear power is the best way of producing large amounts of carbon-free electricity.” Dewan “says the world needs nuclear—along with solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal—to cut heat-trapping emissions.”

Opinion: Pipeline Construction Good For Pennsylvania Workers.

Writing in the Pittsburgh (PA) Tribune-Review  (7/24, Kunz), International Union of Operating Engineers local leader James Kunz Jr argues that Pennsylvania’s position on top of the Marcellus shale and the push to expand the state’s pipeline infrastructure are opportunities to help the state’s engineering workers and “deliver new economic growth opportunities.” He ends by promoting the Mariner East 2 pipeline as part of that movement.

Industry News

Fiat Chrysler To Pay Record $105 Million Fine.

In a brief story on the CBS Evening News (7/26, story 9, 0:20, Axelrod), David Axelrod reported that CBS News “confirmed a record fine against Fiat Chrysler,” under which the company “will pay $105 million for poor recall practices including misleading regulators.” David Kerley reported on ABC World News (7/26, story 5, 1:40, Llamas) that in “an exclusive interview,” Secretary Foxx said “he is slapping the biggest civil fine ever on a car maker: $70 million in cash. Twenty million dollars to fix the problems. And if Fiat Chrysler doesn’t perform, it could face another $15 million. Potentially, a $105 million fine.” Foxx: “Well, this is a good example of how not to do a recall.”

Engineering and Public Policy

Aging Rail Infrastructure Threatens Safety, Efficiency Of Northeast Corridor.

The New York Times  (7/26, A1, Fitzsimmons, Chen, Subscription Publication) reports in a front-page story that the Northeast Corridor, which “carries about 750,000 riders each day on Amtrak and several commuter rail lines,” faces the problem of aging and deteriorating infrastructure at a time when ridership is increasing. Calling the two train tunnels that cross under the Hudson River “perhaps the worst choke points along the corridor,” the Times points out that Secretary Foxx “said last week that replacing them was one of the top rail priorities in the country.”

NBC: US Roads “Crumbling.”

NBC Nightly News (7/24, 6:49 p.m. EDT) reported that “nearly 3/4 of the roads in L.A. and San Francisco,” and “More than half the roads in Detroit, San Diego, New York, and Cleveland,” as well as “more than 40% of roads in New Orleans, Denver and Seattle” are “crumbling, ravaged by potholes and neglect.” The Highway Trust Fund “runs empty in just seven days” and new funding plans have not yet been devised by Congress.

WPost: Highway Bill Is “Better” Than Previous Versions. In an editorial, the Washington Post  (7/25, Board) asserts the best parts of the Senate’s Highway Funding “bill is that it is better than what Congress has done before, and it may be the most responsible highway policy lawmakers can get behind at the moment.” However, the Post expresses dissatisfaction with how the legislation will be financed as “needlessly unsustainable” and concludes “we are unwilling to give senators much credit for ignoring the obvious.”

Deep-Sea Mining Appears Imminent As ISA Issues Exploration Contracts.

The AP  (7/25, Mcfadden) reports that the demand for “rare-earth elements vital in manufacturing” of high-tech products has caused a “rush” to mine deep-sea deposits that where once “out of reach to miners.” The AP notes that the United Nation’s International Seabed Authority (ISA) has issues 27 deep-sea exploration contracts thus far, and has recently been doing so at a rate that has “alarmed conservationists.” According to the article, the rapid rate at which government and private companies are making claims and assessing deposits has forecasters saying mining could begin within five years.

Elementary/Secondary Education

University Of Akron Event Targets Girls For STEM Careers.

The ASME  (7/27) “ME Today” publication reports on a recent Kids’ Career Day event at the University of Akron hosted by the school’s ASME Student Section. The event targets girls in elementary school grades “to encourage them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.” The piece explains that the program “uses a multi-faceted approach which includes technical sessions led by all-women engineering faculty, industry partners and university students.”

High School Students Take Part In Johns Hopkins Summer Engineering Program.

The Washington Post  (7/24, Koh) reports that around 40 high school students took part in a summer engineering program at Johns Hopkins University’s Montgomery County campus noting that the “Engineering Innovation” program uses hands-on projects to illustrate engineering principles. The centerpiece of the program is a competition in which students attempt to build bridges using spaghetti.

Small Teaching Changes Could Improve Math Education.

The Boston Globe  (7/26, Hartnett) reported several recent studies show that small changes in the way math is taught to students could improve performance. One such study showed that students better understood the concept of patterns when it was explained to them in the abstract instead of only with concrete examples.

California High School Sends Two Teams To Robotics Competition.

The San Bernardino (CA) Sun  (7/25, Hill) reported two teams of students from San Bernardino High School in San Bernardino, California competed in the SeaPerch competition at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. The competition sponsored by the US Navy Office of Naval Research and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and requires teams to use robots to navigate underwater.

Solar Car Competition For High School Students Held In Texas.

The San Antonio Express-News  (7/25, Haag) reports more than 200 high school students on 29 teams competed in the 20th annual Solar Car Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. The competition requires students to build a car powered by solar energy. The team that builds the car that completes the most laps at the speedway is declared the winner.

South Carolina STEM Camp For Girls Attended By More Than 70 Students.

WCSC-TV  Charleston, SC (7/25, Brown) reported more than 70 female students entering eighth and ninth grades in South Carolina participated in the Fourth Annual Girls Day Out, a two-day STEM camp for girls. Shanda Johnson, a representative from a corporate sponsor, said, “We want girls to know they can do this. They can go to school and major in STEM careers, have great jobs, and make contributions to our country.”

Friday’s Lead Stories

House Pushes Senate To Adopt Short-Term Transportation Funding Extension.
Committee Hearing Features Optimism About Competency-Based Education.
Kepler Finds Closest Exoplanet To Earth Yet.
Opinion: Pipeline Construction Good For Pennsylvania Workers.
Northrop Grumman Unveils I3E Simulator.
Boeing Company, Family Donating $30 Million To Seattle Museum For STEM Education.
Scientists “Band Together To Call Out” AAAS.

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Webinar: “Actual Results May Vary”: A Behavioral Review of Eco-Driving for Policy Makers

 “Actual Results May Vary”: A Behavioral Review of Eco-Driving for Policy Makers
When
Thursday July 30, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM PDT
Add to Calendar
Where
This is an online event.
Use the the below information to log onto the webinar.
http://www.readytalk.com
Access Code: 7520938
To access the audio portion of the webinar you can use the call-in number below or listen in via your computer.
Call-in Number:
Please join us for the upcoming webinar on Thursday, July 30th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. PDT entitled “Actual Results May Vary”: A Behavioral Review of Eco-Driving for Policy Makers. 
The webinar will feature a presentation from  Ken Kurani and Angela Sanguinetti of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. Our speakers will address how driver behavior has largely been treated as random error to be eliminated from fuel economy policy, but that precedent is now changing. The presentation will provide a summary of eco-driving research on passenger vehicles, and the implications of this research on designing effective policy interventions that achieve both fuel savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions.
Following the short presentation will be a Q & A session with the participants.
The webinar builds upon the soon-to-be-released white paper from the National Center for Sustainable Transportation entitled: “Actual Results May Vary: A behavioral Review of Eco-Driving for Policy Makers”.
Sincerely,
Laura Podolsky, Policy Director
National Center for Sustainable Transportation
lpodolsky@ucdavis.edu
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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

BioMed Central launches checklist to improve reproducibility of studies published in its journals
Open access publisher BioMed Central has launched a pilot checklist to improve the reproducibility of studies published in its journals. The checklist has been produced according to NIH guidelines for reporting preclinical research. It addresses three areas of reporting: experimental design and statistics, resources, and availability of data and materials.
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University of Salford selects integrated solution from Arkivum and Figshare to meet research data management requirements
Arkivum, the provider of ultra-safe and secure, long-term, large-scale digital data storage and archive services has announced that University of Salford has selected an integrated solution from Arkivum and Figshare in order to meet its research data management requirements. University of Salford’s new solution enables staff, students and researchers to meet funding-body requirements for open access to data while providing a secure, long-term space for a wide range of content.
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New Community Center offers a place online for library staff to share ideas about OCLC services, best practices
The new OCLC Community Center offers a place for library staff to connect online, share best practices, stay up to date on new product releases and contribute ideas to improve OCLC services. Introduced to user groups at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in June, the Community Center is now available to users of WorldCat Discovery Services, WorldShare Management Services (WMS), WorldShare Interlibrary Loan, WorldShare Collection Manager, WorldShare Record Manager and WorldShare License Manager. More OCLC services will be added to the Community Center in the future.
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Blackboard partners with Skillsoft to deliver career-development content to professional learners
Education technology company Blackboard Inc. has announced a partnership with Skillsoft, a global learning content provider, to enable direct delivery of high-quality content to professional learners via Blackboard’s industry-leading teaching and learning platform. The partnership will allow Blackboard to offer learners and instructors access to Skillsoft’s vast library of rich professional training and certification content.
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ACC testifies before Senate HELP Committee on impacts of health information blocking
American College of Cardiology Informatics and Health Information Technology Task Force member Dr. Michael J. Mirro has released a statement regarding his testimony during Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on health information blocking. According to Dr. Mirro, many electronic health record vendors provide the functionality needed by the healthcare community, but also require the purchase of the specific company’s health IT products to make the elements of the EHRs fully interoperable.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

House Pushes Senate To Adopt Short-Term Transportation Funding Extension.

The Hill  (7/23, Schroeder, Becker) reports that both Republican and Democratic leaders in the House are in “rare agreement” that the Senate highway bill is “looking to be a nonstarter in the lower chamber.” On Thursday, the House “upped the pressure” on the Senate to consider the House-passed five-month extension of funding and “continue the debate after the August recess.”

Meanwhile, Roll Call  (7/23, Lesniewski) reports that Senate negotiators working on a long-term highway bill ironed out “some issues in a new version unveiled Thursday afternoon, but lawmakers appeared on track for weekend work, including potential Sunday votes.” However, the piece warns that the legislation may get bogged down by unrelated amendments.

Senate Bill Calls For Delay In Rail Safety Measures. The New York Times  (7/23, Shear, Subscription Publication) reports that two months after the Amtrak crash, the Senate bill “calls for a three-year delay of the deadline for installing a rail safety system that experts say would have almost certainly prevented the Pennsylvania accident.” Lawmakers “from the Northeast and train safety experts expressed outrage over the provision.”

Stabenow Secures Blight Removal Funds. The Detroit News  (7/24, Burke) reports that Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow “held up a vote” on the transportation bill on Thursday evening “until Republican leadership agreed to safeguard money that Detroit and other urban centers are using to combat neighborhood blight.” Part of the bipartisan bill “would have rescinded unused money from a fund within the Troubled Asset Relief Program meant for foreclosure prevention and blight removal in urban centers such as Detroit and Flint.”

USA Today Backs Gas Tax Increase. In an editorial, USA Today  (7/24) endorses the idea of raising the current 18.4-cent-per-gallong gas tax in order to increase transportation funding. USA Today says that “merely restoring the tax to its 1993 level (a little more than 30 cents in today’s dollars) and indexing it for inflation would be a big start toward a major infrastructure upgrade.”

In an opposing op-ed for USA Today  (7/24), David McInosh, head of the Club for Growth, argues that raising the gas tax to boost the Highway Trust Fund “is like pumping gas into a junkyard car. For every $1 of gas tax, Washington wastes 20% to 30% in needless federal regulations that jack up highway construction costs.” He argues for cutting out the federal “middleman” and letting states handle the bulk of the funding for road projects.

Higher Education

Committee Hearing Features Optimism About Competency-Based Education.

Inside Higher Ed  (7/23) reported the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday held a hearing on “exploring barriers and opportunities in education.” During the hearing, senators and witnesses “said they are optimistic about the potential of competency-based education and noninstitutional boot camps to provide” better education at a lower price than “traditional colleges.”

Groups Urge Administration To Identify Colleges Facing Investigations, Lawsuits.

Education Week  (7/24, Adams) reported almost 50 education and consumer groups are asking the Administration to identify colleges that are the subject of investigations or lawsuits from the government as part of the new Federal college comparison website. In a July 22 letter to Education Secretary Duncan, the groups said, “Students deserve to know when a college’s practices are under heightened scrutiny from federal and state regulators, just as investors in publicly traded for-profit colleges are required to be notified of such events.”

MIT Looking At New Online Education Programs.

The Washington Post  (7/24, Anderson) reports the Massachusetts Institute of Technology president L. Rafael Reif announced the college is considering launching new online education programs. MIT has long been at the forefront of digital innovation in education.

More Graduate Schools Dropping Standardized Tests From Admissions.

Education Dive  (7/22, Mathewson) reported more graduate schools are dropping standardized tests from their admissions requirements. Standardized tests have often been criticized as culturally biased or favoring those who can afford test preparation courses, while others say the tests are valuable predictors of how well students will perform in academically rigorous programs.

Study Finds Parents’ Income Correlated With Students’ College Major.

USA Today  (7/23, Ahmed) reported data analysis showed that parents’ income was correlated with students’ college majors. The analysis was completed by Kim Weeden, a Cornell University sociologist, at the rest of The Atlantic’s Joe Pinsker. The study showed that students from high-income families were more likely to major in English and history than their peers, while students from low-income families were relatively more likely to major in law-enforcement. Weeden says that students from low-income families are less likely to be exposed to the arts and humanities and are more likely to pick a major with more job opportunities.

From ASEE
NEW edition of eGFI magazine
Over 2 million young people have read eGFI since its inception. A new edition is rolling off the presses, with features on cutting-edge engineering inventions, career choices, and how students can succeed in this rapidly advancing field – all produced with an attractive, engaging layout.

Learn more about a discounted rate on magazines with YOUR ad on the back cover. This is a great product for outreach and community engagement efforts.

Or email marketing@asee.org for more information.

Research and Development

Kepler Finds Closest Exoplanet To Earth Yet.

ABC World News (7/23, story 11, 1:15, Muir), as its final segment for the evening, broadcast that NASA announced that the Kepler space telescope discovered an exoplanet known as Kepler 452b, which may be “the closest thing yet to Earth.” Reporter David Wright said this discovery was “the second big news in a week from NASA,” following last week’s Pluto flyby. Wright notes that although researcher are not certain, the planet, which is larger than Earth, could have liquid water and an atmosphere.

NBC Nightly News (7/23, story 7, 1:50, Holt) broadcast that John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, said that the discover “makes me feel like there is a solar system like ours. There is another earth out there.” The broadcast also notes that NASA “memorized” the public recently with images of Pluto.

The AP  (7/24, Dunn) reports that Jon Jenkins of Ames Research Center said the newly discovered planet, one of 500 added Thursday to Kepler’s catalog, “is the closest thing that we have to another place that somebody else might call home. … Today the Earth is a little less lonely because there’s a new kid on the block.” Grunsfeld added that he wanted to “emphasize” that the telescope could still find even better analogs to Earth. The article notes that Kepler 452b was just the first of 12 potential exoplanets with less than twice the radius of Earth in the new set “confirmed as a true planet, thanks to ground observations.”

According to the New York Times  (7/24, Overbye, Subscription Publication), the exoplanet is “right on the edge between being rocky like Earth and being a fluffy gas ball like Neptune.” Jenkins likened Kepler 452b to “an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment. … It’s awe-inspiring to consider that this planet has spent six billion years in the habitable zone of its star, longer than Earth. That’s substantial opportunity for life to arise, should all the necessary ingredients and conditions for life exist on this planet.”

The Washington Post  (7/23, Feltman) highlights the fact that scientists cannot be certain of a lot of the planet’s properties because of the distance and way the planet was discovered. Meanwhile, Joseph Twicken, lead scientific programmer for the Kepler mission, said, “Continued investigation of the other candidates in this catalog and one final run of the Kepler science pipeline will help us find the smallest and coolest planets. Doing so will allow us to better gauge the prevalence of habitable worlds.”

NASA Uses Crowdsourcing To Design Robonaut 2 Tools.

CNN Money  (7/23, Kavilanz) reports that NASA has turned to the crowdsourcing platform Freelancer.com for help designing tools for the Robonaut 2. NASA is presenting challenges which “expire weekly, requiring designers to be quick.” Steve Rader, deputy manager with the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovative at NASA, said that the agency plans to release more crowdsourcing challenges in the future, like one “to develop a telescope that can take the best quality photo of the space station.”

Dean: Crowdfunding Efforts Leads To Questions About Government’s Role. At the Washington Post  (7/24) “Post Everything” blog, Margaret Lazarus Dean writes on the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum’s Kickstarter to raise funds to repair Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit. Dean likens the “sadness or disgust” that some feel because the museum cannot fund this work on its own to her own feelings about the “depressing” amount NASA is given each year. She thinks that the Smithsonian is just following NASA’s “success creating connections with followers through Twitter, Instagram and other social networks.” Both situations lead to questions about the role and extent that governments should fund “things we value, like historical preservation of national artifacts, or spaceflight, or education.”

Two Senators Introduce Bill On Advanced Stirling Conversion Development.

The WTAP-TV  Parkersburg, WV (7/23, Farrar) website reports that two US senators have introduced a bill that would promote the development of a technology called “Advanced Stirling Conversion,” which is being led by the Glenn Research Center and Sunpower. Sen. Rob Portman said, “We know from talking to NASA and NASA Glenn in Cleveland as well as Sunpower Inc. in Athens that this is ‘the’ technology for the future of deep space exploration. … So we’re excited about the technology. We believe it’s the right thing for the taxpayer and it also happens to be good for jobs in Athens, Ohio.” Portman added that the goal is to get the measure added to NASA’s reauthorization bill.

Workforce

Opinion: Pipeline Construction Good For Pennsylvania Workers.

Writing in the Pittsburgh (PA) Tribune-Review  (7/24, Kunz), International Union of Operating Engineers local leader James Kunz Jr argues that Pennsylvania’s position on top of the Marcellus shale and the push to expand the state’s pipeline infrastructure are opportunities to help the state’s engineering workers and “deliver new economic growth opportunities.” He ends my promoting the Mariner East 2 pipeline as part of that movement.

Engineering and Public Policy

Northrop Grumman Unveils I3E Simulator.

Defense Daily  (7/23, Host) reports that on Thursday Northrop Grumman introduced its Immersive Interactive Information Environment (I3E) physics simulator that “produces electronic warfare (EW) environment mission simulations that are both empirically-accurate and fully-rendered in game-quality visualization.” Northrop Grumman Sector VP of Business Development for Electronic Systems Steve Goldfein lauded the simulator’s ability to be paused, and asserted the designers created the simulator by considering “an engineer’s perspective of how to understand and visualize physics.” The article notes that Northrop is developing a maritime and a classified version of I3E, and that Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is a potential I3E customer.

State Opposition To Clean Power Plan Fades As Compliance Examined.

In a front-page story, the Washington Post  (7/24, A1, Warrick) reports that state opposition to the President’s Clean Power Plan is fading, even among coal states, as governments find ways to meet its target without significant pain. For example, in Kentucky, “five of the state’s older coal-burning power plants were already scheduled to close or switch to natural gas in the next two years, either because of aging equipment or to save money, state officials say.” As a result, the state’s emissions “are set to plummet 16 percent below where they were in 2012 — within easy reach of the 18 percent reduction goal proposed” by the EPA.

Construction Begins On First Commercial Offshore Wind Farm. The New York Times  (7/24, Cardwell, Subscription Publication) reports that off the coast of Rhode Island, construction has begun on “the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.” It is a “moment that its supporters have long anticipated, billing it as nothing less than the dawn of a new clean energy future for the United States, which lags Europe and China in harnessing ocean gusts for electricity.” However, it is “a much more modest beginning than was originally expected,” as other, larger projects “remain stalled.”

CSMonitor Analysis: Big-City Mayors In “Vanguard” Of Climate Change Fight. The Christian Science Monitor  (7/23, Bruinius) reports that while much focus has been on “top down” efforts to cut carbon emissions, the “mayors of major cities – from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa, to Beijing – are taking the ‘bottom up’ approach.” By “working to effect change at the local level, they’ve been at the vanguard of reducing emissions throughout the world in the past decade.”

Reid, Heller Introduce Measure To Give Nevada Veto Ability Over Yucca Mountain.

Greenwire  (7/23, Northey, Subscription Publication) reports that the Nevada Senate delegation “quietly introduced legislation yesterday in hopes of cementing their state’s ability to veto the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in a bipartisan bill that will be considered in the upper chamber next month.” Nevada Sens. Dean Heller (R) and Harry Reid (D), “Capitol Hill’s most vocal opponents of the abandoned Yucca Mountain,” introduced the measure that would “require the Energy secretary to obtain the consent of affected state and local governments before spending Nuclear Waste Fund cash to build a nuclear dump.” The measure is “notable because it was referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is slated to hold a hearing on nuclear waste on Aug. 4 to consider a bipartisan bill that would jump-start the country’s stalled nuclear waste policies.”

The Las Vegas Sun  (7/23, Roerink) adds that Reid and Heller’s bill, S. 1825, “would prevent the federal Department of Energy from making payments for transporting nuclear waste through Nevada without receiving the consent of the governor, local officials and tribal leaders.” The measure is a “companion” to another bill the “two are working on that would require similar sign-offs for the construction of a nuclear repository at the long-controversial site.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal  (7/24, Tetreault) also reported the story.

Report: Clean Power Plan Will Bring Lower Energy Rates.

The Hill  (7/24, Cama) reports that a report by Synapse Energy Economics finds that “States can significantly lower electricity bills for consumers and businesses if they take the right steps in complying with the Obama administration’s climate rule for power plants.” The report concludes that two thirds of residential customers who participate in energy efficiency programs under the plan would experience up to $35 less in monthly bills by 2030. The estimates outstrip those from the EPA, and the study was paid for by an environmental group.

Congress Lumbers Toward Responses To Grid’s Cyber And Physical Threats.

EnergyWire  (7/24, Behr, Subscription Publication) reports that in recent subcommittee meetings, members of Congress have explored potential threats to the power grid, and advanced legislation aimed at increasing protection of energy infrastructure. On Wednesday, the House Energy and Power subcommittee “unanimously backed the need for a federal plan to build a strategic reserve” of transformers, though according to the article, “major questions remain on how the reserve would be organized and paid for, and how such a government program would mesh with current industry programs.” In addition to existing programs, several energy companies, including Southern Company, have “proposed to create an independent organization called Grid Assurance that would purchase large transformers and other essential grid equipment as emergency stockpiles.”

Construction Begins On First Commercial Offshore Wind Farm.

The New York Times  (7/24, Cardwell, Subscription Publication) reports that off the coast of Rhode Island, construction has begun on “the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.” It is a “moment that its supporters have long anticipated, billing it as nothing less than the dawn of a new clean energy future for the United States, which lags Europe and China in harnessing ocean gusts for electricity.” However, it is “a much more modest beginning than was originally expected,” as other, larger projects “remain stalled.”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Boeing Company, Family Donating $30 Million To Seattle Museum For STEM Education.

The AP  (7/23) reported the Boeing company and family are donating $30 million to Seattle’s Museum of Flight to expand the institution’s STEM education programs. The donation will allow the museum to double the number of students who can participate in the programs.

McClatchy  (7/23) adds that Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO said that the donation was “an opportunity to invest in our children and in our region’s future economic health and growth,” and went on to note that some of the 45,000 jobs the company expects to post in the region “could go unfilled here…because we don’t have people qualified to take them.”

Summer Program Helps Equip Educators To Better Teach STEM.

The St. Louis American  (7/24, Rivas) reports on the STEM Teacher Quality Institute, in which educators spend two weeks during the summer “learning to better teacher their students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.” According to Deborah Holmes, project manager and facilitator for the institute, “the goal is not just to raise test scores but to foster and grow a lifelong interest in the fields, thereby establishing today’s students as the STEM leaders of tomorrow… and the method seems to be paying off.” The article notes that the project is “a local collaborative partnership made up of representatives from the area’s top STEM companies,” and funded by The Laclede Group, Inc., among others.

Opinion: US Needs STEM Mentoring.

In an opinion piece in The Hill  (7/24, Weeks), Kirsten Weeks, the head of Cisco’s STEM mentoring efforts, explains why the US needs a national movement to encourage STEM education to meet the demand for skilled workers. Weeks recounts President Kennedy’s challenge to the nation to go to the moon in the 1960s and how that challenge inspired a generation of scientists and technological innovation. Weeks says that mentoring relationships are needed to help a new generation of STEM workers develop the skills they need to succeed and help the US in the future.

Also in the News

Scientists “Band Together To Call Out” AAAS.

Tech Times  (7/23) reported “scientists have banded together to call out” the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In a Tuesday letter, more than 600 scientists ask “that AAAS works more diligently in preventing harmful stereotypes in the content it publishes” and suggest the editorial staff receives diversity training.

Thursday’s Lead Stories

Cyber Security Experts Remotely Hack Into Chrysler Vehicle.
Alexander Calls For Congress To Support Higher Education Innovation.
Research On How Wildfires Spread Could Improve Firefighter Safety.
Despite Stock Drop, Analysts Remain Upbeat On Apple.
US Team Wins Wave Energy Modeling Award.
Google Sponsors STEM Education Event In Chicago For Kids.
Connecticut College Professor Discouraged Teen From Building Gun-Firing UAV.

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Scope – Knowledgespeak: STM Industry Daily News Alert

Springer content now available across ReadCube platform
STM publisher Springer has signed an agreement with publishing technology company ReadCube to enhance and increase the discoverability of its journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings via ReadCube’s web, desktop and mobile applications. More than eight million scientific documents on SpringerLink have been indexed by ReadCube’s Discover service.
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Publications Division of the American Chemical Society announces 2016 launch of ACS Sensors journal
The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) has announced the forthcoming 2016 publication of ACS Sensors, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary research journal to be devoted to the dissemination of original research findings from across all areas of modern sensor science. Dr. J. Justin Gooding, Scientia professor and founding co-director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at The University of New South Wales, will serve as the journal’s inaugural editor-in-chief.
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ProQuest appoints Clay McDaniel as VP Global Marketing
ProQuest has announced the appointment of Clay McDaniel as Vice President Global Marketing. In this role, he will oversee the teams responsible for the company’s comprehensive integrated go-to-market strategies, including product and field marketing, corporate communications, brand, and marketing operations. Prior to joining ProQuest, Clay was CEO and Managing Director, Global Social Media Practice for the Mediabrands Audience Platform, the digital media agency division of Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG).
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SAGE launches new OA journal, Educational Neuroscience
Academic publisher SAGE has announced the launch of Educational Neuroscience (EdN), an open access journal that explores developing brain-behaviour relationships and their implications for the science of learning, academic skill acquisition, and education practice at multiple levels of the educational systems from early childhood to higher education. Dr. Timothy Brown serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journal.
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Pensoft journals – Nature Conservation and MycoKeys – registered to be indexed by Thomson Reuters
Academic publishing company Pensoft has announced that another two of its journals – MycoKeys and Nature Conservation – are now registered to be indexed and abstracted by Thomson Reuters. Both journals are expected to receive an Impact Factor in a couple of years. The two journals are now added to: Science Citation Index Expanded; Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition; Current Contents®/Agriculture, Biology, and Environmental Sciences; Biological Abstracts; and BIOSIS Previews.
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UNLV University Libraries join HathiTrust
The UNLV University Libraries recently joined HathiTrust, a partnership of research institutions committed to preserving and providing access to digitised monographs and other materials via a shared repository. Nearly 100 HathiTrust partners bring an excess of 13 million volumes of copyrighted and public domain materials to lifelong learners worldwide.
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Corrigendum
This is with reference to the news alert titled “Oxford University Press announces continued growth in latest Impact Factor results,” covered in the News Section of Knowledgespeak (dated July 22, 2015). It may be noted that the lead paragraph of this news article has been revised to read as: Academic publisher Oxford University Press (OUP) has announced continued growth in the 2015 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2015). OUP now has 220 titles receiving an Impact Factor, with 25 percent of journals ranked in the top 10 percent of at least one subject category… The revised version of the news item is here.
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ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Cyber Security Experts Remotely Hack Into Chrysler Vehicle.

Kris Van Cleave reported on the CBS Evening News (7/22, story 9, 2:00, Rose) that in an effort to demonstrate a flaw in Fiat Chrysler’s U-connect computer system, which is “found in an estimated 471,000 cars and trucks,” two cyber security experts “took over a Jeep” being driven by a reporter from “Wired,” which posted a video of the demonstration to its website. Fiat Chrysler “has released a software update to offer improved electronic security.” Van Cleave added that Sen. Ed Markey has “introduced legislation requiring vehicle cyber security and privacy protection.”

A front-page story in the Washington Post  (7/23, A1, Timberg) on the vulnerability to hackers of cars’ onboard computers, reports that NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in a speech Tuesday that “federal transportation officials also are working on the problem and have a cybersecurity research team at a car-testing facility in Ohio.” According to prepared remarks, Rosekind said, “The folks at our Vehicle Research and Test Center have figured out how to do some remarkable things with vehicle electronics, in order to prevent others from doing them. … NHTSA not only is aware of these threats, but we’re working to defeat them.”

Higher Education

Alexander Calls For Congress To Support Higher Education Innovation.

The Chattanoogan (TN)  (7/23) reports that Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander said Wednesday that Congress “needs to stop policies that discourage traditional colleges and universities from innovating” in order to improve workforce preparedness. The piece quotes Alexander saying, “Congress needs to help colleges and universities meet the needs of a growing population of today’s students—one that has less time to earn their degree, wants flexibility in scheduling their classes, and needs to start earning an income sooner. And Congress may also need to consider new providers of education that don’t fit the traditional mold.”

Politico  (7/22, Emma) reports in its “Morning Education” blog that the committee held a hearing on the issue on Wednesday, noting that Alexander was expected to focus on how Congress can “help colleges meet students’ changing needs and stop discouraging colleges and universities from innovating” and on whether the federal government should “consider a new definition for the college or university.”

ED College Rating Plan Abandoned In Favor Of Data Tool.

The Los Angeles Times  (7/22, Gordon) continues recent coverage of ED’s decision to abandon its plan to rate US colleges, noting that the original proposal was made by President Obama some two years ago, but “was met with protests and concerns from college leaders who contended that it was misconceived and could unfairly pit schools against each other.” The Administration said that opposition from colleges and Republicans did not lead to the change in plans, citing instead the difficulty of developing “a ratings system that worked well enough to help high school seniors, parents and counselors.” Under Secretary Ted Mitchell said that ED wanted to avoid “a black box that would be hard for consumers to penetrate and understand and that actually would not be an advance on the state-of-the-art.” Moreover, Mitchell said, assigning a college a single score “would belie a lot of complexity students and families need to understand. And it would mask some very big differences among institutions.”

CFPB Orders Discover To Pay $18.5 Million For Student Loan Abuses.

Reuters  (7/22, Stephenson) reports that the CFPB announced on Wednesday that it fined Discover Financial Services’ banking unit $18.5 million in penalties and consumer refunds, alleging the company conducted illegal student loan servicing practices, such as overstating minimum amounts due and taking unfair debt collection actions.

Bloomberg News  (7/22, Lorin) reports that Discover “will refund $16 million to consumers and pay a $2.5 million penalty” as a result of the CFPB order. CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement that Discover “created student debt stress for borrowers by inflating their bills and misleading them about important benefits.” He added, “Illegal servicing and debt collection practices add insult to injury for borrowers struggling to pay back their loans.”

The Wall Street Journal  (7/23, Andriotis, Subscription Publication) reports that Discover was also ordered by the CFPB and FDIC in 2012 to pay about $214 million for deceptive sales and marketing of its credit card add-on products and adds that, according to the CFPB, Discover learned about violations to its debt collection practices in 2012 but did not address the problem until many months later.

The Washington Post  (7/23, Douglas-Gabriel), CNN Money  (7/22, Lobosco), USA Today  (7/22, Mccoy), the Huffington Post  (7/22), Forbes  (7/22, McGrath), and Chicago Tribune  (7/22, Yerak) also cover this story.

Study: Recessions Lead To Surge In Engineering, Business Majors.

The Chicago Tribune  (7/22, Briscoe) reports that a recent study by the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago found that students there is a correlation between economic downturns and the number of students pursuing more “pragmatic” studies, with the study noting that a one percent rise in unemployment rate “translates into significant gains in the number of men majoring in engineering (0.6 percent), accounting (0.2 percent) and business (0.1 percent).”

Senate Panel Approves Funding For DC College Tuition Assistance Program.

The Washington Post  (7/23, Chandler) reports that a Senate subcommittee has included language to maintain funding for the DC Tuition Assistance Grant program, a popular program “that many parents are fighting to protect and expand.” The language would match this year’s $30 million funding level.

From ASEE
NEW edition of eGFI magazine
Over 2 million young people have read eGFI since its inception. A new edition is rolling off the presses, with features on cutting-edge engineering inventions, career choices, and how students can succeed in this rapidly advancing field – all produced with an attractive, engaging layout.

Learn more about a discounted rate on magazines with YOUR ad on the back cover. This is a great product for outreach and community engagement efforts.

Or email marketing@asee.org for more information.

Research and Development

Research On How Wildfires Spread Could Improve Firefighter Safety.

Phys  (7/23) reports that a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “reveals new findings about how wildfires actually spread and could have significant impacts on firefighter safety and fuel hazards mitigation.” The research indicates that “flame dynamics that produce and transport convective heat” plea the largest part in determining how fires spread, noting that it had been previously thought that radiation heat played a greater role. Researchers from the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station’s Missoula Fire Sciences Lab, the University of Maryland’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering, and the University of Kentucky’s Department of Mechanical Engineering contributed to the study.

NIH-Backed Research Team Creates Wireless Brain Implant With Nanotechnology.

The ExecutiveGov  (7/23) reports a team of neuroscientists at the Washington University and the University of Illinois has created a “remote-controlled wireless implant technology for a brain activity research effort” using nanotechnology manufacturing methods. Dr. James Gnadt, program director at NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “said the agency supported the implant development project as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative.”

Industry News

Despite Stock Drop, Analysts Remain Upbeat On Apple.

Reaction to the drop in Apple’s stock covers several different themes – the continued optimism about the company’s prospects among analysts, the irrationality of the selloff, and its impact on supplies. Reuters  (7/22, Soreng, Maan) reports that despite the market reaction to Apple’s financials, analysts generally remain upbeat on Apple’s prospects. For example, only one of 16 brokerages that released ratings after the new numbers actually downgraded the stock. Bloomberg News  (7/22, Fahnenstiel) reports that of “the 13 analysts whose notes were examined for this article, only one downgraded their rating.” Chuck Jones writes for Forbes  (7/22) that Cowen’s Apple Analyst, Tim Arcuri, “downgraded Apple this morning from Outperform to Market Perform and dropped his target price from $140 to $130.” He writes that he “dislikes to downgrade stocks off of earnings reports,” but he “believes the company has entered a transition period from pure hardware sales to services creating hardware demand.”

Many tech and business writers also remained positive on Apple. Brian Barrett writes for Wired  (7/22) that whatever the take on Apple’s recent iPhone sales, the device “dominates the premium smartphone space as it seldom has before—and will continue to do so barring extraordinary events.” In a piece for Business Insider  (7/22), Jessica Smith highlights the strength of the iPhone revealed in the Apple’s financials, such as the higher average sales price than almost all previous quarters and the switchover rate from Android. Still, writing for CNBC  (7/22), John Melloy writes, “eight years after its debut, the iPhone is still the only thing that drives Apple’s stock price.”

Apple Suppliers Hit By Stock’s Drop. CNN Money  (7/22, Egan) reports that in the wake of the financials, the iPhone “pain” extends beyond Apple. It is “slamming the iPhone ecosystem, the collection of companies that supply the sophisticated technology powering the devices,” such as Cirrus Logic. Reuters  (7/22) reports that a number of European tech firms that are suppliers to Apple or linked to their products were also hit. The AP  (7/23, Veiga) reports that US stocks fell on Wednesday, weighed down by Apple and Microsoft earnings. Reuters  (7/22) reports that Taiwan stocks fell Wednesday in response to Apple’s weaker revenue forecast and lower-than-expected iPhone shipments.

Apple Cuts Capital Expenditure Plan. Bloomberg News  (7/23, Chan) reports Apple cut $1 billion worth of capital expenditures from its forecast after “iPhone sales and revenue forecast fell short of analyst expectations.” The company will cut spending “on areas including product tooling, data centers and retail facilities” by about eight percent to $12 billion.

Engineering and Public Policy

US Team Wins Wave Energy Modeling Award.

Offshore Wind  (7/22) reports that a team with members from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories has won the Center for Ocean Energy Research’s Hydrodynamic Modeling Competition. The team had to “predict the dynamic motion of a floating body in an irregular wave field using computer-based modeling software.” The Energy Department team beat challengers from MIT, Canada, and international universities.

Shell Receives Conditional Approval To Begin Drilling Off Alaska’s Coast.

The AP  (7/22, Freking, Joling) reports that on Wednesday, the Administration issued a pair of permits to Royal Dutch Shell to “begin limited exploratory oil drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast,” but “with conditions.” Shell “can only drill the top sections of wells because the company doesn’t have critical emergency response equipment on site to cap a well in case of a leak.” Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said that Shell “could submit an amended application for deeper drilling” when the appropriate equipment is available.

The New York Times  (7/23, Davenport, Subscription Publication) reports that the “capping stack” is currently aboard a vessel, the Fennica, which is heading to Portland, Oregon. If it “can eventually be deployed in the Chukchi Sea, Interior Department officials said, the company may submit an application to drill into the oil wells.” Reuters  (7/22, Gardner) reports that it is likely that the Fennica can reach the drilling site before preliminary drilling progresses sufficiently to require it, expected sometime next month.

The Washington Post  (7/23, Mufson) reports that the decision was “decried” by “environmental groups” who see it “posing a grave risk to the area’s marine life.” The Post says that the permits “are the latest twist in a long-running saga,” that began with Shell paying $2.1 billion for leases in 2008.

Senate Energy Reform Package Introduced.

Reuters  (7/23, Gardner) reports that the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources introduced its version of the energy reform package on Wednesday. The Energy Policy Modernization Act is supported by both Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The Hill  (7/23, Cama) reports that Murkowski spokesman Robert Dillon told reporters that the chairwoman wanted a “bill that was bipartisan in nature” to give it “the best chance of passing the full Senate.” However, Dillon also noted that she would not be giving up on the more controversial proposals left out of the bill, like repealing the crude oil export ban. Platts  (7/23, McMahon) reports that the bill “would speed decision-making on liquefied natural gas exports, focus the intent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and require reviews of how federal rules impact electric system reliability.” Further, the bill empowers the White House Council on Environmental Quality to resolve interagency disputes on hydropower licensing and orders the EIA to establish an office to analyze financial markets. It also has multiple provisions on cybersecurity coordination. Bloomberg News  (7/23, Snyder) notes that the bill’s provisions on the SPR stand in opposition to a separate Senate proposal to sell 101 million barrels of it to fund highway infrastructure improvements.

Additional coverage is available from the Washington (DC) Examiner  (7/22, Hoskinson)

Elementary/Secondary Education

Google Sponsors STEM Education Event In Chicago For Kids.

The Chicago Tribune  (7/22, Elahi) reported Google is bringing its Geek Street Fair to Chicago. The event offers students opportunities to learn about new technologies and STEM careers. Google expects more than 1,500 students between the ages of eight and 14 to attend the event.

Middle School Students Compete In Robotics Competition In Virginia Using Military Technology.

Southern Maryland Online  (7/21) reported teams of middle school students participated in a robotics competition at the Virginia Demonstration Project Summer Academy in King George, Virginia. The competition required students to use robots to complete simulated Navy missions, such as disarming counter-improvised explosive devices. The event allowed students to use technology used by the US military and also learn about related STEM careers.

US Navy Gives $300,000 Grant To Naval Museum To Develop Duplicable STEM Education Program.

The Inside Bay Area (CA)  (7/22, Hegarty) reported the US Navy Office of Naval Research awarded a $300,000 grant to the museum in Alameda, California that houses the decommissioned USS Hornet to develop a STEM education program targeted to K-12 students. The US Naval Academy and the Naval Historical Foundation will help develop the curriculum and hope to use it at other Naval museums across the US.

Middle School Students Attending Robotics Camp At University Of Louisiana.

The Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate  (7/22, Duchmann) reported Louisiana middle school students are attending the week-long “Innovation, Design, and Robotics” program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The program teaches students about coding, design challenges, robotics, and biomimicry.

Raytheon Gives Grant To Virginia School District To Teach Engineering To Elementary School Students.

Leesburg (VA) Today  (7/22) reported Raytheon Company has given a $37,000 grant to Loudoun County public schools in Virginia to teach engineering concepts to elementary school students. The grant paid for 25 Loudoun County teachers to attend an “Engineering is Elementary” workshop to prepare them to teach engineering to their students. The teachers were given a curriculum and materials at the workshop to help them.

Hundreds Of Louisiana Teachers Receive Training To Teach Career And Technical Education Courses.

The Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate  (7/22, Sills) reported 450 Louisiana high school and college teachers attended the week-long Super Summer Institute to receive “training that qualifies them to teach career and technical training courses to high school students.”

Idaho Working To Improve STEM Workforce In State.

The AP  (7/22, Kruesi) reported Idaho’s STEM Action Center had a board meeting on Wednesday to start drafting recommendations to improve Idaho’s STEM workforce. Idaho legislators approved $650,000 to fund the STEM Action Center earlier this year.

Also in the News

Connecticut College Professor Discouraged Teen From Building Gun-Firing UAV.

The AP  (7/23) reports the FAA is investigating after a video of a UAV shooting a hand gun, apparently created by a Connecticut teenager, was posted to YouTube. A spokesperson for Central Connecticut State University, Mark McLaughlin, said “the student mentioned to an engineering professor this summer that he was planning to put a weapon on a” UAV. McLaughlin said the professor “strongly discouraged the student.”

Wednesday’s Lead Stories

FBI Online Crime Investigators Lured Away By Private Sector.
Biden Makes Case For Free Community College In Denver.
Researchers Want Robots To Play Competitive Soccer By 2050.
Unconventional Resources Technology Conference Held.
Dominion Considers Ways To Reduce Cost Of Offshore Wind Power.
NASA Education Wing Partners With Ohio District.

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