Leading the News
World’s Fastest 3D Printed UAV Debuts At Dubai Airshow.
The Design Engineering (CAN) (11/12) reports that at the Dubai Airshow this week, “Aurora Flight Sciences unveiled what may be the world’s fastest 3D printed unmanned aerial vehicle.” Design Engineering notes that the “jet-powered” UAV, developed together with Stratasys, “is 80 percent composed from 3D printed parts using lightweight build materials that help it top 150mph.” In a statement, Dan Campbell, aerospace research engineer at Aurora Flight Sciences, said, “A primary goal for us was to show the aerospace industry just how quickly you can go from designing to building to flying a 3D printed jet-powered aircraft,” adding, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest, fastest, and most complex 3D printed UAV ever produced.”
According to Aero-News Network (11/12), Scott Sevcik, senior business development manager at Stratasys, stated that the 3D printed UAV is “a perfect demonstration of the unique capabilities that additive manufacturing can bring to aerospace,” explaining that the development process entailed “using different 3D printing materials and technologies together on one aircraft to maximize the benefits of additive manufacturing and 3D print both lightweight and capable structural components.”
BBC News (UK) (11/12, Howell) also reports on the UAV.
New $120 Million Engineering Student Housing Being Built At Arizona State University.
The Phoenix Business Journal (11/11, Sunnucks, Subscription Publication) reports “Austin-based American Campus Communities will soon start construction on a new $120 million residential development for Arizona State University engineering students.” The new complex will house nearly 1,600 ASU engineering students. American Campus Communities specializes in building student housing and has constructed complexes at San Diego State University, University of Colorado, University of New Mexico, and the University of Southern California.
Experts: College Scorecard May Not Reach Prospective Students.
The Dayton (OH) Daily News (11/11, Lambert) reports that while ED’s new College Scorecard has a wealth of information about colleges’ graduates’ potential earnings and debt levels, “national higher education experts wonder whether students will use the data.” The piece reports that experts cite “the disconnect between how graduates actually fare and what an 18-year-old thinks will happen.”
Democrats Call On Duncan To Expedite Help For Corinthian Students.
The iSchoolGuide (11/11) reports that a group of congressional Democrats is calling on Education Secretary Arne Duncan to “stop delaying his promised debt relief to several Corinthian Colleges Inc. students who were defrauded by the institution.” The piece notes that Federal law allows defrauded students to get “relief from the debt should they apply for debt cancelations after they have been misled by an educational institution to induce government and private student loans.” ED spokeswoman Dorie Nolt “said that officials from the department appreciated their ‘concerns for the welfare of Corinthian students.’”
Texas Tech Dean Resigns After Role In Grade-Changing Scandal Exposed.
The Houston Chronicle (11/11, Baddour) reports that Lance Nail, dean of the Texas Tech Rawls College of Business, will step down after an internal investigation presented evidence of his role in a grade-changing scandal. Commenting on the matter, university provost Lawrence Schovanec, who organized the investigating committee, stated that the university has “policies and procedures in place to protect our fundamental academic standards,” and concluded that, “in this instance, the policies supporting these principles were not followed.” Nail, however, defended himself, arguing that he “acted in the best interest of students who were treated in an unfair manner,” and cited university policy that grants him authority to change grades, “if he determines that the grades were based on arbitrary and capriciousness.”
University Of California System Plans To Increase Enrollment By 10,000.
The San Jose (CA) Mercury News (11/12, Murphy) reports that the University of California system announced this week that it plans to increase undergraduate enrollment by 10,000 in the coming years “to help meet the soaring demand of in-state applicants.” The system has faced “intense criticism” as it struggles to cope with lawmakers’ demands over enrollment, tuition, and funding.
Research and Development
Georgia Tech Researchers Catalog How Animals Clean Themselves.
The Huffington Post (11/10, D’angelo) reports Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have cataloged the ways that 27 different animals clean their bodies in order to gain insights on the most effective and efficient ways to keep surfaces clean. The research has implications for how to develop better self-cleaning systems for technologies with large surface areas that need regular cleaning to function but are hard to access. Georgia Tech associate professor David Hu says, “Drones and other autonomous rovers, including our machines on Mars, are susceptible to failure because of the accumulation of airborne particles.”
Engineering Among Fields Texas Students Intend To Major In.
The Dallas Morning News (11/11, Ayala) reports the three most popular majors chosen by Texas high school students taking the SAT last year were health professions, engineering, and business and marketing. All three areas are projected to grow based on state employment projections from the Texas Workforce Commission.
Independent Research Institutes Play Vital Role In Innovation Ecosystem.
In the Huffington Post (11/11, Stashenko) “The Blog,” Forsyth Institute President and CEO Philip Stashenko DMD, PhD wrote that the “science conducted at independent research institutes (IRI) is a critical part of so many of the scientific and health care advances that we all enjoy.” However, the “economic realities” of more than a decade of “stagnant” NIH funding “pose a serious threat to the future of new discoveries.” Stashenko calls for “robust philanthropic and foundation” efforts to boost NIH funding that will inevitably “support our ground-breaking work.”
The Assault On Federally Supported Science.
In a piece for the Christian Science Monitor (11/10), Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, opined that it is “time to examine” the impact of government funded research from the NSF and NIH “and once again establish the bipartisan consensus that federal funding of scientific research is a key enabler of private sector innovation.” Atkinson criticizes a Wall Street Journal piece by Matt Ridley, who calls Federal funding worthless and detrimental.
Increasing Coal Plant Permits Spark Doubts About China’s Energy Priorities.
The New York Times (11/12, Wong, Subscription Publication) reports that a new Chinese law implemented in March allowing provincial officials to approve power plant proposals, combined with an investment-driven construction boom, has led to an increase in plant permits that does not match the country’s overall energy requirements. Green Peace East Asia released a report Wednesday about the “coal power bubble” in China. Zhang Boting, vice chairman of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering, says, “China already has more coal capacity than it will ever need,” with most plants operating well below capacity. In 2015 155 planned coal plants have received permits despite China’s pledge to increase the share of nuclear and renewable energy to 15 percent by 2020.
Engineering and Public Policy
WSJournal Analysis: With Keystone Rejection, Obama Missed An Opportunity.
A Wall Street Journal (11/11, Ip, Subscription Publication) analysis says that by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, the President missed an opportunity to show world leaders ahead of next month’s Paris summit how new greenhouse-gas emission targets can be met with minimal economic harm. According to the Journal, there are no indications that the President ever considered a deal to link approval of the pipeline with carbon-offsetting measures.
Senators Offer Bill To Step Up Pipeline Safety Standards. The Hill (11/11, Henry) reported that Sens. Deb Fischer and Cory Booker and others have introduced legislation to enhance pipeline safety standards. The measure “would reauthorize the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) through 2019” and direct it “to prioritize its current safety regulatory regime over new rulemaking and call for reports on new mapping technology and safety programs for liquid and nature gas pipelines.” In addition, the measure “would give the agency new hiring powers and encourage coordination between federal regulators, states and the private sector.”
EPA Seeks To Block McCarthy Deposition In Coal Industry Suit.
The EPA has asked the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to block a deposition for administrator McCarthy in a lawsuit “brought against the agency by coal giant Murray Energy Corp.,” The Hill (11/11, Henry) reported. According to the EPA, “a deposition would be out of step with previous legal rulings against deposing high-level regulatory officials.”
New Corporation To Oversee Hudson River Rail Tunnel Construction.
The New York Times (11/12, Fitzsimmons, Subscription Publication) reports that federal and state officials have announced an agreement “to create a corporation within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to oversee long-awaited plans to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.” The Gateway Development Corporation “will coordinate the project and assemble the billions of dollars needed to pay for it” and will “be controlled by a four-member board with representatives from New York, New Jersey, Amtrak and the federal Transportation Department.” The federal government and Amtrak will be “responsible for financing half of the project, which could cost as much as $20 billion.”
Plan Designates California Desert Land For Renewable Energy Development.
The AP (11/11, Spagat) reported Tuesday’s announcement of a plan to regulate the development of renewable energy in desert areas under the oversight of the US Bureau of Land Management in Southern California. Reportedly, the plan designates nearly 400,000 acres for potential renewable projects, and sets aside 5.3 million and 3.6 million acres respectively for conservation and recreation. US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose comments were echoed by the Nature Conservancy, stated that, “This strategy provides effective protection and conservation for wildlife, recreation and cultural resources, while encouraging streamlined renewable energy development in the right places.” The National Parks Conservation Association, however, disagreed that the plan removed the threat that renewable energy development posed to desert national parks.
The San Francisco Chronicle (11/11, Lochhead, Subscription Publication) notes that the plan comes as part of the 2008 Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and reports that opponents of the initiative, many of whom cite the need for stronger conservation protections, have only until January to submit comment before the plan is granted approval through executive action.
Connecticut’s New Education Standards Prioritize STEM Skills.
The Hartford (CT) Business Journal (11/11) reports that the new standards issues by the Connecticut Department of Education, called the Next Generation Science Standards, emphasize STEM and high-tech skills. Commenting on the new standards, education commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell stated that, “With new science standards and a renewed focus on STEM careers, we not only set students on a path to success, we set up Connecticut for long-term economic growth.”
Hopkins Opens New Engineering Lab In City Elementary School, Pledges $10 Million To Program.
The Baltimore Sun (11/11, Green) reports that the Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering has opened an engineering lab at Barclay Elementary/Middle School as part of a $5 million, 10-year investment plan aimed at strengthening local neighborhoods through education, especially in math and the sciences. Hopkins President Ron Daniels, commenting on the effort to improve STEM education, stated that, “Engineers are problem-solvers. The skills they’re learning reinforce the skills in all disciplines. When you solve problems, you can improve people’s lives and make the world a better place.”
Elementary Students Benefit From Launch Of New STEM Labs.
The Tampa Bay (FL) Times (11/11, Solochek) reports that, thanks to grants provided by Duke Energy and the Pasco Education Foundation, the Cypress and Moon Lake elementary schools both launched new STEM labs this year, which provide students the opportunity to learn and find solutions through creative, hands-on activities. The Times reports the statements of teachers and students, both of whom expressed enthusiastic support for the labs.
Four California Districts Create Shared PD Program For Middle School Science Teachers.
THE Journal (11/11, Meyer) reports Evergreen, Franklin-McKinley, Mount Pleasant, and Oak Grove school districts in the San Jose, California area have joined together to create a professional development program for middle school science teachers called “Middle School Next Generation Science Standards Leadership Alliance.” The program will help teachers gain experience with hands-on learning that they can pass on to their own students and other teachers.
Wednesday’s Lead Stories
• Volkswagen Hires Apple “Software Guru” For “Digitization” Role.