ASEE First Bell – Breaking news in the engineering and technology field

Leading the News

Study: Drones Carrying Defibrillators May Help Bystanders Revive People Stricken By Cardiac Arrest.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Tanner) reports that “drones carrying heart defibrillators” may be able to “help bystanders revive people stricken by cardiac arrest,” according to a research letter Share to FacebookShare to Twitterpublished in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers found that drones could deliver the devices “within about 5 minutes of launch” to the scenes of 18 cardiac arrests, which was 17 minutes faster than it took ambulances to arrive.

In “Science Now,” the Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Kaplan) reports the research was conducted by researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, who “dispatched an actual drone from a fire station about 45 minutes north of Stockholm to 18 locations where people suffered actual cardiac arrests away from a hospital between 2006 and 2014” and then compared the flight times to “the ambulance times recorded in the Swedish Registry for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.” The average arrival time for the drones was 5 minutes, 21 seconds, while the average arrival time for the ambulances was 22 minutes.

HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Mozes) reports that emergency physician Leigh Vinocur, MD, a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians, pointed out that the study was small and did not take into account factors that could impact drone delivery, such as bad weather, but also said drone delivery of AEDs was “a great idea with a lot of potential.” Dr. Vinocur added, “We know that out-of-hospital cardiac arrest has a high mortality, that improves with both bystander CPR and early defibrillation with AED.”

Also covering the story are Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Rapaport), the CBS News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Marcus) website, the NPR Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Columbus) “Shots” blog, MedPage Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Phend), CNET News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Starr), and HealthLeaders Media Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Commins). Foreign sources covering the story include the Telegraph (UK) Share to
FacebookShare to Twitter(6/13, Bodkin) and The Guardian (UK) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Siddique).

Higher Education

Trump Calls For Apprenticeships To Fill Vacant Jobs At Wisconsin Technical College.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Boak) reports that while speaking at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin President Trump “said Tuesday the nation needs a stronger system of apprenticeship to match workers with millions of open jobs.” The AP adds, “Trump described his push to get private companies and universities to pair up and pay the cost of such arrangements.” The article states that “the White House said Trump’s push is aimed at training workers with specific skills for particular jobs that employers say they can’t fill at a time of historically low unemployment,” but, “the most recent budget for the federal government passed with about $90 million for apprenticeships, and Trump so far isn’t proposing to add more.” Instead, “the Trump administration has said there’s a need that can be met with a change in the American attitude toward vocational education and apprenticeships,” The AP writes.

The Washington Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Miller) reports that Trump “said enhancing training and educational opportunities to help young people to get good-paying jobs ‘is one of the most important questions facing’ their generation.” This piece notes that Trump was accompanied by “daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.” The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Fabian) reports that the President “said it requires a change in mentality from institutions of higher learning, which typically offer two- and four-year degrees.”

Politico Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Kullgren) reports that Trump is expected to follow up the visit by signing “an executive order Wednesday that would virtually eliminate oversight of government-subsidized apprenticeship programs.” The Washington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Wagner) reports that as the President “has pushed workforce development this week, critics have charged that other actions he is pursuing would hurt the people he says he wants to help.” His budget proposal would cut the Labor Department budget by 21 percent in the next fiscal year, including “a 40 percent cut to the Labor Department’s Wagner-Peyser Employment Service, which supports about 14 million job seekers annually and last year helped nearly 6 million people find jobs.” Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) also covers this story.

Student Loan Sector Resists DeVos Plan To Hire Single Student Loan Servicer.

Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports the Education Finance Council, an industry group representing state-based and nonprofit student loan agencies, is “pushing back against a plan by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to hire a single company to manage the payments of all federal direct student loan borrowers.” The group has “released a letter it sent to DeVos that urges the Education Department to ‘reevaluate its decision to select one servicer to manage the entire federal loan portfolio.’” Debra Chromy, the group’s president, wrote that moving to a single federal loan servicer “would create a monopolistic environment with little to no incentive to ensure the single servicer provides the highest quality of customer service to student loan borrowers.”

Veterans Groups Call For ED To Forgive Loans For Defrauded Borrowers.

Politico Morning Education Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports that a coalition of over 30 veterans groups is calling on “the Congressional education committees to make sure the Education Department fully implements the borrower defense to repayment regulations that are slated to take effect on July 1.” The groups say “any ‘delay is an affront to defrauded servicemembers, veterans, survivors, and military families’” and that “previously-approved applications for loan forgiveness made by veterans who attended Corinthian Colleges and ITT Tech ‘remain stalled.’”

Nebraska To Build Career And Technical Education Facility.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports Nielsen Foundation board member Clarence Mock announced the Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to help build a proposed $2.7 million career and technical education training facility near the Nielsen Community Center in West Point, Nebraska. Nielsen intends to use the center “to establish unique career pathways for students in various fields, resulting in access to technical education not readily available in area high schools.” The center is expected to open by fall next year, and up to six career pathways will be available to students by fall 2019. The Northeast Community College of Norfolk, Wayne State College, the City of Wayne, and Educational Service Unit 2, along with six area school districts in the Pathways 2 Tomorrow consortium, are also project partners. Northeast Community College president Michael Chipps remarked, “This new facility will assist us in responding to the need to provide the career and technical education opportunities necessary to prepare a qualified workforce.”

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Research and Development

GM Expands Fleet Of Autonomous Bolts.

Bloomberg News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Naughton, Welch) reports General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced Tuesday that the company is expanding its autonomous vehicle fleet of Chevrolet Bolts to 180 vehicles, having assembled 130 of the cars with autonomous sensors and software to complement the 50 autonomous Bolts already being tested in three parts of the country: San Francisco, Detroit, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Speaking from the company’s Orion Township, Michigan assembly plant, Barra said, “We intend for GM to be the leader and not only in development, but the leader in deployment.”

GM is “among the first automakers to mass produce self-driving vehicles,” the AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, DURBIN) reports, saying that GM plans to eventually “place self-driving Bolts in ride-hailing fleets in major U.S. cities,” though Barra has given no target date for when this might occur.

The Detroit Free Press Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports Barra said “The level of integration in these vehicles is on par with any of our production vehicles, and that is a great advantage,” because “no other company today has the unique and necessary combination of technology, engineering and manufacturing ability to build autonomous vehicles at scale.”

Digital Trends Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Edelstein) reports “this production run gives GM one of the largest fleets of autonomous cars on the road.” In comparison, Ford “expects to have 90 test cars in service by the end of this year,” and Chrysler is working on “delivering 100 Pacifica Hybrid minivans to Waymo to be outfitted with autonomous tech.”

“Lead Voice” For Augmented Reality Praises Apple’s ARKit.

Motherboard Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports Apple unveiled its new suite of augmented reality development tools, or “ARKit,” at this year’s annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC. The suite has been available for a week, and tech industry leaders are already labeling it “a game changer.” Washington State University special education technology professor Don McMahan commented, “One thing that really stands out about augmented reality is its intuitiveness.” Motherboard calls McMahan “a lead voice for AR technology serving practical, educational purposes, beyond the more obvious play.” McMahan said augmented reality is particularly beneficial to special education students who require individual learning plans because the technology is “engaging, and it provides multiple ways to represent information.” He added, “It’s going to become as much a part of education as mobile devices are currently.”

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Develop Simplified Robot Design Tool.

THE Journal Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports Carnegie Mellon University researchers developed a tool to design customized robots capable of using off-the-shelf actuators and 3D-printed parts, regardless of the user’s skill level. The program’s drag-and-drop interface allows the user to select from a small components library and implement the components into the design. It also offers suggestions and provides “rapid prototyping.” After designing a robot, “a simulation feature allows the user to watch how the robot moves (or not) before the 3D-printing or building process begin.” At the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Singapore, robotics Ph.D. student Ruta Desai shared details of the project and noted, “The motions of the robot we actually built matched the desired motion we demonstrated in simulation very well.” The researchers’ work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation.

Industry News

Google “Poaches” Apple Engineer In Effort To Build Its Own Smartphone Processors.

CNBC Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Haselton) reports Google recently “poached” Apple engineer Manu Gulati to help build its own smartphone processing chips. Gulati has “at least 15 Apple patents related to chip design under his belt and will be key in Google’s plan to build its own processors.” According to Gulati’s LinkedIn profile, he is serving as Google’s new “lead SOC architect.” AppleInsider Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Fingas) reports that Gulati joined Apple in August of 2009 “and is said to have been heavily involved in custom chips for the iPhone, and iPad, and Apple TV.” BGR Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Heisler) reports that, according to Variety, “Google’s underlying goal is to develop proprietary chips for upcoming versions of its flagship Pixel phone.” Thus, Gulati was likely brought on to help design Google’s chip for the next Pixel lineup.

CNET News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Nieva) also reports this story.

Engineering and Public Policy

Eleven States Sue Energy Department Over Delayed Energy Efficiency Standards.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Thanawala) reports eleven states on Tuesday filed suit against the Trump Administration “over its failure to finalize energy-use limits for portable air conditioners and other products.” The new rules “would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save businesses and consumers billions of dollars, and conserve enough energy to power more than 19 million households for a year,” but the Energy Department hasn’t “met a requirement to publish them by now, according to attorneys general who filed the lawsuit against the DOE in federal court in San Francisco.” In a statement, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said, “The Department of Energy is blocking common-sense energy efficiency standards. This is absurd. … The Trump Administration should stop stalling and start following the law.” DOE “said in an email that it does not comment on pending litigation.” The Hill Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Cama) reports officials in the Trump Administration “never completed the administrative steps to let the rules get published in the Federal Register.” The inaction “was part of the new administration’s pause and review on regulations across the government, and the opponents say that was illegal.”

The San Francisco Chronicle Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports the states involved in the lawsuit are California, “Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington.” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) and E&E Publishing Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Subscription Publication) also provide coverage.

U.S. Has Six Nuclear Plants Set To Retire.

Power Engineering Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports Exelon’s announcement of its intentions to retire its Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station means that “the United States now has six nuclear plants in the country that are operating but will soon retire,” according to the Energy Information Administration. The article mentions the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station among nuclear facilities that shut down between 1998 and 2013.

Trump “Clings To Coal” As Market Leans Toward Renewables, Natural Gas.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Biesecker) reports that demand for coal is “plummeting worldwide” and coal’s share of global energy consumption is continuing to fall, “even as President Donald Trump has made reviving the long-struggling U.S. coal mines the bedrock of his administration’s energy policy.” Meanwhile, “renewable energy made big gains, growing 14 percent in 2016.” The AP states, “as Trump doubles down on coal, the rest of the world appears headed in the opposite direction.”

Apple Issues $1 Billion Green Bond Following Trump’s Withdrawal From Paris Climate Agreement.

Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports Apple Inc. on Tuesday “offered a $1 billion bond dedicated to financing clean energy and environmental projects.” It is “the first corporate green bond offered since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement.” Apple’s offering “comes over a year” after the company “issued its first green bond of $1.5 billion – the largest issued by a U.S. corporation – as a response to the 2015 Paris agreement.” The company “said its second green bond is meant to show that businesses are still committed to the goals of the 194-nation accord.” Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson said, “Leadership from the business community is essential to address the threat of climate change and protect our shared planet.” The Financial Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Samson, Subscription Publication) also provides coverage of this story.

Wind Project On Hold In Tennessee.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13) reports an over “$100 million wind farm project in Tennessee has been put on hold” after lawmakers in the state “passed a yearlong moratorium on new turbines being installed in the state.” Apex Clean Energy, the developer of the project, “cited ‘current market conditions’ for suspending the project.” The Crab Orchard wind farm “was projected to power 20,000 homes.” The AP adds that “the moratorium was sponsored by Crossville Republican Rep. Cameron Sexton, who has said residents of a nearby retirement community worried about losing value on their homes and that the windmills would be noisy or harm wildlife.”

Alaskan Microgrids Highlighted During Senate Field Hearing.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Waldholz) reports Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska “held a field hearing” in her state “this past weekend of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in Cordova to talk about the state’s technology, specifically microgrids” which “are self-contained, electrical grids that can operate unconnected to any larger transmission system.” Many communities in Alaska “depend on these microgrids to provide power.” Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington “told panelists that when it comes to energy systems of the future, Alaska is ‘the tip of the spear.’”

Elementary/Secondary Education

Alaska Students Take Part In Week-Long STEM Camp.

The Fairbanks (AK) News-Miner Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13, Capps) reports on “the first-ever STEM…Camp in Nenana,” Alaska last week, where 18 students of various ages took part in “full-week enrichment activities outside of regular school hours.” According to the story, the camp was “made possible by the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, provided by the U.S. Department of Education and administered at Nenana School,” to help “community learning centers” that assist students in meeting “state and local standards in core academic subjects, like reading and math.”

Entrepreneur Calls For Widespread Tech Education In Public Schools.

Entrepreneur Bob Moul, in a piece for Philly (PA) Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (6/13), says “only 1,891 Pennsylvania high school students took the advanced placement computer science exam in 2015,” according to, suggesting most students lack access to tech education. Moul argues the tech industry offers a “wide variety of jobs to suit many aptitudes and interests,” as well as “great wages, great benefits, and almost unlimited growth potential for those who choose it as a career.” He adds that it is “by far one of the most accepting of individuals without degrees.” Moul writes, “If we can get tech added to core curriculum in our public schools and partner with tech companies to provide internships, we will at a minimum better prepare our kids for success in the 21st century,” and at best prepare children for “great jobs while also making an impact on unemployment and poverty, being more inclusive of our neighborhoods, and diversifying the talent pipeline for future jobs.”

Tuesday’s Lead Stories

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