In recent years, the instrumentation needs of the nation’s research communities have changed and expanded. The need for particular instruments has become broader, crossing scientific and engineering disciplines. The growth of interdisciplinary research that focuses on problems defined outside the boundaries of individual disciplines demands more instrumentation. Instruments that were once of interest only to specialists are now required by a wide array of scientists to solve critical research problems. The need for entirely new types of instruments—such as distributed networks, cybertools, and sensor arrays—is increasing. Researchers are increasingly dependent on advanced instruments that require highly specialized knowledge and training for their proper operation and use. The National Academies Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy Committee on Advanced Research Instrumentation was asked to describe the current programs and policies of the major federal research agencies for advanced research instrumentation, the current status of advanced mid-sized research instrumentation on university campuses, and the challenges faced by each. The committee was then asked to evaluate the utility of existing federal programs and to determine the need for and, if applicable, the potential components of an interagency program for advanced research instrumentation.
Assuring the U.S. Department of Defense a Strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforceby National Research Council National Academy of Engineering Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences Policy and Global Affairs Board on Higher Education and Workforce Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Workforce Needs for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Defense Industrial Base
The ability of the nation's military to prevail during future conflicts, and to fulfill its humanitarian and other missions, depends on continued advances in the nation's technology base. A workforce with robust Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) capabilities is critical to sustaining U.S. preeminence. Today, however, the STEM activities of the Department of Defense (DOD) are a small and diminishing part of the nation's overall science and engineering enterprise. Assuring the U.S. Department of Defense a Strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce presents five principal recommendations for attracting, retaining, and managing highly qualified STEM talent within the department based on an examination of the current STEM workforce of DOD and the defense industrial base. As outlined in the report, DOD should focus its investments to ensure that STEM competencies in all potentially critical, emerging topical areas are maintained at least at a basic level within the department and its industrial and university bases.
The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively pursue the innovative capacity of all its people-women and men. However, women face barriers to success in every field of science and engineering; obstacles that deprive the country of an important source of talent. Without a transformation of academic institutions to tackle such barriers, the future vitality of the U.S. research base and economy are in jeopardy. Beyond Bias and Barriers explains that eliminating gender bias in academia requires immediate overarching reform, including decisive action by university administrators, professional societies, federal funding agencies and foundations, government agencies, and Congress. If implemented and coordinated across public, private, and government sectors, the recommended actions will help to improve workplace environments for all employees while strengthening the foundations of America's competitiveness.
The National Academy of Engineering's 2012 forum, "Educating Engineers: Preparing 21st Century Leaders in the Context of New Modes of Learning," opened with presentations by six speakers who looked at the future of engineering and engineering education from their perspectives as educators, administrators, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Each speaker focused on just one facet of a tremendously complex picture. Yet together they outlined a new vision for engineering education based on flexible, interactive, lifelong learning and the merge of activities long held to be distinct. This summary of a forum recaps the six speaker's presentations.
A component in the America's Energy Future study, Electricity from Renewable Resources examines the technical potential for electric power generation with alternative sources such as wind, solar-photovoltaic, geothermal, solar-thermal, hydroelectric, and other renewable sources. The book focuses on those renewable sources that show the most promise for initial commercial deployment within 10 years and will lead to a substantial impact on the U.S. energy system. A quantitative characterization of technologies, this book lays out expectations of costs, performance, and impacts, as well as barriers and research and development needs. In addition to a principal focus on renewable energy technologies for power generation, the book addresses the challenges of incorporating such technologies into the power grid, as well as potential improvements in the national electricity grid that could enable better and more extensive utilization of wind, solar-thermal, solar photovoltaics, and other renewable technologies.
The United States and China are the top two energy consumers in the world. As a consequence, they are also the top two emitters of numerous air pollutants which have local, regional, and global impacts. Urbanization has led to serious air pollution problems in U.S. and Chinese cities; although U.S. cities continues to face challenges, the lessons they have learned in managing energy use and air quality are relevant to the Chinese experience. This book summarizes current trends, profiles two U.S. and two Chinese cities, and recommends key actions to enable each country to continue to improve urban air quality.
Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other "STEM" subjects--science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning and achievement in science and mathematics, increase awareness of engineering and the work of engineers, boost youth interest in pursuing engineering as a career, and increase the technological literacy of all students. The teaching of STEM subjects in U.S. schools must be improved in order to retain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy and to develop a workforce with the knowledge and skills to address technical and technological issues. Engineering in K-12 Education reviews the scope and impact of engineering education today and makes several recommendations to address curriculum, policy, and funding issues. The book also analyzes a number of K-12 engineering curricula in depth and discusses what is known from the cognitive sciences about how children learn engineering-related concepts and skills. Engineering in K-12 Education will serve as a reference for science, technology, engineering, and math educators, policy makers, employers, and others concerned about the development of the country's technical workforce. The book will also prove useful to educational researchers, cognitive scientists, advocates for greater public understanding of engineering, and those working to boost technological and scientific literacy.
Community colleges play an important role in starting students on the road to engineering careers, but students often face obstacles in transferring to four-year educational institutions to continue their education. Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers, a new book from the National Academy of Engineering and the National Research Council, discusses ways to improve the transfer experience for students at community colleges and offers strategies to enhance partnerships between those colleges and four-year engineering schools to help students transfer more smoothly. In particular, the book focuses on challenges and opportunities for improving transfer between community colleges and four-year educational institutions, recruitment and retention of students interested in engineering, the curricular content and quality of engineering programs, opportunities for community colleges to increase diversity in the engineering workforce, and a review of sources of information on community college and transfer students. It includes a number of current policies, practices, and programs involving community college–four-year institution partnerships.
Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America'S Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroadsby National Academy Of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and technology workforce. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation explores the role of diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce and its value in keeping America innovative and competitive. According to the book, the U.S. labor market is projected to grow faster in science and engineering than in any other sector in the coming years, making minority participation in STEM education at all levels a national priority. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation analyzes the rate of change and the challenges the nation currently faces in developing a strong and diverse workforce. Although minorities are the fastest growing segment of the population, they are underrepresented in the fields of science and engineering. Historically, there has been a strong connection between increasing educational attainment in the United States and the growth in and global leadership of the economy. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation suggests that the federal government, industry, and post-secondary institutions work collaboratively with K-12 schools and school systems to increase minority access to and demand for post-secondary STEM education and technical training. The book also identifies best practices and offers a comprehensive road map for increasing involvement of underrepresented minorities and improving the quality of their education. It offers recommendations that focus on academic and social support, institutional roles, teacher preparation, affordability and program development.
The primary federal program designed to ensure that all states are capable of participating the nation's research enterprise fall under the general rubric of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR). The National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration have active EPSCOR programs. Since its inaugural year in 1979, the EPSCOR program has grown from funding programs in five states to awarding funding to 31 states in 2012. The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research assesses the effectiveness of EPSCOR and similar federal agency programs in improving national research capabilities, promoting an equitable distribution of research funding, and integrating their efforts with other initiatives designed to strengthen the nation's research capacity. This report also looks at the effectiveness of EPSCOR states in using awards to develop science engineering research and education, as well a science and engineering infrastructure within their state. The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research makes recommendations for improvement for each agency to create a more focused program with greater impact.
Information on the Experiments in International Benchmarking of US Research Fields
The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.
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This volume highlights the papers presented at the National Academy of Engineering's 2012 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. Every year, the symposium brings together 100 outstanding young leaders in engineering to share their cutting-edge research and technical work. The 2012 symposium was held September 13-15, and hosted by General Motors at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Speakers were asked to prepare extended summaries of their presentations, which are reprinted here. The intent of this book is to convey the excitement of this unique meeting and to highlight cutting-edge developments in engineering research and technical work.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) has revolutionized the measurement of position, velocity, and time. It has rapidly evolved into a worldwide utility with more than a billion receiver sets currently in use that provide enormous benefits to humanity: improved safety of life, increased productivity, and wide-spread convenience. Global Navigation Satellite Systems summarizes the joint workshop on Global Navigation Satellite Systems held jointly by the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the Chinese Academy of Engineering on May 24-25, 2011 at Hongqiao Guest Hotel in Shanghai, China. "We have one world, and only one set of global resources. It is important to work together on satellite navigation. Competing and cooperation is like Yin and Yang. They need to be balanced," stated Dr. Charles M. Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering, in the workshop's opening remarks. Global Navigation Satellite Systems covers the objectives of the workshop, which explore issues of enhanced interoperability and interchangeability for all civil users aimed to consider collaborative efforts for countering the global threat of inadvertent or illegal interference to GNSS signals, promotes new applications for GNSS, emphasizing productivity, safety, and environmental protection. The workshop featured presentations chosen based on the following criteria: they must have relevant engineering/technical content or usefulness; be of mutual interest; offer the opportunity for enhancing GNSS availability, accuracy, integrity, and/or continuity; and offer the possibility of recommendations for further actions and discussions. Global Navigation Satellite Systems is an essential report for engineers, workshop attendees, policy makers, educators, and relevant government agencies.
Operational systems engineering is a methodology that identifies the important components of a complex system, analyzes the relationships among those components, and creates models of the system to explore its behavior and possible ways of changing that behavior. In this way it offers quantitative and qualitative techniques to support the design, analysis, and governance of systems of diverse scale and complexity for the delivery of products or services. Many peacebuilding interventions function essentially as the provision of services in response to demands elicited from societies in crisis. At its core, operational systems engineering attempts to understand and manage the supply of services and product in response to such demands. Harnessing Operational Systems Engineering to Support Peacebuilding is the summary of a workshop convened in November 2012 by the Roundtable on Science, Technology, and Peacebuilding of the National Academy of Engineering and the United States Institute of Peace to explore the question "When can operational systems engineering, appropriately applied, be a useful tool for improving the elicitation of need, the design, the implementation, and the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions?" The workshop convened experts in conflict prevention, conflict management, postconflict stabilization, and reconstruction along with experts in various fields of operational systems engineering to identify what additional types of nonnumerical systems methods might be available for application to peacebuilding.
In this report to the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable, authors Jerry Thursby and Marie Thursby summarize their research on the globalization of corporate R&D. The authors surveyed 200 multinational companies about recent and future R&D location decisions, and the factors influencing those decisions. The survey confirms that China and India are primary targets of R&D expansion, but this trend does not yet portend a "hollowing out" of R&D capability in the United States. R&D location decisions are complex and driven by a variety of factors, including the potential for market growth, the quality of R&D personnel, and the environment for collaborating with universities. The cost of research, while important, is not the primary factor in siting decisions.
Industrial Environmental Performance Metrics is a corporate-focused analysis that brings clarity and practicality to the complex issues of environmental metrics in industry. The book examines the metrics implications to businesses as their responsibilities expand beyond the factory gate--upstream to suppliers and downstream to products and services. It examines implications that arise from greater demand for comparability of metrics among businesses by the investment community and environmental interest groups. The controversy over what sustainable development means for businesses is also addressed.Industrial Environmental Performance Metrics identifies the most useful metrics based on case studies from four industries--automotive, chemical, electronics, and pulp and paper--and includes specific corporate examples. It contains goals and recommendations for public and private sector players interested in encouraging the broader use of metrics to improve industrial environmental performance and those interested in addressing the tough issues of prioritization, weighting of metrics for meaningful comparability, and the longer term metrics needs presented by sustainable development.
Information technology is a powerful tool for meeting environmental objectives and promoting sustainable development. This collection of papers by leaders in industry, government, and academia explores how information technology can improve environmental performance by individual firms, collaborations among firms, and collaborations among firms, government agencies, and academia. Information systems can also be used by nonprofit organizations and the government to inform the public about broad environmental issues and environmental conditions in their neighborhoods. Several papers address the challenges to information management posed by the explosive increase in information and knowledge about environmental issues and potential solutions, including determining what information is environmentally relevant and how it can be used in decision making. In addition, case studies are described and show how industry is using information systems to ensure sustainable development and meet environmental standards. The book also includes examples from the public sector showing how governments use information knowledge systems to disseminate “best practices” beyond big firms to small businesses, and from the world of the Internet showing how knowledge is shared among environmental advocates and the general public.
More than two decades ago, a commission of 17 MIT scientists and economists released a report, Made in America, which opened with the memorable phrase, "To live well, a nation must produce well." Is that still true? Or can the United States remain a preeminent nation while other countries increasingly make the products that once were made in America? These questions were at the center of a forum titled "Making Things: 21st Century Manufacturing and Design" held during the 2011 Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Engineering. In a wide-ranging and provocative conversation, seven leaders of business, government, and academia explored the many facets of manufacturing and design and outlined the many opportunities and responsibilities posed by manufacturing for the engineering profession. Making Things: 21st Century Manufacturing and Design summarizes the discussions that took place during the 2011 forum. The report concludes with a forum agenda and each attendee's bibliography.
Manufacturing is in a period of dramatic transformation. But in the United States, public and political dialogue is simplistically focused almost entirely on the movement of certain manufacturing jobs overseas to low-wage countries. The true picture is much more complicated, and also more positive, than this dialogue implies. After years of despair, many observers of US manufacturing are now more optimistic. A recent uptick in manufacturing employment and output in the United States is one factor they cite, but the main reasons for optimism are much more fundamental. Manufacturing is changing in ways that may favor American ingenuity. Rapidly advancing technologies in areas such as biomanufacturing, robotics, smart sensors, cloud-based computing, and nanotechnology have transformed not only the factory floor but also the way products are invented and designed, putting a premium on continual innovation and highly skilled workers. A shift in manufacturing toward smaller runs and custom-designed products is favoring agile and adaptable workplaces, business models, and employees, all of which have become a specialty in the United States. Future manufacturing will involve a global supply web, but the United States has a potentially great advantage because of our tight connections among innovations, design, and manufacturing and also our ability to integrate products and services. The National Academy of Engineering has been concerned about the issues surrounding manufacturing and is excited by the prospect of dramatic change. On June 11-12, 2012, it hosted a workshop in Washington, DC, to discuss the new world of manufacturing and how to position the United States to thrive in this world. The workshop steering committee focused on two particular goals. First, presenters and participants were to examine not just manufacturing but the broad array of activities that are inherently associated with manufacturing, including innovation and design. Second, the committee wanted to focus not just on making things but on making value, since value is the quality that will underlie high-paying jobs in America's future. Making Value: Integrating Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation to Thrive in the Changing Global Economy summarizes the workshop and the topics discussed by participants.
When Cleveland's Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969, no environmental measurements were necessary to know the seriousness of the problem. Incidents like the Cuyahoga fire raise an important question: Can catastrophes-in-the-making be detected early enough to be prevented? For those in industry, such disasters point to the need for measures that can improve the environmental performance of processes, products, business practices, and linked industrial systems.In Measures of Environmental Performance and Ecosystem Condition, experts share their insights on environmental metrics. The volume explores the most productive relationship between measures of environmental performance and measures of ecosystem conditions. It reviews current approaches, evaluates structures for business decisionmaking, and includes a matrix for determining the environmental performance of industrial facilities. Case studies include: Development and application of a water-quality rating scheme for streams and reservoirs in the Tennessee Valley. Three years of successful experience with waste metrics at 3M. The book covers the range of environmental performance and condition metrics, from the use of material flow data to monitor environmental performance at the national level to the use of bioassays to measure the toxicity of industrial effluents.This book offers something for everyone--policymakers, executives, engineers, managers, and advocates--with a stake in the measurement of environmental performance and ecological conditions.
This is the fourteenth volume in the series of Memorial Tributes compiled by the National Academy of Engineering as a personal remembrance of the lives and outstanding achievements of its members and foreign associates. These volumes are intended to stand as an enduring record of the many contributions of engineers and engineering to the benefit of humankind. In most cases, the authors of the tributes are contemporaries or colleagues who had personal knowledge of the interests and the engineering accomplishments of the deceased.
For those in the broad engineering community--those who employ, work with, and/or educate engineers, and engineers themselves--there is no need to explain the importance and value of engineering. They understand that engineers help make the world a better place for all, that they regularly grapple with important societal and environmental issues, and that the engineering process is every bit as creative as composing a symphony or crafting a piece of art. But the situation outside the engineering community is quite different. Studies have shown that most K-12 students and teachers have a limited appreciation of all the ways that engineering makes their lives better and, furthermore, that they have little understanding of what engineers do or of the opportunities that an engineering education offers. Messaging for Engineering supports efforts by the engineering community to communicate more effectively about the profession and those who practice it. This report builds on the 2008 NAE publication, Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering (CTC), which presented the results of a research-based effort to develop and test new, more effective messages about engineering. The new messages cast engineering as inherently creative and concerned with human welfare, as well as an emotionally satisfying calling. This report summarizes progress in implementing the CTC messages, but also recognizes that there is potential to galvanize additional action and thus suggests specific steps for major players in the engineering community to continue and build on progress to date. Many of the report's recommendations resulted from discussion at a December 2010 committee workshop that involved several dozen high-level decision makers representing key stakeholder groups in the engineering community.
The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System: Assessing Pre-Katrina Vulnerability and Improving Mitigation and Preparednessby National Academy of Engineering National Research Council of the National Academies
Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans and surrounding areas in August 2005, ranks as one of the nation's most devastating natural disasters. Shortly after the storm, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers established a task force to assess the performance of the levees, floodwalls, and other structures comprising the area's hurricane protection system during Hurricane Katrina. This book provides an independent review of the task force's final draft report and identifies key lessons from the Katrina experience and their implications for future hurricane preparedness and planning in the region.
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