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News and Views


Companies support Gateway Academy program for STEM

At a Gateway Academy, a girl enjoys the challenge of do-it-yourself aerodynamics.

At a Gateway Academy, a girl enjoys the challenge of do-it-yourself aerodynamics.

Dearborn, MI - Middle school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (the STEM subjects) will benefit from grants to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation given by American Electric Power Corp, Autodesk, Emerson, the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance and PBG Industries.

The funds will support twelve new Gateway Academy programs, including a “first-time camp experience for a Native American group in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” notes Bart Aslin, director of the SME Education Foundation.

The academies emphasize the inclusion of traditionally underrepresented groups. In fact, Aslin declares with pride, “The rapid growth of our program has occurred because of our commitment to underrepresented groups.” Some 42 percent of attendees in 2007 were non-white and 45 percent were female.

These summer programs offer fun and challenging hands-on projects incorporating math, science and a variety of engineering disciplines. To put on the academies, the SME Education Foundation works with Project Lead the Way, a nonprofit organization that creates innovative pre-engineering curricula.

Check out www.sme.org for more information.


WTS launches NE Ohio chapter

Los Angeles, CA - WTS International, formerly the Women’s Transportation Seminar, has brought in its forty-third chapter. The new Northeast Ohio chapter was organized by transportation engineer Kirsten Bowen, PE and Amilyn Cedargreen, of engineering firm Michael Baker Jr. Some thirty of the chapter’s forty initial members are techies.

WTS was formed to advance the careers of women in transportation.


Percy Julian documentary is a winner

In early days, Dr Percy Julian at work in his chemical laboratory.

In early days, Dr Percy Julian at work in his chemical laboratory.

Washington, DC - A PBS documentary on African American chemist Dr Percy Julian recently received a journalism award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Julian, who died in 1975, was known for his work as a chemist, an entrepreneur and a mentor to aspiring black scientists.

The grandson of Alabama slaves, Julian completed his PhD in chemistry in 1931 and went on to synthesize an alkaloid used to treat glaucoma, considered an incurable disease at that time. Working for Glidden, he became the first black chemist to direct a chemical research lab.

Julian filed more than a hundred patents, working with soybeans to develop dozens of products. For example, he used a steroid produced by soybeans to produce the pregnancy hormone progesterone affordably. His work helped to launch the steroid industry.

In 1953 Julian started his own business, Julian Laboratories, where he continued his scientific work, brought in other black chemists and became one of the wealthiest black entrepreneurs in the nation.

He continued to mentor young African American scientists and worked with the NAACP legal defense and education fund. In 1973 he became the second African American elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

If you missed this fascinating program, check out the program website, www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/julian/ for more on Julian’s career, including audio excerpts from a speech he gave in 1965.


To the editor

I wanted to personally say thanks for your recent article (February/March 2008, page 74) on Raytheon’s program for hiring veterans with disabilities. Author Heidi Russell Rafferty did a wonderful job, and I was honored to be asked to participate in her interview for
this issue.

Your article has generated a great deal of interest on the topic of increasing support for veterans with disabilities, and I hope you get many favorable comments on the piece. Please pass on my deepest appreciation to Ms Rafferty, and thanks again for such a nice article. Best wishes, and Semper Fi!

Sincerely,
Bob Foley
Raytheon, Tewksbury, MA

Editor’s note: Bob Foley is a retired U.S. Marine lieutenant colonel and Raytheon’s corporate HR manager.


Mentornet launches portal

San Jose, CA - A grant from Texas Instruments helped MentorNet launch its new Web portal project for Latinas in Computing. The portal offers mentoring and networking for Hispanic women studying or employed in computing sciences and engineering.

MentorNet is an e-mentoring network promoting diversity in engineering and science.
The new portal gives undergrad, grad and postdoc students and early career faculty the chance to engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships with professionals in their fields.

The Latinas in Computing group was formed in 2006 to promote leadership and professional development among current and future generations of Hispanic women.
The group identified the lack of Latina mentors in the technical community as a major challenge. This portal was created to address that need. Check it out at www.mentornet.net/lic.


ITSMF honors execs

ITSMF honoree Linda Gooden.

ITSMF honoree Linda Gooden.

Chicago, IL - In February, the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) honored IT executives from technology firms and government agencies for their contributions to technology and diversity in the IT profession.

Linda Gooden, executive VP, Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services, received the ITSMF diamond leadership award. Rodney P. Hunt, owner and founder of RS Information Systems, won the ITSMF beacon award. Linda Y. Cureton, director and CIO of NASA’s Goddard Center, received the ITSMF summit heritage award. Dr Danny A. Harris, deputy CFO, U.S. Department of Education, got the ITSMF ivory dome award for his dedication to the education and advancement of IT students. James H. Washington, VP for acquisitions and business service at the FAA, won the ITSMF sterling leadership award.

ITSMF is dedicated to fostering senior-level executive talent among African American IT pros by enhancing the leadership skills of member execs. Its formal mentoring program helps mid-level managers grow into executive-level positions.


New NACME website guides future engineers

White Plains, NY - The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) has launched a new website to guide students to education and careers in engineering. NACME is a privately funded source of college scholarships for African American, Native American and Hispanic men and women in engineering.

Designed for students, parents, educators and mentors, the new site provides information on the engineering pathway from middle school through college graduation and employment, with emphasis on NACME’s broad spectrum of resources for future engineers. Visit the new site at www.nacmebacksme.org.


Anita Borg Institute holds workshop

ABI workshop leader Jo Miller.

ABI workshop leader
Jo Miller.

Palo Alto, CA - The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) held a tech-leaders workshop on power and influence this past February at Google HQ (Mountain View, CA).

The power and influence workshop was a leadership program designed to help technical women increase their visibility and influence in their professional environments. The workshop also provided networking opportunities.

“We have surveyed more than a thousand successful women and asked about their career goals and leadership skills,” says workshop leader Jo Miller, CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching. “The result of these interviews is a set of steps that women can follow to create a personal style and accelerate their careers.

“We’ve found that when these steps are put into action, participants get recognized as emerging leaders and accelerate their career advancement.”

Presenters at the event included Carole Dulong, Google’s engineering director;
Nina Bhatti, principal scientist at HP Labs; and Nehal Mehta, director of software
QA for Symantec.

For more information, see anitaborg.org/initiatives/techleaders.


Future City features nanotech

Future City champions Jeremy Boyd, left, Emma Henderson and Glen Gainer from Heritage Middle School, Westerville, OH.

Future City champions Jeremy Boyd, left, Emma Henderson and Glen Gainer from Heritage Middle School, Westerville, OH.

Washington, DC - Ra is an idealized city of the future. Designed by students from Heritage Middle School (Westerville, OH), Ra won the 2008 National Engineers Week Future City competition. National finals teams this year represented public, parochial and private schools and home-schooling pupils.
They were comprised of fifty-three girls and
fifty-four boys.

The Heritage team consisted of Glen Gainer,
Emma Henderson and Jeremy Boyd, all age thirteen, teacher Debra Pellington and volunteer mentor Ted Beidler, a PE from the Franklin County, OH engineering department.

In addition to prizes for the top five teams, twenty-eight special awards were sponsored by engineering societies and corporations. For a complete list of awards, see www.futurecity.org.


Girls sweep Siemens science competition

  Siemens individual winner Isha Jain of Freedom High School, Bethlehem, PA.
 

Siemens individual winner Isha Jain of Freedom High School, Bethlehem, PA.

New York, NY - Girls swept the top prizes in the 2007-08 Siemens high school competition in math, science and technology for the first time in its nine-year history. Isha Jain and the team of Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff were named top winners.

Siemens team winners Amanda Marinoff, left, and Janelle Schlossberger.

Siemens team winners Amanda Marinoff, left, and Janelle Schlossberger.

 

Jain, a senior at Freedom High School (Bethlehem, PA), won a scholarship in the individual category for research on bone growth. Jain plans to study biology and math and aspires to lead a lab focused on these disciplines. Schlossberger and Marinoff are seniors at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School (Plainview, NY). They won top prize in the team category for research on tuberculosis. Schlossberger plans to study physics in college while Marinoff plans to study biology and French, with the goal of becoming a doctor with Doctors Without Borders.

To learn more about the competition and see a complete list of awardees, go to www.siemens-foundation.org.


Asian American engineers get awards

Washington, DC - The Chinese Institute of Engineers, in conjunction with National Engineers Week, has announced the 2008 Asian American Engineer of the Year (AAEOY) awards. The awards recognize outstanding Asian American contributors in science and engineering for their impact on the community.

Dr Paul C. W. Chu, president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Sanjiv Sidhu, founder and chair of i2 Technologies, received lifetime achievement awards.

Dr Paul C. W. Chu of Hong Kong U. Clayton K. S. Kau of Northrop Grumman. Hye-Young McCreary of IBM. Aaron K. Oki of Northrop Grumman. Microsoft’s S. Somasegar.

Dr Paul C. W. Chu of Hong Kong U.

Clayton K. S. Kau of Northrop Grumman.

Hye-Young McCreary of IBM.

Aaron K. Oki of Northrop Grumman.

Microsoft’s S. Somasegar.


Other winners include Dr Bo Chen of BP America; Kay K. Kapoor of Lockheed Martin; Clayton K. S. Kau of Northrop Grumann; Hye-Young McCreary of IBM; Venu Menon of Texas Instruments; Aaron K. Oki of Northrop Grumman Corp; Sivaramakichenane Somasegar of Microsoft and Chuan-Tao Wang of General Motors. A full list of winners is available at www.cie-usa.org.


African science initiative launched in England

London, England - Syngenta, an agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology, has joined with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to create the Pan Africa Chemistry Network. The initiative is designed to promote economic and social development of the continent by connecting African chemists more effectively so they can achieve greater levels of innovation and scientific development.

The network will eventually span the whole continent. It will begin in Kenya, where Syngenta is supporting the launch with the equivalent of $2 million U.S. dollars.

An essential component of the program is educational outreach. An annual school science competition will encourage children and their teachers to learn firsthand about practical applications of chemistry.

Agricultural development will be another prime focus, including food security and sustainability, clean water and disease prevention.

Teachers will meet through a network of seminars, conferences and workshops. Fellowships and grants will be awarded to enable participation, and to enhance networking, technology transfer and skills development. The RSC is the UK professional organization for chemical scientists.


EWeek Foundation announces “new faces”

Jessica Heier, from Georgia Tech.

Jessica Heier, from Georgia Tech.

TI’s Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay.

TI’s Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay.

 

Raynelle Callender, Rolls-Royce NA.

Raynelle Callender,
Rolls-Royce NA.

Annmarie Connor, United Space Alliance..

Annmarie Connor, United Space Alliance.

 

Alexandria, VA - Every year the “new faces” list of the National Engineers Week Foundation recognizes young engineers who demonstrate outstanding abilities. Nominations are submitted through engineering societies by corporations, schools and engineering professionals.

This year’s honorees include Raynelle Natasha Callender, systems engineer, Rolls-Royce North America (Chantilly, VA); Annmarie Connor, who assists in the design of orbiter and external tank systems for the Space Shuttle at United Space Alliance (Houston, TX); Jessica Heier, PhD student, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay, mixed-signal design engineer, Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX).

For info on all the honorees check out www.eweek.org.


Texas Southern University professor receives $2 million grant

Dr Adebayo Oyekan: more opportunities.

Dr Adebayo Oyekan: more opportunities.

Houston, TX - Dr Adebayo Oyekan, director of the Center of Cardiovascular Diseases, and professor of Pharmacology in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at HBCU Texas Southern University, recently received a grant of over two million dollars to support the development and training of cardiovascular research scientists.

There has been limited research on the health issues that specifically affect minority populations, and even less research on these issues and these populations by minority researchers. Blacks account for less than five percent of those doing research in the biomedical field and other health-related sciences. While African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans make up about twenty-five percent of the U.S. population and graduate from high school at rates close to those of whites, they receive less than ten percent of science and engineering PhDs.

“The disproportionate burden of cardiovascular diseases and the unique socio-cultural issues involved in disease pathogenesis and management in urban minority populations make it imperative for more minority individuals to engage in health disparities research,” said Oyekan. “The best way to remedy the situation is to boost the numbers of underrepresented groups entering the pipeline by expanding research opportunities for minority students, postdoctoral fellows and scientists to help eliminate health disparities.”


Barbara Kunz elected Battelle corporate officer

Battelle’s Barbara Kunz.

Battelle’s Barbara Kunz.

Columbus, OH - The board of directors of Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit R&D organization, has elected Barbara Kunz as a corporate officer.

Last December Kunz was elected a senior VP and named president of Battelle’s health and life sciences global business, which does R&D in biotechnology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and public health.

Kunz was trained as a polymer chemist. She has worked at PPG Industries ICI, DuPont and Fisher Scientific International. Battelle is a nonprofit, independent R&D organization, as well as a charitable trust actively supporting and promoting science and math education. For more information visit www.battelle.org.


New members of National Academy

Wanda M. Austin of Aerospace Corp.

Wanda M. Austin of Aerospace Corp.

Washington, DC - The National Academy of Engineering recently elected sixty-five new members and nine foreign associates. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,227 and the number of foreign associates to 194. Election to the academy is considered one of the highest professional distinctions an engineer can achieve.

Among the new members are Wanda M. Austin, president and CEO, the Aerospace Corp (Los Angeles, CA); Cynthia Dwork, senior researcher, Microsoft Research (Mountain View, CA); and Prabhakar Raghavan, SVP and head, Yahoo! Research (Santa Clara, CA).

A complete list of newly elected members and foreign associates is available in the press releases section of www.nae.edu.


Salaries of techies remain strong overall

Washington, DC - The twenty-second edition of Salaries of Scientists, Engineers and Technicians: A Summary of Salary Surveys, from the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology (CPST), has good news for both experienced techies and new grads. Employers are projecting a 16 percent increase in college hiring in 2007-2008, the fifth consecutive year of double-digit increases.

For experienced workers, 2006 median salaries were highest for nuclear engineering ($92,015) and materials engineering ($91,063), and lowest in civil engineering ($72,795) and engineering science ($76,763).

Published every other year for more than four decades, Salaries contains nearly 300 tables and charts from more than eighty public and private sources on starting and advanced salaries by field, experience level, degree level and type of employer, with differentials by sex, race/ethnicity, type of job, geographic area and more.

The report is available from CPST at www.cpst.org.


NTID receives grants

Rochester, NY - The Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) has received two recent grants, for lab upgrades and an innovative new transcription system.

The Industrial Science Technologies laboratories will receive an upgrade with state-of-the-art equipment, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, which supports education in engineering, science and technology.

A separate grant, from the National Science Foundation, will support development of a remote transcription technology to assist deaf students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. The remote speech-to-text assistive technology allows individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, including those with low vision, to view real-time transcription in remote/nontraditional settings in which it is currently difficult to provide access, such as field trips for science classes.

Researchers from three colleges of RIT will collaborate on the project, “Supporting deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students in STEM field settings with remote speech-to-text services.”

RIT/NTID offers associate, bachelors and masters degrees to deaf and hard-of-hearing students, preparing them for technology-related careers. Info at www.ntid.rit.edu.


Hampton U leads HBCUs in federal research monies

Hampton, VA - According to a recent report from the National Science Foundation, in 2005 and 2006 Hampton University (HU) was the number one HBCU recipient of federal science and engineering funds. In fiscal year 2005 HU received 44 million dollars in research funds, 75 percent of it from NASA.

The school has become an international leader in atmospheric research, with HU researchers leading six NASA missions. The largest and most recent is NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission which launched in April 2007. Hampton University researchers are not only leading the mission, but hold the principal investigator role as well, making it the first HBCU to do so.

AIM is studying why polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs, also known as night-shining clouds) form and why they vary. This is NASA’s first mission dedicated to exploration of these unique and mysterious clouds. PMCs are being seen at lower latitudes than ever before, and have recently grown brighter and more frequent, suggesting a connection to
climate change.

For more information about the AIM mission, check out aim.hamptonu.edu or www.nasa.gov/aim.

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