Raytheon's MathMovesU shows students math is cool
Waltham, MA - At a MathMovesU/ Exploring Cool Careers event, Raytheon showed 300 fifth and sixth grade students real-world uses for math education. The company gathered math-using exhibitors from the local community, including a state police trooper, a construction worker, a BMX biker, a videogame designer, an engineer, a pilot and a surveyor.
The event was part of Raytheon’s ongoing efforts to keep students interested in math through their middle school years. Studies show that between sixth and eighth grades the percent of students preferring math drops from 33 to 24 percent, while the number considering it their least favorite subject rises from 28 to 32 percent. This declining interest in math tends to continue through high school and college, turning students away from math and science careers.
An online virtual world
In addition to real-world demos, Raytheon is combating the decline of math interest through an online virtual world. Games, quizzes, polls and factoids illustrate the need for math in both the virtual and real worlds. The company’s www.mathmovesu site uses customizable avatars, a virtual points system and digital download prizes to give students the type of experience found on gaming and interactive sites.
Identifying music, fashion and sports as the categories that appeal to the broadest set of middle school kids, the company developed virtual worlds for each of these subjects. The site includes an online resource center, MathMovesUniversity, which offers help for students and additional content for teachers.
Visit www.mathmovesu.com for a virtually moving experience.
Kristine Svinicki sworn in as new NRC commissioner
Washington, DC - Kristine L. Svinicki was sworn in
as a commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) this March. She brings with her
a distinguished career as a DOE nuclear engineer,
policy advisor and, since 2005, professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Svinicki has a 1988 BS in nuclear engineering from
the University of Michigan.
ITSMF execs put on a student summit
Batavia, IL - This March, senior IT folks from the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) put on a summit and career panel for black IT students at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU, Winston-Salem, NC), an HBCU. The event was designed to provide a career roadmap for the students, as African American CIOs from top companies discussed how to be successful in the field.
Some 150 students from the IT and business schools at WSSU attended. After the general discussion, the young people met with panelists in small groups for personalized advice on their careers.
The ITSMF is dedicated to fostering upper-level executive talent among African American IT pros.
DOD recognizes contributions to the defense enterprise
Arlington, VA - The Department of Defense (DOD), in conjunction with the Association for Enterprise Integration (AFEI), has begun a program to recognize contributions to the defense enterprise. The awards recognize significant achievements in advancing enterprise architecture for the DOD.
“AFEI is proud to support the DOD office of the deputy CIO in making these awards,” says Dave Chesebrough, AFEI president.
“Architecture is a key element in making the DOD global information grid a net-centric, interoperable domain. Our members are proud to provide backing for this initiative.”
Awards were presented in four categories. The government individual award went to Shawn Spencer, chief of the future capabilities division and chief architect for the U.S. Strategic Command.
The government organization award was given to the Joint Forces Command, J89, for its joint command and control architecture capability assessment enterprise.
The industry individual award went to Charles Robinson of SAIC, and the industry organization award was presented to Booz Allen Hamilton.
Yuri’s Night at Goddard celebrates NASA’S 50th
Greenbelt, MD - Yuri’s Night is a worldwide celebration of the anniversary of humankind’s first foray into space, when Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space on April 12, 1961.
To celebrate Yuri’s Night and NASA’s fiftieth anniversary, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center teamed with nonprofit Space Generation to host a special party. The Goddard visitor center was converted to a club with a tech-expo twist.
The evening featured both live music and disco, the beats infused by Mark Branch, NASA aerospace engineer by day and hip-hop DJ by night. There was also a moon bounce, a round of Space Jeopardy, and Goddard’s “science on a sphere” exhibit posing as the ultimate disco ball. NASA scientists and other space celebrities mixed with the crowd.
Founded in 1999, Space Generation is a network of young people committed to engaging the public in using space to make a difference in the world. See www.spacegeneration.org for more information on the group.
Pingsha Dong is Battelle’s inventor of the year
Columbus, OH - In April, researcher Dr Pingsha Dong was recognized as Battelle’s inventor of the year for 2007.
Dong was recognized for work that completely revised the way the lifespan of welds is calculated. In 2007 the American Society of Mechanical Engineers revised its boiler and pressure vessel code to include Dong’s work.
Known as Battelle’s mesh-insensitive structural stress method, the work is an alternative way to predict fatigue and weld life. It is also known as the master S-N curve method because of its ability to correlate a massive amount of actual fatigue test data.
Dong’s method provides a higher level of predictability and can be easily applied. Years of rigorous testing have proved it to be the most reliable way to predict the point at which a weld will fail.
Dong, a native of China, studied welding at China’s Harbin Institute of Technology. Predicting the lifespan of welds is essentially his life’s work. It took years of testing for the method to be accepted and incorporated into ASME codes.
“I am honored and proud to be given this award,” Dong says. “To be singled out for this recognition when Battelle has so many brilliant scholars and researchers is a humbling experience.”
Enrique Gomez appointed SHPE’s new CEO
Los Angeles, CA - As an “executive on loan” from IBM, Enrique Gomez will fill the newly created position of CEO at the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Gomez will oversee the national aspects of the organization, managing membership, conferences, scholarship and industry partner programs and more.
A graduate of the University of Texas-El Paso, Gomez began his career as a NASA engineer. He started at IBM twenty-eight years ago and has held many leadership roles in IT development there.
Gomez has a twenty-plus year history with SHPE. He has received the Jamie Oaxaca award, SHPE’s highest honor.
Boeing engineer Wong Tsoo honored at Museum of Flight
Seattle, WA - In April, Boeing and the Museum of Flight honored the work of Wong Tsoo. Hired by Boeing in 1916, Tsoo was the company’s first engineer and an early aviation and aerospace pioneer. Among other firsts, Tsoo is known as the father of Boeing’s model C training seaplane, the company’s first commercially successful plane.
A delegation of educators from the National Cheng Kung University, a leading research university in Taiwan, came to the event. They presented Boeing with a copy of recently rediscovered lecture notes from the courses Tsoo taught at the university from 1955 to 1965. Another copy was given to the Museum of Flight for its archives.
The ceremony featured four speakers: Dr Bonnie J. Dunbar, president and CEO of the Museum of Flight; Fred Kiga, Boeing VP of state and local government and global corporate citizenship in the Northwest region; Cheng Kung University senior executive VP Dr Da Hsuan Feng; and Hank Queen, retired Boeing SVP of engineering and an executive champion of the Boeing Association of Asian Pacific Americans.
SME Foundation gets Siemens software programs
Dearborn, MI - Siemens has awarded $1.1 million in software programs to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation. The grant reinforces the company’s commitment to improving the technical stature of academic institutions and their ability to develop topnotch engineers and technologists.
The program will give schools academic solution packages including the use of Siemens Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software programs and accompanying curriculum.
The software will let students access the same PLM software and services used in
industry for digital product design, simulation, analysis, manufacturing and product
“The generous donation from Siemens will help spark the interest of students in becoming the next generation of engineers and technology workers in the U.S.,” says Bart Aslin, director of the SME Education Foundation. “Our collaboration benefits students, educators and the industry by providing access to technology that can help them develop the skills they will need for success in the future.”
The SME Foundation has promoted engineering and technology for underrepresented minorities and women for ten years. When schools can’t afford ongoing licensing fees, the foundation provides funding that includes the costs of yearly upgrades.
JETS and U.S. Army hold camps to encourage engineering
Alexandria, VA - The U.S. Army Research Office (USARO) is again supporting Uninitiates’ Introduction to Engineering (UNITE) pre-college engineering summer camps at nine universities. Administered by the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), the programs help historically underrepresented groups prepare for engineering and related careers by letting them try on engineering as a course of study and a career.
UNITE camps mimic a collegiate first-year experience. Students in some programs even live on campus during the session.
Kids in grades nine through twelve learn by doing. They experience the value of teamwork through group projects, try offsite fieldwork, work in hands-on labs, talk with experts and engage in one-on-one instruction. The camps also help prepare students for the college application process.
In the twenty years of the program’s existence the USARO has reached more than 7,000 students, largely female and African American. Stats show that some 54 percent of former program participants who are currently in college have chosen to pursue engineering.
Learn more at www.jets.org.
Moonbuggy race pulls global teams; U Evansville is the winner
Huntsville, AL - In the driving rain, students from the University of Evansville (Evansville, IN) beat out twenty-three teams from Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany and India as well as the U.S. to win the college division of NASA’s fifteenth annual Great Moonbuggy Race.
In the contest, college and high school student teams face many of the design challenges the designers of the first lunar rover had to overcome. The buggies compete on a mock lunar surface complete with craters, gullies, ridges and rubber-tire obstacles covered with gravel and sand.
The award for most original design was presented to Engineering Team I of the Delhi College (Delhi, India). The special pits crew award for ingenuity and persistence was won by the team from Ohio State University, which also earned the rookie award for fastest course completion among newcomers. The most improved award went to competitors from the University of Wyoming.
In the high school division, Erie High School Team II (Erie, KS) outraced twenty-one other teams to win in 3 minutes and 17 seconds. The second- and third-place high school teams both came from the Huntsville Center for Technology (Huntsville, AL).
For more info and exciting color pix visit moonbuggy.msfc.nasa.gov.
Student rocketeers compete in NASA launch program
Huntsville, AL - After eight months of work, eleven college and university teams competed in the 2007-2008 university student launch initiative rocketeering challenge this April. The program gives students a hands-on taste of what it’s like to manage aerospace and engineering projects. Guided by Marshall Center engineers and their own science and math professors, the teams design, build and launch rockets with working science payloads and shoot to reach an altitude of one mile.
Participants this year included teams from Alabama A&M, the College of the Menominee Nation (Green Bay, WI), Fisk University (Nashville, TN), Harding University (Searcy, AR)
and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
The University of Alabama - Huntsville won the vehicle design award. The outreach award for the best job of inspiring its community with rocketry and other science, technology, engineering and math-related topics was given to Missouri U.
For a complete list of winners, see education.nasa.gov.
Mentornet marks first decade
San Jose, CA - MentorNet, the e-mentoring network for diversity in engineering and science, celebrated ten years and 21,000 mentor-protégé matches this April. At a gala event in Palo Alto, CA, leaders gathered from many of the network’s thirteen corporate sponsors, two government lab sponsors, and the 102 higher education partners and twenty-one professional associations and other nonprofits affiliated
The network works to further the progress of women and other underrepresented folks in scientific and technical fields through a technology-supported mentoring network.
“MentorNet is a crucial element in helping to fill this country’s need for engineers, scientists and mathematicians,” notes Dory Yochum, chair of the network’s board of directors. “Since 1998, its one-on-one program has connected more than 21,000 student protégés with professionals in their career fields of interest.”
For more information check out www.MentorNet.net.
NTID students to AChS
Rochester, NY - Two students from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf went to New Orleans this spring to present their research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society (AChS). Undergrads Grace Kennedy and Kyle Edenzon presented their work on energy transfer within molecules. The researchers used novel instrumentation involving fluorescence spectroscopy for simultaneous measurements of several chemical phenomena.
Kennedy and Edenzon were joined in New Orleans by their proud professor, Todd Pagano. Pagano also addressed the gathering, describing how educators can help deaf students conduct meaningful research.
Women’s Transportation Seminar chapter awards scholarships
Los Angeles, CA - In November 2007 the Los Angeles area chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) awarded a record $28,500 in scholarships to eight college students and three high-school students. “This year’s scholarship winners represent the best and the brightest female students pursuing careers in the transportation industry. WTS-Los Angeles is proud to recognize their accomplishments and their academic excellence,” said chapter president Maria Guerra.
The chapter also recognized its 2007 Employer of the Year, Jones & Stokes; Woman of the Year, Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director, Los Angeles World Airports; and Member of the Year, Judy Hong, deputy project manager/senior engineer LTK Engineering Services.
Sprint funds new outreach program at RIT
Rochester, NY - With funding from the Sprint Foundation, the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) has launched a two-part initiative to bring math and science to deaf and hard-of-hearing students in grades six through nine.
Steps to Success is a summer program for deaf and hard-of-hearing middle-school African American, Hispanic and Native American students and their parents, emphasizing academic preparation, career possibilities and socialization opportunities. Mathcounts is a national math competition that motivates middle-school children to achieve in the subject. NTID will facilitate both programs in a number of locations.
“We are grateful to the Sprint Foundation and their continued commitment to helping RIT provide innovative educational opportunities to young deaf and hard-of-hearing students,” said Dr T. Alan Hurwitz, RIT vice president for NTID and CEO/dean of NTID. “By showing middle-school children throughout the country that they can achieve and succeed, we open new doors of possibilities for them and their families.”
New scholarship to fund science and medicine studies by
women of color
Skillman, NJ - Ambi Skincare has created the Ambi Scholarship for African American and Hispanic women studying for careers in science and medicine. Five scholarships will be awarded in 2008 for study in the STEM professions. The program is designed to support returning and other nontraditional scholars. For more information see www.ambiskincare.com.
Smith College adds initiative to support math and science studies
Northampton, MA - Smith College is the only private U.S. women’s college to offer a degree in engineering, through its Picker Engineering Program, established in 2000. Now Smith has added another program to support women who study science, technology, engineering and math.
The new program, Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences (AEMES), targets first- and second-year students who are members of groups traditionally underrepresented in those disciplines, including first-generation college students from families where neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree. Twenty members of the 2008-09 freshman class are participating.
AEMES scholars will remain in the program for the first two years of their college careers. Participants also enroll in a science-based pre-orientation program, receive a stipend for doing research with a faculty mentor, and participate in a course at Smith’s Jacobsen Center to help refine their writing and other academic skills.
While in the program the scholars are matched with both a faculty member and an upper-class peer to answer questions about course work and otherwise mentor them about academic decisions. It is expected that current AEMES scholars will become future AEMES peer mentors.
Global Marathon spreads the word on engineering
Washington, DC - As part of its ongoing effort to attract more young women to science, technology and engineering, the EWeek organization staged its fourth annual “Global Marathon for, by and about women in engineering.” Twenty-four hours of webcasts, Internet chats and teleconferences took place at the EWeek website, with many of the sessions led by female engineers.
Honorary chairperson for the Global Marathon was Judy Spitz, SVP and CIO at Verizon Business. “Simply put, the Global Marathon is a two-way communication forum,” said Spitz. “Not only does it give young women the opportunity to hear about career opportunities in engineering and technology, it gives women already in those careers a way to share their stories, encourage other women to consider a future in engineering and technology, and create a vision for these young women that they may not yet have for themselves.”
In order to inform young women of many cultures about engineering careers, the program was structured in six-hour blocks that followed the sun around the planet. After a kick-off in North America the marathon proceeded westward through five additional regions: Mexico and Latin America, China, India, Africa and the Middle East, and the UK and Europe before returning to North America for closing ceremonies. Each region’s activities were chaired by female techies from a different company or organization, including IBM, BP, the Chinese Institute of Engineers-USA, DuPont
Yale names first female dean of engineering
New Haven, CT - T. Kyle Vanderlick has been named dean of engineering and the Thomas E. Golden professor of engineering at Yale. An award-winning researcher and teacher, Vanderlick was most recently professor and chair of the department of ChE at Princeton University. She is the first female engineering dean at the university.
Vanderlick is an expert on interfacial forces, interactions that occur near or between surfaces. Her research group specializes in the application and development of experimental methods designed to probe the properties of surfaces, confined fluids and membranes. Her work has led to new and fundamental insights across a range of areas ranging from metallic adhesion in micro- and nano-scale devices to the action of antimicrobial peptides on cell membranes.
Vanderlick has a BS and an MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a PhD in ChE from the University of Minnesota. She launched her academic career after completing a NATO postdoctoral fellowship in Mainz, Germany. She received a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 1991 and was named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation in 1989.
Sanjoy Banerjee joins CCNY engineering faculty
Brooklyn, NY - Dr Sanjoy Banerjee has joined the faculty of the Grove School of Engineering at City College of New York as distinguished professor of ChE and director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Technologies. Under Banerjee, the school will expand its energy and sustainability research and teaching programs, specifically to develop sustainable energy technology, store it efficiently and deliver it on demand.
Initially the Institute’s work will focus on developing flow battery applications for use in buildings and transportation. Flow batteries are rechargeable batteries in which chemical energy is converted to electricity.
Banerjee also plans to develop a streamlined technology transfer process to bring products to market faster. This would include several technology test beds to be operated in close collaboration with industrial partners.
Banerjee joins the Grove School faculty from the University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he had taught since 1980. At UCSB he held appointments in the ChE and ME departments, as well as the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.
Banerjee holds a BSChE from the India Institute of Technology and a doctorate from the University of Waterloo in Canada. After working eight years with Atomic Energy of Canada, he was Westinghouse professor in the engineering and physics department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario from 1976 to 1980, when he joined the faculty at UCSB. He is listed as author on more than 190 articles, book chapters and refereed conference proceedings, and holds four patents.
Tuskegee dedicates new college of business and IS
Tuskegee, AL - This past fall Tuskegee dedicated its new Andrew F. Brimmer Hall, home to the Andrew F. Brimmer College of Business and Information Science. The school offers a career-oriented program designed to give students the technical and professional skills needed in today’s technology-driven global marketplace.
In Brimmer Hall students will find the latest in technological advancements: smart classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories and advanced research space, all designed to provide extremely accurate simulations of real-world business situations. The Brimmer College grants BS degrees in nine majors, including CS and CIS.
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