March 11, 2016
Capitol Update

In this issue:


The Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) in India — the first of five HPVC events ASME will sponsor this year — takes place later this month. Forty-one teams are registered to compete at the event, which will be held March 17th to 19th at Vellore Institute of Technology in Chennai, India.

For more than 30 years, the ASME HPVC program has provided engineering students with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills at applying sound engineering design principles while developing sustainable and practical transportation alternatives. Students work in teams to design and build prototypes of efficient, highly engineered vehicles for everyday use — from commuting to work, to carrying goods to market.

The three-day HPVC India competition will encompass different events each day, starting with a design evaluation on Thursday, March 17th, followed by a drag race speed competition on Friday, March 18th, and a two-and-a-half hour endurance event on Saturday, March 19th. An awards ceremony and banquet dinner will follow the endurance event.

In addition to HPVC India, ASME will hold four additional Human Powered Vehicle Challenges this year. The first of these, HPVC West, which is sponsored by the ASME Santa Clara Valley Section, will take place from April 22nd to 24th in San Jose, CA. HPVC East will follow a few weeks later, from May 13th -15th at Ohio University in Athens, OH. Two other events, HPVC Mexico and HPVC Latin America, are also being planned for this fall.

For more information on ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenges, visit  or the HPVC Community Page at


Last month, ASME sponsored a Congressional Briefing on “Advanced Manufacturing: Gaining the Advantage in a Fiercely Competitive Global Economy,” which was featured in the February 19th Capitol Update. Since the briefing, ASME Government Relations has been working with the House Manufacturing Caucus and the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to post the videos of the presentations along with the speakers’ slides and handouts for reference.

The panel was moderated by ASME Industry Advisory Board member, Dr. Thomas Gardner of Jacobs Mission Solutions, and Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH, Manufacturing Caucus Co-Chair) delivered opening remarks. Panelists included:

  • Michael F. Molnar, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology;
  • Dr. Mark Johnson, Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy;
  • Adele Ratcliff, Director of Manufacturing Technology in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy at the U.S. Department of Defense; and,
  • Dr. Pramod P. Khargonekar, Assistant Director of Engineering for the National Science Foundation.

To view the video forage of the panel and to reference the presentation slides and handouts, please visit:


[The following is a post from “Notes from the Field” (, the blog of NSF Director France Córdova.]

“This month we recognize and honor the many achievements of women scientists and engineers, in celebration of Women’s History Month. The National Science Foundation (NSF) was founded in the aftermath of a world war, one that brought women into the workplace in far greater numbers than ever before. They helped win the war even as they broke a cultural barrier, demonstrating women could succeed and prosper in a workforce previously dominated by men.

“We’ve come a long way since those Rosie the Riveter days, especially in STEM. Women have earned about 50 percent of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees since the late 1990s. Women’s share of full-time, full professorships has more than doubled since 1993. NSF programs like ADVANCE - which works at an institutional level to support women in STEM careers - have helped spark large-scale comprehensive change and institutional transformation. Despite advances in overall STEM degrees, women are still vastly underrepresented in fields like physics and engineering; the number of women receiving a bachelor’s degree in computer science has actually declined since 2002. This spills over into disparities in employment and even salary: In 2013, median salaries were highest for those with doctorates in computer and information sciences and engineering, fields in which men outnumber women substantially.

“To close these gaps, we must promote gender diversity in STEM education, and support women every step along their path to a science or engineering career. And we must get more girls excited about STEM. Every child has a moment when her/his imagination is sparked by science and engineering. Watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin step onto the Moon was that moment for me – it was a reminder of my early, innate interest in science and space. Imagine if we could keep that spark alive, and nurture it. We would have a new generation of scientists and engineers, a new STEM-savvy generation. NSF funds many great programs that target young women and girls, from after-school robot-programming classes to award-winning television shows. A new NSF initiative, called INCLUDES, will work to expand work like this, bringing more girls, women, minorities and other underrepresented groups into STEM.”


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released an updated view of the incidence of innovation by businesses located in the United States, which is based on innovation questions found in the 2011 Business Research and Development and Innovation Survey (BRDIS), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Census Bureau. The survey data represents an estimated 1.2 million for-profit companies, publicly or privately held, that have five or more employees and are active in the United States in 2011 (additional information about the "Survey Information and Data Availability" is available at: A total of 103,000 of these companies (eight percent) were in manufacturing; most, 1.1 million companies (92 percent) were in nonmanufacturing.

The innovation incidence data refer to product innovations (one or more new or significantly improved goods or services) or process innovations (one or more new or significantly improved methods for manufacturing or production; methods for logistics, delivery, or distribution; or support activities) introduced by these companies in 2009–2011.

Twenty-nine percent of the 103,000 companies classified as manufacturing (North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] 31–33) reported one or more product or process innovations in 2009–11: 22 percent reported product innovations, and 21 percent reported process innovations. These incidence rates are more than double those found for the 1.2 million companies as a whole.

The overall incidence of innovation for the 1.1 million companies classified as nonmanufacturing (NAICS 21–23, 42–81) is markedly lower than that for manufacturing. Thirteen percent reported one or more product or process innovations in 2009–11: eight percent reported product innovations, and nine percent reported process innovations. (The comparatively low rates of nonmanufacturing innovation incidence are offset by the much larger number of nonmanufacturing companies in the population. The data show 143,700 companies across the nonmanufacturing sector as product or process innovators in 2009–11, compared with 30,400 companies in manufacturing.)

To review the report, visit


The Department on Energy (DOE) has announced plans for a new SuperTruck initiative aimed at advancing research, development and demonstration of long-haul tractor-trailer truck technology. Along with the Supertruck plan, DOE also announced awards for more than $12 million for three new cost-shared projects focused on the research, development, and demonstration of plug-in electric powertrain technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

The Department of Energy launched its SuperTruck initiative in 2010. Vehicles developed under SuperTruck I are Class 8 combination trucks – commonly known as 18-wheelers – that dramatically increase tractor-trailer fuel, engine and drivetrain efficiency through the use of advanced technologies. As the backbone of domestic freight transportation, 18-wheelers haul 70 percent of all freight tonnage.

The new “SuperTruck II” project will research, develop, and demonstrate technologies to improve heavy-truck freight efficiency by more than 100 percent, relative to a manufacturer’s best-in-class 2009 truck, with an emphasis on technology cost-effectiveness and performance. Achieving these goals will require a wide variety of truck and trailer technology approaches, such as improvements in engine efficiency, drivetrain efficiency, aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance, and vehicle weight. 

For more information about this initiative, please visit:  


The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has opened the competition of its third Engineering for You (E4Y3) video contest. The competition closes on May 31st.

Participants will create and submit a 1- to 2-minute video focused on Mega-Engineering. Mega-engineering projects typically address important needs of large populations and/or societies, require teams working across countries and cultures on a solution, and involve at least three disciplines including engineering. The competition is open to individuals or teams (up to 4 members) in four categories: middle school students, high school students, tertiary education students, and the general public.

The “Best Video Overall” will be awarded $25,000. There is a People’s Choice Award of $5,000, and the top videos in each competition category are eligible for a prize of up to $5,000. Videos will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Creativity in the content selection and presentation;
  • Anticipated breadth of public appeal and interest; and,
  • Effectiveness in describing a mega-engineering project and its impact on people and society.

Complete information on how to participate in the competition may be viewed at:

Visit the ASME Public Policy Education Center at for daily news and policy developments, including the following:

ASME Government Relations
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 810
Washington, DC 20036