November 13, 2015 Capitol Update

In this issue:


ASME Members and non-members are invited to join ASME Government Relations for a webinar scheduled for Thursday, December 3rd from 12:00pm-1:00pm (EST) highlighting a current and a former ASME Congressional Fellow, both of whom will be providing their personal perspectives on the accomplishments and challenges associated with the Fellowship. Guest speakers will include:

  • Kalan Guiley, Chair of the Committee on Government Relations, will host the webinar and provide general information about the Fellowship program and current opportunities. Guiley has been a member of the ASME Committee on Government Relations since 2007, and has served as VP/Chair since 2013.  He works for The Boeing Company as the Manager of Continued Airworthiness for Twin-Aisle Airplanes.
  • Dr. Briana Tomboulian, ASME’s 2015 Congressional Engineering Fellow, has been serving in the office of the Honorable Edward Markey (D-MA), U.S. Senate since January 2015, where she has been working on energy, environment and manufacturing issues. Dr. Tomboulian came to ASME’s Fellowship program from a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship program, where she spent time at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Glenn Research Center developing critical components for deep-space power systems. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (ME) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and her B.S. in Engineering Science from Smith College.
  • Stephen Lehrman served as ASME’s 2006 Congressional Engineering Fellow for the Honorable Mark Pryor (D-Ark), U.S. Senate. After his fellowship ended in 2006, Mr. Lehrman was offered - and accepted - a position as Legislative Assistant for Sen. Pryor. He was ultimately promoted to Senior Legislative Assistant for the economy, tax, budget, banking, housing, small business, energy, environment, and science and technology policy issues. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, he founded an intellectual property consulting and marketing firm, LabraTek Consulting, and worked for RTI International, Fuentek LLC, Corporate Consulting and Development Company, and Stone & Webster Engineering. A registered professional engineer, Mr. Lehrman received his M.S. in ME from Northeastern University, and his B.S. in ME from Brown University. Mr. Lehrman is currently working as an independent contractor for the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office.

Register today for the webinar at:

Additional information about the webinar and the Fellowship announcements below is available on the ASME Public Policy Education Center at Please share this link with interested colleagues.


ASME has the unique distinction of being the very first engineering/scientific society to have the vision to establish a Congressional fellowship program. For the past 42 years, ASME has provided a valuable service to the nation by sponsoring over 100 Federal Fellows in the Executive and Legislative Branch. Fellows serve as independent, non-biased advisors in engineering, science and technology, bringing a nonpartisan, pragmatic approach to analysis and input which has a profound impact on the decision making process. The result is effective and technologically appropriate public policy based on sound engineering principles.

Applicants for this Fellowship must have a strong energy background. ASME has long supported a balanced portfolio of energy supplies to meet the nation's energy needs, including advanced clean coal, petroleum, nuclear, natural gas, waste-to-energy, biomass, solar, wind and hydroelectric power. ASME also supports energy efficient building and transportation technologies, as well as transmission and distribution infrastructure sufficient to satisfy demand under reasonably foreseeable contingencies. For more information, review ASME's General Position Paper entitled "Securing America's Energy Future" at:

Policymakers are addressing major legislative and policy issues that are facing our nation and as federal legislation becomes increasingly technical, the need for engineering expertise is essential, which is why this program is so invaluable. To learn more about the ASME Federal Government Fellowship Program, or to apply for the ASME Congressional Fellowship, please visit:

This ASME Congressional Fellowship is sponsored by the ASME Foundation, the Petroleum Division and Government Relations.


ASME is pleased to announce its second Advanced Manufacturing Fellowship opportunity at America Makes, located in Youngstown, Ohio.  America Makes was created in August 2012 to help the United States grow capabilities and strength in Additive Manufacturing by facilitating collaboration among leaders from business, academia, non-profit organizations and government agencies and focusing on areas that include design, materials, technology, and workforce development.

The ASME Fellow will provide leadership and support in one of the key pillars of America Makes- Workforce and Educational Outreach. Specifically, the fellow will:

  • Help to strategize, prioritize and coordinate the development education/ training programs and resources to accelerate Additive Manufacturing implementation.
  • Serve as a liaison with internal and external partners, including policymakers, to help America Makes enhance its network of education and workforce development solution providers.
  • Provide scientific, technical, curricular and intellectual leadership, and analytical support contributing to the advancement of the Institute's goals, particularly as they apply to workforce development and educational outreach.
  • Organize and curate education resources and update online interface that is used by members and attracts new members to America Makes.

ASME will provide a stipend of $60,000 for this one year Fellowship, which will start in mid- to late 2016. No additional funding will be provided by ASME. All Fellowship Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and an ASME member at the time of application. The application deadline is January 31, 2016.

For additional information, including the online application, visit


House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting that the agency convene a technical conference to examine the implementation of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA).

“Electricity markets, generation technologies, and investments in the electric grid have changed substantially since PURPA was enacted nearly 40 years ago as part of President Carter’s energy plan. Since then, competitive electricity markets and open access policies have emerged and matured, expanding the markets for new generation sources, particularly renewable energy resources,” the Members wrote in the letter.

In the letter, the chairmen urge FERC to take a comprehensive look at PURPA. In developing broad energy legislation this year, both Committees received testimony on the potential need for policy reform, with one witness testifying that his company is locked into a PURPA “must purchase” contract at rates that are 43 percent higher than the market price, forcing customers to pay an incremental $1.1 billion over the next 10 years for electricity that is not even needed.

FERC’s evaluation of PURPA and its implementation will help identify potential administrative or legislative updates to ensure the appropriate role for PURPA in today’s electricity marketplace.

To review the letter, please visit:


The fourth meeting of the U.S.-Japan Bilateral Commission on Civil Nuclear Cooperation (the Bilateral Commission) was held on November 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall and Japan’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama leading the discussions as Co-Chairs. The delegations included participants representing a wide range of government agencies.

Established at the U.S.-Japan summit held in Washington, D.C., in April 2012, the Bilateral Commission serves as a standing senior-level forum to foster a comprehensive strategic dialogue and joint activities related to the safe and secure use of civil nuclear energy, advancing shared goals in the field of global nuclear nonproliferation and the response to the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

The Bilateral Commission coordinates the activities of five working groups, which cover the following subjects:

  • Nuclear security;
  • Civil nuclear energy research and development;
  • Safety and regulatory issues;
  • Emergency management; and,
  • Decommissioning and environmental management.

At its meeting on November 4th, each of the Working Groups reported on the status of its activities to the Bilateral Commission Co-Chairs. Both sides discussed the next steps for each Working Group and how to further enhance bilateral cooperation in each field.

The two sides reaffirmed their intention to continue bilateral cooperation in the advancement of shared nuclear nonproliferation objectives. They also instructed the Working Groups to continue their efforts and report their outcomes to the next Bilateral Commission meeting to be held in Japan at a date to be decided upon in 2016.

Detailed information is available at:


In anticipation of returning human spaceflight launches to American soil, and in preparation for the agency’s journey to Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced it will begin accepting applications for the next class of astronaut candidates from December 14th through mid-February and expects to announce candidates selected in mid-2017. Applications for consideration as a NASA Astronaut will be accepted at

The next class of astronauts may fly on any of four different U.S. vessels during their careers: the International Space Station; two commercial crew spacecraft currently in development by U.S. companies; and, NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle.

From pilots and engineers, to scientists and medical doctors, NASA selects qualified astronaut candidates from a diverse pool of U.S. citizens with a wide variety of backgrounds. Astronaut candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in engineering, biological science, physical science or mathematics. An advanced degree is desirable. Candidates also must have at least three years of related, progressively responsible professional experience, or at least 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft. Astronaut candidates must pass the NASA long-duration spaceflight physical.

For more information about a career as a NASA astronaut, and application requirements, visit

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