October 17, 2014
Capitol Update

In this issue:


Summer Internship Opportunity for Engineering Students in Public Policy

Ranked as one of the best internships in the U.S. by the Princeton Review, WISE (Washington Internships for Students of Engineering) offers a unique opportunity to 3rd and 4th year engineering students to spend the summer of 2015 in Washington, DC, learning about the interaction of technology and public policy. The dates of the 2015 WISE program are May 31- August 1, 2015.

Selected from a nationwide competition, WISE interns spend nine weeks learning how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy decisions.  At the end of the nine weeks, each intern produces a public policy paper on a topic of interest, i.e. alternate energy, and presents his or her findings on Capitol Hill.

After the completion of her internship this past August 2014, ASME WISE intern Rebecca Ciez said, "The WISE program is a great experience to enhance an engineering education. The program draws on the diverse backgrounds of other students and mentors from a variety of fields, helping to enrich the policy research process. Having the opportunity to come to Washington and meet with elected officials and public servants working on science and technology issues gave me the unique skill set necessary for interacting with the policy space."

 2014 ASME WISE intern James Gwinn agreed, "The WISE internship is a fantastic experience; it is basically a 9-week-long, behind-the-scenes tour of our nation's capital. The WISE program provided me with a unique perspective on the important role engineers play in the legislative process."

To learn more about the 2014 ASME WISE interns' paper, go to: http://ppec.asme.org

ASME is now accepting applications for its 2015 WISE intern. The ASME application can downloaded at http://www.wise-intern.org. The application deadline is December 31, 2014.

In addition to 3rd and 4th year engineering students, recent graduates, beginning study in an engineering policy-related Master's program, will also be considered. WISE interns are provided housing in a dormitory on the campus of George Washington University in the heart of Washington, DC, and receive a stipend to assist with living and travel expenses.

Applicants MUST BE a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States and are not eligible for the program if not already a permanent resident of the United States.

Furthermore, the 2015 WISE program is seeking its Faculty Member-in-Residence, an outstanding individual capable of teaching and mentoring engineering students on the interaction between engineering, technology, and public policy. To learn more about the expectation of the position, please visit: http://www.wise-intern.org/documents/PromotionalText_FMR_final2015.pdf

For more information, please visit the ASME WISE program website at:
or you may contact Melissa Carl, Government Relations Manager, at carlm@asme.org


Military Must Be Ready for Climate Change, Hagel Says

Climate change is a threat multiplier, and the Defense Department is taking steps to incorporate this issue into all planning, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in Peru earlier this week. Climate change has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges the world already confronts, from the spread of infectious diseases to spurring armed conflicts, Hagel said at the Conference of the Defense Ministers of the Americas.

During his remarks, Hagel announced a Defense Department Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap. The 20-page roadmap is based on science, he said, and describes the effects of climate change on DoD’s missions and responsibilities.

The 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap states that “climate change will affect the Department of Defense's ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security. The Department is responding to climate change in two ways: adaptation, or efforts to plan for the changes that are occurring or expected to occur; and, mitigation, or efforts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The roadmap also notes that the changing climate will affect operating environments and may aggravate existing or trigger new risks to U.S. interests. For example, sea level rise may impact the execution of amphibious landings; changing temperatures and lengthened seasons could impact operation timing windows; and increased frequency of extreme weather could impact overflight possibility as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability. Maintaining stability within and among other nations is an important means of avoiding full-­scale military conflicts.

The impacts of climate change may cause instability in other countries by impairing access to food and water, damaging infrastructure, spreading disease, uprooting and displacing large numbers of people, compelling mass migration, interrupting commercial activity, or restricting electricity availability. These developments could undermine already-­‐fragile governments that are unable to respond effectively or challenge currently-­‐stable governments, as well as increase competition and tension between countries vying for limited resources. These gaps in governance can create an avenue for extremist ideologies and conditions that foster terrorism.

For additional environment news and the complete roadmap can be found on the “Environment” webpage on the PPEC at http://ppec.asme.org/key-issues/environment/ or can be downloaded directly at


NAE Seeks Input on Understanding the Engineering Education-Workforce Continuum

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is seeking input from stakeholders on questions regarding the connections between engineering education, the engineering workforce, and the employment of engineering talent throughout the U.S. economy. This feedback will help shape topics addressed at a public workshop that the NAE Committee on Understanding the Engineering Education-Workforce Continuum will convene on November 19-20, 2014 in Washington, DC. The committee is particularly interested in input from the following stakeholders:

  • professional society leadership
  • faculty
  • engineers working in industry
  • employers and managers of engineers
  • students
  • administrators
  • career counselors
  • government representatives
  • foundation or federal funding representatives

Stakeholders are asked to complete the questionnaire by October 17, 2014. It should take approximately 10-15 minutes.

The blinded results of this questionnaire will be presented at a public workshop in late November. If you are interested in attending, please fill out the form at http://fs4.formsite.com/lynetteosborne/form15/index.html?1412644420529 to be considered for a spot at the workshop.

The questionnaire is available at http://fs4.formsite.com/lynetteosborne/form14/index.html?1412644315735

If you have questions about the survey or are having problems accessing it, please e-mail naeworkforce@gmail.com


IEA Report Sees Energy Efficiency Finance Becoming Established Market Segment

The global energy efficiency market is worth at least $310 billion USD a year and growing, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that confirms the position of energy efficiency as the world’s “first fuel”. The report, “Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014,” also finds that energy efficiency finance is becoming an established market segment, with innovative new products and standards helping to overcome risks and bringing stability and confidence to the market.

The report shows that investments in energy efficiency are helping to improve energy productivity – the amount of energy needed to produce a unit of GDP. Among 18 IEA countries evaluated in the report, total final energy consumption was down five percent between 2001 and 2011 primarily as a result of investments in energy efficiency. Cumulative avoided energy consumption over the decade from energy efficiency in IEA countries was 1732 million tons of oil equivalent – larger than the energy demand of the United States and Germany combined in 2012.

Previous IEA analysis has shown that energy efficiency is not just a hidden fuel but is also the “first fuel” in the IEA’s largest economies. This year’s report shows that energy efficiency investments over the past four decades have avoided more energy consumption than the total final consumption of the European Union in 2011. The IEA estimates that transportation efficiency alone can reduce up to USD 190 billion in fuel costs globally by 2020 and can help alleviate local air pollution and even address critical congestion issues in rapidly developing urban transport systems.

To download the executive summary or “Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014” factsheet, please go to: http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/EEMR2014SUM.pdf ‌and http://www.iea.org/media/news/2014/press/EEMR14_Factsheet.pdf respectively.

The report itself is available for purchase at: http://www.iea.org/w/bookshop/b.aspx?new=10


U.S. Fuel Economy Reaches All-Time High

New vehicles achieved an all-time-high fuel economy in 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced earlier this month. Model year 2013 vehicles achieved an average of 24.1 miles per gallon (mpg) --- a 0.5 mpg increase over the previous year and an increase of nearly 5 mpg since 2004. Fuel economy has now increased in eight of the last nine years. The average carbon dioxide emissions are also at a record low of 369 grams per mile in model year 2013.

EPA’s annual “Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 through 2014” report tracks average fuel economy of new cars and SUVs sold in the United States. The report also ranks automakers’ achievements in model year 2013.

Some additional top-line findings from the report:

  • The recent fuel economy improvement is a result of automakers’ rapid adoption of more efficient technologies such as gasoline direct injection engines, turbochargers, and advanced transmissions.
  • Mazda vehicles averaged the highest fuel economy and lowest greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Nissan achieved the greatest improvement in average fuel economy and greenhouse gas reductions.
  • SUVs achieved the greatest improvement in all classes of new personal vehicles.

Links to the executive summary, full report and background information are available at:


Eligibility Requirements Revised for 2015 Baldrige Award

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the component of NIST that manages the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in cooperation with the private sector, has announced three changes in the eligibility requirements for the 2015 award. These improvements will expand opportunities for high-performing organizations to apply for the nation’s highest honor recognizing organizational performance excellence and innovation.

The 2015 changes to Baldrige Award eligibility requirements are based on customer and stakeholder input. They:

  • Allow an organization showing a high level of maturity and superior performance metrics to apply for a waiver of the standard requirement of first achieving a top-level award sanctioned by the Alliance for Performance Excellence (a body made up of the 30-plus state, local, regional and sector-specific Baldrige-based programs serving nearly all 50 states);
  • Make prior Baldrige Award recipients qualified to reapply after five years no matter what new or revised eligibility requirements are established; and,
  • Base the eligibility of an organizational subunit (such as an individual business unit within a larger manufacturing company) solely on its ability to respond to the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence rather than its size or the percentage of external customers its serves.

A fact sheet detailing the changes to the eligibility requirements is available at: www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/upload/2015-Baldrige-Eligibility-FAQs.docx

Organizations interested in applying for the 2015 Baldrige Award will be able to download the award eligibility and application forms from the Baldrige Program website, www.nist.gov/baldrige, in late October, 2014.

To receive an e-mail message announcing the availability of the forms, and later, the latest Baldrige Criteria (being revised for 2015-2016), check “Baldrige Performance Excellence Program” in the list of subscriptions (after submitting your e-mail address) at: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USNIST/subscriber/new?qsp=2561


The articles contained in Capitol Update are not positions of ASME or any of its sub-entities, unless specifically noted as such. This publication is designed to inform ASME members about issues of concern being debated and discussed in the halls of congress, in the states and in the federal agencies.


ASME Government Relations
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 810
Washington, DC 20036
Website: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/advocacy-government-relations

  • Melissa Carl covers public policy-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and diversity issues for ASME. She can be reached at carlm@asme.org
  • Paul Fakes covers public policy-related energy, standards and environmental issues for ASME. He can be reached at fakesp@asme.org
  • Roy Chrobocinski covers public policy-related research and development (R&D) and manufacturing issues for ASME. He can be reached at chrobocinski@asme.org