October 28, 2016
Capitol Update

In this issue:


ASME-LED COALITION OPPOSES PROPOSALS REQUIRING ENGINEERS SEEKING LICENSURE TO OBTAIN MASTERS DEGREE FIRST

The Licensing That Works Coalition, an ASME-led coalition of engineering societies representing thousands of engineers in New Jersey and more than 300,000 engineers across the United States, recently urged the New Jersey State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors to oppose any legislative or regulatory proposals requiring anyone seeking licensure as a professional engineer (PE) to obtain a master’s degree in engineering or its equivalent first.

The ASME-led coalition supports a four-year bachelor’s degree from an EAC/ABET accredited college or university bachelor’s degree program as the mandatory baseline educational requirement for PE licensure as a professional engineer. Continuing education throughout an individual’s career is supported to supplement an engineer’s degree and experience with current technological and regulatory information and training.

There is no evidence that the present requirements for licensure – quality of engineering graduates, relevancy of the licensing examinations, effectiveness of the required experience under the supervision of a licensed professional engineer, the regular and required career-long continuing education, or the professional attributes of the practicing engineers themselves – are in any way inadequate. Therefore, any additional mandatory requirements will only serve to deter students from considering engineering as a career—particularly one connected to public service and infrastructure. If enacted, New Jersey could see a stunting of its technological growth and competitiveness and the ability of the state, its agencies and municipalities to attract the needed engineering talent they require.
A similar scenario took place previously when New Jersey passed legislation raising the educational requirements for obtaining a land surveying license and New Jersey saw a significant drop in students entering the profession.

To read the full letter, please visit: http://bit.ly/2eDqXa7


NEW REPORT EXPLORES REGIONAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE U.S. FOR CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION

Recently, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the first volume of a two volume report entitled, “Exploring Regional Opportunities in the U.S. for Clean Energy Technology Innovation.”

Volume I summarizes the results of 14 university-hosted regional forums during 2016. These events drew participation from a broad spectrum of stakeholders -- private sector energy innovators, industries, university leadership and academic experts, Members of Congress, governors, other federal, state, tribal and local officials, and DOE National Laboratory and program officials.

The report details ongoing clean energy initiatives in areas such as solar photovoltaics, batteries, fuel cells, carbon capture utilization and sequestration, and materials research and regionally focused innovation pathways such as marine and hydrokinetic technology. The second volume will be a compilation of the reports written and produced by the individual universities.

The report can be found at: http://www.energy.gov/mission-innovation/university-forums


VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN DELIVERS CANCER MOONSHOT REPORT FOR TRANSFORMING CANCER RESEARCH AND CARE

Vice President Joe Biden delivered the Cancer Moonshot report to the President and American public recently. The work of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, created by a Presidential memorandum, began in January focused on cancer research with a major goal of doubling the rate of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in five years, and has also identified areas of scientific opportunity which involve public and private sector collaboration. The report presents the Task Force’s implementation plans for accelerating progress, including actions launched under the Cancer Moonshot this year, and longer-term plans for continuing momentum.

Additionally, a number of public-private partnerships were announced, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft partnering to build a sustainable model for maintaining cancer genomic data in the cloud and supporting cancer researchers through the NCI’s Genomic Data Commons and Cancer Genomics Cloud programs.

There are also efforts to harness artificial intelligence (AI) to improve cancer and disease diagnosis. For example, the Department of Defense is committed to digitizing over 34 million pathology samples. By digitizing these samples, the process will increase access to valuable data to a diverse range of researchers and diagnosticians, and build on efforts that combine image analysis and machine learning algorithms to improve cancer diagnoses.

To review the Cancer Moonshot report, please visit:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/final-whcmtf-report-1012161.pdf


OCTOBER IS NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH

During the annual campaign to raise awareness about cybersecurity, the National Cyber Security Alliance in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security has released the first in a series of tips focused on helping people protect their online activities and increase their cybersecurity awareness. Protecting online accounts and using strong authentication techniques such as biometrics or a security key are part of the recommendations. 

On Friday, October 21, a massive attack took place using secretly infected devices to flood a domain name system provider, Dyn, which is responsible for routing Internet traffic, with bogus requests. The attacks disrupted access to Twitter, Spotify and major websites before it could resolve the routing issues that evening. Such attacks are likely to become more common and demonstrate the interconnectedness of the various parts of the Internet.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) is charged with providing cybersecurity protection to Federal civilian executive branch agencies; developing timely and actionable information for distribution; responding to incidents and analyzing data about emerging cyber threats; and collaborating with foreign governments and international entities to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity posture. CERT’s website provides a number of reports to support internet security and allows the public to sign up for alerts.

For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/2dYZKi6


VOUCHER PROGRAM HELPS BRING INNOVATIVE CLEAN-ENERGY PRODUCTS TO MARKET

Small businesses in the clean-energy sector have another opportunity to develop new products for the clean energy market using the Requests for Assistance (RFA) for technical help from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) labs through the Small Business Vouchers (SBV) Pilot.

There are nine clean-energy research and development areas of focus: advanced
manufacturing, bioenergy, buildings, fuel cells, geothermal, solar, vehicles, water, and wind.

The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) launched the pilot’s third round on Oct. 10 aimed at assisting small businesses bring next-generation clean-energy technologies to market faster by giving them access to expertise and tools at national labs.
The SBV Pilot had its first funding round in fall 2015 and launched its second last spring. Since then, nearly 800 applications have been reviewed, and 76 small businesses from 25 states have been awarded a total of $14.7 million in vouchers.

For this third round, EERE strongly welcomes collaborations with small businesses that have little to no experience working with a DOE national laboratory. Individual vouchers range from $50,000 to $300,000 per small business and can be used to perform collaborative research or access to lab instrumentation or facilities. Companies selected must also provide a 20 percent, in-kind cost share for completing voucher work.

To learn more, please visit: http://www.SBV.org


NEW NAE BOOK EXAMINES DEVELOPMENTS IN EXECUTION OF NASA TECHNOLOGY ROADMAPS

The National Academies Press has recently published a new book entitled, NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities Revisited. The book speaks to America’s leadership in aerospace and efforts in the development of advanced technology to further our ambitions in space. To continue to achieve progress, NASA is currently executing a series of aeronautics and space technology programs using a road mapping process to identify technology needs and improve the management of its technology development portfolio.

NASA created a set of 14 draft technology roadmaps in 2010 to guide space technology development and updated them in 2015. A significant new aspect of the update has been the effort to assess the relevance of the technologies by listing the enabling and enhancing technologies for specific design reference missions from the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and the Science Mission Directorate. Prioritizing new technologies as well as conducting a review of the roadmaps every 4 years are also part of NASA’s efforts.

To download the book, please visit: http://bit.ly/2eknBrN

Visit the ASME Public Policy Education Center at http://ppec.asme.org/ for daily news and policy developments, including the following:

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