October 3, 2014
Capitol Update

Visit the “ASME Public Policy Education Center” for the latest policy developments, daily news, regulations, announcements and ASME resources at http://ppec.asme.org/

In this issue:



ASME will be accepting applications for the following ASME Federal Government Fellowships.

ASME Congressional Fellowship
ASME is seeking individuals interested in serving as a 2015-2016 Congressional Fellow, who would spend one year in Washington, D.C., working with the staff of a congressional committee, U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative. Congressional Fellowships are designed to demonstrate the value of engineering-government interaction, bring technical backgrounds and external perspectives to the decision making process in Congress and provide a unique public policy learning experience to the Fellow. Additional information on ASME Congressional Fellowships is available at:

ASME Foundation Swanson Fellowship - Manufacturing
ASME is also accepting applications for our 2015-2016 ASME Foundation Swanson Fellowship on Advanced Manufacturing.  This ASME Foundation Swanson Fellow would serve a one-year fellowship at the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO) hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

This professional development opportunity is open to eligible individuals from the private sector and government to serve our nation in fostering advanced manufacturing initiatives as part of a nation-wide manufacturing agenda.  AMNPO was established by the White House in 2012 to support U.S. industry in scaling-up the manufacturing of future advanced technology goods within the U.S., serving to strengthen U.S. innovation capacity and recover the U.S. taxpayer investment in early stage R&D.  It does so by supporting the interagency coordination of advanced manufacturing programs, including the President’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), providing a link to the growing number of private-sector partnerships between manufacturers, universities, state and local governments, and other manufacturing-related organizations.

While at the AMNPO, Fellows will:

  • Strengthen coordination between the National Program Office and other participating organizations, including: industry, universities, state and regional authorities, federal agencies, and stakeholders of NNMI;
  • Provide alternative perspectives to strengthen the impact of advanced manufacturing programs and better leverage government and partner investments across the national landscape;
  • Strengthen the narrative that documents the role and significance of advanced manufacturing among partners, constituents and the public;
  • Engage with professionals at the intersection of advanced manufacturing and public policy to make practical contributions in federal decision-making; and,
  • Strengthen the understanding of federal policy and programs across stakeholder groups in advanced manufacturing.

Information on the ASME Foundation Swanson Fellowship is available at https://www.asme.org/about-asme/get-involved/advocacy-government-relations/federal-fellows-program/foundation-swanson-fellowship-advanced?cm_re=Federal%20Fellows%20Program-_-Left%20Navigation-_-ASME%20Foundation%20Swanson%20Fellowship%20Advanced%20Manufacturing%20National%20Program%20Office%20NPO

An $80,000 stipend will be provided for the one year fellowships.  All Fellows must be U.S. citizens and ASME members at the time of application. This is a competitive process.   Applications will be accepted from September 15, 2014 - January 31, 2015.  To apply for an ASME Congressional or AMNPO Fellowship, fill out the online application at: https://fs19.formsite.com/rsvp/form13/secure_index.html
and provide the requested materials.



The Obama administration and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently received comments to guide them in producing an updated version of Strategy for American Innovation, a document detailing how the administration, the American people and American businesses can work together to strengthen the nation’s long-term economic growth. As the administration and OSTP review the comments on more than 20 questions, the Partnership for American Innovation urges the administration to pay particular attention to the role a strong intellectual property system plays in providing incentives for innovation.

Intellectual property (IP) protection generates value for innovations created during product and service development, across a broad range of industries including software, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, bio-tech and information technology services. These IP-intensive industries contribute $5 trillion in economic activity to the American economy every year and are responsible for 40 million jobs — nearly half of private sector employment in the U.S. These industries also contribute nearly three-quarters of all U.S. exports.

Additional information is available on the ASME Public Policy Education Center at http://ppec.asme.org/ under “Latest News.”



Last week, at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York, President Obama announced a new set of tools to harness the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States to help vulnerable populations around the world strengthen their climate resilience.  The United States also announced its leadership and participation in more than a dozen new climate change partnerships launched at the Climate Summit.

The tools for global resilience announced by the President include improved and extended extreme weather risk outlooks to help avoid loss of life and property; data, tools and services to enable countries to better prepare for the impacts of climate change, including a new release of global elevation data; and an announcement of a new public-private partnership to ensure that the climate data, tools, and products made available by U.S. technical agencies are useful to developing countries. The President also announced a new Executive Order requiring Federal agencies to factor climate resilience into the design of their international development programs and investments.

New international climate change partnerships in which the United States has played a key role in launching include the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership, the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation, and the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance.

Detailed information on the President’s actions is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/09/23/fact-sheet-president-obama-announces-new-actions-strengthen-global-resil

Secretary of State John Kerry shared remarks at the opening event of the climate summit. His prepared remarks, as well as an archived video of his speech, may be viewed at: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/09/231950.htm



On September 24th, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) released reports on black market oil sales by the Islamic State (ISIS) and on the controversy surrounding the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) oil exports.

The staff report on ISIS oil sales concluded: “Substantial uncertainty pervades our understanding of the mechanics, volume, and revenue associated with the terrorist group’s black market petroleum operations…Depriving ISIS of whatever dark revenue pool it generates from its sales of oil will put additional strain on an organization with little capacity to expand its oil field operations.”

The CRS report on Kurdish oil exports found: “The KRG must find export markets for its crude oil if production is to continue…The KRG must also find export markets for its crude oil to finance the government and continue the ongoing military action against the forces of the Islamic State.”

The report on ISIS petroleum operations was prepared by Murkowski’s staff and is available at: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=005f682a-cc3f-4bd2-91b6-d68e0527439d

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) prepared the report on Kurdish oil exports, and it is available at: http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=cf3f682a-8f86-4093-860a-1ec4a8af690c



The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) recently released "Surmounting the Barriers: Ethnic Diversity in Engineering Education," the summary of a September 2013 workshop examining impediments to greater diversification in engineering education. The workshop brought together educators in engineering from two- and four-year colleges and staff members from the three sponsoring organizations: the National Science Foundation, the National Academy of Engineering, and ASEE.

While the goal of diversity in engineering education has long been acknowledged, studied, and subjected to attempted interventions, progress has been fitful and slow. This report discusses reasons why past recommendations to improve diversity have not been adopted in full or in part. “Surmounting the Barriers” identifies a series of key impediments, including a lack of incentives for faculty and institutions; inadequate or only short-term financial support; an unsupportive institutional and faculty culture and environment; a lack of institutional and constituent engagement; and inadequate assessments, metrics, and data tracking. The report also shares success stories about instances where barriers to diversity have been identified and surmounted, and the resources that could enable real solutions to implement steps toward progress.

 You can download a free copy of the report “Surmounting the Barriers: Ethnic Diversity in Engineering Education” at: http://www.asee.org/Surmounting_the_Barriers.pdf



Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, September 18, 2014, as the Department of Energy’s Deputy Secretary.

As Deputy Secretary, Dr. Sherwood-Randall will support Secretary Moniz in the management and operation of the Department of Energy. She will have responsibility for enhancing DOE’s delivery of results for the American people, including: strengthening project oversight and management; ensuring the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons and advancing the Administration’s nonproliferation agenda; supporting the vital contributions of our unique national laboratory network; and promoting the Administration’s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy for a low carbon future and a strong economy.

As a top advisor to President Obama for nearly six years, Dr. Sherwood-Randall served as the White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control for the National Security Council, from April 2013 until her Senate confirmation. From 2009 to 2013, she served as the President’s principal advisor on Europe, including 49 countries and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Prior to her service in the current Administration, Dr. Sherwood-Randall was a senior research scholar at Stanford University from 2000 to 2008, and a founding principal in the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project from 1997-2008. She was also an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2004-2008.

Dr. Sherwood-Randall served in the Clinton Administration from 1994 through 1996 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. Previously, she co-founded and served as the Associate Director of Harvard University’s Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project. At the outset of her public service career, Dr. Sherwood-Randall was a Chief Foreign Affairs and Defense Policy Adviser to then-Senator Joseph Biden.

A native of California, she received her bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and her doctorate as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.



The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded more than $2.2 million in Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards to 15 companies. The recipients conduct research in cyber-physical systems, cybersecurity, health care, manufacturing and technology transfer.

“We congratulate the awardees, who were selected from numerous technically excellent applications,” said Phillip Singerman, NIST associate director for Innovation and Industry Services. “They represent eight different states and range in size from one to more than 200 employees. Their innovative research helps keep America competitive.”

NIST SBIR awards are funded through a competitive process. In Phase I, small businesses can receive up to $90,000 to establish merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed research and development. Phase I awardees can vie for Phase II funding of up to $300,000 that enables them to continue their efforts. In Phase III, non-SBIR funds are used for commercialization of the technology.

To view the list of recipients, visit http://nist.gov/public_affairs/tech-beat/index.cfm#sbir


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