September 8, 2017
Capitol Update

In this issue:


ASME GOVERNMENT RELATIONS WEBINAR, “TECHNOLOGY INTERSECTING POLICY AND POLITICS!” REGISTRATION IS OPEN

On Friday, October 27 from 12:00 PM to 1:00PM (EST), ASME Government Relations will host an exciting new webinar about what it is like to be an ASME Fellow in Congress, featuring two Fellows—one in the U. S. Senate and another in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Fellows will provide valuable personal insight on their experiences working on Capitol Hill, both before and after the presidential election and how the experience has expanded their perspectives.

ASME has the unique distinction of being the first engineering/scientific society to establish a Congressional Fellowship program. For the past 44 years, ASME has provided a valuable service to the nation by sponsoring over 119 Federal Fellows who have served in the Executive and Legislative Branches of Government. ASME Federal Government Fellowships have enabled selected ASME members to devote a year working in government providing engineering and technical advice to policy makers in Congress, Federal agencies, and the White House. A brochure on the ASME Fellowship program is available at https://tinyurl.com/y7w76ggr

The moderator of the webinar will be Lester Su, Ph.D., who is a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University and the Chair of the ASME Committee on Government Relations. Guest speakers include Said Jahanmir, Ph.D., who is currently serving as a 2015-2017 ASME Congressional Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Honorable Tim Ryan (D-OH), Co-Chair of the Congressional Manufacturing Caucus, and Michael Martin, Ph.D., who is currently serving as a 2016-2017 ASME Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate for the Honorable Jack Reed, who is a Co-chair of the Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus. 

Please register at this link. https://shop.asme.org/Registrations/Conference/FNDWEB3

If you have questions, please contact Ellen Kuo at kuoe@asme.org


ASME INVOLVEMENT IN THE MOBILE UNMANNED SYSTEMS

On September 28, 2017, ASME will continue its mobile unmanned systems standards development activities by attending the kick-off meeting of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Standardization Collaborative (UASSC). The UASSC will work on coordinating the development of standards and conformity assessment programs associated to UAS, commonly known as drones. ASME contributed in the May 19 ANSI meeting that established the collaborative. As part of ASME’s activities in this area, the Council on Standards and Certification approved initiating activities related to unmanned systems by authorizing the development of standards on “Application of Mobile Unmanned Systems (MUS) for inspections, monitoring, and maintenance of industrial facilities and power plants as well as equipment, transmission lines, and pipelines.”

In addition, the Board on Standardization and Testing has established a Special Working Group on the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles/Systems (UAVs/UASs) for Inspection. The working group held its most recent meeting on August 7, 2017 during Boiler Code Week to discuss the current and emerging uses of UAVs/UASs for inspections of plants such as power plants, petrochemical plants, and manufacturing facilities.

ASME is currently soliciting subject matter experts and affected stakeholders to help support these efforts.

For more information, contact Claire Ramspeck, ASME Managing Director of Standards Development, at RamspeckC@asme.org


BOARD ON PRESSURE TECHNOLOGY CODES AND STANDARDS PROJECT TEAM ON EVALUATION OF ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING FOR PRESSURE RETAINING EQUIPMENT RE-DESIGNATED

On August 9, 2017 in Minneapolis, MN, the newly re-designated ASME Board on Pressure Technology Codes and Standards (BPTCS)/ Board on Nuclear Codes and Standards (BNCS) Special Committee on Use of Additive Manufacturing for Pressure Retaining Equipment held its first meeting during ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Week. The task of the special committee is to develop a technical baseline to support development of a proposed BPTCS standard or guideline addressing the pressure integrity governing the construction of pressure retaining equipment by additive manufacturing processes. The committee will initially develop a task plan for development of a technical baseline for data supporting a standard for additive manufacturing.

ASME is currently soliciting subject matter experts and affected stakeholders to help support these efforts.

For more information, contact Richard Lucas, S&C Project Engineer, at LucasR@asme.org


NATIONAL ACADEMIES’ REPORT: NASA SHOULD CONTINUE ITS LARGE STRATEGIC MISSIONS TO MAINTAIN UNITED STATES’ GLOBAL LEADERSHIP IN SPACE

Powering Science: NASA’s Large Strategic Science Missions, a new reportsponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, said that NASA’s large strategic missions like the Hubble Space Telescope are critical to maintaining the United States’ global leadership in space exploration and should continue to be a primary component of a balanced space science program.

A balanced space science program will also include medium and smaller missions. For example, smaller missions can bring benefits that larger ones cannot, such as quicker development time, more flexibility in responding to recent discoveries, and increased ingenuity due to the competitive nature of being selected as a smaller NASA mission.

Other aspects of the report called on NASA to seek guidance from the relevant National Academies’ surveys and midterm reviews, as well as from other research-community based advisory bodies when trying to balance the development and operation of its large flagship missions as part of a balanced program. It is also important for NASA to prevent cost overruns, which could have a harmful impact on the entire science program at NASA.   

In order to read and download the full report, please visit: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24857/powering-science-nasas-large-strategic-science-missions


CONGRESSIONAL HEARING HELD ON THE FUTURE OF MATERIALS SCIENCE RESEARCH

The Subcommittees on Energy and Research and Technology of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee recently held a joint hearing to review federally funded research in materials science. Researchers in this field analyze existing materials, studying their chemical, physical, atomic, and magnetic make up in order to develop new materials with preferred properties. New materials research has facilitated innovations in areas such as biomedical engineering and at the Department of Defense.

Advancements in materials science research have also enabled scientists to achieve innovative breakthroughs, such as tailor making artificial joints to be compatible with each individual patient’s tissue, which dramatically reduces the time needed for postoperative recovery. Dr. Laurie Locascio, Acting Associate Director for Laboratory Programs and Director of Material Measurement at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), spoke to the Institute’s Materials Resource Registry, which he described as “an online yellow pages for materials by design.” Having an in-depth database allows for worldwide searches of data collections, computation services, and modeling software to facilitate research and radically increases the frequency of innovation.

Investing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and the infrastructure that is needed for this advanced research is imperative. One witness at the hearing, Dr. Fred Higgs, a professor of Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and expert in tribology, expressed three main issues in his testimony.  He stated that new materials can improve the safety and environmental impact of energy production technologies and that material advancements can provide the foundation for new technologies in medicine, transportation, manufacturing and computing. Additionally he promoted the merits of science prize competitions, university-federal lab/agency partnerships, and university-company partnerships, in speeding the development of advanced materials.

Scientists and engineers are aware that groundbreaking innovations in materials science often require large amounts of research and development (R&D) funding. NIST has begun to combat this obstacle through the use of data and models to simulate materials and better predict their performance ahead of time before money must be spent to make them.
The hearing testimony and archived video is available:

https://science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/joint-subcommittee-energy-and-subcommittee-research-and-technology-hearing


3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY USED TO PROVIDE PATIENT-SPECIFIC MEDICAL NEEDS

3D printing is the process of creating a solid three dimensional physical object from a digital design. What once was considered science fiction years ago is now bringing new hope to patients.  One patient in New Brunswick, New Jersey recently received part of a new skull because part of his skull became unusable due to an infection. The skull implant used a plastic known as polyetheretherketone (PEEK), which has strength, stability and biocompatibility.

Without the 3D printing technique, the normal course would have been to use a metal mesh—not as strong or as customized a fit-- to replace pieces of the skull. With the 3D printed model, there was an exact fit based on the CT scan of the patient’s skull.

Professor Xiao Jianru, a renowned orthopedic surgeon in China, recently led a team of doctors to give a patient a pioneering 3D printed spine, the first attempt to build so many consecutive cervical vertebrae at once using 3D printing technology in the world.  Using a real-life model of the patient’s cervical vertebrae, the 3D technology used titanium alloy to make the patient-specific bones.

3D technology has become quite popular in the manufacture of medical devices too, due to its precision and accuracy. This technology is starting to become an efficient and cost effective manufacturing option for the medical devices industry for items like dental implants, hearing aids, custom made knee, surgical instruments and more. It also provides an additional platform for surgeons to plan and strategize surgeries in advance, thereby reducing operational risks especially in complex procedures. Further developments in this technology will involve further cost reduction, increased private and government funding to support the development of 3D products, and a reduction in waiting periods for devices to expand the 3D printing medical devices market.

To learn more about this issue as it relates to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), please visit: https://tinyurl.com/y7xfecyu

Visit the ASME Public Policy Education Center at http://ppec.asme.org/ for daily news and policy developments, including the following:
ASME GOVERNMENT RELATIONS WEBINAR, “TECHNOLOGY INTERSECTING POLICY AND POLITICS!” REGISTRATION IS OPEN
http://ppec.asme.org/latest-news/asme-government-relations-webinar-technology-intersecting-policy-and-politics-registration-is-open/
Army Completes Autonomous Micro-robotics Research Program
http://ppec.asme.org/home/army-completes-autonomous-micro-robotics-research-program/
Who is #1?: Measuring Manufacturing Value Added Per Employee Across the Nation
http://ppec.asme.org/latest-news/who-is-1-measuring-manufacturing-value-added-per-employee-across-the-nation/
Exclusive: Inside The Lab Where Scientists Are Editing DNA in Human Embryos
http://ppec.asme.org/latest-news/exclusive-inside-the-lab-where-scientists-are-editing-dna-in-human-embryos/

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Website: http://www.asme.org/about-asme/advocacy-government-relations