|Good morning || July 3, 2019|
|In observance of the U.S. federal Independence Day holiday, we will not publish on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Service will resume on Friday, July 5, 2019. We wish our readers a safe and happy holiday.|
Leading the News
Colleges See Revenues Drop As International Enrollment Declines
Politico Morning Education (7/2, Wermund) reports on declining numbers of international students at US colleges in recent years, calling it “a nightmare scenario for universities struggling to hold on to a lucrative market as the flow of foreign students to American colleges slows – for the first time ever – in the era of President Donald Trump.” The piece cites statistics showing declining numbers of foreign students, adding, “Experts warn there is much on the line. American universities have long been a major source of soft power for the U.S. They’ve educated world leaders and attracted the world’s best scholars. They say something needs to be done to stem the decline, or America’s global standing could sustain damage – especially as other nations, such as Canada and Australia, aggressively seek the students that otherwise would have come to the U.S.”
More US College Students Offering E-Sports Scholarships
Business Insider (7/2) profiles a freshman student at Maryville University who is “one of an increasing number of students around the country being offered a full-ride scholarship to compete at the collegiate level. E-sports (the term used for competitive gaming) has long been a mainstream sport in China and Korea, but has recently seen a boom in the US and Europe.” The piece cites figures showing the scope of the phenomenon and describes the games players compete in. “According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, over 3,000 college students currently compete among 130 different teams. Since NACE formed in 2016, it estimates that schools have dished out over $15 million in scholarship aid to e-sports players.”
University Of Nebraska Students Organizing To Aid In Flooding Recovery
The AP (7/2) reports students at the University of Nebraska “are beginning to work in several communities through a new summer service program created in the wake of this year’s devastating flooding. The program projects include documenting flood damage to roads and bridges, organizing a thank-you event for volunteers who cleaned up a local fairground and developing multilingual disaster recovery materials to help with landscape design and GPS mapping.”
NSF Gives Kean University $1.7 Million For STEM Program
The NJTV Trenton (NJ) (7/2) reports the National Science Foundation has given New Jersey’s Kean University a grant of nearly $1.7 million “to create a STEM program that could be a model for other universities to emulate.” The school will “overhaul computer science and information technology courses, integrate material from Google and the Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions and develop a program that retains students, helps them achieve their degrees and prepares them for life after graduation.”
Colleges Beginning To Work To Help Students In Need
Goldie Blumenstock writes at the Chronicle of Higher Education (7/2) “The Edge” blog about a question from a reader asking why colleges don’t “just tap into their own housing programs and meal plans to help students in need.” The reader’s question was a response to a story “about a start-up company’s plans to help colleges optimize their emergency-aid services, and its naming of Sara Goldrick-Rab as its chief strategy officer for emergency aid.” According to Goldrick-Rab, who is consulting for the firm Edquity, there are a number of challenges facing philanthropic organizations working to help students in need. However, “campus leaders – and the folks like dining-hall directors and deans of student life who are instrumental to implementing systems to help students facing hunger – are starting to get it.”
College Educated Women In Workforce Now Outnumber Men
The New York Times (7/2, Salam) reports that according to new data from Pew Research, for the first time, the US workforce has more college-educated women than men. The study “found that women 25 and older now make up 50.2 percent of the college-educated work force – up about 11 percent since 2000.” According to the National Center for Education Statistics, women have been earning more degrees for decades. “Of those who earned a bachelor’s degree last year, 57.5 percent were women. And yet historically, women have been less likely to enter the work force at all after graduation – 36 percent less likely, according to Bloomberg. It wasn’t until this year that they edged out men with similar degrees to become the majority.” Nevertheless, “women are still earning far less money than men.”
ASEE TV Programming from the 2019 Annual Conference
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Research and Development
Virginia Tech FutureHAUS Project Includes Features To Support Aging In Place
The Washington Post (7/2, Zafar) reports, “In recent years, innovation in digital technologies transformed the way we live.” At Virginia Tech, an “interdisciplinary team of 25 students and faculty is taking existing technology that work independently of each other and asking the question, why can’t these components work together?” Their “FutureHAUS project is about creating an interface that is completely connected within one smart-home system.” The Post says the project includes “technologies that support aging in place,” such as “rooms designed to accommodate users of any height, age or disability.” For example, in the bathroom, “a touch control smart mirror” adjusts the height of the vanity and toilet. The kitchen counters are similarly adjustable.
Houston Startup Aims To Use Discarded Water Bottles As 3D Printing Resource
The Houston Chronicle (7/2) reports, “The Houston startup re: 3D is hoping to build its business and maybe save the world” with a process for using discarded plastic water bottles to “provide feedstock for the company’s 3D printer. ... The printer, known as the Gigabot X and currently in its beta version, could one day help a pressing problem: What to do with the mountains of plastic waste choking the oceans and piling up in landfills. It’s the latest large-scale printer from re: 3D aimed at tackling societal challenges.”
Autonomous, Electric-Powered Yara Birkeland Container Ship To Be Delivered In 2020
The American Journal of Transportation (7/2, Margaronis) reports that the Yara Birkeland, “expected to be delivered in 2020, will be the first autonomous and all electric powered container ship in the world” according to Kongsber VP of Marketing Morten Stanger. Kongsberg’s merger with Rolls Royce is “increasing the company’s technical expertise including design, system integration and advanced propulsion equipment” demonstrated in the container ship. According to Stanger, the Yara Birkeland “will eliminate 40,000 truck trips per year.”
GE Aviation And Auterion Team Up For Drone OS
DroneBelow (AUS) (7/3, Smith) reports GE Aviation and Auterion have partnered to develop a full stack platform to help drone manufacturers and operators scale commercial drone operations. The partnership will bring together GE Aviation’s Aircraft System avionics platform and Auterion’s Enterprise PX4 operating system.
UAV Maker DJI Debuts Data Safeguard Package
Aviation International News (7/2) reports that UAV maker DJI on July 2 “unveiled a special ‘Government Edition’” UAV that has “architecture that ensures that drone data...never leave the drone and therefore can never be shared with unauthorized parties.” DJI Vice President Mario Rebello said, “This is DJI’s most secure drone solution to-date because it prevents users from accidentally or even intentionally transferring data off of the drone to other parties.”
Boeing Begins EMD Flight Trials For T-X Trainer
IHS Jane’s 360 (7/2, Jennings) reports Boeing has begun engineering and manufacturing development flight trials of the GE 404-powered T-X trainer aircraft. The first aircraft is set to be delivered in 2023 and initial operational capability is scheduled for 2024.
New Lithium-Ion Battery Design Could Prevent Explosions
The Gulf News (ARE) (7/2) reports Dr Daniel Choi, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Khalifa University, and his research team have designed “a paper-thin, flexible lithium-ion battery” that could prevent the risk of explosions in many devices, including e-cigarettes. The battery “weighs less than 20 percent of the weight of a traditional battery, and offers around 90 percent of the same energy.”
New Solar Tech Could Provide Clean Drinking Water To Millions
Science Magazine (6/28, Service) reports researchers “have developed a new material that speeds the process of evaporation, enabling a small solar still to provide all the drinking water one family needs.” Science Magazine says that “if the technology proves cheap enough, it could provide millions of impoverished people access to clean drinking water.” University of Texas in Austin materials scientist Guihua Yu and his colleagues recently reported on advances in solar still technology that increase the amount of provided water.
Amazon Go Technology Improving Efficiency In Company’s Fulfillment Centers
Charged Retail (UK) (7/3, Stevens) reports Amazon has increased “automation in dozens of its warehouses across the US, introducing camera systems which automatically track items like its Amazon Go stores.” The company “has installed AI cameras and scanners at dozens of its warehouses which can recognise and track which items go in which bins, allowing its workers to work ‘hands-free.’” Amazon VP of Robotics Brad Power said, “We wanted to get to a point where associates could do what we would call a hands-free stow.” That has led to a marked improvement in efficiency. He “explained that ‘in the same way that Go is trying to detect when you grab something, it’s (detecting) where you’re putting it.’” Amazon Go VP Dilip Kumar said “some of the cameras that we’ve built are also being explored by the fulfilment centres.” According to Charged Retail, “Its not just warehouses that Amazon Go’s cameras and machine learning software is being utilised across Amazon’s network.”
Engineering and Public Policy
CPUC Says Waymo Can Carry Passengers In Its Autonomous Vehicles On California Roads
TechCrunch (7/2, Korosec) reports the California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday granted Waymo a permit “to participate in the state’s Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service pilot” and “transport passengers in its robotaxis.” TechCrunch characterizes the permit “a milestone for the company as it begins to ramp up towards a commercial service.” In a statement, a Waymo spokesperson said, “This is the next step in our path to eventually expand and offer more Californians opportunities to access our self-driving technology, just as we have gradually done with Waymo One in Metro Phoenix.”
Companies Propose Framework Governing Autonomous Vehicles
VentureBeat (7/2, Wiggers) reports a coalition that consists of Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Here, Infineon, Intel, and Volkswagen on Tuesday “published a whitepaper (‘Safety First For Automated Driving’) describing a framework for the development, testing, and validation of ‘safe’ autonomous vehicles.” VentureBeat says that these companies “claim it’s the broadest representation across the industry to date, and they say that the report – which runs 146 pages – is the largest to offer ‘clear traceability’ proving autonomous vehicles to be ‘safer than the average driver.’” A spokesperson for the coalition “told VentureBeat that the paper was ‘equally open’ to any party who asked to participate and said that those who signed on did so of their own volition.”
Colorado Residents Voice Concerned As “Local Control” Of Fracking Becomes A Reality
The Denver Westword (7/2, Woodruff) reports that Dr. Maureen Barrett, an atmospheric scientist and engineer from Evergreen, has developed air-quality models indicating how several towns in Boulder County would be affected by fracking operations there. Barrett uses “emissions and meteorological data” recorded at fracking sites along the Front Range to determine “the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a hazardous air pollutant, that surrounding areas could experience during the drilling process.” She presented her findings to a group of concerned citizens in east Boulder County, some of who are leading an effort to oppose fracking in the area. In April, Colorado Democrats passed Senate Bill 181, which grants city and county governments “the authority to regulate drilling and other industry operations within their borders.” The legislation marked “a drastic shift after more than a century of Colorado oil and gas activity being regulated almost exclusively at the state level.”
Offshore Wind And Battery Storage Increasing Market Share In Northeast Power Mix
Utility Dive (7/2) reports offshore wind and battery storage are increasing their role in the northeast’s power generation mix, with nearly 18 GW mandated to come online by 2035 in several New England states. It is uncertain as to how these states will integrate offshore wind capacity. Navigant Director Lon Huber said in an interview that resource diversity will be key to overcoming the challenge of intermittancy, and each region will likely need a different energy resources to meet its needs.
Study Finds Existing Energy Infrastructure Making It Difficult To Meet Emission Reduction Goals
Axios (7/2, Geman) reports that a study recently published in the journal Nature found that existing energy infrastructure, primarily power plants, are likely to produce enough CO2 emissions over their lifetime to make it challenging to meet the Paris Climate Accord’s goal of keeping global temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius of preindustrial levels. The study “compares future emissions from infrastructure --power plants, vehicles, industrial plants and more – against the estimated remaining ‘carbon budget’ for staying within 1.5°C and 2°C.” The study concluded that “cumulative emissions from existing infrastructure, roughly 658 gigatonnes, are much higher than the estimated remaining 1.5°C budget.”
Federal Appeals Court Upholds Hazardous Waste-Transfer Rule
Reuters (7/2, Grzincic) reports that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a 2018 rule on Tuesday easing the regulatory burden on companies that pay to have solid hazardous waste hauled away instead of discarding it themselves. The ruling marked a “win for the Environmental Protection Agency and industry groups led by the American Petroleum Institute.”
Scout Clean Energy Wins NM State Trust Land Bid, Plans 250 MW Solar Farm
The AP (7/2) reports Scout Clean Energy is moving ahead on the Great Divide Wind Farm “after winning a bid for more than 25 square miles of state trust land in New Mexico.” According to the New Mexico State Land Office, Scout Clean Energy was the only applicant for the parcel. The company plans to purchase additional property from surrounding landowners. Construction of the 250 MW project would take up to two years. Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard “said the wind farm is projected to bring in $16 million for public schools and other beneficiaries over the term of the lease.”
Mississippi Program Aims To Give High School Girls Hands-On Computer Science Experience
The Hechinger Report (7/2) reports on Mississippi State University’s “Bulldog Bytes” program, which “aims to give girls and teachers hands-on experience with computer science in a state where, according to one measure, just 18 percent of public high schools teach the subject. ... Sarah Lee, a co-founder of Bulldog Bytes and the assistant head of Mississippi State University’s computer science and engineering department, said computer science programs need to do three things in order to bring a larger and more diverse group of students into the field: start in elementary school; go out to communities that have a high population of students of color who may not be exposed to computer science; and inspire teachers to incorporate computer science into subjects they are already teaching.”
Bay Area Private School Aims To Get All First-Generation Students To Professional Careers
Chalkbeat (7/2, Noguchi) reports on Eastside College Preparatory, “a Bay Area private school that has pioneered a college and career mentoring program with impressive muscle.” Chalkbeat says, “Eastside’s focus on its alumni has enabled the school – which does not consider grades or test scores in admission, but seeks out students from low-income families who would be the first in their families to attend college – to succeed where others stumble.” Chalkbeat writes that “as more schools grapple with how to ensure that low-income graduates succeed in college and beyond, Eastside’s experience shows how an intentional, intensive, and long-term investment can pay off – something possible for the intimate, well-funded private school and mostly out of reach for public high schools with tight budgets and thin counseling staffs.”
Georgia Education Department Provides $500K Grant For Coding Instruction For Middle-Schoolers
An “Education Matters” blog post for Georgia Public Broadcasting (7/2) reports, “The Georgia Department of Education has provided $500,000 in grant funding to help middle schools implement computer coding programs.” The funds – “awarded to 20 schools in 19 school districts” – “specifically target middle schools in rural, underserved, or high-poverty school clusters.” The funding “is intended to assist middle schools with the implementation of computer coding curriculum, computer science-related professional development and training, equipment purchases, and the establishment of computer science certification pathways.”
Tennessee’s Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education Looks To Develop STEM Workforce
The Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel (7/2) writes, “It’s critical to plan 20-25 years in advance for the jobs of tomorrow, according to Craig Layman, associate director for workforce development for the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.” In East Tennessee, “finding the right candidates and enough candidates to take over advanced positions in the...STEM, fields has become a constant battle.” The News Sentinel says that, in response to this trend, ORAU “offers work-based learning opportunities in the form of internships, research experiences and fellowships and has about 10,000 participants across approximately 400 research centers in the US, according to Layman.” Many of the programs “cater to the US Department of Energy, particularly its Office of Science, he said, and out of those its largest programs operate at ORNL, where it places about 1,400 individuals.” ORAU “also provides professional development opportunities” for K-12 STEM teachers.
Tuesday's Lead Stories
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