|Good morning || October 4, 2019|
Leading the News
Army Futures Command Announces $65 Million Toward Partnership With Texas A&M
The Austin (TX) American Statesman (10/2, Carlson, Subscription Publication) reports on Wednesday, the Army Futures Command announced $65 million over five years for “the Texas A&M University System to support military research operations on a College Station campus.” According to the Statesman, it is “part of a multi-million-dollar plan to make Texas A&M’s 2,000-acre RELLIS campus the Army’s main hub for testing and evaluating its future-of-war technologies.” As part of the effort, Texas A&M’s RELLIS campus “will house the nation’s largest hypersonic tunnel” and “will also host a combat development center.” There will also be research on “laser weaponry, materials for withstanding hypervelocity blasts, coordinated air and ground vehicles and computer networks for autonomous vehicles.”
KVUE-TV Austin, TX (10/3, Reding, Newberry) reports, “Texas A&M University will soon break ground ... on the RELLIS campus about seven miles from Texas A&M University in Bryan, Texas,” at a cost of “$130 million, $80 million of which will come from the Texas A&M System Board of Regents,” and $50 million from the Texas legislature.
The Bryan College Station (TX) Eagle (10/3, report) reports the announcement was made by Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) “and personnel from the U.S. Army Futures Command.”
New York Community Colleges Receive Grants For Precision Optics, Biotechnology Programs
WROC-TV Rochester, NY (10/3) reports, “Monroe Community College and Finger Lakes Community College have both received grants to get more students interested in studying science.” MCC will receive $4 million for its precision optics program, while FLCC will receive $1 million for biotechnology education. The grants are from the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation respectively.
The Finger Lakes (NY) Times (10/3, Times) reports the NSF grant is part of “a national effort to strengthen biotechnology education and encourage more youth to pursue careers in the field.” FLCC, adds the Times, “is the home base for the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative.”
Foxconn Interconnect Technology To Fund Half Of Technology Center At University Of Illinois
The Chicago Tribune (10/1, Jimenez) reports Foxconn Interconnect Technology “is helping launch a $100 million technology center at the University of Illinois that will be used to create electronic components and software used in manufacturing plants, autonomous vehicles and smart homes.” The company “is investing $50 million over the next 10 years to fund research and programs at the Center for Networked Intelligent Components and Environments (C-NICE),” to “be housed on the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus.” The balance of funds “will be covered by the university, state funds, and the Discovery Partners Institute.” Rashid Bashir, dean of the University of Illinois’ Grainger College of Engineering, “said the Discovery Partners Institute will help build a new facility for C-NICE and hire faculty once the funds are doled out by the state.”
Editor-in-Chief Search for Advances in Engineering Education
ASEE is seeking applications and nominations for the position of Editor‐in‐Chief for the journal Advances in Engineering Education. The anticipated start date for this volunteer position is July 1, 2020, with applications due this fall. Learn more here.
Engineering Technology Leaders Institute
“Engineering Technology: Connecting, Building & Maintaining Relationships” is the theme of this year's meeting, October 10-11, in Alexandria, VA. The meeting convenes engineering technology educators, industry leaders, and government officials. Learn more.
Research and Development
Oregon State University To Get NSF Grant To Research Earthquake Effects On Electrical Grid
The Columbia Press (10/3) reports the National Science Foundation has awarded a $433,792 grant to Oregon State University “to research how large earthquakes, like those that could strike the Cascadia Subduction Zone, would affect the western electrical grid.” The project is titled, “Earthquake Resilience of the Western Power Grid.”
University Of Dayton Student Developed Superior Leg Brace For Girl With Cerebal Palsy
The Dayton (OH) Daily News (10/3, Anspach) reports on University of Dayton student Spencer Janning, who is a senior in mechanical engineering. Janning will graduate with “a patent for his first invention – the Freedom Brace.” The brace was developed for Lianna Leap who has cerebral palsy and needed a leg brace that was comfortable. Janning’s device “allowed Lianna to move her legs up and down vertically,” and “to individually rotate each leg,” while “a bar in the middle maintained a minimum leg separation.” According to her mother, “Lianna loved it!” Also, the girl’s physical therapist “immediately approved it for use.” Janning “currently holds a provisional patent and it is registered with the Food and Drug Administration as a Class 1 medical device.” The project was supported by UD’s School of Engineering’s Leonardo Enterprises.
Rutgers Student Develops Mental Health App
The Daily Targum (NJ) (10/3, Han) reports Laurent Shiels, a junior at Rutgers University’s School of Arts and Sciences, has developed “Solace, a mental health services application, which debuted last week.” It “is intended to help people going through distress and mental health issues, for no cost to the user.” The app currently exists “as an anonymous group chat, where people are placed into groups based on a survey they take. They are then encouraged to talk about their issues with like-minded people, who also scored similarly on the quiz.” Shiels said he plans “to add moderators to overlook the chats and add a tracker feature, to help users determine the root cause of their issues.”
MIT Researchers Engineer Viruses To Fight E. Coli
FierceBiotech (10/3, Liu) reports, “Biological engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have found a way to rapidly turn phages into tailor-made weapons against particular strains of Escherichia coli” by “manipulating the structure of the viruses’ tail fibers.” The researchers “made phages with about 10 million different tail fibers” and “found some of the doctored phages could kill strains of E. coli with mutated or missing LPS receptors, which the bacteria developed to fight existing phages.” In a statement , study author Thomas Wood said, “The impact of VgrG2b on target cells mimics the action of beta-lactam antibiotics. Yet it is clear that its mode of action is different.” He added that additional research could “support the design of new antibiotics.” The study was published in Cell Reports.
Lone Star College And University Of Texas Collaborate On Training For Energy Workforce
The Houston Chronicle (10/3, Swinnerton) reports on “the collaboration between Lone Star College and the University of Texas at Austin Engineering Executive Education, Petroleum Extension,” to provide “programs at various levels for oil and gas field workers.” With the collaboration, the Chronicle adds, “energy employers can work with LSC and UT-PETEX to access the training their employees need at all skill levels.”
Advertiser Supplied Content
UA Engineering’s New Dean Plots Course To Transform Engineering Education
David Hahn,14th dean for the University of Arizona College of Engineering, has set his sights on a design program that closes the gap between undergraduate introductory courses and capstone projects. In addition to the 4-year design initiative, he is focused on reinforcing the college’s commitment to diversity and bolstering collaborative research strengths, starting with nine new faculty members whose expertise ranges from hypersonic flight to wearable medical devices.
First Bombardier Global 6500 Jet Enters Service
Aviation Week (10/3) reports that “Bombardier’s new Global 6500 ultra-long-range business jet has now entered service.” Bombardier received certification “the day after Rolls-Royce announced certification of the Pearl 15 engine, which powers the aircraft.”
Engineering and Public Policy
Perry To Resign Next Month, According To Sources
Politico (10/3, Lefebvre, Meyer) reports Energy Secretary Perry is “expected to announce his resignation from the administration by the end of November, according to three people familiar with his plans.” Perry “has largely avoided the controversies that felled others in the administration,” but “his travels to Ukraine lately have embroiled him in the impeachment inquiry engulfing Trump and his inner circle, even though two of the people called the scandal unrelated to Perry’s departure.” Sources said Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette is expected to replace Perry. The New York Times (10/4, Friedman, Haberman) reports one familiar with Perry’s plans “said that Mr. Perry had been winding down pet projects, like establishing an office on artificial intelligence, and that his future calendar had been cleared.” Two people close to Perry “said he would most likely go into the private sector in the energy industry.”
Newark STEM Extracurricular Programs Vanish, No Reason Given By Officials
Chalkbeat (10/3) reports on the closure of STEM-focused extracurricular programs at Science Park High School in Newark, New Jersey. The programs were funded by the New Jersey Advocates for Education and also served other schools in the district. Chalkbeat says the district “appears to have turned off the private funding stream, leaving the programs in limbo.” No cause has been publicly acknowledged for the programs’ termination.
Thursday's Lead Stories
|A headline in yesterday’s briefing misidentified Oregon State University as the University of Oregon. We regret the error.|
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