IEEE News

Briefing on Potential Benefits of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Draws Congressional Interest

WASHINGTON (4 October 2010) — Small Modular Nuclear Reactors have the potential to help our nation meet its future electricity needs, create jobs and boost U.S. competitiveness, congressional staff heard on Capitol Hill last Thursday.

The event featured Paul Genoa, director of policy development for the Nuclear Energy Institute, and Daniel Ingersoll, senior program manager, Nuclear Technology Programs Office, at Oak Ridge (Tenn.) National Laboratory. Gordon Day, 2009 IEEE-USA president, served as moderator.

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), whose district includes Oak Ridge, gave introductory remarks. He thinks nuclear energy will play a key role in the United States’ future energy portfolio, and noted that the Obama administration supports it.

“We have a need for efficient designs, and we have the capacity in this country to do this well,” Wamp said. “… This has to be our centerpiece of next-generation energy.”

Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, or SMRs, are in the design and planning stages right now. If constructed, they would be smaller than a typical nuclear plant, but can be scaled to various sizes depending on the number of modules.

Ingersoll said once a design was approved, it would take 3-4 years to construct, and that the goal was to have one producing power by 2018 or 2019. He said the key benefits of SMRs are, among others:

* Enhanced safety and robustness from simplified designs
* Enhanced security from underground siting
* The ability to add new electrical capacity incrementally to match power demand and growth
* Lower capital costs
* Domestic supply chain

“SMRs can be completely fabricated with U.S. technology and workers,” Ingersoll said.

If the United States can become a leader in SMR technology, it could export its designs and manufactured plants to other countries. This would create jobs for U.S. scientists, engineers and construction workers.

“We can do well here if we export these technologies abroad,” Genoa said.

Countries such as India, South Korea, China, Russia and Argentina are also looking to build and export SMRs. President Barack Obama’s FY2011 budget requests $38.8 million for SMRs and $103 million for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant program. But that money is on hold until Congress passes an FY2011 budget.

“When we deploy them in the U.S.,” Genoa said, “will we build them or will we buy them from China?”

Ingersoll’s presentation included a portion of an op-ed by Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on 23 March 2010.

“… If we can develop this technology in the U.S. and build these reactors with American workers, we will have a key competitive edge,” Chu wrote. “… Our choice is clear: develop these technologies today or import them tomorrow.” See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704231304575092130239999278.html

The SMR event was sponsored by Discover Magazine, ASME and IEEE-USA. It was the sixth in a series of congressional briefings entitled, “The Road to the New Energy Economy.” To see videos of previous events, go to http://discovermagazine.com/events/road-to-new-energy-economy/.

Special Session on Federal Cybersecurity Research Priorities to Follow IEEE Homeland Security Conference

WASHINGTON (29 September 2010) — The federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program will present the strategic directions of U.S. federal cybersecurity research immediately following the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST 10) in November.

During this special session, senior U.S. government officials will describe R&D themes developed to orient federal cybersecurity research and to stimulate related private sector cybersecurity activities. The themes are: tailored trustworthy spaces, moving target, and cyber economics and incentives. The session will provide insights into those priorities and how they are shaping the direction of federal cybersecurity research. Speakers will come from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The NITRD Program (www.nitrd.gov) coordinates the government’s unclassified networking and information technology R&D investments. Agencies include those above and the Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Institutes of Health and the National Security Agency, among others. These organizations work together to develop advanced federal networking and IT capabilities; U.S. science, engineering and technology leadership; and U.S. economic competitiveness.

HST 10, at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, Mass., USA, 8-10 November 2010, will bring together global science and technology thought leaders to foster homeland security technology innovation. It will showcase selected technical papers highlighting emerging technologies in four tracks: cybersecurity; land and maritime border security; counter-WMD techniques, and critical infrastructure and key resources physical security; and attack and disaster preparation, recovery and response.

An invitation-only track, featuring business development and user experience, will help invitees learn about business opportunities and user’s needs and requirements.

For more information, visit www.ieee-hst.org or contact Bob Alongi at information@ieee-hst.org or 781-245-5405.

HST 10 is produced by IEEE with technical support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate and the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society. IEEE-USA is providing organizational support. Raytheon is the event platinum sponsor.

Organizing ‘Digital Media Skills’ Panel at FutureMedia Fest in Atlanta

WASHINGTON (24 September 2010) — IEEE-USA is organizing and cosponsoring a panel session on “Digital Media Skills” during FutureMedia Fest 2010 at Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

The panel, scheduled for 6 October, “will focus on how graduating engineers and mid career professionals are tuning (or retuning) themselves in the era of digital, social and mobile media communications.”

Peggy Hutcheson, founding partner of the Odyssey Group and a member of IEEE-USA’s Employment and Career Services Committee, will serve as moderator. Panelists include:

* Eric Burger, adjunct professor of computer science, Georgetown University, and chair of IEEE-USA’s Committee on Communications Policy

* Rebecca Burnett, director of writing and communication, Georgia Tech

* Chris Dodson, game artist and game, content and narrative designer, Savannah College of Art and Design

* Tino Mantella, president, Technology Association of Georgia

* Clyde Smith, senior vice president of global broadcast technology and standards, Turner Broadcasting System

FutureMedia Fest 2010, 4-7 October, will look at new and future ways content is being created, distributed and consumed. Event organizers describe it as “an interactive mash-up of talent, ideas, trends and technology.” Additional panel sessions include, among others, fostering entrepreneurship, music technology and business, intersection of digital and paper mediums, healthcare drivers for information science, mobile media security, storytelling and cloud computing.

You can attend for one day or the entire conference. For more information and to register, see http://www.futuremediaga.com/?page_id=781

The IEEE-USA panel is being coordinated by the IEEE-USA Innovation Institute and Employment and Career Services committees.

IEEE-USA Commends Senate Confirmation of Nobel Laureate as Associate Director for Science

WASHINGTON (17 September 2010) — IEEE-USA commends the confirmation of Nobel Laureate Dr. Carl E. Wieman to be associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Wieman was nominated by President Barack Obama in March and confirmed by the Senate on Thursday.

“Dr. Wieman will provide strong leadership in support of the increased federal focus on improving K-12 education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” IEEE-USA President Evelyn Hirt said. “STEM education is essential to sustaining America’s standard of living, quality of life and long-term economic and technological competitiveness. The United States must have a scientifically and technologically literate workforce to compete in a global market.”

Wieman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, along with Eric A. Cornell and Wolfgang Ketterle, for their discovery of a new form of matter, a Bose-Einstein condensate. In recent years, Wieman has been widely recognized for his efforts to improve undergraduate physics education, including curricula development and research into learning processes.

One outgrowth of his work is the Physics Education Technology Project (PhET) at the University of Colorado, which provides JAVA-based applets for highly interactive simulations that help students make connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the physical world. See http://phet.colorado.edu/

Wieman earned his B.S. in physics from MIT in 1973 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1977.

$5,000 in Scholarship Awards to Be Presented in 2010-11 IEEE-USA Online Engineering Video Competition on ‘How Engineers Make a World of Difference’  

WASHINGTON (16 September 2010) — IEEE-USA is launching the organization’s fourth online engineering video competition for U.S. undergraduate students on “How Engineers Make a World of Difference.” IEEE-USA will present four scholarship awards totaling $5,000 to undergraduates who create the most effective 90-second video clips reinforcing for an 11-to-13-year-old audience how engineers improve the world.

Entries must be submitted through YouTube by midnight Eastern Time on Friday, 21 January 2011. Winning entries will be announced and shown during Engineers Week, 20-26 February 2011, and will also be featured on PBS’ “Design Squad” website (http://pbskids.org/designsquad/).

Entries in the 2010-11 competition should provide an individual profile of an engineer or technical professional and how he or she makes “a world of difference” in engineering, computing and/or technology. Entries will be judged on their effectiveness in reaching the target audience by portraying engineers or technical professionals as creative people who seek to make life better, as well as on their originality, creativity and entertainment value.

First prize is: $2,000; second prize, $1,500; and third prize, $1,000. The first-place winner will also receive up to $1,000 to cover travel expenses to receive his/her award at the IEEE-USA Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, on 5 March 2011.

Further, a special award for $500 will be presented for the most innovative and effective showing of a video entry to a “tweener” target audience. This could involve presenting the video entered in the competition at a university engineering expo for K-12 students, in a middle school classroom, with a scout group, or in another setting with 11-to-13-year-olds.    

The video competition is open to all U.S. undergraduate students regardless of academic discipline. However, at least one undergraduate participant must be a U.S. IEEE student member. For the fourth consecutive year, the competition will be judged by two engineering graduate Ph.D. students, Andrew Quecan and Suzette Aguilar; and by Nate Ball, engineer-host of “Design Squad.”    

Details on entering the 2010-11 competition are appended below.

To view the 2009-10 entries in the IEEE-USA Online Engineering Video Competition, visit http://www.youtube.com/ieeeusavideo.

For tips on how to make a video on YouTube, see www.youtube.com//t/howto_makevideo.

To become a U.S. IEEE student member, see www.ieee.org/web/membership/join/join.html.

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 210,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE. http://www.ieeeusa.org

Contact: Pender M. McCarter
Senior Public Relations Counselor, IEEE-USA
202-530-8353
p.mccarter@ieee.org
 
FOUR EASY STEPS TO COMPETE AND WIN IN THE 2010-11 IEEE-USA ONLINE ENGINEERING VIDEO COMPETITION

1) Include a brief self introduction at the beginning of your 90-second video in which you state your name, your college or university and the degree you are pursuing or receiving, as well as the name of at least one U.S. IEEE student member on your team.

2) In addition, as part of this introduction, indicate that you give IEEE-USA the right to use your video, and that you are incorporating non-copyrighted materials.  

3) If you choose to be considered for the special award for presentation of a video entry, include in the introduction to your video: a short description of the event you chose, how your video was incorporated in to the event, the number of students reached, how the students responded, and other impacts of the presentation, such as the publicity generated.  

4) Upload your video to “YouTube” at www.youtube.com, and send the link to video@ieeeusa.org **no later than midnight Eastern time, Friday, 21 January 2011**.  

Counterfeiting Detection and Prevention to be Featured at IEEE Homeland Security Conference

WASHINGTON (10 September 2010) — Counterfeiting is an emerging national security issue for military and homeland security officials, as well as the commercial industrial base. The detection and prevention of counterfeiting is one of the topics that will be presented at the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST 10) in November.

Counterfeit products, such as electronics and computer systems and networks, compromise mission assurance, may introduce cybersecurity risks and cost companies billions of dollars in lost revenue. Vivek Pathak, in his paper, “Preventing Counterfeiting through Authenticated Product Labels,” will discuss how a cryptography-based counterfeit detection method identifies counterfeit products and can pinpoint their source in the supply chain.

Pathak will present his paper during HST 10 at the Westin Waltham Boston in Waltham, Mass., USA, 8-10 November 2010.

The HST 10 Technical Program Committee is made up of leading science and technology experts from academia, national laboratories, federally funded research and development centers, the federal government and industry. The committee reviewed 135 papers and accepted 80, for a 59.3 percent acceptance rate. Thirty-seven papers came from outside of the United States.

“We know that attendees from many backgrounds come to the conference to learn about the state of the art and recent advances,” said Dr. Robert Cunningham, leader of the Cyber Systems and Technology Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and HST 10 technical co-chair. “Some attendees come to deepen their understanding of their own field, and some come to gain breadth. Some come to learn about national priorities and future directions. This year’s program has a little of something for everyone.”

HST 10 will bring together global science and technology thought leaders to foster homeland security technology innovation. It will showcase selected technical papers highlighting emerging technologies in four tracks: cybersecurity; land and maritime border security; counter-WMD techniques, and critical infrastructure and key resources physical security; and attack and disaster preparation, recovery and response.

For more information, visit www.ieee-hst.org or contact Bob Alongi at information@ieee-hst.org or +1 781-245-5405.

HST 10 is produced by IEEE with technical support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate and the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society. IEEE-USA is providing organizational support.

IEEE-USA Urges Congress to Permanently Extend R&D Tax Credit

WASHINGTON (7 September 2010) — IEEE-USA urges Congress to make the research and development (R&D) tax credit permanent. The White House is expected to propose it Wednesday.

“Making the R&D tax credit permanent would provide corporations some needed economic predictability in these turbulent times,” IEEE-USA President Evelyn Hirt said. “The credit reduces the monetary risk of investing in research that might not result in profitable products and systems for many years. The technologies U.S. companies develop or improve will ultimately have a positive effect on U.S. competitiveness, the growth of small businesses and job creation.”

The R&D tax credit reduces a company’s federal tax liability based on the money it spends researching and developing new products or improving existing ones. Credit can be taken for such things as salaries and wages, contract research (65 percent), supplies and patent attorney fees.

The R&D tax credit — officially known as the Research and Experimentation tax credit — was created by Congress in 1981 as a temporary measure. It has lapsed on several occasions and been extended 13 times. The most recent credit expired in December, causing unease among companies about whether they should continue current levels of R&D investment. Making the credit permanent would provide a level of certainty to businesses that money they invest in R&D will receive the credit.

IEEE-USA has supported permanent extension of the tax credit for many years. It reconfirmed its support in June with a position that reads, in part, “By providing an incentive for expanding private-sector investments in technology, the R&D tax credit improves productivity and encourages technological innovations that help sustain U.S. competitiveness, create jobs and ensure our national security.” See http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/positions/RDTaxCredit0610.pdf.

IEEE/IEEE-USA Seek Nominations for 2011 “New Faces of Engineering” Recognition Program

WASHINGTON (3 September 2010) — Nominations are now open for a younger engineer to be recognized as the IEEE/IEEE-USA’s 2011 “New Face of Engineering.”

The Engineers Week (EWeek) “New Faces of Engineering” program recognizes engineers new to the profession with outstanding educational and career accomplishments. The program is open to IEEE members worldwide.
 
“New Faces” is designed to promote the importance of technical education, celebrate engineering careers and recognize significant contributions to the engineering profession and society. Each year, the EWeek website (www.eweek.org) features the photos and biographies of five notable young engineers from each EWeek sponsoring society. In addition, each society’s top nominee is recognized during EWeek in a full-page ad in USA Today. http://www.eweek.org/Site/pdfs/USA_Today_Ad.pdf
EWeek 2011 is 20-26 February.

To be eligible for recognition, engineers must be 30 or younger as of 31 December 2010, have a degree in engineering from a recognized U.S. college or university or equivalent international educational institution. Degrees in engineering technology, science, computer science and similar disciplines do not qualify; a degree in computer engineering is acceptable. IEEE/IEEE-USA nominees must be an IEEE member.

Judges will evaluate nominees based on their educational attainment, engineering achievements and participation and accomplishments in professional and technical society activities. Particular consideration is given to work (e.g. volunteering, publishing, conference presentations) in IEEE technical societies.
       
IEEE nominations can be submitted through IEEE regional directors, section and GOLD chairs, or independently, and should be directed to Sharon Richardson at s.richardson@ieee.org. Self-nominations are not permitted. The nomination form and more information are available at http://www.ieeeusa.org/communications/eweek/newfaces/default.asp.  

The deadline for all IEEE nominations is 15 October 2010.

The “New Faces of Engineering” program was the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) legacy project for EWeek 2003. The program is now in its ninth year. Among the IEEE/IEEE-USA’s “New Faces” were Deborah Zwitter, IBM Corporation (2003); Dr. Mark Hersam, Northwestern University (2005); Dr. Carlos Cordeiro, Philips Research North America (2007); and Sanna Gaspard, TLneoCare, LLC (2010).

Gaspard was featured in the Sept. 2010 print edition of IEEE’s newspaper, The Institute: http://bit.ly/d4nj0J.

Sponsored by more than 100 engineering, science and education societies, as well as major corporations dedicated to increasing public awareness and appreciation of engineering, EWeek is celebrated annually by thousands of engineers, engineering students, teachers and leaders in government and business. IEEE served as lead society during EWeek 1993 and 2004.

Raytheon Company and ASHRAE are serving as EWeek 2011 co-chairs.

IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 210,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE. http://www.ieeeusa.org

Contact: Chris McManes
IEEE-USA Public Relations Manager
Phone: 1 202 530 8356
E-mail: c.mcmanes@ieee.org