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The National Academy of Engineering is a government-created non-profit institution in the United States that was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act that led to the founding of the National Academy of Sciences. As a national academy, it consists of members who are elected by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The election process for new members is conducted annually. The NAE is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the rest of the National Academies the role of advising the federal government. The NAE operates engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers.The NAE is part of the United States National Academies, which also includes: National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine National Research Council Formally, "members" of the NAE must be U.S. Citizens. The term "foreign associate" is applied to non-citizens who are elected to the NAE. "The NAE has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates, senior professionals in business, academia, and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers," according to the NAE site's About page.Election to the NAE is considered to be the among the highest recognitions in engineering-related fields, and it often comes as a recognition of a lifetime's worth of accomplishments.The current president of the NAE is Dr. C. Daniel Mote, Jr. Wikipedia.

Fri R.W.,Resources for the Future | Savitz M.L.,US National Academy of Engineering
Energy Research and Social Science | Year: 2014

Managing climate change will require massive innovation in the technological infrastructure for producing and using energy. Private market forces have driven the innovations that led to similar transitions in the past. However, because the value of mitigating the climate change is a public good, unaided private markets are not likely to produce the innovations needed to respond to a climate-driven transition. As a result, social sciences should play an important role in stimulating change in two ways. One is to influence consumer choice by other than price signals. The limited deployment of economically attractive energy efficiency technologies is an example of this need. The second role for social sciences is to ensure that governance institutions and polices provide a durable but adaptable framework for driving innovation during the long process of changing the energy system. Strategies for social sciences to engage with policy makers in these two areas are suggested. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Daniele M.A.,US National Academy of Engineering | Adams A.A.,Center for Bio Molecular Science and Engineering | Naciri J.,Center for Bio Molecular Science and Engineering | North S.H.,Center for Bio Molecular Science and Engineering | Ligler F.S.,Center for Bio Molecular Science and Engineering
Biomaterials | Year: 2014

The integration of biological extracellular matrix (ECM) components and synthetic materials is a promising pathway to fabricate the next generation of hydrogel-based tissue scaffolds that more accurately emulate the microscale heterogeneity of natural ECM. We report the development of a bio/synthetic interpenetrating network (BioSINx), containing gelatin methacrylamide (GelMA) polymerized within a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) framework to form a mechanically robust network capable of supporting both internal cell encapsulation and surface cell adherence. The covalently crosslinked PEG network was formed by thiol-yne coupling, while the bioactive GelMA was integrated using a concurrent thiol-ene coupling reaction. The physical properties (i.e. swelling, modulus) of BioSINx were compared to both PEG networks with physically-incorporated gelatin (BioSINP) and homogenous hydrogels. BioSINx displayed superior physical properties and significantly lower gelatin dissolution. These benefits led to enhanced cytocompatibility for both cell adhesion and encapsulation; furthermore, the increased physical strength provided for the generation of a micro-engineered tissue scaffold. Endothelial cells showed extensive cytoplasmic spreading and the formation of cellular adhesion sites when cultured onto BioSINx; moreover, both encapsulated and adherent cells showed sustained viability and proliferation. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Hollander R.,US National Academy of Engineering
Communications of the ACM | Year: 2010

Surveying the increasing variety and nature of ethical challenges encountered by computing researchers and practitioners. Source

News Article | April 6, 2015
Site: www.xconomy.com

Apparently, I’m pushy. I can’t help it. It’s my genes, and also all I’ve been through. When you’re a woman in engineering, there are a host of voices (some residing in your head, some not), telling you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough—that when you’re alone amid a sea of male faces at conferences, there must be a reason for that. I met my future husband in our first week of college. By our senior year, he was the only person who suggested I should aim high and apply for graduate school in engineering. I had a 4.0 GPA in computer science, yet no professor and no college counselor had ever suggested it. In my first year in graduate school at MIT, I felt the full-fledged impostor syndrome—the belief I was there by mistake and that I would be found out any day. It turns out that nearly everybody at MIT has this feeling (though most don’t fess up to it), but women in particular do because we are not socialized to own our own successes. I happened to attend a workshop where I learned a great bit of advice: “Fake it ‘til you make it.” To men it comes naturally; women have to be reminded to do it. I was the only woman professor in the first computer science department where I was hired. Then I was the second woman professor in the second computer science department where I was hired, and soon after I was the only one, when the first woman left. Things are much better now, I’m happy to say. So, push. It’s kind of like Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in,” but a lot pushier. Nothing, absolutely nothing, that I have achieved has come without quite a lot of pushing and effort on my part. When I do push, it turns out I can achieve almost anything. That’s not because I’m me, it’s because that’s what it takes, and we all can do that. I’m at USC, where “Fight on” is officially part of our college spirit. So that’s what I do. That may sound trite, but consider this: Studies show that when men are told, “No,” what they hear and perceive is, “Not now.” Does that sound familiar from dating, maybe? It’s actually a great way to be. Women should be like that, too. “No” doesn’t always mean no; sometimes, it means not now, but try again in five minutes. Push for things you believe in. Push for getting more women into computing. And as the curtain rises for National Robotics Week, I’m pushing to get more women into engineering and robotics. The USC Viterbi School of Engineering, where I am vice dean of research, is no stranger to this particular push. Thirty-seven percent of USC Viterbi’s entering freshmen are women; nearly double the national average. In addition, the female student percentage in computer science, a notoriously under-represented field for women, is close to 28 percent, also nearly double the national average. But it’s not nearly enough. We’re currently in the midst of an ambitious push to change a culture on the national level—to explode some stereotypes about what engineers are, what they look like and what they do. Conveniently, our school is close to Hollywood, the epicenter of popular culture. Rather than bemoan the fact that women engineers are virtually invisible on television and in the movies, we’ve decided to enlist Hollywood to change that. Thirty years ago, MacGyver was the most iconic engineer hero on TV. In 2015, in the spirit of that show, we’re looking for new, female, engineering heroes. No mullets required. The “Next MacGyver” global crowdsourcing competition, led by the USC Viterbi School and the National Academy of Engineering, has partnered with some of the most successful television producers in Hollywood to make it happen. We are looking for the first great show with an iconic female engineer as the main character, and five winners will each be awarded $5,000 and paired with a TV producer to develop her or his script. You can find more information here. I have two daughters, ages 5 and 16, with a son in the middle. One of the things we do together is watch one of their favorite shows and then talk about it. My oldest daughter loves to watch “House.” She tells me she enjoys the way the strong females on the diagnostic team always challenge the lead character’s actions and ethics. We see a lot of strong female characters in medical, forensics, and law shows, but we’ve never really seen them as engineers. Most kids don’t know about the fascinating opportunities for careers in engineering because they are missing in the media. Forensics has soared in popularity as a direct result of media coverage. Let’s do that for engineering! As pushes go, I can think of few better. Maja Matarić, a pioneer in robotics, is a professor and Chan Soon-Shiong Chair of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics; founding director of the USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems; and vice dean for research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. She is urging more women to pursue careers in engineering. Follow @

News Article | July 30, 2015
Site: arstechnica.com

Here at Ars, we get a steady flow of e-mails offering us the opportunity to interview people. Typically, those people are looking for publicity for their company, their new book, or a new product. I recently had an e-mail show up that didn't fit into any of those categories. Instead, the interview subject needed more publicity simply because more people should be able to appreciate all that she's accomplished. The interview subject in this case is Millie Dresselhaus, Institute Professor at MIT (and the first woman ever so honored). The occasion was her receiving the IEEE Medal of Honor (again, the first female recipient), but a look at her Wikipedia biography shows that awards are nothing new for Dresselhaus. Highlights of a long list include the National Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and her Kavli Prize in Nanoscience was the only Kavli awarded to a single recipient, an indication of how pioneering her research has been. She also has administrative chops. She headed the Department of Energy's Office of Science, was president of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and held the post of treasurer at the National Academies of Science. With all that going for her, it might be surprising that Dresselhaus isn't more widely known, but our recent feature on Emmy Noether showed that intellectual achievements don't always lead to widespread recognition. However, Dresselhaus is well-known enough that she has picked up the nickname "the Queen of Carbon," as her work helped pave the way for our understanding of graphene and carbon nanotubes. How can you say no to the Queen of Carbon? What follows are some excerpts from our conversation that have been lightly edited for clarity (or heavily edited, in the case of my questions). Ars: I saw at MIT that you are now an emeritus professor. Are you still actively doing research? Dresselhaus: Nothing's changed that much except my formal status. Ars: So what sorts of problems are you working on now? Dresselhaus: All kinds of problems! In the last few minutes, I just came back from [a discussion of] the influence of what we do on mechanical engineering, of all things. I'm invited to be on the thesis committee of many people in mechanical engineering right now. I don't know how many, but it's more than a handful. And when I read the theses, they're very much like what I'm doing in my own research field. I involve them, and I ask them lots of questions. The point I'm basically making is that the effect of electrical engineering on mechanical engineering and others—aerospace and whatnot—has been profound. And everybody is using solid state electronics, computer communications, and all kind of things. For them, getting smaller, smaller, smaller has been very important. So they like to talk to people who are kind of interdisciplinary and can listen to their needs. Ars: Your past work seems to have covered a huge range of topics. Do you see any consistent themes to it? Dresselhaus: The major themes start out with what's possible for materials—the physics of materials allows many different properties to be exploited by other fields. For various reasons, I've been exposed to problems of other fields. I think that my association with the National Academies of Science and Engineering have exposed me to these kinds of studies, and I've become aware of how other fields utilize findings in electrical engineering and computer science and have benefitted through this interaction. I can be kind of a conduit for those interdisciplinary activities. Ars: You started working on what we now call nanomaterials before there was even a name for the field. How did that end up happening? Dresselhaus: It happened very naturally. The reason that there was no name for it is that we didn't know that other people were that interested in what we were doing. We didn't know what we were doing was correct, whether it was scalable, whether it had any commercial interest, et cetera. So when you're working in a new field, you have no idea about it. You start out examining different concepts for their scientific interest and then go from there. If it turns out to be correct and interesting, other people get interested. But in the beginning, nobody understands too much about it, including the people working in the field. Ars: Was there a clear point where you realized that materials at this scale had some unique properties? Dresselhaus: I guess that started in the 1970s, but these things start slowly. At that time, we were studying systems that we could make because we had no idea whether, if we made something that was on the nanoscale, it would be interesting and it would be reproducible. You start out these things because they're scientifically interesting, and at a private university you have the freedom to work on strange topics—I had that freedom at MIT. So I was not particularly worried about the consequences. I was here, I had great students, I had a great environment, people were interested locally in what I was doing, so I just kept doing it and doing it. Ars: The field has made tremendous progress in the last few decades. Dresselhaus: It happened in steps. I think that most of the time, these big leaps for me have come by questions that I give in small groups—groups of maybe 30-40 people gathering for a colloquium, a symposium, something like that. I give a talk and some young person asks me a seemingly innocent question, and it sort of clicks somehow into thinking more deeply about something I've been doing. I don't know whether it happens that way to other people. For the most part, most of what I was doing was not understood that much by my colleagues and other people in the field. My colleagues [just] understood more than people more generally because I used to talk with them. Ars: How do you like working in what's become a big field? Dresselhaus: I'm happy with this. Some people don't like competition, but competition is fine. It generates new ideas, keeps you alert. Ars: What drew you into scientific research? Dresselhaus: I didn't have a plan about it. I got into the whole thing of science and research through the encouragement of a few teachers that made a big difference to me. At every step, I found that this is my thing. I was very happy doing it. I never expected to have a phone call like this about my success about anything; I was just doing whatever I was doing for personal interest, not to gain influence in the world. Now that you ask me to try to influence people, I'd say that this is a great career to have for anyone who wants to try to work hard and accomplish something. Some people may have to work less hard than others, but the end result is very satisfying. As you see, I don't have to work right now. There's not many people in my age group when I go to conferences. But I'm happy to be there, I'm happy to keep doing science and being a mentor to anyone who asks for advice on how I did it. But there are hundreds of other ways of doing it—contributing and being successful and enjoying life. Ars: Your thesis advisor didn't think that women should be doing science. Why stick with science despite that level of discouragement? Dresselhaus: Encouragement is always useful, but it's not necessarily the rate-limiting step. Luckily for me, Sputnik came along, and there was funding available for basic science research. My advisor wasn't so happy with me, but I could just work for myself. My thesis was very, very cheap. There was all this surplus equipment that was left from World War II that was lying in a bin someplace, and you could pick it up, renovate it at almost zero cost. So that was my thesis. Ars: So you adopted the hardware to your needs? Dresselhaus: Yeah, pretty much, and I built a few other things for myself. Which helped me learn how to build things, design something. This is valuable experience. Maybe if I had more spoon-feeding like we do today, I wouldn't have benefitted as much. On the other hand, people think that they wouldn't survive if they didn't have a great deal of support. And maybe that's necessary today. Science is moving so fast, and you can't linger too much. Ars: You were the first female faculty member at MIT? Dresselhaus: I wouldn't say it was difficult, because I wasn't expecting anything—I was just working. It didn't matter to me. I never asked anybody when I was appointed whether it was tenured or not tenured; it wasn't that important to me. Nowadays people worry about those things, but I figured I'd get a job somewhere, somehow. Ars: You've had a long history of encouraging women to take up science as a career. How did that get started? Dresselhaus: My first sponsor was the oldest sister of the Rockefeller family of five brothers. There were five brothers and a sister, and the sister thought there should be women in science, so that's encouragement. And she left a fund—it was a small fund, but it got me started. I used a small piece of that fund to meet with the few women students we had at MIT. It was a small number at the time. But it's a very large and growing number if you look at the statistics; about 50 percent of our undergraduates are female now. But they don't study exactly the same things as the men study, and I haven't been able to make that happen, but I succeeded I think in increasing the representation of women across the different fields. But we're very far from having balance—more of them favor the life sciences, and fewer are in the physical sciences, which is my end of things. But I think that's all right. It takes time. People will go where the opportunities are, and that's the way it will develop. Ars: You've also been involved in national efforts. Dresselhaus: I was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1974, I believe—a very long time ago. I guess I'm the oldest female member at the moment. Not that I'm all that active now because I have so many things on my plate that I can't deal with them all, and there are many other members now. But in the old days, I was very active, and I was on the council of both the NAE [National Academy of Engineering] and NAS [National Academy of Sciences] and tried to influence some of the issues—tried just working on them with the other committee members, who were almost all male. So in that way, there was some gender input. They saw me around. The main message is that I can do the work, too, and I'm trying my best to contribute, just like they are. And through that contact, I met many influential people who really made things happen in the world of science. So that was my payback in all this activity. I felt that all of us with some influence had to. Ars: A Nobel Prize winner recently made some comments about how it might be easier to have labs segregated by sex so there isn't a risk of emotional entanglements. Dresselhaus: I enjoy having talented and enthusiastic students of all sexes, whatever their thinking might be. We don't discuss their private lives, we just discuss science and engineering, and I worry about their job futures, and so forth. I feel all of those things are my responsibility, but their private thinking is their business. I get along with—I try to get along with—everybody. I don't know if I succeed. Ars: You also encourage everyone in general to get some experience with the sciences. Why is that? Dresselhaus: The entry of people into [the sciences], at least through the undergraduate and master's degree level, is quite important to give them the necessary background to start small companies and maybe think of an academic career. Science and engineering influences so many developments in our country. You're thinking about job creation, new industry creation, standards of living, and all those kinds of issues—the sorts of work that innovators engage in is important. Ars: Is there anything you'd like to say to our audience? Dresselhaus: I just encourage them to do their thing and express their professional interest and have some tolerance for all people who are working hard and are contributing to all our fields. The end result is that we're working for society, the betterment of society, and it has historically been related to invention. And whoever contributes to that should be encouraged. We'd like to thank Millie again for her time. If you want to learn more about her, there's a good profile here.

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