> About TE
   > Contact Us
   > Editorial Info

Published by IEEE-USA

> Keyword Search     
Nov 14 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: Technology's Slippery Slope

As engineers, we are noted for our ability to develop new technologically sophisticated products, but not necessarily for being good at, or even interested in, predicting how they may be misused.

Oct 14 | Chris McManes

IEEE-USA Government Fellows Bring Technical Insight to Public Policy

IEEE-USA Government Fellows put their scientific and technical knowledge to use in government and help to shape public policy.

Oct 14 | Terrance Malkinson

World Bytes: UN Climate Change Summit


Oct 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

IEEE-USA and IEEE PES Weigh in on Quadrennial Energy Review

At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy, IEEE-USA and the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) organizations formed the IEEE Joint Task Force on QER to provide an IEEE response to a specific set of priority issues related to DOE's Quadrennial Energy Review.

Oct 14 | David Alan Grier

Is Electronic Voting Still a Current Topic?

Electronic voting has clearly faded from public consciousness. However, on 8 October, the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C., think tank, held an event to announce that it had released a report on electronic voting.

Sep 14 | Clifford Lau and James Gover

Science and Technology Policy Advocacy

Today's science and technology policies are complex, with many dimensions. Are these important decisions to be made exclusively by politicians, lawyers and power brokers or do scientists, engineers and technicians want to have their say in making these choices?

Sep 14 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: The Case for Aptitude Testing

Aptitude tests were once widely used in K-12 grades to help provoke an interest in an area that a student was previously unaware — ultimately, steering him or her toward a challenging educational path and a rewarding career. What is their role in today's STEM education programs?

Aug 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

S&T Policy Briefs: Highlights from July & August

Brief highlights of notable U.S. Science- and technology-related legislative and policy developments from the past 30 days.

Jul 14 | Steven Rubin

Will Your Patented Software Survive an Abstract Idea Hearing?

On 19 June 2014, the Supreme Court ruled on the patentability of software. Patent protection is available for new processes and systems but "abstract ideas" are not patentable. Here's the problem, what is "abstract" and how do we determine whether an invention is an "abstract idea"?

Jul 14 | NJIT Staff

The Evolution and Future Growth of Renewable Energy

One of the most promising industries in recent years is that of renewable energy. This infographic illustrates the evolution and future growth potential of renewable energy sources.

Jun 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

Appropriators Make Progress on FY2015 Federal S&T Funding Levels

On 30 May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act (H.R. 4660), which provides funding for NSF, NIST, NASA and other agencies.

Jun 14 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: Engineers, Inventing Ourselves Out of Work?

Until the 1970s, engineers, along with management, were seen as the perpetrators of technological unemployment, never the victims. Has that changed today?

Jun 14 | Christopher Reed

Fellow's Journal: Congress Wants, Needs and Gladly Accepts the Help of IEEE-USA Congressional Fellows

When Christopher Reed became an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow, it was because he was convinced that Congress needed input from engineers, and that he could be one source of that input. Turns out, he was right.

May 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

Despite Gridlock, Several S&T Measures Advance in Congress

Despite the strains of election year politics and partisan gridlock, several notable S&T measures on a variety of subjects ranging from space exploration to energy-water nexus have been introduced and are slowly working their way through Congress.

May 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

S&T Policy Briefs: Highlights for April-May

Brief highlights of important U.S. S&T legislative and policy developments from the past 60 days, including patent reform, big data and privacy, internet governance, R&D funding, immigration policy, and more.

Apr 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

Science & Technology Fellowship Program Recognized with NSF Public Service Award

IEEE-USA and the other science and engineering societies who partner in the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Science and Technology Fellowships Program were collectively honored on 27 March with the National Science Foundation’s Public Service Award.

Apr 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

Can Technology Protect Americans from Cybercriminals?

The headlined question was the subject of a 6 March hearing by the House Science Subcommittees on Oversight and Technology. The hearing’s purpose was to examine the state of technology and standards to protect Americans from international cybercriminals, ranging from rogue hackers to foreign governments and sophisticated crime syndicates.

Mar 14 | Congressional Research Service

Adequacy of the U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce

The adequacy of the U.S. science and engineering workforce has been an ongoing concern of Congress for more than 60 years.

Mar 14 | Terrance Malkinson and Chuan He

World Bytes: Olympics Wrap-Up

Athletes, coaches and people everywhere, including non-athletes are the beneficiaries of the creativity and innovation of sports and engineering professionals from whose work emerge on a daily basis new knowledge.

Mar 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

Rep. Rush Holt, Friend of S&T, To Retire at Year End

One of science and technology’s champions in Congress, U.S. Representative Rush Holt (12th District, N.J.) announced on 19 Feb. that he would be retiring from Congress at year end and would not seek re-election.

Mar 14 | IEEE-USA Staff

First Look at the President’s FY2015 S&T Budget Request

The White House released preliminary details of its FY 2015 federal budget request on 4 March, including highlights of its plans and priorities for S&T-related research and development.

Feb 14 | Chris McManes

Discover Engineering Family Day Scales New Heights

Want to see an engineer soar to the top of the National Building Museum? Then you need to come to Discover Engineering Family Day in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, 22 February.

Feb 14 | Russell Harrison

CVD 2014

IEEE-USA’s annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD) will be held this year on 25-26 March in Washington, D.C. IEEE members who are concerned about declining federal investments in basic research, our national labs and our research universities are invited.

Jan 14 | Richard M. Jones, AIP

2013 in Review: Highlights from AIP's FYI Bulletin

The American Institute of Physic's FYI Bulletin was kind enough to share their annual review of 2013 science- and technology-related highlights from Capitol Hill and beyond.

Jan 14 | John Platt

IEEE-USA Board of Directors Has Big Plans for 2014

Gary Blank feels a swell of emotion when he thinks about his new job as 2014 IEEE-USA President. "When this organization was formed about 130 years ago, 14 members stepped forward. When I look back at the names, including Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, I get goose bumps." Blank and the rest of the 2014 IEEE-USA Board of Directors share some of their plans for IEEE-USA during the coming year.

Jan 14 | Terrance Malkinson

World Bytes: The Measure of a Person

The beginning of a new year provides us all with the opportunity to reflect on who we are, where we are going, strategies to realize our dreams, and perhaps to think about our legacy to the world.

Jan 14 | Russ Harrison

Time Slipping Away for Immigration Reform

In early 2013, supporters of comprehensive immigration reform said any immigration bill needed to be passed before 1 January 2014 for it to have any chance of becoming law.

Dec 13 | Daniel E. Fisher

Opinion: Problems with the Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 3309)

The House just passed the Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 3309), which will now go to the Senate for consideration. Troubling to many in the tech community are the added pleading requirements, which seems to reveal a contempt on the part of the bill's supporters for U.S. patent owners and a love for infringers.

Dec 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

New Democrats Coalition Outlines Principles for Reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act

As House Science Committee Republican and Democratic leaders circulated draft bills taking different approaches to reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act and the Senate held its first exploratory hearing, a group of centrist House Democrats issued a separate statement on 14 November outlining a series of principles they would support in forthcoming congressional deliberations over the COMPETES Act reauthorization.

Dec 13 | Dan Donahoe

Opinion: The Definition of STEM?

Honest and productive discussions about STEM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are muddled by the public's confusion about what exactly STEM means. Corporations have one definition they use to push for more workers, while engineers and scientists, who believe there is a surplus, have another.

Nov 13 | Dan Donahoe

Opinion: Why Do Managers Believe a Skills Gap Exists?

Why do some company managers and recruiters claim there is a shortage of technical talent, while many experienced engineers claim there is a labor glut? As the very contradiction suggests, we suffer from distortions of the labor market that seem to confuse everyone.

Nov 13 | Terrance Malkinson

World Bytes: Science in Trouble?

The cover story of a recent issue of The Economist focuses on an analysis of the current state of the conduct of science research. Is the research endeavor in trouble?

Nov 13 | Jim MacInnes, P.E.

Engineering IT-Enabled Sustainable Electricity Services

The impacts of climate change and a decreasing Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) of fossil fuels have sparked interest in increasing the penetration of intermittent renewables into the world’s electric power grids.

Nov 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Partisan Lines Drawn on America COMPETES Reauthorization

Originally passed with bipartisan support by Congress in 2007, the America COMPETES Act sought to put selected federal civilian R&D investments on a doubling path in order to sustain U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. Eight years later, in the post-crash environment of federal deficits, budget sequestration and partisan divide, America COMPETES has fallen well short of its original goals. The updated legislation, whose budget authorizations for agency R&D programs expire at year end, is now up for reauthorization, and divergent proposals have been put forward by Republicans and Democrats in the House Science, Space and Technology Committee over how best to proceed.

Nov 13 | John Platt

Federally Funded Research: The Key to Unexpected (and Valuable) Discoveries

Even the most basic scientific research can lead to unexpected benefits for human health or the economy. But the impossibility of predicting that end-result has made the funding environment much more difficult in research years. The Golden Goose Award, now in its second year, was created to recognize scientists and engineers whose seemingly obscure federally funded research led to later breakthroughs which had "significant human and economic benefits."

Oct 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

New Bipartisan Public Access Legislation Introduced

Members of the House Science Committee have introduced significant legislation to mandate public access to federally funded research in technical publications.

Oct 13 | Russ Harrison

Rethinking Research?

Proposed legislation would change the way research projects are selected for federal funding at the National Science Foundation. Congress should make sure taxpayer dollars are spent as efficiently as possible, but is this proposal the best way to meet that responsibility?

Sep 13 | Gordon W. Day

21st Century Engineering

The technical and economic challenges we face as 21st Century Engineers are significant, but solving difficult technical problems within economic constraints is what engineers have always done.

Sep 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

New Leadership at National Science Foundation

On 31 July, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Dr. France Anne Cordova as the incoming Director of the National Science Foundation, filling the post previously held by Dr. Subra Suresh, who resigned earlier this year to become President of Carnegie Mellon University.

Sep 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Energy Secretary Outlines Plans to Enhance DOE's Laboratory Programs

New Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz outlined his views and described his plans regarding the future of the national energy laboratories in a July letter responding to questions posed by leaders of the House Science Subcommittee on Energy.

Jul 13 | Patrick E. Meyer, Ph.D.

Fifth Annual IEEE GREENTECH Conference Rejuvenates IEEE Commitment to Clean Technology

In its fifth year, IEEE GREENTECH 2013 brought together 150 people from more than 30 countries in early April to facilitate new dialogue on engineers’ role in emerging green technology markets.

Jul 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

President Obama Outlines Plans for Addressing Global Climate Change

During 25 June remarks at Georgetown University, President Obama outlined a series of actions using existing legislative authorities to address carbon emissions and the challenges associated with global climate change.

Jul 13 | Nate Bailey

Patents 101: A Prelude to Unpredictability

Recently, the Federal Circuit issued a much anticipated opinion in a case involving whether claims drawn to computer-implemented inventions encompass statutory eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (“§ 101”), the provision of the patent laws governing which subject matter is eligible for patent protection.

Jun 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Fed Updates Guidance on Support of Travel and Conferences

In late May, the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a Controller’s Alert updating previous OMB budgetary guidance that had significantly reduced federal participation in Science- and Tech-related conferences and meetings.

Jun 13 | Chris McManes

IEEE-USA Proposals Found Throughout Immigration Bill

It’s rare to find a major piece of federal legislation that leaves everyone entirely happy. The comprehensive immigration reform bill is a good example. IEEE-USA, for the most part, is pleased with proposed changes in the high-skill immigration sections that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in May and is expected to reach the Senate floor in late June.

Jun 13 | Helen Horwitz

IEEE 1149.1™-2013 Enables Integrated Circuit Counterfeit Protection

A new IEEE standard to help track the testing of integrated circuits (ICs) from wafer to grave also offers an innovative new approach to combatting the serious problem of IC counterfeiting.

Jun 13 | Jim MacInnes, P.E.

Book Review: Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution, The Energy Return on Investment

Do we need to — or more importantly, can we — replace fossil fuels with solar energy? Authors Pedro A. Prieto and Charles A. S. Hall make their case in their new book, Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution, The Energy Return on Investment.

May 13 | Richard M. Jones, AIP

Holdren Responds to Proposals to Limit Federal Support for Research

In remarks prepared for the AAAS Forum on S&T Policy, OSTP Director John Holdren responded to congressional concerns about federal funding for social science research and proposed legislation impacting NSF's grant making process.

May 13 | Terrance Malkinson

World Bytes: Boston

The discovery and apprehension of those responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings demonstrates clearly and sends a strong message to others that advancements in engineering and technology, many by IEEE members, are making it very difficult for perpetrators of harmful acts to escape.

May 13 | Sherry Gillespie, Ph.D. and Jack Cederquist, Ph.D.

IEEE-USA Government Fellowship Program Expands to Include USAID

Beginning in 2014-2015, a U.S. member will serve as a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Engineering & International Development Fellow. Find out how to apply.

May 13 | Katharine Zambon, AAAS

AAAS Analysis Shows Uncertain Future for Federal R&D Spending

Spending cuts forced by sequestration, drove federal R&D spending for Fiscal Year 2013 down to 0.8 percent of GDP—the lowest level seen in 40 years. If sequestration continues, it could drop below 0.8 percent for the first time in a very long time.

May 13 | Chris McManes

IEEE-USA Opposes H-1B Visa Increases, Agrees with Companies on Green Cards

A leading expert on high-skill immigration and a Microsoft executive testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 22 April in favor of high-skill immigration reform legislation IEEE-USA supports.

May 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Congress Looks Big Data and Next Generation Computing Challenges

On 24 April, the House Science Subcommittees on Research and Technology held a joint hearing on next generation computing and big data analytics to explore how advances in information technology and data analytics are spurring innovation.

Apr 13 | Chris McManes

Green Cards, Not H-1B Visas, are Better for High-Skill Workers, U.S. Economy

Comprehensive immigration reform is a hot topic on Capitol Hill and around the country. While the focus is on amnesty and border security, the high-skill component most interests IEEE-USA.

Apr 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Robotics Leaders Unveil Robotics Roadmap 2.0

On 20 March, robotics leaders from academia and industry briefed Congress on the newly updated Roadmap for U.S. Robotics: From Internet to Robotics.

Apr 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

President Calls for Targeted Increases and Cuts in FY 2014 Budget Request for R&D

On 10 April 2013, the White House released its FY 2014 budget proposal, including funding requests for key federal S&T programs.

Apr 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

White House Announces Technology-Focused Initiative to Map the Human Brain

On 2 April, President Obama announced a proposed $100M Brain Mapping Initiative as a highlight of his forthcoming FY 2014 budget request for federal R&D.

Mar 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Apple, the iPad and Federal R&D

The research ecosystem is fueled by the flow of people and ideas back and forth between academia and industry. This robust ecosystem has made the U.S. the world leader in information technology.

Mar 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Feds to Increase Public Access to R&D-Related Pubs and Data

Agencies with over $100M in annual R&D expenditures have been asked to develop proposals for increasing public access to both scientific publications and digital scientific data.

Mar 13 | Harry Moser and Millar Kelley

The Reshoring Trend is Good for Engineers and America

These are exciting times for the rebounding U.S. industrial base, as well as the engineers and technology professionals who make it possible.

Mar 13 | Richard M. Jones

"The Wolf is at the Door": Likely Impacts of Sequestration

On 1 March, the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, began going into effect. Here is AIP's analysis on the likely impact on key federal R&D agencies.

Mar 13 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: Sci-Fi: Chicken or Egg?

Do science-fiction writers get their ideas from scientists or do scientists benefit from the writings of science-fiction authors?

Feb 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Key Departures and Changes in Obama's Science and Technology Team

The President's science and technology team is losing leaders from two of the top posts in Washington.

Feb 13 | Chris Brantley

NASA at a Crossroads

NASA earned its reputation as one of America's premier technology agencies, but due to budget constraints and a fragmented mission focus, today it risks losing its leadership in space.

Feb 13 | Russell Harrison

Senate Proposes Massive H-1B Increase

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate would more than triple the size of the H-1B program, while making nominal increases to the EB green card program.

Jan 13 | IEEE-USA Staff

Reshoring and the Resurgence of U.S. High-Tech Manufacturing

In what many are hoping is a lasting trend, more and more American businesses are bringing manufacturing jobs back from places like China, Mexico and Central America — and more importantly, high-paying, skilled manufacturing jobs.

Dec 12 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: When an EE is Powerless

Most EEs spend their careers concerned with, in one way or another, the travels of the electron. When we are dumped unceremoniously into a situation where the electron is absent without leave, we do not react happily.

Dec 12 | IEEE-USA Staff

Engineer Petitions White House to Examine Age Discrimination in STEM Fields

One engineer is using a new online petition site to draw attention to age discrimination in STEM fields, and he needs your help by 27 December.

Dec 12 | Chris Brantley

Hearing Explores Challenge of Forced Technology Transfer to U.S. Competitiveness

Are American companies and taxpayers paying for R&D investments whose benefits are being realized by foreign countries? And what, if anything, can be done to limit the activity or its impact?

Dec 12 | Aline D. McNaull

STEM Visa Bill Passes House; Stopped in Senate

A bill that would grant visas to skilled foreign nationals with STEM degrees from U.S. Universities passed the House, but was scuttled in the Senate largely because the new visa program would require the elimination of the diversity visa program.

Dec 12 | Terrance Malkinson

World Bytes: Workplace Bullying

Bullying ― either by management or by employees ― is never acceptable.

Dec 12 | Chris Brantley

Rep. Lamar Smith to Assume Key S&T Post in 113th Congress

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith will chair the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology when the 113th Congress convenes in January.

Nov 12 | Chris Brantley

GSA Conferences Scandal Affecting Participation of Federal Scientists and Engineers in Society Conferences

Political fallout from the GSA conferences scandal is hindering participation of federal scientists and engineers in society conferences.

Oct 12 | Matt Hourihan

A Look at Sequestration: Potential Cuts to Federal R&D in the First Five Years

The AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program has released a new report that estimates the impact of sequestration on federal R&D budgets and by state over the next five years.

Oct 12 | Russ Harrison

STEM Visa Bill Defeated in House

Legislation to create 55,000 new STEM visas was defeated in Congress on 20 September, despite receiving strong bipartisan support. While disappointing, the vote does not necessarily preclude further action on a STEM bill later this year.

Oct 12 | John Calvert

Minnesota Pro Bono Pilot Program Helps Independent Inventors Gain Patent Counsel

Many independent inventors find that they can’t afford the cost of getting competent legal service to assist them in the preparation and prosecution of their patent application. Find out what one program is doing to help Minnesota inventors.

Sep 12 | Rias J. van Wyk

Technology Pioneering

As the technological landscape grows and diversifies, we must increase its benefits and lessen its negative impacts. To that end, Rias van Wyk sees a need for technology pioneering, which can be advanced by employing MOT processes together with appropriate technology maps.

Sep 12 | Rick Stephens

The Business of Education: Avoiding a Skills Gap

When it comes to K-12 STEM education, many believe that we are a nation in crisis. Boeing Senior VP of Human Resources and Administration Rick Stephens travels the country and visits with individuals and organizations who are working hard to innovate and create great learning environments for kids, and eventually for their families. Find out what he believes is necessary to bring our education system back from the brink.

Sep 12 | Ron D. Katznelson

"Here they go again" — this time with the Patent SHIELD Act

Before the ink has dried on the America Invents Act, a new patent bill was recently introduced in Congress — one that appears to be a major assault on patentee (patent holder) rights.

Sep 12 | Chris Brantley

Congress Swings, Misses on Cybersecurity

After two years of focused effort, the Senate took a critical procedural vote on comprehensive cyber-security legislation on 2 August, essentially deciding not to proceed with consideration of the legislation at this time.It appears that the 112th Congress’ cyber-security efforts were largely for naught.

Aug 12 | IEEE-USA Staff

S&T Advisors Recommend Freeing Government Spectrum to Promote Wireless Innovation

The volume of mobile data has doubled every year globally for the past four years, as users of wireless smart phones, tablets, and other devices increasingly view mobile access to data a necessity of daily life. As the demand for spectrum increases to support the wireless devices used for work, social networking, entertainment and other purposes, pressure is increasing to free up wireless spectrum now held by government agencies and private entities for other purposes.

Feb 12 | Chris McManes

Electric Vehicles the Focus of Upcoming IEEE Conference in South Carolina

The recent IEEE PES Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference featured a number of paper and panel sessions on electric vehicles. It offered a preview of what to expect at the upcoming IEEE International Electric Vehicle Conference.

Feb 12 | Bob Bruninga

Electric Vehicle Charging at Work

American driving habits are based on a century of fossil fuel powered vehicles and gas tanks, which has created misunderstandings about electric vehicles (EVs). The gas-tank, with its run-until-empty and then fill-to-full-at-a-public-gas-station SOP, is not how EVs are used.

Feb 12 | George F. McClure

Outlook 2012

As in past years, Today's Engineer provides an outlook in eight areas of significant importance to the U.S. endeavor: technology, energy, climate change, work force, employment benefits, immigration, infrastructure and the economy.

Feb 12 | Eric Burger

SOPA/PIPA Defeated...For Now

Extreme proponents of SOPA claimed the legislation would save hundreds of thousands of jobs and add between $50B and $250B to the U.S. economy per year, while detractors at the other extreme argued it would turn the U.S. into a police state and terminate the first and fourth amendments to the Constitution. As with many things in life, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Jan 12 | Chris Brantley and Glenn Tenney

Policy in the Cloud: Part III — Congress Looks at Legislation

Issues ranging from privacy, security, law enforcement powers, intellectual property and global competition are prodding Congress to enact legislation to clear the way for new legal and regulatory approaches.

Jan 12 | Russ Harrison

Immigration Reform Poised to Move in 2012

After a busy 2011, Congress may be ready to move a significant immigration reform bill early this year. A number of pieces have fallen into place over the last few months which, if bundled together, could easily result in bipartisan legislation becoming law.

Jan 12 | Russ Harrison

Congress Delivers Holiday Present for Small Businesses

In mid-December, after more than three years of haggling, legislators agreed to a six-year extension of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, removing long-term uncertainty about the future of these programs.

Dec 11 | Chris Brantley and Glenn Tenney

Policy in the Cloud: Part II — Issues Engaging Policy-Makers

Cloud Computing represents a revolutionary technological leap forward for policy-makers, who must grapple with new issues related to security, privacy, law enforcement and more. The second installment of this three-part series looks at the issues policy-makers face on this complex issue.

Dec 11 | Sherry Gillespie, Ph.D. and Tom Tierney, Ph.D.

What Does it Take to be an IEEE-USA Government Fellow?

IEEE-USA annually sponsors three government fellowships, which afford U.S. IEEE members opportunities to spend a year in Washington, DC, serving as technical advisors to either the U.S. Congress or to key U.S. Department of State decision-makers.

Dec 11 | Steven Rubin

Do NOT Publish That Article (if you care about U.S. patent rights)

The America Invents Act changed our patent system from "first to invent" to "first to file." But what does that really mean?

Dec 11 | Nicholas Diakopoulos

The Future of U.S. Manufacturing

If machines and artificial intelligence are increasingly replacing humans in the workforce, how will engineers fare in the transition?

Nov 11 | Russ Harrison

STEM Education Bill Introduced in Congress

On 5 October, Rep. Raul Labrador introduced a bill to change the process international students use to become U.S. citizens. The bill would dramatically reduce the time between students earning advanced degrees and getting a green card.

Nov 11 | Chris Brantley and Glenn Tenney

Policy in the Cloud: Congress Looks at the Fed's Role in Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing represents a revolutionary technological leap forward for policy-makers, who must grapple with new issues related to security, privacy, law enforcement and more.

Nov 11 | John Platt

Report Addresses Entrepreneurship, Promises 10K New Engineers a Year

The United States must invest in infrastructure, accelerate entrepreneurship, increase competitiveness and focus on developing the professionals the economy will need in five to 10 years, says a new report from the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Oct 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

Key Federal Research and Development Appropriations Take Shape for '12

With Fiscal Year 2012 beginning on 1 October, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed work on proposed FY 2012 budgets for NASA, NSF and NIST. The result has overall funding levels declining at all three Science and Technology agencies, although there is an effort to minimize the impact on the research and development components of the agency budgets.

Oct 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

Comparison of FY 2012 Appropriations for Defense Science and Technology Programs

As of 26 September, the House of Representatives and the Senate Appropriations Committee had completed work on FY 2012 appropriations for the Department of Defense and its science and technology programs. Both chambers are looking at similar Science and Technology cuts of over 4 percent, but with funds shifting to provide increases for basic research.

Sep 11 | Mauro Togneri

IEEE-USA Position Statements — What are They, Why do we Need Them and What do They do for Me?

Many people know that IEEE-USA takes positions on important engineering, technical and career-related aspects of public policy that impact U.S. IEEE members. But maybe you’re also among the many people who don’t really know much about IEEE-USA’s positions and what they’re meant to do.

Aug 11 | Jim Jefferies

Policy 101: Watching Washington

Thanks to the internet, Americans now have much better access to information about Congress, pending legislation and their elected officials than ever before. You just need to know where to look.

Aug 11 | Marlin P. Ristenbatt

Opinion: The Patent Swamp

With engineers being drawn into unethical acts, shell companies with fake addresses being formed to behave much like the Mafia, IEEE Life Senior Member Marlin Ristenbatt believes we have entered a “swamp.”

Jul 11 | Russ Harrison

Policy 101: Meeting with Legislators

There are many ways to share your views on important policy matters with Members of Congress. But the best way to influence an elected official, by far, is to meet with him or her directly.

Jun 11 | IEEE History Center Staff

A Brief History of the U.S. Federal Government and Innovation (Part I: 1787-1917)

In this first installment of a series of articles on the long, broad and deep history of the federal government's role in technological innovation, IEEE History Center staff look at the period beginning with the nation's independence up to World War I (1787-1917).

Jun 11 | Patrick E. Meyer

Third IEEE Green Technologies Conference Underscores IEEE's Commitment to Clean Tech

The 2011 IEEE Green Technologies Conference was conceived on the pressing need to address one of the nation’s most complicated challenges: securing green and clean energy sources for the 21st century.

Jun 11 | Russ Harrison

Policy 101: Inside the Minds of Congressional Staff

The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) helps Members of Congress run their offices more efficiently. However, CMF also provides us with useful insights into how Congressional staff thinks.

Apr 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

White House and Industry Leaders Partner to Promote Entrepreneurship

In January, the President announced "Startup America," a public-private partnership to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship in the United States.

Apr 11 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: In Praise of a Job Well Done

Former Spectrum editor Donald Christiansen muses on the role and value of the craftsman in the engineering workplace. To him, the craftsman once was, and hopefully remains, an important adjunct to the engineer.

Mar 11 | Glenn S. Tenney

2011's Patent Reform Legislation

After six years, Congress is once again considering patent reform legislation in the form of the America Invents Act (S. 23). At the heart of the bill is a shift from a first-to-invent to first-inventor-to-file system. But there are many other issues that should also be of concern to technology professionals. What does this bill mean to all of us non-lawyers?

Mar 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

The Changing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce

In remarks delivered to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, NSF Director Dr. Subra Suresh discusses the National Science Foundation's role in helping to revitalize the nation's STEM pipeline.

Mar 11 | George McClure

High-Speed Rail — Have We Missed the Train?

In February, Vice President Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the President's plan to invest $53 billion in high-speed, intercity rail service over the next six years. The Administration calls the investment vital to U.S. competitiveness, but will a cost-conscious Congress think it's worth the price?

Mar 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

The 100-Year Starship

Sending humans on an Interstellar flight to colonize far-away planets was a concept relegated to the realm of science fiction until DARPA and the NASA Ames Research Center announced that they were planning the first step in the next era of space exploration — the “100-Year Starship” — needed for a journey between the stars.

Mar 11 | Russ Harrison

Register to Attend Congressional Visits Day

U.S. IEEE members have the opportunity to meet the new 112th Congress on 6-7 April during Congressional Visits Day. During this event focused on federally funded R&D, a coalition of 30 science and engineering groups team up to remind Congress of the importance of basic research.

Mar 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

White House and Industry Leaders Partner to Promote Entrepreneurship

On 31 January, President Obama announced the “Start-up America” campaign, a public-private partnership to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship through the United States.

Mar 11 | Russ Harrison

IEEE-USA Announces Dates for Energy and Career Fly-Ins

IEEE-USA has announced the dates for its Energy Fly-In and Career Fly-In this spring. These events give U.S. IEEE members structured opportunities to meet the new 112th Congress.

Mar 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

Federal S&T Budget at a Crossroads

With pressure building to bring the spiraling federal budget deficit under control and a change in political leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives, Federal R&D spending has become a prime target for congressional budget-cutters.

Feb 11 | Russ Harrison

IEEE-USA Wants You to Welcome the New Congress

Congress welcomes 110 new members this year, most of whom do not have backgrounds in engineering or the sciences. IEEE-USA is looking for volunteers to visit your new Legislator’s local office to discuss IEEE and engineering.

Feb 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

A Look at the New House Science, Space and Technology Committee

The House Science and Technology Committee starts 2011 with a new chair, a new name, a long list of new members, and a new focus on oversight, government efficiency and the space program.

Jan 11 | IEEE-USA Staff

Lame Duck Congress Passes Key S&T Legislation

Just before adjourning its post-election "lame duck" session, Congress reauthorized the America COMPETES Act, expiring legislation that aims to bolster U.S. economic and scientific leadership by supporting basic research, improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and fostering innovation.

Jan 11 | Terrance Malkinson

A Decade in Review: 2001-2010

The decade beginning in 2001 was marked by a string of events that changed our lives and continue to shape our future. From the televised tragedy of 9/11, to the election of America's first African-American President — it was a remarkable ten years, with engineers playing an important role in many of the events.

Jan 11 | Norman C. Lerner, Ph.D., P.E.

Federal Government 101: The IEEE-USA Congressional and State Department Fellowships

IEEE-USA's 2010 Engineering & Diplomacy Fellow, Norman Lerner, P.E., recaps his year at the U.S. State Department, and answers some questions about the program — including why a successful professional in the private sector would even consider participating.

Jan 11 | George McClure

Outlook for 2011

As in past years, this annual survey will examine the outlook in eight areas of significant importance to the U.S. endeavor in 2011: technology, energy, climate change, workforce, employment benefits, immigration, infrastructure and the economy.

Dec 10 | IEEE-USA Staff

Harnessing the Cloud To Serve Individuals With Disabilities

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a national Accessibility and Innovation Initiative during remarks at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Dec 10 | Patrick Meyer

Biofuel Review Part 6: Job Creation and Government Spending

To create jobs, should nations shift their energy workforce to biofuel industries, given the substantial growth potential and that biofuels require about 100 times more workers than fossil fuels to produce the same amount of energy?

Nov 10 | Chris McManes

Smart Grid Needs More Broadband Spectrum, Researchers Contend

For the Smart Grid to work as touted, a constant stream of online communications is necessary between customers' electric appliances and electric utilities. To increase the flow of information, more broadband spectrum will have to be allocated to the utilities.

Nov 10 | IEEE-USA Staff

NIST Realigns Labs to Improve Decision Making, Strengthen Interdisciplinary Research

After 20 years with its research components organized largely by scientific disciplines, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is realigning its laboratories according to a mission-based structure.

Nov 10 | George McClure

Do Taxes Affect Innovation and Jobs?

Taxes are in the news, with the presidential panel on debt reduction expected to issue its report in less than a month.

Nov 10 | IEEE-USA Staff

Outlook for Key S&T Competitiveness Legislation Uncertain

Congress' early election recess and the time constraints on the anticipated post-election "lame-duck" session raise serious doubts about the prospects for reauthorization of the landmark 2007 America COMPETES Act.

Oct 10 | IEEE-USA Staff

K-12 STEM Initiatives on the Fall Agenda

With the start of the new school year, there was a concerned effort in mid-September to focus national attention on the challenges and opportunities for enhancing K-12 science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States.

Sep 10 | IEEE-USA Staff

Plans Outlined for Carbon Capture and Storage

In mid-August, a federal task force outlined a plan to overcome barriers to widespread, cost-effective deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies within 10 years.

Sep 10 | Russ Harrison

Home Stretch for the 111th Congress

With approximately eight weeks left until the General Election, the next two months should be among the most active of the year in Washington as lawmakers rush to finish work on priorities in time to tell their voters.

Aug 10 | Nathan J. Bailey and Monica Ullagaddi

The Supreme Court’s Bilski Decision Leaves Questions Unanswered

Many had hoped that the Supreme Court's Bilski decision would clarify exactly what is and is not patentable. However, the Court's decision left much unresolved.

Aug 10 | John Platt

Electric Vehicles on the Rise: What Does That Mean for the Engineering Community?

Even before the first wave of electric vehicles rolls out of dealers' showrooms, a great deal of work is already under way to make it possible for roads — and the electric grid — to handle them.

Jul 10 | Barton Reppert

ITIF Debate Focuses on Global Broadband Access

In a 90-minute debate on 21 June, telecommunications policy experts argued the resolution that: That the United States is lagging seriously behind other countries on broadband access and this is due primarily to a failure of U.S. telecom regulation.

Jul 10 | Russell Harrison

Work Continues on E2 Bill

IEEE-USA continues to push Congress to pass the Engineering Education Act of 2010, or E2 bill, before Congress adjourns later this year.  The Act is supported by a broad coalition of engineering societies, businesses, universities and other groups, all of which see value in teaching American students basic engineering design concepts.

Jul 10 | Patrick Meyer

IEEE is Getting Greener

The Second Annual IEEE Green Technologies Conference, held in picturesque Grapevine, Texas, presented some ingenious research on sustainable engineering.

Jul 10 | Chris McManes

Bridging the Divide Between Scientists and Engineers and the Public They Serve

Many people are leery of the science behind things like childhood vaccinations, global warming and the safety of Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository. Perhaps, though, if scientists and engineers better understood the public and how its views are shaped by, among other things, ideology, values, priorities, misinformation, and yes, a poor understanding of science, the public would be more accepting of generally sound scientific data and theories.

Jul 10 | Ralph Gomory

The Innovation Delusion

In the United States, innovation has become almost synonymous with economic competitiveness. But will our economy be able to flourish if our companies just specialize in innovation, but produce overseas? NYU Research Professor Ralph Gomory argues that we need to do more than produce exciting new ideas; we must also be able to compete in large productive industries.

Jun 10 | George McClure

Should the United States Have an Industrial Policy? Politics and Policy Intersect in America COMPETES Reauthorization

The problem with industrial policy is strategic — some agency must direct the policy, and it is not always clear that the best direction has been chosen. While the United States lacks an official industrial policy, government actions in the past have achieved some goals akin to industrial policy, usually motivated by defense concerns.

Jun 10 | Patrick Meyer

Biofuel Review Part 4: Food vs. Fuel and Profit vs. Hunger

How does biomass production impact food prices, and how does the value of bioproducts impact the decision making of organizations as they weigh options of commercial profit or societal well-being?

Jun 10 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: When Designers Should Say "No"

Faced with a design challenge, whether it be to refine an existing product or system or to meet some ambitious new demand, the usual procedure is to itemize the desired new design features—that is, the “needs” and the “wants.”

Jun 10 | Veronika Rabl

The Scorecard: A Common Sense Approach to Carbon Mitigation Portfolio Assessment

The United States and other countries are pursuing a very broad range of technology options to mitigate potential climate change impacts. Do we run the risk of expending our financial and R&D capital on options that will not be available in a timely manner? The Scorecard is a simple, qualitative approach that can provide guidance for answering this question.

Jun 10 | Barton Reppert

Science Coalition Report Stresses Importance of Federally Supported Research to U.S. Competitiveness

Significant and consistent levels of federal funding for university-based research are necessary in order to help bolster U.S. global competitiveness and long-term economic health, according to a report released on 11 May by the Science Coalition.

May 10 | George McClure

Reviving Free Trade Agreements

Free trade agreements (FTAs) have proven to have an advantage in increasing exports from the United States. Today, the United States has FTAs with 14 countries. In 2006, six new FTAs were implemented: with Bahrain, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Morocco, and Nicaragua. Last year, trade with countries that the United States has FTAs was significantly greater than their relative share of the global economy.

May 10 | IEEE-USA Staff

Public Input Sought on Privacy Policy and Innovation in the Internet Economy

On 21 April, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a federal initiative designed to gather public input and review the nexus between privacy policy and innovation in the Internet economy.

May 10 | Martin M. Sokoloski and Tom Tierney

Technology Export Controls Revisited

Technology export controls continue to be vital to U.S. security and competitiveness, but also challenge the ability of industry, laboratories and academia to interact internationally. Industry, academia and the government are calling for reforms to the system of licensing technology exports to enhance U.S. national security while allowing key U.S. industries to remain competitive in global markets.

Apr 10 | Daniel Fisher

What Should an Engineer Know About First to File?

Senate bill S.515, a patent reform bill, is poised to change the United States from a "first-to-invent" patent system to a "first-to-file" system. What could this mean for engineers and companies whose lifeblood is their intellectual property?

Apr 10 | Barton Reppert

IEEE-USA Leadership Applauds New FCC National Broadband Plan

The leadership of IEEE-USA has applauded the National Broadband Plan (NBP) recently introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), aimed at providing access to very high-speed broadband Internet service for all American homes and businesses.

Feb 10 | Russ Harrison

High-Skills Immigration the IEEE-USA Way

IEEE-USA has developed model legislation to help guide Congress when it takes up educational and employment-based immigration reform.

Feb 10 | Barton Reppert

Chairman Gordon Outlines Agenda for House Science and Technology Committee

Reauthorizing the landmark America COMPETES Act will be the top priority this year for the House Science and Technology Committee, according to Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn.

Jan 10 | Thomas Jepsen

Electronic Medical Records — Sorting out the Alphabet Soup of Health Care IT

The recent push to computerize healthcare has resulted in a confusing set of acronyms that even health IT professionals sometimes have trouble understanding. The transition from paper medical records to electronic records has resulted in a proliferation of terms. The following is an attempt to sort out the “alphabet soup” of healthcare IT and expand some of the common acronyms that you may encounter.

Jan 10 | George McClure

Outlook for 2010

As in past years, this annual survey examines the outlook in eight areas of significant import to the U.S. endeavor: technology, energy, climate change, work force, employment benefits, immigration, infrastructure and the economy.

Jan 10 | Patrick Meyer

Biofuel Review Part 3: Land Availability, Conversion, and Deforestation

The third in the series on biofuel and biomass energy provides a discourse on an exceptionally important concern of biofuel and biomass production — that of land availability, conversion and deforestation.

Jan 10 | Russ Harrison

IEEE-USA Acts to Reform K-12 Education

IEEE-USA and a coalition of engineering groups has drafted legislation that will be introduced into Congress to help states make engineering and technology a formal part of their standard science curriculums.

Dec 09 | Barton Reppert

"New Age" in Fusion Energy Research and Development Now At Hand, Experts Testify

An exciting "new age" in fusion energy research and development is now beckoning, including important advances expected to be achieved at the ITER international experimental reactor in France, fusion experts have testified before a congressional panel.

Oct 09 | Barton Reppert

Augustine Review Panel Says NASA’s Resources Aren’t Sufficient to Meet Goals in Human Spaceflight

The U.S. human spaceflight program currently appears to be on an “unsustainable trajectory,” according to a report by a 10-member expert panel chaired by Norman R. Augustine, retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp.

Oct 09 | John Platt

Engineering — The Silent "E" in K-12 STEM Education

What is the future of precollege engineering education in the United States? What learning opportunities do engineering curricula provide to students? How can policy-makers bring meaningful changes to this country's educational programs? These are just a few of the questions addressed in the new NAE report, Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects.

Oct 09 | George McClure

Railroad Resurrection

The U.S. rail network today, at 94,942 miles, is less than half of the mileage in 1970. However, sharply higher fuel prices have highlighted the economic value of railroads, and the industry seems poised to enjoy a renaissance of sorts.

Oct 09 | Russ Harrison

Help for Engineers Interested in Public Service

IEEE-USA has joined forces with a coalition of engineering and science associations to provide training for engineers interested in running for public office.

Oct 09 | Lee Hollaar

IEEE-USA Joins Bilski Amicus Brief

On 9 November 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in perhaps the most important patent case in decades: Bilski v. Kappos. On 1 September, IEEE-USA joined with Lee Hollaar in submitting an amicus curiae brief on this landmark case.

Oct 09 | Barton Reppert

An Interview with House Science Committee Chair Bart Gordon

Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) has been serving as chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology since the start of the 110th Congress. He recently shared his thoughts with Today's Engineer on a number of important issues.

Oct 09 | George Zobrist

Buy American – Good, Bad or a Wash for America?

“Buy American” is making a comeback in response to the nation's foundering economy, and in light of "Buy American" provisions within the current administration’s stimulus program. But is it the best thing for America?

Sep 09 | Sharon C. Richardson

IEEE-USA E-Books Adds New GovDocs – Free to Members

Select government documents and reports are provided through the IEEE-USA e-book catalog as an information service to IEEE members. The catalog has been recently updated to include the three new titles.

Sep 09 | Barton Reppert

Congress and DOE Focusing Intensified Attention on Energy-Water Nexus

Congress and the Department of Energy are focusing intensified attention on the energy-water nexus, particularly in the context of efforts to develop advanced technologies which promise to substantially reduce water withdrawals and consumption by electric power plants.

Sep 09 | Luis Kun, Ph.D., FAIMBE, FIEEE

Op-Ed: An Engineer's Perspective on PCAST's H1N1 Influenza Report

On 24 August, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released its Report to the President on U.S. Preparations for 2009- H1N1 Influenza. Did PCAST miss opportunities to foster greater impact by not addressing this issue through the interoperability lens?

Sep 09 | George McClure

Alternatives for Health Care Reform

The House of Representatives is ready to debate their $1 trillion bill after the August recess, but the Senate Finance Committee has not revealed the details of their $900 billion version yet. A look at the issues Congress will be embroiled in this Fall.

Aug 09 | Richard Jones

Administration Highlights Proposed DOE Energy Innovation Hubs

The outlook for the $280 million request by the Department of Energy for the establishment of Energy Innovation Hubs is in the hands of the all-important conference committee.

Aug 09 | Russ Harrison

Small Business Loan Program Reauthorization Stalled in Congress

Congress missed a 30 July deadline for reauthorizing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) loan program and the similar Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, but agreed to continue the programs until at least 30 September.

Aug 09 | Barton Reppert

IEEE-USA Reviewing Position Statement on Nuclear Power

Kristine L. Svinicki, a commissioner of the U.S. NRC, recently observed that “in the United States — and globally — there has been much discussion in recent years of a so-called ‘Nuclear Renaissance.’ Where does IEEE-USA stand?

Aug 09 | IEEE-USA Staff

Independent Panel Charged to Outline Sustainable Path for U.S. Space Exploration

NASA's human space flight program is in limbo at a time when its space shuttle and space station are approaching the end of their projected operational life-spans.

Aug 09 | George McClure

Is Energy Independence a Goal?

The Waxman-Markey bill, promoting energy efficiency and reduction in pollutants thought to be responsible for climate change, narrowly passed the House in June, 219 to 212. What happens next?

Aug 09 | Patrick Meyer

Biofuel Review: Part 1 — Biofuel Basics

Debate over biofuel usage is heating up. This article, the first in a series of six articles on the most contentious issues surrounding biofuels, provides an introduction to the basics of the major biofuels.

Jul 09 | Albert Glassman

The Growing Threat of Space Debris


Jul 09 | Barton Reppert

Obama Cybersecurity Initiatives Drawing Support from Members of Congress and High-Tech Industry Execs

Key members of Congress along with high-tech industry executives are voicing qualified support for President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity initiatives, particularly his decision to establish a new White House office headed by a so-called “Cybersecurity Czar.”

Jul 09 | Vin O'Neill

Movement on Immigration Reform?


Jul 09 | Bill Williams and Chris McManes

IEEE-USA Energy Fly-In Helps Legislators Develop National Energy Policy

IEEE-USA held its first annual Energy Fly-In to help stress to legislators the importance of formulating energy policy that bolsters economic activity, better protects the environment and promotes national security.

Jun 09 | Barton Reppert

NRC Report Urges Clear U.S. Policy on Use of Cyberattack, Along With Continuing Development of Cyberwarfare Capabilities

A new National Research Council report says the United States should establish clear national policy on resorting to cyberattack, while at the same time continuing to develop cyberwarfare capabilities in this sensitive area.

May 09 | George McClure

Grid Upgrades: Smart Grid Boosts Renewables

Plans for upgrading the electric grid and adding renewable energy resources got a boost with the stimulus package, which includes $4.5 billion for low voltage smart grid pilot projects and $6.5 billion for existing wiring repair and maintenance — a total of $11 billion.

May 09 | Barton Reppert

IEEE-USA Efforts to Advocate Use of Healthcare IT Substantially Mesh with Obama Administration Initiatives

IEEE-USA’s efforts to advocate greater use of modern IT in America’s health care system are in substantial alignment with initiatives being mapped out by the Obama Administration, which is aiming to computerize the country’s health records within five years.

Apr 09 | Barton Reppert

Obama Watchers Laud Key Administration S&T Appointees

President Barack Obama’s appointees to key science and technology positions, along with his issuance of an official memorandum directing that the integrity of federal S&T activities be carefully safeguarded, have been drawing strong praise from the policy community, including IEEE-USA leaders.

Apr 09 | Patrick Meyer

Obama's Ambitious Energy Plan

Today, energy is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. The issue dominates political, economic and social debate—garnering the kind of attention not seen since the energy crises of the 1970s. The economic emergence of China, Brazil, Russia and other large players in world markets have pushed energy prices to unprecedented levels, having widespread impact on global economies, and forcing governments to take action.

Mar 09 | Barton Reppert

House S&T Committee Considering Legislation to Help Scope Out Serious Problems with Electronic Waste

Expert witnesses, including two IEEE members, testified before the House Science and Technology Committee to voice support for draft legislation to assist federal efforts aimed at scoping out and devising strategies for dealing with serious challenges posed by e-waste.

Mar 09 | George McClure

Public Safety Benefits from DTV Transition

The growth of high-density commercial wireless systems has increased harmful interference to 700-800 MHz public safety communication systems (such as police, fire and emergency rescue). To cope with this, the FCC in July 2004 adopted a comprehensive plan to reconfigure the band, using digital television (DTV) to increase both capacity and quality.

Mar 09 | Sarah Rovito

Student's Voice: Still Bridging the Communications Gap Between Engineers and Policy-Makers

Sarah Rovito, our new Student's Voice editor, recalls how a WISE internship two summers ago helped lead to her current work, and how it whetted her appetite for using her engineering expertise to influence public policy decisions.

Mar 09 | Abby Vogel and Patrick E. Meyer

Coverage of IEEE Energy2030: Development of Smart Grid Builds Momentum

In November 2008, hundreds of engineers, economists, public policy experts, and citizens gathered in Atlanta for the IEEE Energy2030 Conference on Global Sustainable Energy Infrastructure.

Feb 09 | Georgia C. Stelluto

Volunteer Spotlight: 2009 IEEE-USA President Gordon W. Day

IEEE-USA's 2009 president discusses his path to becoming an engineer, his family, his hobbies, and what he's looking forward to accomplishing on behalf of the IEEE's U.S. members during his term.

Feb 09 | Barton Reppert

National Academies Report: Substantial Overhaul of U.S. Export Controls and Visa Restrictions Needed

A newly released National Academies report, prepared by a high-powered ad hoc study committee, contends that America’s Cold War-era systems of national security export controls and visa restrictions on foreign scientists and engineers are broken and need to be substantially revamped.

Dec 08 - Jan 09 | Barton Reppert

U.S. Companies Investing in STEM Education

While Congress prepares a renewed focus on government programs to assist science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, several major American corporations are pumping sizeable amounts of money into schools around the country to provide further support for initiatives to strengthen STEM education.

Dec 08 - Jan 09 | George McClure

Outlook for 2009

IEEE-USA editor for technology policy George McClure looks at the prospects for technology, energy, climate change, work force, employment benefits, immigration, infrastructure and the economy in the new year.

Dec 08 - Jan 09 | Rahan Uddin

Using the Internet to Promote Progress in Science and Technology

The public is asking for the modern presidency to tap into the potential of all Americans by means of searchable online databases of government information, full-scale interactivity, and the distributed problem solving that comes with social networks, to become more accessible, more transparent, and more effective.

Dec 08 - Jan 09 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: The Global Engineer

n theory, globalization is supposed to equalize global wages and raise the global standard of living. Everyone is supposed to benefit. So, what's the problem?

Nov 08 | John Platt

Meet the FCC's New Chief Technologist

Over the next few years, the United States will face tough questions regarding the future of telecommunications, including spectrum sharing, broadband Internet, delivering services to rural areas, and the impact of peer-to-peer networks. One man helping to answer these and other questions is an IEEE member: Prof. Jon M. Peha, the FCC's new chief technologist.

Nov 08 | Sarah Rovito

My Summer as a WISE Guy

Sarah Rovito writes about the summer of 2007, which she spent in Washington, D.C., as one of three IEEE-sponsored WISE interns.

Nov 08 | Patrick Meyer

Conference Coverage: GridWeek 2008

Smart grid will bring tremendous energy, efficiency and environmental benefits … but consumers are not yet onboard.

Nov 08 | Earl Hill

IEEE Central Indiana Biofuels Conference

In August, the IEEE Central Indiana Section hosted “Biofuels in Indiana: Technology, Public Policy and Future Direction,” a day-long conference which examined and assessed Indiana's biofuels progress, as well as the future of renewable energy sources.

Nov 08 | George McClure

Energy Fixes: Smart Grid, Nuclear Plants

As oil nudged $140 per barrel, there was a ground swell of interest in more offshore drilling. But other options — including smart grid and nuclear power — warrant consideration when it comes to ensuring the nation's future energy supply and independence from foreign oil.

Nov 08 | Barton Reppert

IEEE EMBS Magazine Focuses on Interoperability Imperatives

The November / December 2008 issue of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine which will focus on protecting the health care & public health critical infrastructure.

Oct 08 | Patrick Meyer and George F. McClure

Energy Conservation: Past & Future

The history of initiatives to conserve energy use is as long as the history of energy use itself. Humans have always attempted to do more with less. But it was not until the energy crises of the 1970s that the desire to conserve became great enough to infiltrate federal-level policy. Where do we stand today, and what can we do in our own homes to help?

Oct 08 | Patrick Meyer

Student's Voice: Industry Moving Forward with Smart Grid, Academia Stuck in 20th Century

Smart grid initiatives are almost entirely industry-driven. People based in academia will be hard-pressed to find an institution from which they can learn all there is to learn about smart grid in one single helping.

Sep 08 | IEEE-USA Staff

First National Science & Technology Summit Recommends Policies to Sustain U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness

In mid-August, IEEE-USA President Russell Lefevre joined with more 250 other national science and technology leaders who converged on the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., to participate in the first National Science and Technology Summit.

Sep 08 | David Pietrocola

Why Should Engineers Be Concerned About Copyright Law?

Intellectual property is rarely on the minds of today’s young engineers — but it should be. Some may be familiar with patents, which grant an exclusive monopoly to the patent holder for a period of 20 years, but fewer are familiar with copyrights.

Jul 08 | Russ Harrison

STEM Immigration Bills Gathering Support in Congress

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation in Congress that will dramatically change America’s skill-based immigration system. Her bills will make it significantly easier for non-Americans with advanced education and skilled to become citizens.

May 08 | IEEE-USA Staff

Washington Technology Digest

A recap of news and notable developments in electrical engineering and computer or information technology emerging from the federal government during April-May 2008.

May 08 | Robert Colburn

your engineering heritage: Electricity – Even More Basic than We Knew


May 08 | Patrick Meyer

Transport Policy Options for an Aging Population

The nation's elderly are wealthier, healthier and more numerous than ever before. However, the positive population and financial trends among the elderly population are contrasted by negative trends in the their transportation options.

May 08 | Sourish Basu

Opinion: The Jolly Roger of Digital Television

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the Broadcast Flag regulation — beyond the MPAA’s influence, the disregard for fair use, and muzzled innovations — was the way the FCC overreached its authority. Despite its repeal, the regulation has had long-lasting consequences.

Apr 08 | Joseph T. Cioletti

Congressional Briefing on Emerging Nuclear Technology

On 17 January, IEEE-USA, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Westinghouse Electric Company jointly participated in a Congressional Research and Development Caucus briefing on emerging nuclear technology. IEEE-USA coordinated the briefing to assist House members with a shared interest in promoting technical innovation in the United States.

Apr 08 | Donald Christiansen

Backscatter: Early Adopters

Early adopters are valuable to those who introduce innovative high-tech products. These early customers may be either individuals or corporations. It is estimated that perhaps 10 to15 percent of the individual purchasers of a product fall into the early-adopter category.

Apr 08 | Compiled by IEEE-USA Staff

Washington Technology Digest

A recap of news and notable developments in electrical engineering and computer or information technology emerging from the federal government in the first quarter of 2008.

Mar 08 | George McClure

Outlook for 2008

In the short term, forecasting is hard to do, matching a development with a timeline. That said, IEEE-USA's government relations editor George McClure provides an overview of changes and trends in eight categories that are likely to affect all of us, in one way or another, in 2008: technology, energy, climate change, workforce, employment benefits, immigration, infrastructure and the economy.

Mar 08 | Anna Martelli Ravenscroft

What’s Keeping Women Out of IT?

The dearth of women in IT and programming, and declining numbers of women enrolling in undergraduate computer science majors in the United States has many causal factors, and has been studied extensively since the 1980s. Yet the underlying causes are so intertwined that it is difficult to separate them. Some sociologists suggest that many of these causes may reflect the pervasive effect of the gender system. Confounding the issue are technological and cultural changes.

Mar 08 | Compiled by IEEE-USA Staff

Washington Technology Digest

The following is a recap of news and notable developments in electrical engineering and computer or information technology emerging from the federal government in January-early February 2008.

Mar 08 | Patrick Meyer

The STEP Act: Securing the Next Generation of American Engineers

According to some, engineering is the most essential profession in the world. Engineers mold the very foundations of almost every device, mechanism, system and substance on which the world's population relies. So, if the United States is suffering from an "engineering gap," where will the nation's future engineers come from?

Mar 08 | George Zobrist

The Future of Biofuels

Henry Ford and Rudolph Diesel’s initial efforts to fuel their fledgling automobiles involved ethanol and peanut oil, respectively. However, they soon discovered that refined petroleum was a far more efficient source for gasoline and diesel fuel. Are biofuels ready to make a comeback?

Mar 08 | George McClure

Technology Export Controls — Protection or Bureaucracy?

The topic may seem dull, but technology export controls are vital to U.S. security and competitiveness. Technology that could help other nations compete with the United States if released — or that could be useful to terrorists — is subject to export controls. The rub comes in weighing the needs of U.S. innovators for greater sales versus the harm to the national interest if the technology is divulged.

Feb 08 | Bill Williams

Energy Bill an Important Step Toward Energy Independence

In late December 2007, President Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act (H.R.6). The bill requires auto manufacturers to improve fuel economy standards to 35 mpg by 2020, and boosts ethanol production five-fold by 2022. The legislation also includes a $95 million competitive grants program designed to spur electric vehicle technology development, as well as language calling on NIST to work with the IEEE and others to develop standards for emerging "Smart Grid" technologies. But does it do enough to achieve the nation's ambitious energy independence goals?

Dec 07 - Jan 08 | Patrick Meyer

Balancing Wants and Needs in Transportation Policy-Making

Historically, American transportation systems have been plagued with problems of congestion, pollution and safety. Should transportation systems give people what they want or what they need?

Nov 07 | Stephen H. Unger

Opinion: E-Voting — A High-Tech Headache

A long, dismal history of election fraud, in both rural areas and big cities, tells of the election process' legacy of susceptibility to corrupt elements. So, will e-voting make things better — or worse?

Oct 07 | TE Staff

William T. Golden, A Tribute

Perhaps not well known by many IEEE members, Golden was described as “a main architect of American science policy in the 20th Century” in his New York Times obituary, an acknowledgment of his influence in defining the federal government’s expanded role in science and technology after World War II.

Sep 07 | Sharon C. Richardson

WISE: Engineering the Future

Ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the top internships in the country, the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) gives IEEE student members a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Sep 07 | George McClure

How Safe Are Our Ports?

U.S. ports handle more than 2 billion tons of domestic and import/export cargo per year, $1.3 billion worth of goods move in and out of U.S. ports every day. Interference with their function would be disruptive to the U.S. economy. However, terrorist activity could destroy port facilities or use them as a channel to move materials into the United States for other destinations.

Sep 07 | Debra Schiff

Taking a Wide-Angle View of the U.S. Electric Power Grid

In an effort to drive critical thinking on the U.S. electric power grid and its well-publicized reliability issues, Luis Kun, Senior Research Professor of Homeland Security at National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and Professor Robert Mathews, Distinguished Senior Research Scholar in National Security Affairs and U.S. Industrial Preparedness at the University of Hawaii, are writing a series of white papers on problems caused by uninteroperability in the nation's critical infrastructures. First up: the electric power grid.

Sep 07 | David S. Holland

The Informed Opinion: Is the Patent System Broken?

A glut of business methods patents is clogging the patent review system's arteries. Is the system broken or badly in need of an overhaul?

Aug 07 | George McClure

Protecting IP Rights in a Global Economy

Intellectual property — original creations whether in hardware design, software engineering, or art (literary works, musical compositions, trademarks, or performance art) — is a key to national competitiveness. However, respect for intellectual property rights, and their duration, varies around the world.

Aug 07 | Bill Williams

Congress Passes Landmark Legislation, America COMPETES Act

On 2 August, Congress passed landmark legislation designed to enhance U.S. competitiveness and innovation by increasing funding for basic research and improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. President Bush signed the bill into law on 9 August.

Aug 07 | IEEE-USA Staff

Washington Technology Digest

Items highlighting new and notable developments in electrical engineering and computer or information technology emerging from the federal government in recent months.

Jul 07 | Sharon C. Richardson

IEEE-USA Launches an Innovation Institute

To help IEEE members learn to innovate, IEEE-USA is launching a new Innovation Institute geared at training current and future business, academic and government employees responsible for the innovation of new products and services.

Jul 07 | Juran Janus

Congress Looks At Technology’s Role In Addressing Illegal File-Sharing On University Campuses

In early June, the House Science and Technology Committee held a hearing to explore the roles that technology could play in reducing the illegal file-sharing of intellectual property on university and college campuses.

Jul 07 | Patrick Meyer

Filling the Gaps Left by the Energy Policy Act of 2005

Earlier this year, a diverse bipartisan group of senators introduced the National Energy and Environment Security Act of 2007 (S. 6), which seeks to reduce national dependence on foreign oil and expand non-petroleum transportation options. Shouldn't the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) have included such measures?

Jun 07 | George McClure

Are We Doing Enough for R&D Funding?

There is general agreement that the secret to maintaining U.S. competitiveness is innovation. Commodity manufacturing will move offshore but, the reasoning goes, if the United States is first to market with new technology, it will maintain a leading position among its competitors. But are we doing enough?

Jun 07 | George McClure

Wireless — Everywhere Soon?

Few could foresee, when radio-telephony was in its infancy, the extent to which the mobile telephone (the name applied when the electronics was so bulky that a vehicle was required to carry it) would evolve into the personal cell phone and then the revolution in other applications for the service.

Jun 07 | Chris McManes

RFID Industry Hungry for Engineers

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an emerging technology that is providing excellent career prospects for electrical engineering students, as well as experienced engineers looking for new opportunities.

May 07 | Diane J. Cook

Providing for Older Adults Using Smart Environment Technologies

Surveys indicate that older adults want to remain in their homes as they age despite disabilities that may compromise safety. Maintaining older individuals in their homes is also financially preferable — 40 percent of elder adults cannot even afford to live in an assisted care facility.

May 07 | Cliff Lau

Saving Energy with Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Electrical, mechanical and automotive engineers are working feverishly to bring these cars to the market. Since many of these engineers are IEEE members, it makes sense for us to strongly support the development of plug-in hybrids.

Apr 07 | George Zobrist

Keeping an Eye on Network Neutrality

The FCC and Congress have signaled a willingness to step into the breach on the network neutrality issue. Legislation was tabled in 2006, but new bills are already making the rounds on Capitol Hill.

Mar 07 | Robin Peress

The Perspiration of Patenthood

Marconi and Tesla’s bitter race to own the patent for radio seems almost quaint compared with the blatant exploitation on today’s IP landscape.

Mar 07 | Luis G. Kun

IEEE-USA's New Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee

The IEEE-USA Board of Directors formally approved in their last meeting of 2006 the CIPC as an official IEEE-USA committee, effective 1 January 2007.

Mar 07 | Bill Williams

IEEE-USA Works to Sustain Federal R&D Investments

On 15 February, President Bush signed into law a stop-gap spending measure that will keep the government running for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Jan-Feb 07 | Manu V. Mathai

Opinion: Energy Infrastructure Decentralization

Given the unparalleled potency of the nuclear power, control over the entire infrastructure is very closely guarded, and few opportunities exist for ordinary citizens to be involved. So, why does this matter?

Jan-Feb 07 | Cliff Lau

IEEE-USA Tech Policy Activities: An Overview

No matter what station your life is in, U.S. science and technology policy can affect you and your career. IEEE-USA undertakes substantial activities in advocating technology policies of interest to the U.S. membership. IEEE-USA Vice President for Technology Policy Cliff Lau provides an overview of IEEE-USA's tech policy committees.

Jan-Feb 07 | George McClure

Outlook for 2007

IEEE-USA's Technology Policy Editor George McClure dons his prognosticator's hat to provide a look at the year ahead. He shares insights on eight topics that may affect your career in 2007: technology, energy, climate change, workforce, employment benefits, immigration, infrastructure and the economic outlook.

Jan-Feb 07 | Russ Lefevre

IEEE-USA's 2007 Innovation Agenda

In 2006, IEEE-USA Government Relations volunteers and staff focused on getting Congress to implement the provisions of the National Academy of Engineering report Rising Above the Gathering Storm that matched our legislative agenda. Have our prospects improved with the new Congress?

Dec 06 | George McClure

Fixing Medicare: An Intergenerational Dilemma

Medicare is the 800-pound gorilla in the room that people ignore, when looking at the smaller problem of future funding for Social Security. The aging of our population, as birth rates decline and life expectancy increases, is the most significant demographic force that will shape our economy and society in the coming decades. How well we deal with the funding issue will affect the extent to which we push costs forward to future generations. Saving more now can reduce their future burden.

Dec 06 | Patrick Meyer

Student's Voice: Engineering a Communication Bridge (Part 4)

In his fourth and final installment of the series, Patrick Meyer divulges his lessons-learned and offers some insight as to what can be done to manufacture a communication bridge between engineers and policy makers.

Dec 06 | Badrul H. Chowdhury

Alternative Energy — Hype or Real?

Today's alternative energy sources enjoy a state of tremendous appeal to power producers and consumers alike. The beginnings of commercially available alternate energy, however, were very modest by today’s standards.

Nov 06 | Leonard J. Bond

Future Energy Technologies and Employment Challenges

A secure, affordable, sustainable energy supply, with limited environmental impact, is critical to ensuring enduring prosperity in the United States. The nation faces major challenges in meeting projected energy demand in an increasingly energy-hungry world and in developing the necessary next-generation workforce to support energy delivery.

Nov 06 | Emily Sopensky

IEEE Member Panel Surveyed on RFID

IEEE members take note: Your mega-organization recently increased its activities in radio frequency identification (RFID) with a multi-pronged approach. Reflecting the fragmented nature of the RFID technologies industry, as well as research and development, IEEE interest in RFID is found in pockets among technical societies, such as Communications, Computer and Microwave Theory & Techniques.

Nov 06 | James L. Flanagan

U.S. Competitiveness and the Profession

As globalization advances, it has become commonplace (possibly even fashionable) to voice concern over the steady erosion of U.S. prominence in science and engineering. The concern is particularly centered in the physical, computer, and engineering sciences.

Oct 06 | Kei Koizumi

Congress Finalizes Record DOD R&D Budget

With just days to go before the October 1 start of fiscal year (FY) 2007, Congress finalized an FY 2007 Department of Defense (DOD) budget that contains a record-breaking $76.8 billion for research and development (R&D) spending.

Oct 06 | Multiple Authors

"Seeing in the Dark" — Safe Night Driving

Sobering conclusions about the dangers of night driving are leading researchers to develop solutions that involve infrared cameras to augment the drivers ability to see, and displays — both heads-up and head-down flat panels — to let the driver see what the sensor sees.

Sep 06 | Patrick Meyer

Students' Voice: Engineering a Communication Bridge (Part 3)

A flow of information between engineers and policy-makers exists, but in many cases the information flows from engineers in “engineer-speak” and is received by policy-makers who are accustomed only to “political-speak.” This absence of a common lexicon can result in differing interpretations. How can we engineer a solution?

Sep 06 | Barton Reppert

Stakeholders Endorse Uniform National System of Electronics Recycling

Stakeholders including manufacturers, retailers, recyclers and environmental organizations, whose views are presented in a recently released Commerce Department report, “agreed that a uniform national system of electronics recycling is preferable to a patchwork of differing state systems.”

Sep 06 | David Ferrell

Keeping Tomorrow's Engineers in School Today

Last fall, the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) launched a program to identify best practices for improving the retention and success of freshman and sophomore EE students. More than 40 schools applied for program grants, five of which were awarded $20,000 grants each to fund their programs. More than 400 students were affected, with all of the schools are reporting positive results.

Sep 06 |  

President's Message: Of Polls and Pipelines

According to a recent Harris Interactive Poll, Americans count engineers among the top 10 most admired professionals. Not bad, considering all of the professions out there. But in his latest column, IEEE-USA President Ralph Wyndrum explains why it would be even better if more people remembered that the doctors, nurses, scientists and military officers who garnered the most admiration would be hard-pressed without the instruments engineers conceived and designed.

Aug 06 | Joe Kalasky

Allegheny Energy — A Model of Recovery

Allegheny Energy's recovery following the turbulent days of the energy trading market is an outstanding example of an internally driven revitalization. While the volatility in energy trading has moderated, and most utilities have shown only moderate performance since the onset of deregulation, Allegheny Energy has set itself apart, outpacing competitors since 2003.

Aug 06 | Ken Silverstein

The Heat is on the Grid

When the heat is on, the transmission grid is tested. And it passed without serious incident during the unseasonably hot temperatures in mid July. But, reserve margins in some parts of the United States took a dip, emphasizing the need for new and modern forms of generation that can be sent over a robust transmission system.

Aug 06 | Barton Reppert

NSF Set to Implement Reorganization of Engineering Directorate

The National Science Foundation is set to launch a major reorganization of its Directorate for Engineering, including the addition of cyber systems to the division of Electrical and Communications Systems, as well as creation of a new crosscutting Office of Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation.

Aug 06 | James E. Gover

Opinion: The Rocky Road for Hybrid Vehicles

Dr. James E. Gover believes that if hybrid vehicles are to be adopted widely to gain the benefits of fuel efficiency, more needs to be done in R&D and in educating the new generation of automotive engineers.

Jul 06 | Mary Lou Jepsen

Working on the $100 Laptop

Mary Lou Jepsen's humanitarian mission to develop and mass produce a $100 laptop to be used by the world's children is nearing fruition. The ambitious project's CTO describes how a 10-minute interview with MIT Media Labs' Nicholas Negroponte for a faculty position turned into a three-hour discussion about the need for a low-cost computer and the sort of organization that could make it happen. Jepsen shares a progress report on the organization and the computer that promises to transform education around the globe.

Jun 06 | Georgia C. Stelluto

Volunteer Spotlight: On Jean Eason


Jun 06 | Patrick Meyer

Students' Voice: Engineering a Communication Bridge


May 06 | Chris McManes

An Interview with Joe Bordogna


May 06 | Russ Harrison

IEEE-USA Responds to Senate Immigration Bill

Congress is embroiled in a major debate over immigration reform, with a spate of bills currently under consideration. Central to this debate is Sen. Arlen Specter's (R-Pa.) bill (S. 2454). Because Sen. Specter is Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over immigration issues, his bill is currently the most likely to be acted upon.

May 06 | Bill Williams

CVD 2006 Wrap-up


May 06 | Barton Reppert

Do We Need Another OTA?


Apr 06 | Russ Harrison

IEEE Members Meet With Rep. Tom Delay

In March, the IEEE's Houston and Galveston Bay Sections held a joint meeting with Rep. Tom Delay, where he listened to their concerns and shared some of his views on issues affecting U.S. IEEE members, including space exploration, the nuclear power industry, and immigration.

Apr 06 | Debra Schiff

How the Government Refocused on Innovation and Competitiveness (Part II)

"Innovation" and "competitiveness" aren't just empty buzzwords in Washington these days — they've garnered very real bipartisan support from both chambers of Congress and the White House, and have yielded a number of promising legislative initiatives. In Part II, this article examines the National Academies Report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm.

Apr 06 | Erica Wissolik

Washington Scene: Patent Reform, Fair Use and Inventors Rights

Congress is considering sweeping changes to patent law, as well as legislation that would reinstate the "broadcast flag" on all new digital media. Where does IEEE-USA stand, and what is the organization doing to protect the intellectual property rights of inventors?

Mar 06 | George McClure

The Stealth Profession: How Do Engineers and R&D Benefit the Nation?

A disconnect seems to exists between the arcane and esoteric realm of basic research — conducted in secretive labs by cloistered engineers and scientists — and the familiar and ubiquitous technologies we take for granted today. But the fact is, many of the technologies we utilize daily were born in those very same labs.

Mar 06 | Georgia C. Stelluto

Spotlight: On Ralph W. Wyndrum Jr., 2006 IEEE-USA President

Get to know a little bit more about 2006 IEEE-USA President Ralph Wyndrum.

Mar 06 | Debra Schiff

How the Government Refocused on Innovation and Competitiveness

"Innovation" and "competitiveness" aren't just empty buzzwords in Washington these days — they've garnered very real support from Congress and the White House, and have yielded a number of promising legislative initiatives. This two-part article examines two reports that crystallized this movement, beginning with the Council on Competitiveness report Innovate America.

Mar 06 | Patrick Meyer

Student's Voice: Bridging the Gap Between Engineers and Policy-Makers

During the summer of 2005, RIT graduate student Patrick Meyer interned with IEEE-USA's Energy Policy Committee, analyzing the progress of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. As Student's Voice editor for Today's Engineer, Meyer hopes to help bridge the divide between engineers and policy-makers.

Feb 06 | Compiled by Richard M. Jones

Notable S&T Quotes from 2005

Some of the more notable science and technology quotations that appeared in the American Institute of Physics (AIP) FYI Newsletter in 2005

Feb 06 | Chris McManes

Administration, Congress Get Behind Innovation

Responding to a troubling National Academies report and a broad industry initiative, President Bush and Congress have recently proposed competitiveness initiatives that are designed to help the United States maintain its leading edge in science and technology.

Feb 06 | Russ Harrison

Member Feedback Wanted: IEEE-USA Needs Help Protecting Inventor Rights

IEEE-USA needs your help advancing a model law to establish reasonable limits for employment agreements, and help clarify when intellectual property belongs to an employee and when it can be claimed by an employer.

Feb 06 | George McClure

NASA's Big Plans

Despite lean R&D budgets and hurricane-ravaged facilities, NASA plans to move ahead with its ambitious goals to develop a new Crew Exploration Vehicle that will return manned crews to the moon and later to Mars.

Jan 06 | Russ Lefevre

High-Tech Concerns in the GAO Offshoring Report

In November 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a study detailing an investigation of the issues surrounding offshoring of services, including those specifically associated with high-tech jobs.

Jan 06 | George McClure

What Lies Ahead: Forecast for 2006

Now that we're four years past the end of the last recession, what lies ahead in 2006? TE examines changes and trends in eight categories that are likely to affect all of us in one way or another in the new year: technology, energy, climate change, workforce, employment benefits, immigration, infrastructure and the economic outlook.

Dec 05 | Barton Reppert

Workshop Assesses U.S. Regional, State and Local Initiatives for Nanotechnology R&D and Commercialization

Partnerships, cooperation and sharing lessons learned were key watchwords during a two-day government-industry workshop bringing together dozens of representatives from regional, state and local initiatives across the United States that aim to help promote and support the development of nanotechnology.

Dec 05 | Georgia C. Stelluto

Volunteer Spotlight: On Gregg Vaughn

IEEE-USA's vice president of member activities is the ECE department chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also loves barbeque and thinks he may be overusing the expression "cool." Read on about one of IEEE-USA's key volunteers.

Dec 05 | George McClure

DTV Transition Deadline Delays Leave Public Safety Networks Hungry for Bandwidth

The deadline for the transition to digital television has been pushed back to April 2009, giving lawmakers and the FCC more time to decide what to do with the analog spectrum that will be returned shortly after the transition is complete.

Dec 05 | Russ Harrison

Q&A With Washington State Representative Toby Nixon

Washington State legislator Rep. Toby Nixon is an IEEE member and a project manager at Microsoft. He recently sat down with IEEE-USA's Russ Harrison to discuss how engineering and politics intersect.

Dec 05 | Terrance Malkinson

The Governance Board and You

The Board governs on behalf of the organization's owners or members; it is accountable for an organization's performance and integrity. How does it affect you?

Nov 05 | Lee Hollaar

U.S. Copyright Office Revisits Anticircumvention Rules

As mandated by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the U.S. Copyright Office has opened rulemaking proceedings to determine when it is okay to circumvent technological measures designed to protect copyrighted works.

Oct 05 | Barton Reppert

U.S. Lags in Next-Generation Internet Development

When it comes to IPv6, Europe and Asia are leaving the United States in the dust.

Sep 05 | Russ Harrison

Pulse: Employment Data Paints a Disturbing Picture

Troubling trend: falling unemployment coincides with falling employment among EEs.

Sep 05 | Greg Hill

Special: Katrina Poses Extreme Challenges for Power Engineers

IEEE-USA Today's Engineer asked two electric power engineers experienced in storm damage and service restoration for their thoughts on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, and what power engineers are doing, and will need to do, to restore electric service in affected areas, returning Gulf Coast residents to some semblance of normalcy.

Sep 05 | Russ Lefevre

IEEE-USA and the Globalization Challenge

Whether it’s characterized as globalization, offshoring, trade in services, competitiveness or Thomas Friedman’s "world flattening," U.S. engineers are facing unsettling new challenges and asking what needs to be done not only to preserve their own career vitality, but also to maintain a strong U.S. engineering workforce and keep engineering an attractive career path for future generations.

Sep 05 | Barton Reppert

Energy Act Includes Provisions Championed by IEEE-USA

Two significant, IEEE-USA-supported provisions make it into the final law.

Sep 05 | Terry Costlow

Engineering Education Evolves

Olin College is on the cutting edge of engineering education.

Sep 05 | Chris McManes

Spokane Boasts Model Gigabit Network

Spokane is wired and wireless like very few other cities. They should take note.

Aug 05 | Glenn S. Tenney

What Your Professors Might Not Have Told You About Intellectual Property

Most engineers deal with intellectual property (IP) issues on a daily basis. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're familiar with IP basics and how they might affect their careers. Take this simple quiz to test your knowledge of IP legal basics.

Aug 05 | John William Templeton

In My Opinion: The Tech Dream Deferred

Nearly 20 years after the Hudson Institute's workforce 2000 report called for the creation of one million new high-tech jobs for people in low-income neighborhoods, the nation is mired in a jobless recovery. For far too many Americans, the dream of economic prosperity that comes with growing numbers of high-skilled, high-wage jobs has been postponed or abandoned. The African-American community has been particularly hard hit.

Aug 05 | Barton Reppert

United States Facing Cyber Security Crisis, Experts Tell Capitol Hill Briefing, As IEEE-USA Prepares New Position Statement

IEEE-USA and the IEEE Computer Society Task Force on Information Assurance sponsored a 26 July forum to discuss a February 2005 Report by the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Aug 05 | Patrick Meyer

Hearing Summary: The Status and Future of the Hydrogen Economy

In his 2003 State of the Union speech, President Bush announced the creation of a new Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. Two years later, what progress has been made toward implementation of the Hydrogen Economy?

Aug 05 | Patrick Meyer

IEEE Interconnection Standard Facilitates Electric Reliability

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandates full implementation of the IEEE Interconnection Standard (IEEE 1547), increasing electricity supply diversity and ensuring the reliability and safety of the American electric power system.

Jul 05 | Mauro Togneri

Reader Poll: First-to-Invent vs. First-to-File and Other Patent Issues

Patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office are the primary protection inventors can employ to derive compensation from their inventions, and are therefore a primary driver of innovation. Lawmakers are considering changes to some of patent law's most basic tenets. Where do you stand on the proposed changes?

Jul 05 | George Zobrist

Alternative Energy Sources

Some estimate that our petroleum stores will run out in approximately 20 years, while others predict a supply that will last at least one 100 years more. Prognostications and arguments aside, it is reasonable to assume that someday energy usage will have to shift from petroleum to alternative sources. What are those alternatives?

Jul 05 | Bill Williams

IEEE-USA and IEEE's Power Engineering Society Team Up to Teach Congressional Staff Power System Basics

The IEEE Power Engineering Society (PES) and IEEE-USA’s Energy Policy Committee joined forces on 23 May to bring PES’ educational course, “Power System Basics for Non-Engineering Professionals,” to Capitol Hill for the benefit of congressional staff.

Jul 05 | Patrick Meyer

Pulling the American Energy Industry Out of the 20th Century

With the unrelenting flow of energy-related information coming from Capitol Hill, many engineers, policy-makers and ordinary citizens are wondering how the Energy Policy Act of 2005 will change the way things work. In this case, confusion may be warranted: FERC is given unprecedented authority; PUHCA is repealed despite warnings that consumers will face higher energy prices; and a Renewable Portfolio Standard is implemented in states in which it may be technically impossible to meet such requirements.

Jul 05 | Chris McManes

Extra: What Will Grokster Decision Mean For Technology Users and Inventors?

The Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated decision in the MGM vs. Grokster file-sharing case on 27 June. The decision will affect the public's access to the Internet and the development of future technologies, as well as determine how Americans receive their entertainment, according to IEEE-USA experts.

Jul 05 | George McClure

A New Frontier: The Privatization of Space

While NASA has slowed its space flight program, private companies and investors, spurred by high-stakes competitions like the Ansari X Prize, are pushing ahead with their commercial space programs toward the promise of even greater payoffs.

Jul 05 | Terry Costlow

Voting Machine Standards Move Forward

Engineers around the country are working together to develop standards that should help make sure that focus continues to be on vote counts, rather than the way votes are entered and tabulated.

Jun 05 | George McClure

Has Airport Security Improved Since 9/11?

Before 9/11, airport security consisted of a ticket agent asking you if you packed your bag yourself, if it had been in your continuous custody since you packed it, and whether you had been given anything to carry aboard by an unknown stranger. Today we wait longer and must endure additional scrutiny, but what has really changed? And are we safer?

Jun 05 | Barton Reppert

DARPA Assailed for Cutting Back Support of Basic Computing Research at U.S. Universities

IEEE-USA and other major professional technical organizations, together with key members of Congress and prominent computer scientists and engineers, have criticized the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for cutting back its support of basic, open-ended, “blue-sky” computing research at U.S. universities.

Jun 05 | George McClure

Are We Underfunding Basic Research in the Physical Sciences?

Funding for health sciences has doubled within five years, but the physical sciences and engineering have not been nearly as fortunate in increasing R&D funding. How will the Department of Energy's 18 national labs — which constitute 40 percent of the total national funding for physics, chemistry, materials science and other areas of the physical sciences — fare in the coming years?

May 05 | Bill Williams

IEEE Members Go to Washington to Learn About Engineering R&D

At the 3rd Annual Engineering R&D Symposium, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) underscored the urgent need for U.S. engineers to become politically active to protect their interests or risk losing their dominance to a quickly emerging, foreign high-tech industry.

May 05 | Mark B. Lively

Reengineering for More Reliable Power Distribution

Restructuring is sweeping the electric power industry and changing the role engineers must play in achieving a reliable supply of electricity.

May 05 | Jack Casazza

Electric Power Deregulation — A Bad Idea?

The United States is now more than 15 years into an experiment to deregulate and restructure its electric power industry. Has the change benefited industrial and commercial users, ordinary consumers and the nation's economy?

Apr 05 | George Zobrist

United States vs. Europe — Who's More Productive?

In the early 1990s, there was growing optimism that the burgeoning European Union (EU) would become a driver of productivity growth around the globe. Today, however, the outlook is less optimistic.

Apr 05 | Edith T. Carper

capitol shavings: A Contingency Plan for Congress


Apr 05 | Barton Reppert

Rep. Sherwood Boehlert on Key Science and Engineering Issues

Since becoming House Science Committee chair in January 2001, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert has emerged as an outspoken champion of science and technology programs on Capitol Hill. TE recently sat down with Boehlert, to discuss his thoughts on the S&T budget, the Hubble space telescope, outsourcing of U.S. high-tech jobs, and other issues.

Apr 05 | Glenn S. Tenney

Grokster and You

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing, Grokster, Kazaa and copyright inducement have been in the news the past year. What's it all about, and how does it affect you?

Apr 05 | Terry Costlow

Report Sets Agenda for Fostering Innovation

A recently released report, the National Innovation Initiative (NII), is helping policy-makers set an agenda that will help the country maintain its leadership position in innovation.

Apr 05 | George McClure

Will the Loss of the Hubble Space Telescope Matter?

If nothing is done, the Hubble will likely fail catastrophically by 2008. Although it has led to some of the most significant discoveries in recent history, NASA has no current plans to send either a manned or a robotic rescue mission to extend Hubble's life. Does it really matter?

Apr 05 | Rob Barnett

Engineering a Better Future

The United Nation’s millennium development goals (MDGs) are an ambitious set of goals (see Table 1) aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of people living in the world's least developed countries. What role can engineers expect to play in accomplishing these goals?

Apr 05 | George McClure

The Future of Social Security

While the payroll tax for Social Security is bringing in more money than is being paid out now, by 2018 that situation is expected to reverse as fewer workers contribute and more retirees draw benefits. Everyone's talking about it... but what's getting done?

Mar 05 | Massoud Amin

Powering the 21st Century: We Can — and Must — Modernize the Grid

IEEE Senior Member Massoud Amin, who coined the term "self-healing grid" during his tenure at the Electric Power Research Insitute (EPRI), responds to a piece on electric power industry reliability that appeared in last month's Today's Engineer.

Mar 05 | Georgia C. Stelluto

Spotlight: On IEEE-USA President Gerry Alphonse

2005 IEEE-USA President Gerry Alphonse is an IEEE Fellow, an accomplished engineer and a highly respected leader in technical and professional communities. He recently sat down with Today's Engineer to share some of the more personal defining moments in his remarkable life.

Mar 05 | Edith T. Carper

capitol shavings: Social Security


Mar 05 | Sharon C. Richardson

pulse: New L-1 and H-1B Provisions in the FY05 Budget


Mar 05 | George McClure

Is the United States Saving Enough for Retirement?

Long-term comparisons of the household savings rates of Europe, Japan and the United States reveal that, although all three have been trending downward, the Japanese are saving twice the amount — Europeans four times — as the United States. Given the questions swirling around the future of Social Security, and facing a declining number of traditional employer-maintained defined benefit pension plans, are we saving enough for retirement?

Mar 05 | Barton Reppert

National Nanotechnology Initiative Unveils Strategic Plan

A new strategic plan for the National Nanotechnology Initiative sizes up the first five years of the government's R&D effort as a success, and lays out an ambitious agenda for continuing development of nanotechnology over the next five to 10 years. The new strategic plan includes facilitating transfer of new technologies into products for economic growth, jobs and other public benefit.

Mar 05 | George McClure

reader poll: Phased Retirement


Feb 05 | Willem Dicke

Budget Cuts Threaten Airspace System Modernization

Cuts in the Federal Aviation Administration budget are threatening to delay the implementation of new air traffic control equipment at a time when the number of planes in the air is projected to increase substantially.

Feb 05 | George McClure

Electric Power Transmission Reliability Not Keeping Pace with Conservation Efforts

The United States is doing well with energy conservation. Data for the most recent three years show that growth in electric energy demand has been only half the growth in Gross Domestic Product. But reliability improvements have lagged behind, resulting in increased incidence of blackouts.

Feb 05 | Terry Costlow

Embattled H-1B Training Funds Likely to Disappear

Late last year, Congress passed bills that rescinded the project that dedicated $100 million in H-1B employer funds to training programs. If the project gets scuttled, only a little more than $9 million will be left for training in areas identified as having shortages of highly skilled American workers.

Jan 05 | George McClure

GATS Mode 4 — The Stealth Proposal

The World Trade Organization's (WTO) 148 member countries established a General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in hopes that it will encourage liberalization of trade in service markets, including engineering services. The goal is to stimulate economic growth, but definitions remain fuzzy and many proposals — including the U.S. proposal — aren't available for public review. What implications could GATS have on the careers of U.S. engineers?

Jan 05 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Be an Informed Citizen


Jan 05 | Chris McManes

X Prize Gives Space Tourism a Solid Boost

When Burt Rutan and the crew of the privately funded SpaceShipOne took home the $10 Million Ansari X Prize for successfully reaching space twice in a two-week period, they stoked interest in and support for the quest to open the final frontier to tourism and other commercial endeavors.

Jan 05 | Terry Costlow

Better Ethics Needed to Improve Energy Distribution

In October, several experts outlined and discussed the myriad factors involved in this new era of energy distribution at an IEEE-USA-cosponsored seminar at Notre Dame University on "Ethics and the Changing Energy Markets." Though early attempts to let open markets define the industry bordered on disastrous, many believe that things can settle down and run smoothly.

Dec 04 | George Zobrist

Internet Gambling

The demand for Internet gambling continues to grow, perhaps as a result of people love for gambling. Determining whether this gambling form should be made legal or not, however, is somewhat ambiguous. While many are stepping up efforts to prohibit Internet gambling, proponents believe it could be a revenue source for states and the federal government…

Dec 04 | Sharon C. Richardson

IEEE-USA Pulse: Transportation Funding

The debate over funding for public transit versus funding for highway projects is not new. Monies for both are scarce, and the demise of projects designed to promote mobility improvements, operational efficiencies, cost effectiveness and environmental benefits may come soon, when the 2005 Transportation-Treasury spending bill cuts projects it determines have no tangible benefit…

Dec 04 | George McClure

Converting Illegal Aliens to Blue Card Guest Workers

Of the estimated 8 million to 10 million illegal aliens in the United States today, nearly 40 percent are here because they overstayed their non-resident visas. In 1986, Congress issued an amnesty window, giving nearly 3 million illegal aliens legal immigrant status. Advocates are calling for another such amnesty. Might a “blue card” program be more effective?

Dec 04 | George McClure

Is the End to Employer-Paid Health Care Near?

Employers began offering health care insurance as an employee benefit during World War II, in response to imposed wage and price controls, which limited employers’ ability to attract desirable employees by offering them more salary. They could afford the costs for these benefits when the costs rose only as quickly — and in proportion to — the general inflation rate. The burden, however, is now shifting to employees.

Dec 04 | Terry Costlow

Federal R&D Funding: Corporate Welfare?

Funding decisions made by the new Congress will spark debate in the electronics industry in coming months. Some believe federal R&D funding should drive the emergence of exciting new technologies, but others view such federal grants programs to be nothing short of welfare for corporations.

Nov 04 | Michael Rozen, MD

Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research: Benefits and Controversies

Ethical debate, research restrictions, a lack of research funding, migration abroad of experts and the absence of a clear strategic plan continue to constrain the full scientific potential of stem cell research and tissue engineering. These constraints have contributed to the loss of jobs for U.S. scientists, engineers and physicians, as well as to a loss of leadership in this health care field.

Nov 04 | Rick Dill

Capitol Shavings: In My View — On High-Tech Visas


Nov 04 | Terry Costlow

Voice over Internet Protocol and the Changing Face of Communications

Voice over Internet Protocol is expected to ramp up quickly, possibly claiming more than 10 percent of worldwide telephony revenues in just five years. And while the government doesn't expect to be involved significantly in the transition, it will almost certainly have to get involved with the tax, law enforcement and regulatory issues that accompany the change.

Nov 04 | Dr. James L. Farrell

Member Opinion: On Defense Budget Waste


Oct 04 | George McClure

In My Opinion: How Big a Threat is Offshoring?

More and more, companies hoping to improve their bottom lines are taking advantage of lower labor costs offshore. In fact, high-tech job outsourcing has become a staple in today’s corporate environment. How much do employers really gain, and what effect is this trend having on engineers and other high-tech professionals?

Oct 04 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: The Hubble is in Trouble


Oct 04 | Sharon C. Richardson

IEEE-USA Pulse: Visa Delays

Delays in the visa process affect companies financially. IEEE-USA president John Steadman joined other organization leaders in urging the federal government to streamline the current visa application process by alleviating repetitive security checks, improving the renewal process, and establishing priority processing for some applications.

Oct 04 | Terry Costlow

Software Piracy: A Cause for Concern Onshore and Off

Software piracy in this country is relatively uncomplicated; companies and consumers simply load a few more copies of programs on their PCs than they paid for. And while this onshore piracy adds up to significant lost revenue, larger-scale piracy occurring overseas concerns software producers far more.

Sept04 | Terry Costlow

IEEE-USA Pushes to Improve Tech Education for Kids

IEEE-USA is among several groups working closely with elementary, middle and high schools, getting students interested in math, science and technology, with the hope that they will encourage more youngsters to pursue engineering in college. Contests and mentoring programs are among the most popular tools, and many corporations are joining the effort, sponsoring the programs with money, time and people.

Sept04 | George McClure

Does the IEEE's Code of Ethics Meet Today's Needs?

The IEEE’s Code of Ethics has retained the fundamental principles detailed in the Code first adopted by the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE) in 1912. Meanwhile, business practices have changed, society’s needs have changed, and engineers’ roles in business have changed. In light of the world in which we live and work today, could it be time to consider modifications?

Sept04 | Russ Harrison

U.S. IEEE Member Inspires Congressal Action

The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved an appropriations bill that earmarks $2 million for an independent study on the effects of offshore outsourcing. IEEE-USA Career and workforce Policy Committee Chair Ron Hira had met earlier with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) to discuss offshoring and high-tech employment, prompting Wolf to add a provision to the FY 2005 Commerce, State and Justice Departments appropriations bill for an offshoring study.

Jul 04 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Legislators Contemplate Their Own Demise


Jul 04 | Barton Reppert

Bush and Kerry Outline Stances on Technology Issues

Beyond agreeing on broad technology issues, President George Bush and Senator John Kerry differ significantly on many of the specific government programs and initiatives in place or needed to reap maximum benefits from advanced technology development. How do their stands compare with IEEE-USA’s positions?

Jul 04 | Terry Costlow

Exports Hold Potential for Small Businesses, Job Growth

The weak U.S. dollar is making American goods less expensive — and therefore more attractive — to international markets. This export environment should provide benefits for American companies and could benefit U.S. workers in the process.

Jun 04 | George Zobrist

Update on Electronic Voting Machines

This is the year for electronic voting. Whether the systems that ultimately will be used will be web-based or touch-screen systems, critical issues such as security, auditing, resources and computer literacy will surely surround them. Many states and the federal government have proposed or enacted legislation to deal with these issues.

Jun 04 | Terry Costlow

DARPA Plans Second Grand Challenge

DARPA’s first Grand Challenge failed to produce a clear-cut “winner,” but the technology presented and publicity generated were more than enough to convince DARPA managers that the event was a success. In fact, they are already planning a second race that promises an even larger prize.

Jun 04 | Georgia C. Stelluto

IEEE-USA in Action: Geriatric Healthcare Technology Offers Hope for 'Aging in Place'

Early prototypes of programmable walkers, “smart toilets”; monitoring devices with disembodied voices reminding people about daily tasks; emergency detection and response devices; passive sleep and gait monitors; and a robot named “Pearl” are just a few of the technology efforts that engineers have designed and are testing to help the elderly age with dignity and grace, according to speakers at a workshop on geriatric healthcare on 4 June at Mitretek Systems in Falls Church, Va.

May04 | Terry Costlow

RFID Tags May Help Trim Health Care Costs For Elderly

Technologies exist that could allow the nation's aging population to remain independent longer, saving substantial amounts on assisted living. But who will foot the bill? And who will be liable, should the systems fail?

May04 | George McClure

Will a Clearance Make Your Job More Secure?

Increased demand for high-tech personnel with security clearances and a growing backlog of security clearance investigations has brought attention to the lengthy clearance process. Is going through the time-consuming process worth it?

May04 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Insecure Social Security


Apr 04 | George McClure

U.S. Science and Engineering Careers Outlook

The National Science Board (NSB) considers U.S. strength in science and engineering as being in “potential peril.” NSB has endorsed an imperative for the federal government to ensure the adequacy of the U.S. science and engineering workforce, partly by increasing the number of Americans pursuing science and engineering studies and careers. Is this strategy really the way to go?

Apr 04 | Terry Costlow

Hybrid Vehicles Spell Savings for Those Who Pay the Price

Hybrid vehicles are growing in popularity, but questions remain about their general acceptance and their overall impact on tighter government regulations for fuel economy and low emissions.

Apr 04 | Edith T. Carper

Does Social Security Need A Lifeline?


Mar 04 | Terry Costlow

Immigrant Worker Debate Remains a Hot Topic

The refueled debate over immigration has some thinking that corporations may press Congress for another H-1B increase. With the H-1B visa limit now set at 65,000, concern is growing about companies that seek talent from other countries misusing the L-1 visa program to make up for the smaller H-1B pool. Professional organizations and interest groups are divided on the visa caps issue.

Mar 04 | Bill Williams

Blackout 101 Forum Educates Hill Staff

The 2003 "Northeast Blackout" left more than 50 million people in the dark last August. What happened? The IEEE Power Engineering Society and IEEE-USA sponsored a “Blackout 101” forum for members of Congress and their staffs, to educate them on how North America’s electric power system works; what can go wrong; and how we can prevent future large-scale power blackouts.

Mar 04 | John W. Steadman

IEEE-USA President's Column: Offshoring Challenges


Mar 04 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Senate Approves Pension Legislation, Urges House to Act Quickly


Feb 04 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Would Revised Immigration Law Help or Harm U.S. Workers?


Feb 04 | Terry Costlow

Government Support Could Put U.S. Nanotechnology Sector Out Front

Late last year, President Bush signed into law the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act, allocating $3.7 billion in federal funding for many aspects of molecular-level R&D over the next four years — and giving the United States an apparent edge over international competitors.

Feb 04 | Terrance Malkinson

Intelligent Transportation Systems

As the nation’s population continues to grow, increased traffic density on our roads and highways is contributing to longer travel times, increased pollution and more accidents. In addition to mass transit systems, one possible solution that is quickly gaining attention is Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), which integrates users, transportation systems and vehicles through state-of-the-art synergistic information and communications systems.

Jan 04 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: The Energy Bill — And Beyond


Jan 04 | George Zobrist

Electric Utility Reliability: Adding Cyber Security to an Already Complex Mix

When the electric system delivers energy to the bulk of customers within accepted standards, and in the amounts desired for a reasonable price, then it is said to be reliable. But when the potential for security breaches and even large-scale terrorism gets added to the already present weather factors and equipment failures, the reliability scenario becomes far more complex…

Jan 04 | Terry Costlow

Long-Haul Truckers: Idle No More

Heavy trucks consume billions of gallons of fuel each year, much of which gets burned by powerful engines left idling to run heaters or air conditioners for their cabs. Can new technologies and legislation keep truckers comfortable while reducing fuel consumption and improving air quality?

Dec 03 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Pension Reform Unlikely This Term


Dec 03 | George McClure

What Policies Does IEEE-USA Advocate?

Position statements serve as the basis for IEEE-USA’s legislative agenda and represent the authority for the policies advocated on behalf of IEEE’s U.S. members. How does a position become one? And should we limit policy advocacy to technology issues only or do career policy issues still deserve our voice?

Dec 03 | Terry Costlow

Government Hops on the Smart Card Bandwagon

The ramp up of smart card technology in this country has been slow. Lately, however, government agencies and other organizations have picked up the pace, using smart cards for employee identification, payment options and fraud protection. What’s more, groups are forming partnerships that allow users to use the same cards for very different purposes. Find out what and who has been behind the step up in smart card use.

Nov 03 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Energy Bill Comes Up Short


Nov 03 | Greg Hill and Chris McManes

IEEE-USA News: IEEE-USA Gives Congressional Staff Food for Thought

IEEE-USA is co-sponsoring a series of briefings for Congressional staff designed to raise awareness of key policy issues, such as our nation's electrical power grid reliability and the importance of federally funded research and development.

Nov 03 | Terry Costlow

DARPA Challenge Draws 'Unorthodox' Suggestions

It’s not the Great Race or even the Cannonball Run, but when the Pentagon’s “blue sky” R&D organization invites “trailblazers and pioneers in a wide range of fields” to develop unmanned vehicles to compete in a 300-mile race across the Mojave Desert for a $1 million prize, things could get interesting. Take a look at DARPA’s Grand Challenge, and how it's changing the government’s approach to finding innovative solutions to technological challenges.

Nov 03 | George Zobrist

Anti-Spam Legislation — No Easy Fix

E-mail in-boxes around the world are being inundated with spam, today's most popular form of junk mail. Analysts estimate that 70 percent of e-mail is junk that is costing businesses and consumers nearly $9 billion a year in wasted time and spam-fighting tools and efforts. But even with all of the time and money spent, are we getting any closer to an effective solution?

Oct 03 | George Zobrist

Data Mining and Privacy Issues

Gathering information by looking for hidden relationships in data is generating considerable debate both on Capitol Hill and among the public. With so much information gathered and stored by companies and the government, how can we retain our privacy?

Oct 03 | Terry Costlow

Voting Technologies — The Issues Go Beyond Punch Card Ballots and Lever Machines

The Help America Vote Act has prompted many state governments to consider moving to electronic voting technologies. Some experts believe that, eventually, this trend will involve the Internet. Are we improving the voting system or opening a can of worms?

Oct 03 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Should Gov't Work Be Contracted Out to the Private Sector?


Sep 03 | Terry Costlow

Global Issues Cloud Job Market

The employment market hasn't rebounded as quickly as unemployed and underemployed engineers have hoped, but layoffs have slowed. While professionals are looking for the upturn, they remain concerned about the impact changes in the global marketplace will have on this "jobless recovery."

Sep 03 | Bill Williams

Senate Swaps Energy Bills To Break Partisan Deadlock

In an unusual turn of events, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.) put the Democrats' version of the energy bill to a vote, knowing this version would have a better chance of passing before Congress' August recess. What are the differences between this version and the Republicans' version? What happens from here?

Aug 03 | George McClure

No Funeral for Amtrak

While still faced with a funding crisis, Amtrak keeps rolling along. Can the national rail system generate a profit? What changes may be in store in the near future and how will they affect the organization and its passengers?

Aug 03 | Terry Costlow

Technology Taking a Lead Role in U.S. Security

While The Patriot Act and other laws enacted to secure our nation have garnered their fair share of criticism, they all acknowledge the role technology will play in tightening up security in the United States. Biometrics and x-ray technology will lead the effort, while other systems are poised for future implementation.

Aug 03 | Chris McManes

H-1B and L-1 Visas Accelerate Offshore Outsourcing

According to IEEE-USA testimony presented on Capitol Hill in June, the presence of guest workers in the United States on H1-B and L-1 visas has accelerated the incidence of outsourcing high-tech work and jobs. Hearing participants discussed whether the nation could continue to lose such white-collar jobs to offshore competition and still prosper.

Aug 03 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: Tough Times for Pensions


Jul 03 | Terry Costlow

FAA Will Upgrade Technology and Boost Related R&D

The Federal Aviation Administration’s recent push to acquire and implement updated technology that will modernize the country’s outdated air traffic control system follows suggestions made last year in an IEEE-USA position paper. Changes will take about a decade, and will bring some much-needed funding to the battered high-tech industry.

Jul 03 | Chris Brantley

IEEE-USA News: A Word from the WISE


Jul 03 | Bill Williams and Chris McManes

Nanotech Briefing Educates Congressional Staff

The United States faces considerable challenges in maintaining leadership in the worldwide nanotechnology movement, as other countries are investing heavily in related research. IEEE-USA and others recently sponsored a congressional briefing to highlight the status and future of nanotechnology.

Jul 03 | George McClure

Is Aerospace Worth Saving

With the glory days seemingly behind the U.S. aerospace industry, should we continue to invest in funding and talent? The President’s Commission on the Future of the Aerospace Industry thinks so, and it outlined several recommendations to strengthen the weakened sector.

Jun 03 | Terry Costlow

Technologists Still Watching Effects of Medicare Decision

Medicare’s precedent-setting decision to approve coverage for alternative communication devices for people with disabilities has had wide implications across the medical technology field. How quickly will other technologies follow suit?

Jun 03 | Michael Lechter

Using Trademarks to Guard Against Software Piracy

While trademarks don’t replace other forms of software protection, they can protect against both piracy and incidental copying. What is a trademark and when is it most effective?

Jun 03 | George McClure

High Noon for H-1B Visas

Unless Congress says otherwise, come 1 October, the 195,000 temporary (H-1B) guest worker visa quota will revert to its original level of 65,000 per year. What does this mean for U.S. engineers and scientists — and the public?

May 03 | Terrance Malkinson

National ID System: Will We Trade Privacy for Security?

Do you find yourself having to prove you are who you say you are at every turn? As security measures continue to tighten and identification rules expand, some say it’s time to create a national identification system. The issues are far-reaching and the debates are strong.

May 03 | Terry Costlow

Making Recycling and Reuse More Efficient: Tough New Regulations Call for Engineers to Think Green

Engineers and executives who continue to downplay the impact electronic products have on the environment had better join in the green movement quickly. Tough new environmental regulations are changing the way engineers approach new product design and apply alternative materials to existing products.

May 03 | George McClure

Symposium Focuses on Engineering R&D

IEEE-USA was among six engineering societies that sponsored a two-day symposium in March to review federal R&D plans and budgets, to carry a message to Congress about the need for more R&D funding. Many participants visited federal agency leaders to talk about issues. Find out what they had to say.

Apr 03 | George McClure

Aviation Coalition Faces Industry Challenges

We have come to take for granted the availability of a safe and sophisticated aviation transportation system. But as federal support for aviation research has declined in the United States, foreign governments are increasing support for their programs. Leading-edge technology will determine the winners in the global competition, and technology advances will depend on national will, available capital and specific investments... more

Apr 03 | Terry Costlow

Fuel Cell Research Moving 'At Light Speed'

It’s not likely the popularity of fuel-guzzling SUVs will ebb anytime soon, but rising oil prices have put energy-saving technologies back onto the front burner. Among them, many are pushing hard for fuel cell development, which could reduce both gasoline consumption and vehicle pollution. Will the latest push actually make fuel cells real options for consumers? more

Mar 03 | Terrance Malkinson

Book Review: Legal Protection of Digital Information

Lee Hollaar draws on his unique experience in the field of computer science and the law to present a comprehensive and practical analysis of patent and copyright law in the electronic age. What types of legal protection can be used, what do they protect and what they do and don’t protect, and why — it’s all covered

Mar 03 | Terry Costlow

Cyber Security: Will the Bush Administration Strategy Make a Difference?

The Bush Administration’s National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace offers a framework for “organizing and prioritizing efforts.” But without the legislation to back it up, even some who helped craft the strategy openly question its efficacy...

Mar 03 | Greg Hill

R&D in the President's FY 2004 Budget

President Bush’s budget proposal for FY 2004 includes $122.5 billion for research and development, a 4.4 percent increase over FY 2003 funding levels. But with most of the increases going toward weapons systems development and research at the new Department of Homeland Security, what happens to the rest of the money?

Feb 03 | George McClure

The Future of Aerospace — Challenges Lie Ahead

The tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia dramatizes problems that have long existed in the aerospace industry. Faced with an aging orbiter fleet, canceled R&D programs and eroding business opportunities, what does the future hold for NASA?

Feb 03 | Michael A. Lechter

Anything Can Be a Trademark – Most of the Time


Feb 03 | Terry Costlow

A Still-Neutral FCC Eyeing HDTV Evolution

A recent agreement between the cable and consumer electronics industries that would enable HDTV sets to receive HDTV signals over cable without a set-top box has captured the attention of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which, thus far, has been more concerned with the industry’s phase-in of digital tuners to accommodate digital television...

Feb 03 | George McClure

The Future of Aerospace - Challenges Lie Ahead


Jan 03 | Tom F. Rogers

ISS Brings Civil Space Program Flaws to Light

It’s a decade late, more than eight times the projected cost, and will have reduced capacity. The International Space Station illustrates the flaws of our civilian space program. Is there time to win back support and public confidence to save the future of human space flight?

Jan 03 | Terry Costlow

Stalking Moves Onto the Web

As Internet use continues to increase, so too, does web-based criminal activity. One particularly distressing crime on the rise is cyberstalking. What is cyberstalking, who are the victims, and how can virtual stalkers be stopped?

Jan 03 | George Zobrist

Reader Poll: Are We In the Midst of a Jobless Recovery?

The stock market may have begun to turn around, but employment has not rebounded at the same rate. Are we experiencing a "jobless recovery"?

Dec 02 | Michael A. Lechter

Software Copyrights: Limited Protection…

Software copyrights offer limited protection against some types of 'pirates.' Find out what you need to know about copyright protection, registration and ownership…

Dec 02 | Terry Costlow

Despite Successes, Telemedicine's Future Is Clouded With Questions

Futurists foresee a time when patients will be able to talk to medical experts over the Internet. But how soon will it happen?

Nov 02 | Terry Costlow

Anti-Spamming Approaches — Will New Laws Solve the Problem?

Concern that unwanted e-mail — also known as spam — will have a huge negative impact on Internet use. What are the technical challenges associated with reducing spam? Will new laws help?

Oct 02 | Michael A. Lechter

Matching Software Protection to the Competition

Illegal copying poses a constant threat to software companies. Fortunately, businesses have several legal tools to combat copiers. What are they and how should they be applied? more

Oct 02 | Terry Costlow

Virtual Migration Speeds Up Migration

People have debated the impact people migrating to North America have had on this society since the 1700s. As the world has become more interconnected, the debate has shifted to globalization and a trend termed 'virtual migration'...

Sep 02 | Terry Costlow

Broadband Technologies Move to Higher Speeds

Broadband use has grown from 3.5 million to 15 million homes since 2000, and this growth rate is expected to continue as applications continue to require higher speeds. Can alternative broadband technologies compete with existing cable or satellite connections?

Aug 02 | Terry Costlow

The Future of Broadband: Where Are We Headed and How Will We Get There?

As the telecommunications industry continues to make broadband technologies available to more users, government leaders in Washington, D.C., are addressing some of the critical issues that will affect the future of America's Internet infrastructure. Will government actions open up or limit competition, and will consumers' rights be protected?

Aug 02 | Eric Green

Attacking Through the Wires: Cyber Terrorism, Hackers and Cyber Security

Cyber terrorism can take many forms, and cyber threats are real and potentially devastating. How can the United States - and the world - protect itself from digital rogues?

Jul 02 | Terrance Malkinson

Taking a Look at the 2002 G8 Summit

World leaders gathered in Kananaskis Alberta, Canada in July to discuss several global concerns. They left having made agreements, developing recommendations, and helping to create an environmental legacy in the host community…

Jul 02 | Eric Green

Copyright Protection in the Digital Age

With the increased ease of manipulating digital media has come the increased potential for illegal distribution of that media. Is there a solution that will stem piracy without restricting fair use?

Jul 02 | Terry Costlow

The H-1B Debate Continues As U.S. EEs Face Uncertain Employment Future


Jun 02 | George McClure

Is R&D Still the "Engine of Prosperity"?

Prior to 1980, federal R&D expenditures exceeded those of industry. Since the end of the Cold War, however, federal R&D spending has declined while industry expenditures have nearly doubled. Is R&D supported adequately, and is it still a driving force behind the nation's economy?

Jun 02 | Eric Green

Festo v. Shoketsu: An Overview of the Historic Patent Case and IEEE-USA's Role

In May, the Supreme Court ruled on Festo, ultimately adopting a solution proposed by IEEE-USA. The New York Times said the ruling "may be the most significant Supreme Court patent decision in two decades."

May 02 | Vin O'Neill

Policy Insight: Commission Assesses the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry


May 02 | Edith T. Carper

Capitol Shavings: On the Road to Energy Independence


May 02 | Eric Green

Festo v. Shoketsu: An Overview of the Historic Case and IEEE-USA's Role


May 02 | Terry Costlow

Health Care Costs Rise As Technology Advances


Apr 02 | Terry Costlow

Intelligence: Balancing the Techniques and the Costs

What does the future hold for U.S. intelligence-gathering agencies? What will change — and how much will it cost?...

Apr 02 | George McClure

Congressional Visits Day: Theme Attuned to the Times

Some 200 members of the U.S. science, engineering and technology community participated in the 7th SET Congressional Visits Day (CVD), on 5-6 March. CVD is a great way for U.S. IEEE members to get involved in the legislative process...

Mar 02 | Terry Costlow

U.S. Security vs. Public Privacy

America’s ability to monitor conversations and track people down is widely admired. But when that technology is used to eavesdrop on people inside U.S. borders, many people’s views change quickly. Who draws the line between security and privacy? How much access should law enforcement have?

Feb 02 | George McClure

Are We On the Road to Energy Independence?

America's 'Big Three' automakers have participated in a government-sponsored, cost-share program to develop cost-effective, viable alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. To date, none offer such a vehicle on the market. Should taxpayers continue to fund such efforts indefinitely?

Feb 02 | Jim V. Leonard

Our Nation's Missile Defense

In light of the 11 September terrorist attacks, the United States' concern for citizen safety has prompted many to rethink the need for a National Missile Defense (NMD) system. What can IEEE-USA members do to contribute to making the NMD successful?

Feb 02 | Terry Costlow

The U.S. Aerospace Industry: R&D Funding Needs Focus

The Commission on the Future of the U.S. Aerospace Industry has been charged with giving long-term direction to civilian and military avionics and space programs. Just how great is this task?

Jan 02 | Luis G. Kun

Special Op-Ed Feature: Protecting Our Critical Infrastructure: A "Silo" Approach Won't Work

In terms of terrorist acts, doesn't every one threaten our public health? Why, then, are health care and public health not considered in discussions of our "critical infrastructure"? Click here to read one expert's views.

Jan 02 | Terry Costlow

USPTO Moves Aggressively to Bolster Staff

Do You Have a Future in Patents? — Are you interested in making a change in your career — but want to stay close to the latest technological innovations? Have you considered becoming a patent examiner?

Dec 01 | Terrance Malkinson

Health Care Access and Emerging Medical Technologies

The health care industry is undergoing significant change, and with the change are significant ethical and policy issues, for which there are no easy answers. What are some of the hot issues and how are we dealing with them?

Dec 01 | George McClure

Should Passenger Rail Service Survive?

A decision that will be made in 2002 could end the life of Amtrak's intercity passenger rail service in the United States. Can Amtrak pull itself out of trouble at the eleventh hour? Should the federal government play a role in Amtrak's survival?

Nov 01 |  

IEEE-USA Joins With Others to Endorse Bipartisan "Tech Talent" Bill

In an effort to increase our nation's technical workforce, the Senate and House have introduced companion versions of the "Tech Talent Bill." What is it all about and how would it work?

Nov 01 | Christopher A. Monsey

Supreme Court Reviews Seismic Shift in Patent Protection Under Festo

While a recent appeals decision was designed to clarify the scope of patents — and therefore protection to patent owners — it instead gives competitors greater ability to copy patented inventions and reduces patent owners' abilities to prove infringement. What is IEEE-USA doing about it?

Oct 01 | Greg Hill

Who is Advising Congress on S&T?

Until 1995, the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) served Congress as a bipartisan authority on science and technology issues. Since then, members of Congress have had to rely on a host of other organizations to provide much-needed knowledge. Is it time to reestablish OTA?

Sep 01 | Chris McManes

UCITA Loses Steam

State action on the Uniform Computer Information Transaction Act has stalled. While this is good news for IEEE-USA, much work still needs to be done.

Sep 01 | Robert W. McKnight

Getting Around in a Better Environment: Head for the Tracks

With many of our nation's metropolitan area road infrastructures bursting at the seams, perhaps its time travelers and commuters consider an alternative with environmental and economic benefits — rail.

Aug 01 | Chris McManes

WISE Interns Experience 'The Hill' Firsthand

Three engineering students will have much to tell when they're asked what they did on their "summer vacation."

Aug 01 | Rick Cordaro

Electric Reliability in Deregulated Markets

Responding to the question of "who is going to leave the lights on," a group of industry experts are touting the merits of an Electric Reliability Organization (ERO). What is an ERO, and will it work?

Jul 01 | Robert Bellinger

The Multi-Generational Workforce: Can You Foretell How You'll Fare in the Changing Economy by Your Age?

Today's engineering workplace is comprised of four distinct generations of workers. Which group will fare best in our volatile economy?

Jul 01 | Jim V. Leonard

Congressional Visits - You Can Make a Difference

Because our Senators and Congressmen make decisions on our behalf, it behooves us to voice our opinions directly to them on the issues we consider important. Find out how to plan and carry out successful congressional visits, both in Washington, D.C. and at home…

Jun 01 | Tim Grayson

Approved Tax Bill Spells Pension Reform Victory for IEEE-USA and the IEEE's U.S. Members

When President Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act into law, U.S. taxpayers were assured of a series of retirement security and portability provisions that will support the needs of our nation's workforce. Get the details.

Jun 01 | Terrance Malkinson

The National Energy Policy: One Canadian's Perspective

The effects of U.S. domestic policies are often felt around the globe. What will the emerging U.S. National Energy Policy mean for our neighbors to the north? And what can we learn from them?

Jun 01 | George McClure

Power Deregulation — Who Gains?

Deregulation of the electric power industry has drawn both cheers and jeers. What are the benefits and what are the costs? What do consumers ultimately want? What do you think about the issue?

May 01 |  

IEEE-USA Members — Show You CARE About Policy Issues

IEEE-USA unveiled its Congressional Advocacy Recruitment Effort (CARE) during the 2001 IEEE-USA Workshop in late April. Find out how you can get more involved in the policy-making process... More

May 01 | Deborah K. Rudolph

Internet Privacy and the 107th Congress — the Issues at Stake on Capitol Hill

Internet privacy issues have surfaced en masse as the worldwide web has become more and more developed. What are the issues and how do they fit the fundamental expectations most people have of personal privacy? More

Apr 01 | Richard B. Gomez

Remoting Sensing Technology Applications Stymied by Economic and Consumer Hurdles

April Policy Perspectives feature by Richard Gomez offers a candid assessment of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)... More

Apr 01 | Chris McManes

Shaping Public Policy: 2001 IEEE-USA Congressional Fellows

Three IEEE members have left their hometowns and headed to Washington, D.C. for the year to assist Congress with a host of critical technology issues, including aviation safety, national electric restructuring, and renewable energy... More

Mar 01 | Cary R. Spitzer

U.S. Aviation in Crisis

Aviation issues continue to be a major focus on Capitol Hill. After five years of continuously reducing funding for aviation research, things have now reached crisis proportions... More

Feb 01 | George McClure

Workforce Issues Affecting Older Americans: How Does Old Age Really Play Out in the Workplace?



Copyright 2010 IEEE