July 15, 2011
The NSPE Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee met at the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas to discuss the committee's goals for the coming year and determine NSPE's primary public policy agenda for 2011–12. Based on committee discussions and a recent survey of NSPE members, NSPE will focus on the following federal issues:
May 26, 2011
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden represented NSPE at events in conjunction with High-Performance Building Week, sponsored by the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition. NSPE is a member of the HPBCCC, a coalition of more than 100 associations and corporations that seeks to heighten awareness and inform policymakers about high-performance building issues, including new building technologies, enhanced U.S. economic competitiveness, and increased energy efficiency. The coalition provides guidance and support to the congressional High-Performance Buildings Caucus.
May 19, 2011
National Engineers Week and the Future City Competition met with a delegation of urban planning leaders from the Middle East to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and how to engage students in engineering. The delegation was visiting the U.S. as part of a Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program entitled "Urban Planning and Green Development."
May 18, 2011
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended a congressional briefing entitled "Engineering Concepts in the K–12 Classroom." The briefing included a discussion of how engineering is currently taught at the K–12 level and how engineering concepts could be used to enhance science, mathematics, and technology teaching.
May 17, 2011
NSPE cosponsored the 2011 Engineering Public Policy Symposium, which was held in conjunction with the National Academy of Engineering Convocation and the American Association of Engineering Societies Awards. Entitled "Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education and the 21st Century Workforce," the symposium featured remarks by White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Department of Education Special Assistant for STEM Education Michael Lach, and National Science Foundation Assistant Director for Engineering Thomas Peterson.
May 12, 2011
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-21) introduced the Engineering Education (E2) for Innovation Act (S. 969), which would provide grants to integrate engineering curricula and content into classrooms across the country. The bill's goals of increasing student achievement and interest in engineering, broadening the diversity of students participating in engineering, and developing a workforce prepared to teach engineering are critical to cultivating the next generation of engineers. The bill was first introduced in 2010 but failed to pass before the 111th Congress adjourned. NSPE sent a letter in February encouraging Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Tonko to reintroduce the bill.
May 5, 2011
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden participated in a Clean and Safe Energy Coalition teleconference featuring David Mullen, international representative for the utility department of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Mullen described his personal experience as an equipment operator at a nuclear power plant and the culture of safety and rigorous, ongoing training in the nuclear energy industry. He said that IBEW's primary concern is public health and safety. IBEW supports loan guarantees for new nuclear facilities and a streamlined permitting process that maintains quality building standards and nuclear safety.
May 3, 2011
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden participated in an R&D Credit Coalition teleconference to discuss federal legislation that would promote domestic research and manufacturing. NSPE is a member of the R&D Credit Coalition, a group of more than 275 trade and professional associations and companies of all sizes that collectively represent millions of American workers engaged in U.S.-based research throughout major sectors of the economy, including aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, chemicals, electronics, energy, information technology, manufacturing, medical technology, pharmaceuticals, software, and telecommunications. The objectives of the coalition are a strong, permanent R&D credit of commensurate rate for all companies; a 20% simplified credit; and an extension of the traditional credit.
April 28, 2011
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden attended a High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition briefing on "Earthquake Hazards and the Nation's Buildings," where structural engineers discussed the need for stricter earthquake codes and standards in U.S. buildings and Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazus Project Manager Eric Berman discussed FEMA's Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning software.
April 25, 2011
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden represented NSPE at an Industry Summit on Sustainability and Risk, sponsored by the Associated General Contractors and American Institute of Architects. The summit was attended by representatives from government agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and General Services Administration; industry organizations including the American Bar Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Building Owners and Managers Association International, International Code Council, and National Institute of Building Sciences; insurance and surety companies including Victor O. Schinnerer and Company; and private practitioners. The group discussed sustainability trends, the cost of sustainability, and the implementation of "green codes."