December 17, 2010
The President signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act. The tax package includes a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit (retroactive to January 1, 2010, through 2011). 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.
December 15, 2010
NSPE General Counsel Arthur Schwartz commented before the Chemical Safety Board on the role of professional engineers in offshore oil-drilling safety. NSPE believes that PEs should supervise all engineering design, operations, and maintenance of offshore oil rigs. Read NSPE's comments here. The Chemical Safety Board is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents, including the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden and NSPE member Robert Cargill, Ph.D., P.E., attended a Food and Drug Administration External Defibrillator Improvement Initiative workshop. Cargill participated in a panel discussion on engineering design practices that could improve the next generation of devices.
The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Devices and Radiological Health has launched the External Defibrillator Improvement Initiative to encourage innovation in and improve the safety and effectiveness of the next generation of external defibrillators. While FDA urges consumers to continue using current external defibrillators, the agency hopes to improve design and manufacturing practices to enhance future devices and reduce instances of failure.
December 14, 2010
NSPE cosponsored a High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition briefing, " Building Metrics: Understanding Performance & Making Informed Choices." The briefing included presentations by professional engineers from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the U.S. Green Building Council and a representative from the National Institute of Building Sciences.
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 Building Caucus.
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden participated in an R&D Credit Coalition teleconference. The Senate is expected to pass the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act, a tax package that includes a two-year extension of the R&D tax credit (retroactive to January 1, 2010, through 2011).
December 1, 2010
NSPE General Counsel Arthur Schwartz attended a reception in honor of Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY-21). Tonko, an engineer, has been a champion of NSPE's issues in the 111 th Congress. He serves on the House Science and Technology and Education and Labor Committees.
The House passed the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act (H.R. 5112, S. 3250); and the President is expected to sign it into law. The Senate passed the bill in July. The bill seeks to ensure that federal buildings' design, construction, operation, and maintenance personnel have appropriate skills and training to meet energy-efficiency goals and address high-performance building needs.
November 23, 2010
Freese and Nichols, a Texas-based architecture and engineering firm, was honored with the National Institute of Standards and Technology's 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement, and visionary leadership. The firm was one of seven organizations to be selected for this year's award.
Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. NIST, an agency of the Department of Commerce, promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve quality of life.
November 22, 2010
The Infrastructure Security Partnership presented NSPE member Joe D. Manous Jr., P.E., Ph.D., D.WRE, with its Annual Award for Distinguished Leadership in Critical Infrastructure Resilience. Manous is an environmental engineer for the Institute for Water Resources at the Army Corps of Engineers.
TISP is a public-private partnership that seeks to improve the resilience of the nation's critical infrastructure against the adverse impacts of natural and man-made disasters. TISP members represent the design, construction, operation, and maintenance communities; local, state, and federal agencies; and academe.
November 17, 2010
NSPE Senior Manager of Government Relations Sarah Ogden represented NSPE at a Renewable Natural Resources Foundation congressional briefing, "Assessing America's Renewable Energy Future." The briefing featured presentations on wind, solar, and biomass energy and included speakers from the White House, USDA, universities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. NSPE supports investment in research and development of all forms of energy in order to diversify America's energy portfolio and reduce reliance on foreign oil.