December 2015 AAES Newsletter

AAES Chair's Message 

Dear AAES Member


AAES continues to move forward in the second year under its new Constitution and Bylaws, electing a new chair and three new Board of Directors members, all for terms beginning January 1, 2016. (See the article below to learn more.)   

I want to express my gratitude for the exceptional service of outgoing Board members Marc Apter and Victoria Rockwell, who leave the Board after three years of service. Rockwell served as the 2014 AAES Chair.

I am pleased to inform you that several member societies have signed either one or both of our commitments to Educate Engineers to Meet the Grand Challenges and foster Re-entry and Alternative Paths into the Engineering Profession. Thanks to those societies who have chosen to take actions to improve our engineering profession.

The Board has finalized its suggested approach to affiliate memberships; a Bylaws amendment for this process will be sent to the General Assembly in the near future. As we transition out of Engineering Workforce Commission (EWC) activities, the financial situation of AAES remains quite tight. In order to balance the 2016 budget, the Board approved a ten percent dues increase for 2016.

In the educational sessions before the November General Assembly meeting, we received an excellent presentation on the issues of data security for professional societies in this era of big data breaches. We were told that it is critically important to have a plan of action for handling what is almost an inevitable data breach. Also included in the morning session was a look at public policy issues, with an emphasis on the 2016 national elections and what societies should be advocating for regarding public policy. Michael Milligan of ABET reviewed some potential changes occurring with Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) criteria.

The next General Assembly meeting will be held in the afternoon of Tuesday, April 19, 2016, following the AAES Awards Banquet and the NAE-AAES Convocation (April 18). Finally, it has been a true honor to serve as the AAES Chair in 2015.




James L. Melsa, Ph.D.

2015 Chair, American Association of Engineering Societies


New AAES Chair, Board Members to Begin Terms in January

On November 5, the AAES Board of Directors elected Alyse Stofer, current AAES vice-chair and 2013 Society of Women Engineers president, to assume the position of chair beginning January 1, 2016 for a two-year term. On the same day, the AAES General Assembly elected Elizabeth Bierman, Kenneth Galloway, and Robert Lindeman to the AAES Board of Directors for three-year terms also beginning January 1. Learn more about our newly elected leaders.


AAES General Assembly Session on Data Security - Planning Ahead is Crucial

 “I’m generally not a sky-is-falling kind of lawyer,” Jefferson Glassie told the group of 44 leaders of AAES member societies gathered for the AAES General Assembly Meeting on Nov. 5. “But when it comes to cybersecurity, I think the general mantra should be: ‘The sky will fall on you.’”

That line got a buzz from the audience, serving as a stark reminder that data security is a major challenge for associations in this era of big-data breaches.

The session featured presentations from Glassie, a partner and co-chair of the Nonprofit Organizations and Associations practice at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP; Chris Ecker, chief technology officer at DelCor Technology Solutions; and Dr. Richard Schroth, a preeminent cyber security expert. The speakers provided steps that associations can take to protect themselves and their members if and when that sky does fall.

Read the full article and view the presentations and speaker bios.


Congratulations to the 2016 AAES Award Recipients

AAES is pleased to announce the winners of six awards to be presented at a banquet ceremony following the NAE-AAES Convocation, April 18, 2016, at the National Academy of Sciences Building (2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC). 

Sarah Rajala, Ph.D., Dean, College of Engineering, Iowa State University, is the winner of the 2016 National Engineering Award. She was selected for her outstanding leadership at the institutional as well as at national and international levels impacting multiple engineering societies, her innovations in engineering education and assessment, and her tireless efforts to promote diversity in engineering.   

Brajendra Mishra, Ph.D., Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Director of the Metal Processing Institute, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is the winner of the 2016 Kenneth Andrew Roe Award. He was selected for his inclusive and consistent leadership of the science and engineering community toward accomplishing meaningful goals through collaboration at the personal and organizational levels.

Raymond Paul Giroux, Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., is the winner of the 2016 Norm Augustine Award. He was selected for his ability to effectively capture the public’s attention and to engage the engineering profession in understanding how mega engineering projects such as the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge are truly engineering miracles. 

H. Vincent Poor, Ph.D., Dean, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Princeton University, is the winner of the 2016 John Fritz Medal. He was selected for outstanding contributions to the fields of modern communications and signal processing through their development, application and dissemination.   

Jessica Morrison, Ph.D., is the winner of the 2016 AAES Engineering Journalism Award. She was selected for helping the public better appreciate the critical role played by engineers in her online story “How Engineers Use Ground Freezing To Build Bigger, Safer and Deeper,” which appeared in NOVA (PBS/WGBH) on October 30, 2013.   

Wendi Goldsmith, Director, Center for Urban Watershed Renewal, is the winner of the 2016 Joan Hodges Queneau Palladium Medal. She was selected for championing science-based practices for resilient facility and infrastructure design and construction using interdisciplinary solutions to integrate ecosystem services, with a broad history of facilitating creative and successful collaboration between engineers, environmental scientists and sustainability policy advocates.

The AAES Chair's Award recipient will be announced at the awards banquet ceremony. Visit AAES’s awards page for more information, including a description of each award.


AAES 2015 Engineering Salary Survey Released

The 2015 Engineering Salary Survey from AAES EWC is now available for purchase. The publication combines both academic and industry salary data (previously two separate publications) to provide one comprehensive resource on salary statistics for engineering and technology professionals. To purchase, go online, contact EWC at, or call  202-296-2237.


Add STEM Outreach to Your Foreign Travel Plans

Traveling abroad?  Participate in the State Department's Science Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership (STIEP) and inspire youth to pursue STEM careers, motivate the next generation of engineers to create solutions to shared global challenges, and discuss strategies for involving more women and minorities in STEM careers.  Learn more and make a difference.


Working Group News

WFEO General Assembly Meeting Summary - Kyoto

The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) General Assembly was convened in Kyoto, Japan in conjunction with the World Engineering Conference and Congress (WECC) with this year’s theme: Engineering: Innovation and Society. The United States had a robust delegation in attendance with AAES Member Society participants from ASCE, ASEE, ASME, SWE, and AIME/SME.

  • As part of the event, WFEO Standing Technical Committees (STCs), other Committees, and the Executive Board met as did the WFEO General Assembly. During these meetings, the Committee on Engineering and the Environment submitted their report on the "Model Code of Practice - Principles of Climate Change Adaptation for Engineers" for acceptance by the Executive Council. This report, which incorporated extensive AAES suggested edits and additions, was unanimously approved with a recommendation to the General Assembly for approval. The General Assembly approved the recommended code with no changes.
  • In the election, Marlene Kanga (nominated by Australia) was selected to serve as President-elect, unfortunately beating out the U.S. (and AAES endorsed) nominee and AAES representative to WFEO, Vilas Mujumdar. Dr. Mujumdar though will serve on the Executive Council as an At Large representative. AAES IntAC Chair Reggie Vachon was appointed to the position of WFEO Treasurer.
  • It was reported six new members have joined WFEO in the past two years.
  • At the conclusion of the meeting, WFEO adopted the Kyoto Declaration, a document setting forth the many areas in which engineering can impact our world and committing our energies to meeting these challenges.

AAES Supports WFEO in Implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals

In September, the UN General Assembly approved Sustainable Development Goals for 2015-2030, which replace the Millennium Development Goals and become effective January 1, 2016. The AAES International Activities Committee’s Task Force on Global Sustainability is supporting the World Federation of Engineering Organizations’ (WFEO) UN Committee (WURC), chaired by Reggie Vachon, in providing input to the UN on engineering contributions to sustainable development, including metrics for measuring progress. WFEO has a long history of leadership on sustainable development, first with its model Code of Ethics, then in 2013 with its Model Code of Practice for Sustainable Development, and now with its recent approval of a “Model Code of Practice: Principles of Climate Change Adaptation for Engineers” in Kyoto (described in article above).

WFEO Commits To Tuning World Climate Change Agreement into Action

Following WFEO’s meeting in Kyoto, it held a one-day summit on climate change in Paris. The theme of the Dec. 8 event was the engineering role in turning the words of the COP-21 agreement on climate change into action. COP-21 emerged from the United Nations conference on climate change held in Paris Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. The full text of the statement committing engineers to supporting the COP-21 agreement and the complementary UN Sustainable Development goals can be downloaded from the WFEO website.


Member Societies News

Transform Infrastructure Through ASCE Innovation Contest

The ASCE Innovation Contest offers professionals, educators, and students the opportunity share their best ideas for transforming the future of our nation’s infrastructure. Entries are welcome in four topic areas: 1) innovative business models & technologies, 2) the Internet of things, 3) green engineering, and 4) resilience. Join the power of the crowd to help transform the state of our nation’s infrastructure by sharing your best ideas, projects, and theories for how to build a better future. Winners will get the chance to present their ideas to, and network with, industry leaders/evaluators, be considered for research grants, be recognized in trade publications, and receive special recognition and awards. If you are a student, winners will also be offered first and/or second round interviews for job and internship opportunities. Learn more about the contest and the approaching submission deadline. 


ASCE's IMAX Film on Engineering Will 'Dream Big'

ASCE’s ambitious IMAX film Dream Big: Engineering Wonders of the World, recently moved into full production thanks to the Bechtel Corporation, which signed on as the film’s presenting sponsor.  The awe-inspiring giant-screen movie is scheduled to premier during Engineers Week in February 2017 and will be tied to an educational program to inspire youngsters and students to consider careers in engineering. Produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films, the leading creators of IMAX movies with such blockbuster credits as To FlyThe Living Sea, and EverestDream Big will wow viewers with how today’s engineers are pushing the limits of ingenuity and innovation in unexpected, imaginative and amazing ways.


 ASEE Continues Involvement With Maker Movement

The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) continues its active engagement with the Maker Movement. With support from the National Science Foundation, ASEE hosted the 2015 NSF Maker Summit, Nov. 2-3, in Washington, DC. The Summit connected people from different parts of the Maker community. The interactive sessions discussed the relationship between formal and informal learning, teaching and learning in pre-college and undergraduate education, diversity and inclusion, and innovative products and processes to support Making. A workshop report on the Maker Summit is scheduled for 2016.


TMS Annual Meeting to Push Boundaries in Light Metals Production

Inspiring positive change in the way business is conducted in the light metals industry will be the focus of the Light Metals Keynote Session at the TMS 2016 Annual Meeting & Exhibition. “Pushing Boundaries—Innovative Thinking in Light Metals Production” will feature presentations by Martin Iffert, CEO Trimet Aluminium SE, and Stephane Delalande, Deputy Scientific Director, PSA Peugeot Citroën. This session will kick off a week’s worth of programming developed by the TMS Light Metals Division at TMS2016, to be held February 14-18 in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.  Over the course of five days, nearly 3,300 technical presentations will be delivered at more than 60 symposia in 11 technical tracks at TMS2016. The deadline to register for TMS2016 at the discounted registration rate is January 8.


Build a More Inclusive Community at the Second TMS Summit on Diversity

The second Summit on Diversity in the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Professions (DMMM2), sponsored by TMS, will be held July 25–26, 2016 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. DMMM2 will present attendees with opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge, and connections needed to build a more diverse and inclusive minerals, metals, and materials community. The summit encourages interaction and discussion among attendees to identify practical strategies that can be implemented in their own workplaces, as well as the professional community at large. For more information , visit the Summit website where you can review and suggest additions to TMS Diversity and Inclusion Resources, the toolkit established as an outcome of of DMMM1. 



TMS Open-Access Journal Publishes First Data Descriptor Article

Integrating Materials Manufacturing and Innovation (IMMI), TMS’s open access journal, has published its first data descriptor article, “Symmetric and asymmetric tilt grain boundary structure and energy in Cu and Al (and transferability to other fcc metals)” by Mark A. Tschopp et. al. This unique article classification is a stand-alone record of scientific work that presents a detailed account of the methodology used to collect experimental or simulation data. The article also offers a thorough description of the resulting data and a brief description of the data’s anticipated value. For additional information on this new way of communicating research results, read the editorial by Charles H. Ward, IMMI Editor-in-Chief.  To access details on the benefits of publishing in IMMI or to submit a manuscript, visit the IMMI website.


ASME Congress Shines Spotlight on Making a Difference Through Engineering

Two highlighted speakers at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition last month in Houston stressed the importance of encouraging both the current and a new generation of engineers to make their mark. In an impassioned speech during the President’s Luncheon, ASME President Julio C. Guerrero, Ph.D., emphasized the importance of inspiring young people to become engineers — and members of ASME. Guerrero underscored the significant role that today’s engineers play in ensuring the future of the engineering profession. “It’s urgent,” Guerrero said. “We need to inspire students and young engineers to share our love and passion for engineering and life.… What we do today affects our children, grandchildren, the next generations and our planet.”

World-renowned heart surgeon and medical-device inventor William E. (Billy) Cohn, M.D., spoke during the keynote session to the theme “Engineering in Healthcare.” Cohn, director of the Center for Technology and Innovation and of the Cullen Cardiovascular Research Laboratory at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, told engineers in the packed ballroom that the healthcare field was one in desperate need of their skills and expertise. “…[O]nly through innovation, finding less expensive ways to identify disease earlier in its course, to treat and prevent major illness and major hospitalizations, are we going to be able to avoid this disaster [of rising health care costs],” Cohn said. “And where is that innovation going to come from? It’s going to come from engineers.”



Rescue Robots Face Off at ASME Student Design Competition Finals

Seventeen international teams of young-engineer innovators gathered in Houston at last month’s ASME congress and exposition to compete for top honors at the ASME 2015 Student Design Competition (SDC). The SDC, an annual contest of ingenuity and skill for undergraduate engineering students, is known around the world as a showcase for today’s young engineering talent. Regional SDC champion teams from universities in Pakistan, Poland and everywhere in between gathered for the final round of the 2015 competition, ready to test their mettle against the other contestants and against the clock.

One of two entries from North Carolina State University, Rescue Rover, makes its way through the "Robots for Relief" competition course. Rescue Rover placed third in the SDC finals.


Argentina To Host PanAm Research Coordination Network Conference

The Pan American Research Coordination Network will hold its 2nd RCN Conference on Pan American Biofuels and Bioenergy Sustainability Sept. 13-16, 2016, in Buenos Aires, Argentina in collaboration with AAIQ (Argentinian chemical engineers), AIChE, and AIChE’s Institute for Sustainability and its Society for Biological Engineering.

Large-scale biofuels and bioenergy production is developing rapidly in the Pan-American region even as the effects of that production on environmental systems and social conditions remain largely unknown. Such production will likely lead to dramatic changes in existing human and natural systems. The conference will address these issues with presentations and discussion sessions that emphasize the importance of cross-disciplinary and systems approaches to developing a sustainable biofuels and bioenergy sector.


 ICOSSE '16 Sustainability Conference Slated for China

The 5th International Congress on Sustainability Science and Engineering (ICOSSE ’16) will be held May 23-27, 2016, at Soochow University in Suzhou, China, co-chaired by Dr. Yinlun Huang of Wayne State University and Dr. Xiao Dong Chen of Soochow University. ICOSSE ’16 will focus on food technology and the food-energy-water nexus, sustainable manufacturing, nanotechnology, and energy and environmental sustainability, among other topics. ICOSSE ’17 is scheduled for Oct. 3-5, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain, collocated with the 10th World Congress of Chemical Engineering. Check for updates.


Partnership Produces New Conference for PEs

NSPE and the Texas Society of Professional Engineers are partnering on a special conference for PEs and those on the path to licensure. The 2016 Professional Engineers Conference is scheduled for June 22–26 at the Fairmont Dallas and will give attendees the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals, earn continuing-education credits, and learn about the profession's top issues. NSPE is now recruiting speakers for the conference, with 30 planned sessions on a wide range of topics, including a special track for young engineers. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 15.


NSPE Weighs in on Protecting the "Engineer" Title     

In a recent blog post, NSPE addresses “The Cheapening of the Engineering Title,” spurred by a recent article in The Atlantic that says computer programmers who call themselves "engineers" are undermining "a long tradition of designing and building infrastructure in the public interest."

NSPE President Tim Austin, P.E., submitted a letter to the editor in response to the article (linked from the blog) and the post gives a good synopsis and timeline of the issue, which has been on NSPE’s radar since the mid-1990s.


NSPE Advocates Stronger Engineering Standards in Response to Gold King Mine Disaster

During the past several months, NSPE has been involved in advocacy efforts surrounding the Gold King Mine disaster, a 3-million gallon toxic spill in Colorado in August that raised questions about standardization of EPA rules and having the proper engineering expertise onsite.

To protect against similar disasters in the future, NSPE, in collaboration with Congressman Bruce Westerman, P.E., has been urging all federal agencies to strengthen engineering standards by mandating the role of licensed professional engineers in federal engineering projects. NSPE also created a Storify to combine its advocacy efforts with other reports, stories, and social media posts to paint the broader picture.


NCEES Inks Partnership To Offer FE Exam in Egypt

NCEES has entered into a partnership with the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate (EES) to allow the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination to be offered to graduates of Egyptian engineering programs. EES, the entity for Egyptian engineers, aspires to enact legislation that will require all graduates of engineering programs to successfully complete the FE exam in order to be admitted to the EES and thus be authorized to offer and provide engineering services in Egypt. Currently, there are approximately 25,000 graduates from Egyptian engineering programs each year.  The FE exam will be administered at approved Pearson VUE test centers in Egypt.


ISA Automation Appreciation Month Targets STEM Outreach

To encourage ISA members to get involved with young people on STEM initiatives—and to celebrate the importance of automation careers—ISA designated November 2015 as Automation Appreciation Month. Throughout the month, ISA distributed emails to members and ran advertising that highlighted the value of four specific advocacy initiatives:

Visit for more information.


New NSBE Campaign Promotes Surge in Black Engineering Graduates

The National Society of Black Engineers launched its “Be 1 of 10K Campaign” in October, aiming to graduate 10,000 black engineers annually by 2025. The campaign invites students in grades 7-12 to pledge to prepare themselves academically to graduate with a degree in engineering before that target year. Parents and supporters are also asked to pledge their help so that the young people in their lives can achieve this goal. The campaign has already attracted donations, media attention, and nearly 3,000 people to the Be 1 of 10K website.


Obtain Insights from IEEE-USA

The IEEE-USA InSight Podcast is a monthly podcast featuring news, information and updates from IEEE-USA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Listen to the November podcast to learn about IEEE & IEEE-USA elections, the Global Day of the Engineer, New Faces of Engineering, and their conference calendar, hear an interview with the Secretary and Treasurer of the IEEE Karachi (Pakistan) Section, and more.