Engineering Leaders Gather for 2016 Engineering Public Policy Symposium

Over 130 society leaders from 44 multi-disciplinary engineering organizations (representing more than two million engineers) attended the Engineering Public Policy Symposium held on April 19th in Washington, DC. ASME served as the Chair and lead organizer of the Symposium, which was made possible by a grant from the United Engineering Foundation.

As part of the event, Administration officials, Members of Congress, and Congressional staff participated in discussions on “Fiscal Year 2017 Federal Research and Development Budget Outlook / Research & Emerging Technologies.” Speakers included:

  • Jason Miller, Deputy Assistant to the President, White House National Economic Council;
  • Kei Koizumi, Assistant Director, Federal R&D, Office of Science and Technology Policy;
  • Matthew Hourihan, Director, R&D Budget and Policy Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science;
  • Dr. Arati Prabhakar, Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA);
  • Dr. Ellen Williams, Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E);
  • Dr. Pramod P. Khargonekar, Assistant Director, Directorate of Engineering, National Science Foundation (NSF);
  • Honorable Tim Ryan (D-OH), U.S. House of Representatives;
  • Honorable Tom Reed (R-NY), U.S. House of Representatives; and,
  • Honorable Paul Tonko (D-NY), U.S. House of Representatives.

ASME President Dr. Julio Guerrero opened the day’s proceedings and spoke to challenges the U.S. faces as other countries race to expand their investments in research and development, including national initiatives targeting emerging high-tech industries. While the U.S. remains a global leader in science and technology, Dr. Guerrero noted the gap in many indicators is closing, with countries like China and South Korea investing heavily in science and technology while U.S. investments stagnate.

Other speakers spoke to the record of success the U.S. has experienced when investing in science and technology, and the technological challenges that hold great promise for the future. Jason Miller from the White House National Economic Council noted how strategic investments like National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) are helping the manufacturing industry to better compete globally, and that past investments have demonstrated real returns for the economy. The presenters from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), and NSF drove this point home with examples of how their agencies have worked to advance research on fundamental scientific challenges while also pushing new technologies into the market place, creating jobs, new companies, and in some cases, entirely new industries.

2016 Engineering Public Policy Symposium, April 19, 2016. Research and Emerging Technologies Panel. From left to right: Panel Moderator: Donald P. McConnell, Vice President of Industry Collaboration, Georgia Institute of Technology; Arati Prabhakar, Ph.D., Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); Ellen Williams, Ph.D., Director, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E); Pramod P. Khargonekar, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Directorate of Engineering, National Science Foundation (NSF).