Newsletter: March 2017

AAES Chair's Message 

Dear AAES Member

Welcome to the New Year! First, let me welcome J. Robert Sims to the AAES Board of Directors (BOD), and thank Jim Melsa, Ph. D., for serving as the 2016 AAES Immediate Past Chair. I look forward to working with Bob and thank Jim for his unwavering commitment to finding ways for member societies to work together to address important engineering issues. Second, I am honored and privileged to be serving the second year of my term as the AAES Chair. In 2015 I served as the AAES Vice Chair and prior to that as a Member-At-Large on the BOD. In FY13 I was privileged to serve as Society of Women Engineers President.  I have been employed at Medtronic, the world’s leader in medical technology devices, for the past seven years and preceding that several small medical device companies in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area. I recently moved into a new role leading a R&D engineering team within Medtronic’s endoVenous business.

In 2017, I look forward to continuing the strategic planning discussions that were kicked off at the November BOD and General Assembly meetings. I also look forward to further collaboration with our AAES committees and in the public policy arena.  Recently, the BOD voted to endorse a letter to President Trump circulated by ASME, IEEE-USA and ASCE in support that “our country’s visa and immigration systems maintain the flow of individuals and ideas upon which our country’s prosperity and progress depend”. I look forward to additional collaboration with member societies throughout 2017, and I encourage you to discuss new opportunities and partnerships with me, the BOD and the AAES staff. Building on Medtronic’s tagline, we will go “further, together”. 

This spring we will continue to advance AAES’s mission, “to serve as one voice for the U.S. engineering profession”, at the NAE-AAES Convocation and Engineering Public Policy Symposium. On April 24, approximately 100 engineering society leaders will convene for the annual NAE-AAES Convocation. This year’s theme is “Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems in Engineering – the Challenges and Opportunities of this Frontier”. Similar to the timely 2015 Convocation discussion on “Big Data” and the 2016 Convocation on “The Revolution of Modeling and Simulation for Engineering”, this year’s topic will provide insights to the engineering applications of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. “Ethics and Autonomous Vehicles”, the afternoon session, will highlight the ethical and social issues connected to semi-autonomous and autonomous ground vehicles. (See article below for more information.)  

The AAES Awards Banquet will follow the NAE-AAES Convocation on April 24. Seven prestigious engineering awards will be presented to distinguished recipients. (See article below for more information.) The next General Assembly meeting will be held the afternoon of April 25, following the Engineering Public Policy Symposium. I hope you’ll join me for the NAE-AAES Convocation, AAES Awards Banquet and Engineering Public Policy Symposium, as well as the General Assembly meeting which will include continued strategic planning discussion.   



Alyse R. Stofer

2016-2017 Chair, American Association of Engineering Societies


2017 Annual Spring Events

Monday, April 24

  • NAE-AAES Convocation of the Professional Engineering Societies
    8:00AM – 5:00PM
  • NAE Reception
    5:30PM – 6:30PM
  • AAES Awards Banquet
    6:30PM – 9:00PM

All Monday events will be held at the National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, April 25

  • Engineering Public Policy Symposium
    8:00AM – 1:00PM
    B2043-2044-2045 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
  • AAES General Assembly Meeting
    2:00PM – 4:30PM
    Keck Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
    500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. (Note that this is a change in location.)


Upcoming NAE-AAES Convocation Focuses on Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems in Engineering

This year’s NAE-AAES Convocation of the Professional Engineering Societies, taking place on Monday, April 24, will delve into artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems, which are increasingly present in engineering applications and are extending their roles into social systems. With their expanding role comes unique challenges, opportunities, and complexities, including unforeseen consequences. 

The day will start with a keynote from Subra Suresh, President, Carnegie Mellon University, discussing “Robotics and Artificial Intelligence: Technology Society and the Individual.”

In the first of two panel sessions, “Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems in Engineering – the Challenges and Opportunities of This Frontier”, the technologies of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems in a variety of disciplines, such as aerospace, mining operations, and smart manufacturing, will be explored. In addition, an initiative to advance alignment of ethics with the design of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems will be introduced.

The second session, “Ethics and Autonomous Vehicles”, will concentrate on ethical and social issues associated with advances in artificial intelligence and the development of semi-autonomous and autonomous ground vehicles for personal and commercial use.

The NAE-AAES Convocation of the Professional Engineering Societies will take place at the National Academy of Sciences Building, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. We look forward to your participation.


AAES Annual Awards Banquet Recognizes 2017 Award Winners

AAES is pleased to be honoring seven deserving award winners on April 24, at the banquet ceremony following the NAE-AAES Convocation. It will be held at the National Academy of Sciences Building.

  • National Engineering Award – Mary M. Poulton, Ph.D.
  • Kenneth Andrew Roe Award – Vilas S. Mujumdar, D.P.A., P.E.
  • Norm Augustine Award – Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D.
  • John Fritz Medal – Frank Kreith, Doc.Univ.Paris, P.E.
  • AAES Engineering Journalism Award – Mike Lindblom
  • Joan Hodges Queneau Palladium Medal – Jessica E. Kogel, Ph.D.
  • Chair’s Award – James L. Melsa, Ph.D.

Click here for more information on the 2017 AAES award winners.


AAES and Its Member Societies Participate in NAE Workshop on Role of Engineering Societies in Engineering Education

On January 26-27, AAES and many of its Member Societies, including AIAA, ABET, AIChE, ANS, ASCE, ASEE, ASME, EWB-USA, IEEE-USA, NSBE, NSPE, SME, and SWE, participated in NAE’s Engagement of Engineering Societies in Undergraduate Engineering Education workshop. The workshop was highly interactive and encouraged collaboration to increase the effectiveness of efforts to improve undergraduate engineering education.

AAES and NAE would like to thank AAES Member Societies that were active participants at the workshop as well as throughout the work leading up to the event. They completed surveys and were interviewed during the data gathering phase prior to the workshop. (Survey results, interviews, and more can be found at the project website.) Also, AAES and several Member Societies presented during the lightning presentations highlighting what they do in regards to undergraduate engineering education and/or how they do it. AAES discussed the Engineering Competency Model  within the theme of fostering interdisciplinary engineering education. AIChE, ANS, ASCE, ASME, EWB-USA, IEEE-USA, NSBE, SME, and SWE also presented their relevant initiatives.

Next steps include NAE conducting 5 follow on meetings during the year that will cover the following topics: promoting diversity, improving the public perception of engineering, improving industry-academic alignment, broadening the view of criteria for faculty success, and undertaking joint projects and design competitions using the Grand Challenges framework. Details are still under discussion - look for further announcements in the near future. Also, workshop proceedings will be published later this year. Questions? Contact the Project Director, Dr. Ken Jarboe at


Include STEM Outreach in Your Foreign Travel Plans

Traveling abroad? Participate in the State Department's Science Technology and Innovation Expert Partnership 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!


Program Committee News

Seeking Information on Organizations Using a Competency Based Promotion Structure

The Bridgestone Akron Technical Center is looking to improve their promotion process by using a competency based model for their engineers’ career progression. They discovered that the Engineering Competency Model (“the model”), developed by AAES and the U.S. Department of Labor to serve as a guide for the development of the engineering workforce, may be a valuable resource in this transformation. Currently, they are in the information gathering phase and would like to learn from organizations that have competency based promotion models (not based on seniority) in use. If you are in an organization, or know of one, that uses this type of structure and are willing to share lessons learned, please email Diana Fleming ( 


2016 Trans-Atlantic Research and Development Interchange on Sustainability (TARDIS 2016)

The TARDIS workshops have been held every other year since 2004, alternating between the Schloss Seggau in Leibnitz, Austria and the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, United States. TARDIS brings together for two and half days a selected group of scientists and engineers from across the globe for a broad discussion on a specific topic relevant to sustainability. The TARDIS 2016 workshop was held on October 2016 at the Schloss Seggau to explore one of the most crucial questions in the sustainability discourse: Is sustainable development compatible with economic growth? AAES Engineers Forum on Sustainability chair, Heriberto Cabezas, was an organizer for this event, and has shared the TARDIS 2016 overview and summary.


Member Societies News

ISA Breaks New Ground in Providing Experiential Industrial Cybersecurity Training

By simulating the real-world operation of industrial automation and control systems (IACS) through its new cyber-learning environment, the International Society of Automation (ISA) marks a significant advancement in industrial cybersecurity training. At the heart of ISA's new cyber-learning environment are specialized new ISA IACS Cybersecurity Trainers (Cyber Trainers), each designed and equipped with genuine, full-function industrial automation system hardware and software configured to perform like the IACS and networks in a real operating water plant or other critical infrastructure.


2017 ABET Symposium, Citizen Tech: Technical Programs Reshaping Society

ABET is bringing its flagship event to Baltimore on April 20-21, 2017. The ABET Symposium is where academic and industry leaders come together to learn about accreditation, assessment and the global exchange of best practices in STEM education. Build your network with like-minded individuals from all over the world. Be inspired by sessions that introduce new approaches to higher education. Exchange ideas with thought leaders and peers. Our premier event brings together passionate faculty from Los Angeles to Lisbon and all the way to Ho Chi Minh City to discuss all things ABET.


New IEEE-USA eBook Encourages Teaching Kids to Think Creatively and Solve Problems

“The best and most lasting learning moments often come from parents,” says Harry T. Roman. “Learning is not something done just in school, or to leave to your children’s teachers.” The veteran technology educator knows what he’s talking about. For many years, he has worked with schools throughout New Jersey to bring real-world problem-solving into the classroom. Now, he’s written an ebook that provides parents with dozens of practical ideas for helping their children to experience the power of solving problems, while also building logic and math skills. 

Teaching Your Kids to Think and Solve Problems offers a practical approach. Using scenarios of typical activities around the home, Roman shows parents how they can encourage their children’s creative thinking. In concise, but information-packed chapters, the author describes how youngsters can help with such family-centered activities as home improvement projects, backyard improvements, kitchen skills and family vacations.


New IEEE-USA  eBook Tells of an Engineer in the Making

The trajectory of Susan Delafuente’s life and career has taken her more than 6,000 miles--from the sun-washed beaches of her native Guam--to Silicon Valley, where she has held positions with several of the largest and most respected technology companies. How she accomplished her journey is the subject of the newest volume in the award-winning IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) eBook series.


Upcoming IEEE-USA Free Webinars

IEEE-USA offers free webinars that cover topics of interests across disciplines. The webinars are designed to help you maintain your career, understand ethical considerations in the workplace, and learn about other career-building strategies. Future webinars include “Topics Women Should Avoid at the Office” on March 24 and “Cyber Security for Small Businesses and Consultants” on March 30. Dozens of archived webinars  are also available to view.


ASCE's Second Annual Innovations Contest to Feature 'Shark Tank' Theme

ASCE’s second annual Innovation Contest has a new format this year, and some of the contest winners will present their innovative ideas to a panel of would-be investors, based on “Shark Tank,” the popular reality television show. Experienced people well-versed in the process of bringing innovations to market make up the investor panel. The “Shark Tank” event is part of three-day celebration of the 2017 Innovation Contest winners, scheduled for June 20-22 at ASCE Headquarters in Reston, VA.


ASCE Interchange Video Series - Protecting our Nation's Power Grid

Now more than ever, the United States power infrastructure is at risk. Significant power outages have risen from 76 in 2007 to 307 in 2011, largely due to the aging and underfunded infrastructure of equipment and systems. In the latest edition of the ASCE Interchange, Otto Lynch, vice president of Power Lines Systems Inc., offers his insight into the issues surrounding the nation’s power grid. He also explains the difficulties of underground power systems as well as some of the barriers that keep the U.S. from completely converting to sustainable energy sources.


ASCE Member Instrumental in Times Square Plaza Redesign

The New York City Department of Design and Construction’s Times Square Plaza – which opened just in time for New Year’s Eve celebrations last month – was by all accounts a tremendous success. ASCE member Feniosky Pena-Mora, Sc.D., P.E., commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction, piloted the redesign. Nearly eight years in the making, the project has turned Times Square from a car-clogged chaos into a pedestrian-friendly paradise. Read more about what’s new with the iconic plaza and the design process behind it.


ASEE Activities Update

ASEE drafted two position statements this winter: one on our general stance regarding federal investment in engineering education and one in response to the White House executive order on immigration.  Also on the federal relations front, ASEE’s engineering deans attended three days of policy-focused events in early February, culminating with visits to the Hill. Congressman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas and Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire addressed the group. Lastly, several ASEE members were involved in a new National Academy of Engineering report on Engineering Technology Education. (See related NAE article below for more information.)


E-Fests to Feature Engineering and Entrepreneurial Innovators as Speakers

ASME’s three Engineering Festivals (E-Fests), to be held in March and April at locations in India and the United States, will feature a roster of prominent engineers and entrepreneurs who will share their experiences, expertise and advice with the engineering students attending the events.

Students can take advantage of early registration for the E-Fests in the United States — E-Fest West in Las Vegas and E-Fest East in Cookeville, Tenn. — and receive up to a $50 discount on each of the two events, which combine learning opportunities revolving around design, advanced manufacturing and robotics with social activities and entertainment, such as networking sessions and concerts.


ISHOW Registration Closes March 15

The deadline to apply for the 2017 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW) program, the global competition that provides inventors and entrepreneurs from around the world with a platform to present their hardware-led socially conscious products, is March 15.

The ISHOW focuses on physical products designed to have a positive social, economic or environmental impact. The first of this year’s events, ISHOW India, will be held April 27 in Bengalaru, India. The second, ISHOW Kenya, will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 25. The third, ISHOW USA, will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 22.


ASME Enters into Agreement with Turkish Standards Organization

Last month, during its inaugural visit to ASME Headquarters in New York, a delegation from the Turkish Standards Institution (TSE), the national standards organization of Turkey, entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ASME.

Sebahittin Korkmaz, president of TSE, and ASME Executive Director Thomas Loughlin signed the agreement, which is intended to expand ASME and ASME Standards & Certification’s impact in Turkey, including in the areas of standards and regulatory development. The MOU is also intended to further promote ASME Standards & Certification and related products and services including Conformity Assessment within Turkey, and explore potential opportunities for cooperation in training, conferences and workshops.


NSPE Leads Efforts Opposing Separate Structural Engineering Licensure Requirements

NSPE has recently teamed up with several of its state societies to oppose efforts to create separate requirements for the practice of structural engineering. These include: Oklahoma, where NSPE and OSPE sent a joint letter urging the rescinding of all language pertaining to structural engineering in Oklahoma House Bill 1282; Georgia, where NSPE sent a letter urging the Georgia licensing board to consider a proposed amendment to a rule on structural engineering; and in Minnesota, where NSPE and MnSPE are opposing legislation proposed by the Minnesota Structural Engineers Association’s Structural Engineering Licensure Task Force to restrict use of a PE title. 


NSPE Recognizes Outstanding Engineers in the Federal Government

On February 17, NSPE hosted its 38th annual Federal Engineer of the Year Award ceremony at the National Press Club. This event is the only one of its kind to recognize outstanding engineers employed in the federal government, and NSPE was honored to welcome the U.S. Air Force Director of Civil Engineers, Major General Timothy S. Green, P.E., as this year’s keynote speaker. The top engineers representing the military and federal agencies were in attendance to celebrate their candidates, and to congratulate this year’s winner, Jennifer Bountry, P.E., from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation. 


NSPE Professional Engineers Conference

Mark your calendar for the 2017 Professional Engineers Conference, July 19-23, in Atlanta. The conference is a unique opportunity for PEs and those on the path to licensure to connect with like-minded professionals, earn continuing education credits, and learn about the profession’s top issues. Technical session topics include microgrids, energy, disease prevention, and the future of the profession, just to name a few. Various engaging sessions on ethics and leadership will also be presented. Located at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, the 2017 Professional Engineers Conference is one you won’t want to miss. 


NSPE Urges Alabama Licensure Board to Retain QBS Requirements

NSPE and the Alabama Society of Professional Engineers have joined forces to oppose a proposed regulatory change that would eliminate current qualifications-based selection requirements in the state. In a joint letter to the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, NSPE President Kodi Jean Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, and ASPE President Paul McCain, P.E., urged the board to retain its current QBS requirements. QBS protects the public welfare, benefits the taxpayer, levels the playing field for small firms, and promotes technical innovation. NSPE and ASPE will continue to actively oppose this effort and provide updates when available.


AIST Tech 2017 - The Iron & Steel Technology Conference and Exposition
AISTech 2017 — Steel’s Premier Technology Event will be held at the Music City Center, Nashville, Tennessee from May 8–11.  With more than 550 technical presentations and 550 exhibiting companies, AISTech provides a global perspective on the technology and engineering expertise necessary to power a sustainable steel industry.


AIST's T.C. Graham Prize Awards $20,000 for Innovative Steel Applications

The Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) is looking for ideas that make an impact! The purpose of the T.C. Graham Prize is to recognize innovative new applications for steel that may lead to the development of new markets. The winning entry will receive a US$20,000 cash prize. Submit your entry and two-page abstract by April 30, 2017.


Emerging Leaders Alliance to Conduct 10th Annual Leadership Conference

The Emerging Leaders Alliance will be presenting their 2017 Leadership Training Conference, November 5-8, 2017 at the Westin Tysons Corner in Falls Church, Virginia.  The conference will offer an array of leadership training relevant to emerging engineering and scientific professionals. Individual participation is $1,500, and discounts are available for multiple attendees, sponsors, and new partner organizations.


Events and Items of Interest

NAE Publishes Study of Engineering Technology Education in the United States    

Engineering technologists and technicians play an important role in the nation’s technical workforce. But 1 in 3 employers say that they do not know the difference between a traditional engineer and someone with an engineering technology background. A new report by the National Academy of Engineering sheds light on the educational and occupational dimensions of this close cousin to engineering, and it makes a number of recommendations intended to boost public awareness of the field.


NAE Awards Call for Nominations

The National Academy of Engineering Awards Call for Nominations is underway for the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering, the 2018 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education, the 2017 Simon Ramo Founders Award, and the 2017 Arthur M. Bueche Award. To submit a nomination, go to The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. EDT.