IEEE-USA promotes engineering awareness

May 08, 2007

WASHINGTON (8 May 2007) -- As part of its public-awareness program to improve public understanding of engineers and engineering and to promote technological literacy, IEEE-USA participates in collaborative activities with two other non-profit organizations: the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); and Engineers Without Borders-USA.

ENGINEERING MASS MEDIA FELLOWS: Earlier this year, IEEE-USA Communications Committee Members Allan Schell and Abby Vogel participated in the selection of some two-dozen Science & Engineering Mass Media Fellows, including IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellow Sourish Basu. Basu, a Ph.D. candidate in physics at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., will intern at *Scientific American* for 10 weeks this summer.

In his application to become an IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellow, Basu wrote: "Very often engineers and scientists need to speak to non-science and non-engineering professionals regarding their research. The reasons may be as diverse as securing funding for research, shaping the science and technology policy of a government, raising public awareness about some idea or technology, or simply getting people excited in science and engineering. Failure to thus communicate leads to unfortunate consequences, such as cuts in research grants and underfunded research labs, misinformed policy decisions, widespread misconceptions about scientific concepts, and misutilization of excellent technology."

Since 2000, IEEE-USA has backed eight U.S. IEEE undergraduate and graduate students who, as Mass Media Fellows, have helped journalists in print and broadcast fields communicate authoritatively to the public about engineering and science. From 2005-2006, the AAAS Science & Engineering Mass Media Fellows produced more than 400 news stories on science and technology. In 2006, for the first time, IEEE-USA backed two Engineering Mass Media Fellows and is the only engineering society involved in the AAAS program.

For more information on IEEE-USA involvement, see http://www.ieeeusa.org/communications/massmedia.asp; and http://www.aaas.org/programs/education/MassMedia/index.shtml.

ENGINEERING JOURNALISM AWARDS: In a related public-awareness activity supporting journalists in communications about engineering to the informed public, IEEE-USA is presenting its award for "Distinguished Literary Contributions Furthering Public Understanding of the Profession" to the WESH-TV Orlando news team for "accurate reporting in the 'Return to Flight' series, which improved community awareness and understanding for the contributions of engineers in the space program." IEEE-USA is also recognizing Paula S. Apsell, executive producer, PBS, for her "long-time efforts in promoting the understanding of science and engineering through NOVA programs." The awards will be presented at the IEEE-USA Annual Meeting over Labor Day in Phoenix.

For more information about IEEE-USA's journalism awards, see http://www.ieeeusa.org/volunteers/awards/award8.html.

ENGINEERING WITHOUT BORDERS-USA STUDENT RECOGNITIONS: In the second IEEE-USA public-awareness activity utilizing engineering students, last month the organization presented six recognition awards to students who distinguished themselves in volunteer reconstruction efforts for the non-profit humanitarian organization, Engineers Without Borders (EWB)-USA, based in Longmont, Col. The student chapter achievement awards were given at the EWB-USA international conference on 13 April to six recipients in the following categories: "Education," Princeton University; "Appropriate Technology," Duke University; "Collaboration," Binghamton University; "Sustainable Technology," Rice University; "Domestic Humanitarian," Greater New Orleans Chapter; and "International Humanitarian," Johns Hopkins University.

Several hundred engineers who have been involved in global humanitarian projects attended the EWB-USA conference at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The conference focused on new concepts, technologies and long-range planning processes for strengthening worldwide collaborative efforts. EWB-USA includes some 3,000 student and professional members in 135 projects in more than 30 countries worldwide.

For more information on EWB-USA and IEEE-USA support, see http://www.ewb-usa.org/index.php; and http://www.ewb-usa.org/conferencesponsors.php"ID=3.
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IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public-policy interests of more than 220,000 engineers, scientists and allied professionals who are U.S. members of the IEEE. IEEE-USA is part of the IEEE, the world's largest technical professional society with 360,000 members in 150 countries. See http://www.ieeeusa.org.

IEEE-USA

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