I hope you enjoyed reading ASEE's new K-12 publication, Engineering,
Go For It! enclosed with your October issue of Prism magazine.
I am pleased to report that response to the publication has been overwhelmingly
positive. The guidebook, aimed at high school students, was the result
of two years of planning and effort and made possible by the sponsorship
of 75 of our member institutions that supported the concept. We hope
the publication will encourage more young people to learn about engineering
and consider it as a career.
As Engineering, Go For It! points out, engineers are engaged
in exciting and rewarding workendeavors that can save the environment
and save lives. This month's cover story concerns saving both.
In Munching on Hazardous Waste, we examine how engineering
researchers are working to address the huge problem of hazardous wastes
in the United States. What has traditionally been required is digging
up the contaminated soil and carting it away, at great expense. Our
story reports on new methods such as bioremediation. At Oak Ridge,
Tennessee, 31 years of atom-bomb production resulted in a collection
of underground poisons that have seeped into the earth and contaminated
groundwater. Environmental engineering may have the solutionusing
tiny microorganisms to feed on the waste, rendering it more stable
and less likely to leach into water.
As also noted in Engineering, Go For It! a chemical engineer
fresh out of college can make a starting salary of over $50,000more
than graduates in any other engineering field. Why then is the number
of chemical engineering graduates dropping? In Pursuing New Paths, several
reasons are examined and the future of chemical engineering contemplated.
(The writer reassures us chemical engineering is not down for the count.)
Recently, Hurricane Isabel cut a devastating swath from North Carolina
to Washington, D.C., managing to shut down the federal government in
the process. The good news was that we got some warning. Predicting
the weather has gotten more accurate as it has become possible to use
and process more data. In another data-intensive challenge, researchers
are trying to figure out what it would take to accurately predict when
and where earthquakes will occur. Taking a Crack at Predicting
Quakes reports that with technology, gigabits of data, and supercomputing
power, it may eventually be possible to pinpoint when and where an
earthquake will happen.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments.
Frank L. Huband
Executive Director and Publisher