of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
Volume 36, 1 / February 2021
A message to our readers...
Last Fall I shared with you that the Academy was updating the format of the Bulletin, with this issue marking our new look. This new, more interactive format continues to celebrate and share news about our state’s rich and diverse STEM resources. And, we still highlight studies on a variety of topics from the National Academies, as well as adding a new section on news of our Academy and its activities. And, with so much to share, we will increase the number of editions to six per year. Thanks to all involved in the new look, including the Academy’s Executive Editors and Technical Board Chairs, Wendy Swift, Contributing Writer, and Communications Consultant Rebecca Mead, INQ Creative.
Please let me know what you think about the new format by emailing me c/o Terri Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org. Christine Broadbridge, President CT Academy of Science and Engineering
HOLD THE DATE
Save the date for the 46th “Virtual” Annual Meeting - the evening of Thursday, May 27, 2021. Please monitor your email for more information.
Connecticut Medal of Science
This year, the Academy will award on behalf of the state of Connecticut the Connecticut Medal of Science, Connecticut's highest honor for scientific achievement in fields crucial to Connecticut's economic competitiveness and social well-being. Nominations are due March 11, 2021. Nomination criteria, instructions, and the form for submission are on the CASE website.
CASE LinkedIn Page
The Academy has a new and active LinkedIn page that we encourage the Bulletin’s readership to follow; the page will connect you to news on the Academy, its members, and science, engineering, medicine, and technology topics of interest to Connecticut. Please click the blue "follow" button on the page to stay up to date.
New CASE Podcast
Watch for an announcement soon on the Academy’s new podcast series. The series will spotlight CASE Members, the Connecticut science, engineering, medicine and technology communities, and the work of the Academy.
Science and Engineering Notes from Around Connecticut
Agriculture, Food and Nutrition
The Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station offers the Coast and Country podcast providing information on a range of topics including COVID-19 from Sewage to Saliva; Bed Bugs, They're Not As Bad As You Think; and Plant Pathology, Amazing Organisms Beneath Our Feet. Listen to the podcasts
Biomedical Research & Healthcare
The Microbiology Society, based in the United Kingdom and the largest society of its kind, is granting its 2021 Prize Medal to CASE Member Joan Steitz, Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale School of Medicine. The society is recognizing Steitz’s achievements dating to 1967, when her Harvard PhD thesis examined the test tube assembly of a ribonucleic acid (RNA) bacteriophage (antibacterial virus) known as R17. Read More
The proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) profiled CASE Member and professor of genetics and genome sciences at the UConn Health Center and Jackson Laboratory, Se-Jin Lee, citing Lee’s research from the late 1990s when he explored regulatory genes in mice and found a gene responsible for the mice to double muscle mass throughout the body. Read More
Communication & Information Systems
Governor Lamont will introduce legislation to make broadband internet more accessible to Connecticut residents, particularly those in underserved households where the pandemic has deepened the digital divide. Read More
General Dynamics Electric Boat announced the award of $9.5 Billion by the US Navy for Columbia-class submarines, the largest the US has built with a life-of-ship fuel core to power the sub for its entire service life, eliminating the need for a mid-service refueling. Read More
Pratt & Whitney, a division of Raytheon Technologies Corp., announced the delivery of Jetblue’s first Airbus A220-300 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. The engine offers lower operating costs, lower fuel and carbon emissions, and provides a 75% reduction in the noise footprint. Read More
Education and Human Resources
The Connecticut State Department of Education summarized initiatives taken during 2020 to address inequities and challenges presented by COVID-19 including resources for distance and hybrid learning, laptops, and emergency certification and endorsements. Read More
UCONN’s Health Disparities Institute issued a free publication, Advancing Health Equity and Promoting Racial Justice During COVID-19, that highlights four strategic approaches to advance health equity and reduce health disparities in CT relevant to COVID-19. Read More
Energy Production, Use, and Conservation
The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued a reminder to homeowners that they can take advantage of a no-cost energy assessment that includes on-the-spot energy improvements, such as air sealing, energy-efficient lighting, and water-saving devices worth an average of $1,000. Read More
CASE Member George Bollas, UCONN professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, patented a reverse-flow fixed-bed reactor for power generation and carbon dioxide (CO2) recapture using chemical-looping combustion (CLC), reducing carbon formation and allowing for higher CO2 selectivity. Read More
The state of Connecticut, along with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia, signed a Transportation and Climate Initiative Program Memorandum of Understanding guaranteeing at least a 26% reduction in carbon emissions from transportation by 2032. Connecticut estimates the initiative will generate annual revenue of up to $89M in 2023, with $117M in 2032. These funds will be re-invested in cleaner transportation options, creating employment across transit, construction, and green energy. Read More
Drinking water and using a humidifier may reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Research conducted in 2019 by Akiko Iwasaki, CASE Member and Yale School of Medicine’s Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Immunobiology and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Professor Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases), captured this phenomenon with other airborne viruses. Read More
CASE Member S. Pamir Alpay, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Industrial Partnerships, and Executive Director, UConn Tech Park, discusses the recent $8 million grant awarded to the Innovation Partnership by the Air Force Research Lab. The research focuses on improving aerospace manufacturing processes. Listen Here
Hartford Steam Boiler entered into a multi-year agreement with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology to explore additive manufacturing technologies for industrial applications. Read More
UConn’s Connecticut Training and Technical Assistance Center’s newsletter, Connecticut Crossroads, highlights outstanding transportation programs that took place during 2020, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. Read More
Connecticut is awarding $5 million to 10 towns and cities as part of The Community Connectivity Grant Program, administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation for projects improving mobility and accessibility, pedestrian and bicycle safety. Read More
Items that appear in the In Brief section are compiled from previously published sources including newspaper accounts and press releases.
Compiled and edited by Wendy Swift
From the National Academies
The following is excerpted from press releases and other news reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (nationalacademies.org).
If combined with public transit and increased in scale, shared modes of transportation, such as ride-hailing, scooter sharing and bike sharing, can enhance mobility, equity, and sustainability in metropolitan areas. This study recommends steps to help bring about a transformation through deliberate and strategic measures to realize the full and potentially transformative benefits of shared services. Read More
Given the ubiquity of computing in both personal and professional life, there are increasing calls for all learners to participate in learning experiences related to computing such as more formal experiences offered in schools, opportunities in youth development programs and after-school clubs, or self-initiated hands-on experiences at home. This report includes an examination of the evidence on learning and teaching using authentic, open-ended pedagogical approaches and learning experiences for children and youth in grades K-12, with particular attention to approaches and experiences that promote the success of children and youth from groups that are typically underrepresented in computing fields. Read More
Mentorship is essential to the development of anyone in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or medicine (STEMM), and in this 10-part series from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, listeners will hear the personal mentorship stories of leaders in academia, business, and the media, in their own words. Read More
The nation's institutions of higher education (IHE) are seeing increasing levels of mental illness, substance use and other forms of emotional distress among their students. This study report lays out a variety of possible strategies and approaches to meet increasing demand for mental health and substance use services for consideration by IHEs. Read More
The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
The purpose of the Academy is to "provide guidance to the people and the government of the State of Connecticut... in the application of science and engineering to the economic and social welfare."
OFFICERS OF THE ACADEMY
Christine Broadbridge, President Southern Connecticut State University
John Kadow, Vice President ViiV Healthcare
Eric Donkor, Secretary UConn
Edmond Murphy, Treasurer Lumentum (ret.)
Baki Cetegen, Past President UConn
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Terri Clark
EDITORS Leon Pintsov, Executive Editor - Engineering Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Mike Genel, Executive Editor - Medicine Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics Yale University School of Medicine CASE President, 2008-2010
Amy R. Howell, Executive Editor - Science Department of Chemistry University of Connecticut
The Bulletin is published by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, Inc, 222 Pitkin Street, Suite 101, East Hartford, Connecticut, 06108. 860.282.4229, email@example.com. To subscribe, visit ctcase.org.
The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering is a private, nonprofit public service organization established by Special Act No. 76-53 of the Connecticut General Assembly.
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