Dolores Landeck 2015-04-29 01:28:16
It was ASABE’s “time to shine,” Past President Sonia Maassel Jacobsen observed, and the Society shone brilliantly. Now a chapter in the Society’s 108-year history, ASABE’s role as co-chair of Engineers Week 2015 provided ample opportunity to place agricultural and biological engineering in the spotlight. As always, it was Society members who turned opportunity into success. From yearlong leadership of the DiscoverE steering committee to greater engagement with DiscoverE programs, ASABE volunteers—especially members of E-05/1, the E-Week Coordinating Committee chaired by Alicia Modenbach—raised the visibility, understanding, and appreciation of the profession. Here’s a wrap-up. As 2015 co-chair with industry partner Shell, ASABE led a pair of steering committee meetings to guide programming for E-Week preparation and execution of events. Sonia Maassel Jacobsen, ASABE’s official representative, presided and moved agendas swiftly and productively, injecting references to the core competencies of agricultural and biological engineering wherever appropriate. The year began with a webcast hosted by The Ohio State University College of Engineering with Jacobsen and two OSU FABE students, Monica Okon and Kaley Core, among the panelists. The Future City Competition, themed “Feeding Future Cities,” was supported by dozens of ASABE volunteers across the country. The Society sponsored its annual special award at the national finals for Most Sustainable Food Production System. And this year, ASABE added to the hardware by sponsoring a second award at the finals for Best Use of Renewable Energy, which drew attention to the profession’s role in that area of engineering. President Terry Howell presented trophies to the winning teams. In addition, ASABE sponsored its Sustainable Food Production award at all 37 qualifying competitions across the U.S. ASABE members served as award judges, effectively boosting the wattage of our shine to more than 40,000 middle school students, teachers, engineer mentors, and others who participated in the 2015 Future City competition. At the national finals, numerous members luminously represented ASABE. Some were judges for ASABE’s special awards, while others spent a day listening to and scoring team presentations. ASABE members had the opportunity to ask key questions that helped refine the understanding of the profession among contest participants. Sonia Maassel Jacobsen was a “celebrity” judge at the finals, while numerous ASABE academic department heads in the audience enjoyed the presentations— their annual meeting had been scheduled to coincide with the Future City national finals. Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day was highlighted by a Capitol Hill briefing on girls in engineering. President- Elect Mary Leigh Wolfe introduced the event and key guests, including ASABE’s 2014 New Face of Engineering Grace Richardson. The briefing was facilitated by Rep. Daniel Lipinski, D-Ill., and attended by staff from more than a dozen Congressional offices, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and engineering societies. Presenters included Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., as well as speakers from Argonne National Laboratory, Raytheon, TE Connectivity, ExxonMobil, the University of Texas at Austin, and the National GEM Consortium. ASABE Executive Director Darrin Drollinger represented ASABE at a black-tie gala hosted by the prestigious National Academy of Engineers. Several hundred other leaders in the engineering profession attended the event, which honored this year’s winners of the Russ and Draper awards. In recognition of our year as E-Week co-chair, ASABE was a sponsor of Discover Engineering Family Day at the National Building Museum. Led by Gary Seibel, the Society has participated in this event in years past with a very popular, aromatic, and delicious exhibit on the engineering principles of popping corn. Elsewhere during Engineers Week 2015, members conducted outreach at similar hands-on events. Notably, volunteers from the Chicago area and New York state enthusiastically promoted the profession at local events with demonstrations, career materials, and friendly conversation. The New Faces of Engineering for 2015 were announced April 2. Mark Moehling of the USDA-NRCS and Jonathan Overton of Oklahoma State University were selected as ASABE’s winners in the Professionals and College Editions, respectively. Moehling is featured in one of a series of new DiscoverE-produced videos that introduce the year’s class of New Faces in the Professionals Edition and illustrate their work as engineers. Overton, as ASABE’s College Edition winner, received a $1,000 scholarship. ASABE made the most of its role as Engineers Week 2015 co-chair, taking every opportunity to serve as a beacon to the ways in which agricultural and biological engineers are making a difference in the world. We hope your Society’s leadership has inspired you toward outreach fun of your own! Remember that there are numerous opportunities and resources available year-round through www.discovere.org. Contact E-05/1 chair Alicia Modenbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dolores Landeck (email@example.com) for further information or committee involvement. Let your light shine! Dolores Landeck, ASABE Director of Public Affairs, St. Joseph, Mich., USA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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