Archive for March, 2011


NSF Global Development Workshop Next Week

ASME in collaboration with Engineering for Change (E4C), Ball State University, and IEEE is conducting a National Science Foundation (NSF) workshop on identifying research topics dealing with the Base of the Pyramid–a term used to refer to individuals around the world living on less than $4 a day.

The event, Research in Materials and Manufacturing for Extreme Affordability (RIMMEA) Workshop, is scheduled next week, March 18-19, at Ball State University, in Muncie, Ind. The keynote event will highlight the work of Larry Barrow, a Harvard-trained architect and founder of fabHAUS; Anil Gupta, professor of management at the Indian Institute of Management and founder of the Honey Bee Network; and Amy Smith, a mechanical engineer and founder of MIT’s D-Lab. The keynote panel will also include remarks by Noha El-Ghobashy, President of Engineering for Change, LLC. The panel, moderated by John Falcioni, editor-in-chief of ASME’s Mechanical Engineering magazine, and other parts of the workshop will be broadcast live at

This two-day workshop is part of the sponsoring organizations’ commitment to advance the field of engineering in the area of global development. The event furthers E4C’s ( mission to provide collaborative opportunities for thought leaders and practitioners in this space.



We’ve received numerous insightful ideas for articles from readers around the world, reaching us through postings here on, e-mail, and even old-school letters written on paper. Below is a compilation of readers’ recommendations.

We have examined the suggestions and comments, and have come up with 15 ideas for articles—five each relating to ASME’s strategic initiative areas of energy, engineering workforce development, and global impact. In this second phase of Project Crowdsourcing, we would like you to VOTE FOR THE IDEAS that you believe would make the most interesting topics for articles.

Please rank the ideas—#1 being the most favorable; #5 the least—from each of the three categories. At the end of April, we will tally your votes and post the results.


  1. Compare lifecycle costs and relative merits of leading renewable energy technologies.
  2. Explore U.S. energy independence. How do we formulate a comprehensive plan?
  3. Examine the pros and cons of nuclear fuel reprocessing.
  4. Present an overview of advanced reactor technologies.
  5. Look at the benefits and challenges of advanced vehicles, including the economic and environmental impact of electric vehicles.


  1. Look at ways to give engineering graduates the necessary practical skills to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace, which may see increasing emphasis on sustainability.
  2. Examine the notion that engineering training in our educational system should begin much earlier than it does right now, and review ways to expose youngsters to various facets of innovation.
  3. Address the importance of removing the growing conception that engineering sciences can be treated as a commodity.
  4. Discuss why the world is becoming increasingly software and computer driven, and report on ways to effectively educate the engineering workforce on computer software and programming.
  5. Explore how contemporary managers and scholars address the multiple dimensions of human behavior and organization.


  1. Discuss how bioengineering and biomedical systems can be geared toward the developing world.
  2. Explore what engineers need to know in order to succeed in the global economy, and discuss global opportunities available to them.
  3. Consider how ASME can provide leadership for improving risk management and resilience for complex systems.
  4. Discuss the reasons why U.S. industry generally has resisted adopting the metric system.
  5. Look at the factors that can maintain job performance and reduce stress when engineers relocate to a new country.

Please click on the LEAVE A COMMENT button above and make your selections!


stay tuned…


A list of articles, based on your input, will be posted soon. Check back here in a day or two to vote on the article ideas you have suggested. Those will be the ones we will pursue for our December issue.

Readers have sent comments and suggestions for articles relating to ASME’s three strategic initiatives in the areas of: energy, engineering workforce development, and global impact and outreach.

We will present the top article ideas here for you to decide which ones you want us to pursue and publish in the December issue.

The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

March 2011

Twitter from John Falcioni

Twitter from Engineering for Change