Average pay of engineers rises,
but only in manufacturing
Overall salaries of engineers have risen an average of 1.2% in the past year. So concludes the 1995 salary survey from the Engineering Workforce Commission of the American Association of Engineering Societies, based in Washington, DC. The survey contains salary data on more than 100,000 engineers in industry and government. Results: Although the typical salary of engineers working in manufacturing industries climbed 5.1%, it dropped 4.5% in non-manufacturing industries, such as consulting, engineering services, and R&D. The median starting pay is up 1.3% from 1994 levels, but salaries for engineers with 12 to 23 years of experience are down.
Designer counsels White House on states' technology projects
Ernest L. Daman, a veteran design engineer, is the nation's first State-Federal Technology Executive. His task is to advise the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on ways to foster cooperation between states and the federal government in technology and science. He assists joint technology efforts with federal agencies through the National Science and Technology Council. He also provides an information clearinghouse for state governments, industry, and universities. Daman, chairman emeritus of Foster Wheeler Development Corp., is a former president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. A holder of 15 patents, he was a pioneer in the design of fluidized-bed combustion systems. He worked, too, on environmental control, and advanced high-efficiency power generation.
Engineering research at risk in universities, study says
Reaction swells to cuts in financing of engineering research at universities. A study by the National Academy of Engineering warns of long-term risks to America's knowledge base. At a time when "substantial increases" are needed in engineering research, it says, support is waning from both the federal government and industry. Defense research is plunging, while global competition is tightening corporate purse strings. "Lofty expressions of the need for a corporation to invest in its future, to nurture long-range thinking, and to hire the best minds of today's new engineering talent pool," the report says, "will rarely, in a boardroom discussion, hold sway over the requirement to keep the company solvent for the next quarter." The report calls for closer cooperation between industries and universities. Similar warnings come from Charles M. Vest, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Under current budget scenarios, we are in danger of...drifting toward mediocrity in science, technology and advanced education," Dr. Vest told the National Press Club. Each college "should focus on what it does best. There is not enough money for every institution to do everything."
Double-module Spacehab unit developed for Mir missions
NASA is leasing the Spacehab research laboratory to resupply space station Mir in 1996 and 1997. The $54-million contract is an example of the space agency's increased emphasis on cost savings through use of private services. The Spacehab is a pressurized, cylindrical module that flies onboard U.S. space shuttles in the payload bay. The module measures 10 ft in length by 13.5 ft in diameter. It doubles available living and working space on the shuttle for the astronauts and quadruples experimentation space. Spacehab, Inc., is developing a Double Module® and a tunnel to link it to the shuttle. The double module will fly on three of the four Mir missions under contract. It will carry more than 6,000 lbs of U.S. and Russian food, water, astronaut supplies, and experiments each flight. The Double Module has a total capacity of up to 9,000 lbs. McDonnell Douglas Aerospace is the prime contractor to Spacehab, Inc.
Engine makers for trucks, buses sign pact to cut emissions
It's unprecedented, say officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Manufacturers of heavy-duty bus and truck engines have signed an agreement with EPA and the California Air Resources Board to reduce nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbon emissions significantly by the year 2004. The pact opens the way for EPA to tighten emissions standards. Glenn Keller, executive director of the Engine Manufacturers Association, called the voluntary agreement a "major new engineering challenge." The agreement commits manufacturers to no more than 2.6 grams of the combined emissions per brake-horsepower-hour by 2004. Currently, the limit for nitrogen oxide emissions is 5 grams. Present regulations call for 4 grams by 1998. Daniel C. Ustain, general manager for the Engine and Foundry Division of Navistar International Corp., sees the pact as the start of "a new relationship" with environmental agencies. "Rather than assuming the traditional combative positions in negotiating new standards," he says, "we rolled up our sleeves to develop a joint proposal that makes sense for everyone."