Budget good news for fusion effort

By / April 3, 2009

The FY 2009 federal budget bill, at last, ends what has been something of an embarrassment and point of anger and pessimism with the U.S. scientific community by containing significant funding for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project. This is great news for the international project and for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory employees who…

Read More

Can a nuclear fuel “lease” system aid the growth of nuclear power?

By / April 1, 2009

For those who still see a “Nuclear Renaissance” in the world’s energy future, the Russian Federation’s and the United State’s respective national academies of sciences have a proposal that is akin to pruning a bush in order to make it flourish: Provide to those nations that want to use it a stable – but tightly…

Read More

New hydrogen economy book available

By / March 30, 2009

The American Ceramic Society has just published a book on one of the most vibrant areas of energy research and development: Materials Innovations in an Emerging Hydrogen Economy (Ceramic Transactions Volume 202), edited by George Wicks and Jack Simon. The book is a collection of new papers presented at the 2008 Materials Innovations in an…

Read More

Solyndra snags big solar loan guarantee offer

By / March 23, 2009

The DOE promised to act fast in distributing its stimulus monies and it is. It’s been announced that one of the first offers is going to Solyndra, a Fremont, Calif., company with a maverick technology I profiled back in October. A $535 million guarantee will allow the company to obtain lower-than-market financing to expand its…

Read More

Family matters: Parenting, not ability, affects women in math-related careers

By / March 22, 2009

The under-representation of women in science careers in the United States has been reported before, but a new Cornell University report provides more – but not necessarily startling – details about why this under representation occurs. The Cornell researchers’ conclusion explains the situation along fairly commonsensical lines: The choice to have and raise children unfortunately…

Read More

Video of the week: Improved Outer Tactical Vest

By / March 18, 2009

One of the most prevelant forms of ceramic armor currently in use by the United States military is the IOTV. It went into large-scale use by the Marines in 2007 (nee, the MTV), and his since been relatively popular, as personal armor goes. It is lighter than the older Interceptor body armor and it is…

Read More

New Army task force will attempt to reset protective gear procurement

By / March 18, 2009

Makers of various personal ceramic armor systems are taking note of a new development coming out of the Pentagon. At a March 12 media briefing, the Army announced what amounts to a review of the equipment worn by soldiers, especially in the area of development, procurement, fielding the gear. “Synchronization” seems to be the key…

Read More

Deadline for ComSci applications approaching

By / March 16, 2009

The Commerce Science and Technology Fellowship program, now managed by NIST, was established in 1964 give senior federal employees a look behind the scenes of science and technology policy-making and management in Washington, and at the highest levels of industry and academia. Those selected for the program get to study the national and international issues…

Read More

Why European consumers are going green faster: Feed-in tariffs

By / March 14, 2009

While this isn’t a particularly new revelation, the New York Times has a new piece that provides a good overview of how the wide adoption of feed-in tariffs is providing an effective incentive for home owners to invest in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. In brief, feed-in tariffs require utility companies to purchase…

Read More

Holdren, Lubchenco update: Duo finally gets committee’s approval

By / March 13, 2009

According to the New York Times, they still have to be confirmed by the full Senate, but the Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee on Thursday signed off on John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco. Apparently the senator(s) behind the mysterious “holds” that held up their nominations either got what he or she wanted, or gave up.…

Read More