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Report of National Engineers’ Week 2014 DCCEAS Events

The D.C. Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies (DCCEAS) annually holds two National Engineers’ Week functions. DCCEAS is an umbrella organization representing 35 area professional societies including the National Capital Chapter of IIE. As in the past, the Chapter offered members a $15 discount on tickets for both DCCEAS affairs.

Feb. 19 Proclamation Luncheon Talk, “Orion: Crewed Space Vehicle”
Dr. W. Michael Hawes, DSc, Director of Human Space Flight Programs, Lochkeed Martin, Washington Operations spoke about NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Program’s Orion Manned Space Vehicle at this year’s National Engineers’ Week Luncheon, Feb. 19 at Channel Inn’s Pier Seven Restaurant. Lockheed Martin is developing Orion. Dr. Hawes explained that a four man astronaut crew might someday be transported in an Orion capsule to Mars and back on an 18-month journey. The next major step in the program is an unmanned mission in September 2014 to test re-entry into earth’s atmosphere from a 3,600 mile orbit at over 20,000 miles per hour – a higher re-entry velocity than ever achieved before – to safely splash-down in the Pacific Ocean near San Diego. Following that, the next major test will be an unmanned mission to orbit the moon and safely return. The long-range plan is to eventually land astronauts on the Moon for an extended stay before launching a manned Mars mission from earth before 2040. Such a mission would require 6 months in each direction for the 35 million mile journey plus a one or six-month stay on the “red planet.” Unlike Space station and Apollo missions where all the supplies needed to sustain the astronauts were transported from earth, a means of sustaining themselves while on the moon or Mars would need to be developed. Fortunately, it is now known that water in various forms exists on both the moon and Mars so it may be possible to develop a means to convert it to drinkable form. Also, rather than bring a supply of spare parts, it might be feasible to use 3-D printers to produce any repair parts during the mission.

Feb. 22 Awards Banquet Talk, “Architect of the Capitol”
The Honorable Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP was the Keynote Speaker at the National Engineers’ Week Awards Banquet Feb. 22 at the Silver Spring Crowne Plaza. Appointed by the President in 2010, Mr. Ayers will serve a ten year term in the position to “serve, preserve, and inspire,” as he put it. The post encompasses responsibility for 553 acres of Capitol Grounds and 17.4 million square feet of related building space including the Capital Building, House and Senate Office Buildings, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court. His purview includes 2600 employees and a $600 million annual budget. Mr. Ayers emphasized the importance of historic preservation of Washington DC’s federal buildings and monuments, citing efforts to do just that by carrying out the restoration of the capitol dome.

The Banquet program included DCCEAS awards for the Engineer, Young Engineer and Architect of the Year and winners of student paper competitions. The winning team from the Future Cities Competition was also recognized. You may recall our past chapter president, Russell Wooten, received the Engineer of the Year Award in 2009.

Submitted by Richard Leshuk and Joe Scheibeler


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