STEM Professionals: Here is some music to your ears?

Irrespective of the political spectrum one belongs to, the recent announcement of global energy policies  by USA, China, Russia and other countries, must be the music for the ears of all STEM Professionals.

The recent announcement from the White House on the new energy policy is noted as follows: Obama’s Strategy on Climate Change, Part of Global Deal, Is Revealed http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/us/obama-to-offer-major-blueprint-on-climate-change.html?ref=energy-environment&_r=0

The White House on Tuesday introduced President Obama’s blueprint for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by nearly a third over the next decade…. Mr. Obama’s new blueprint brings together several domestic initiatives that were already in the works, including freezing construction of new coal-fired power plants, increasing the fuel economy of vehicles and plugging methane leaks from oil and gas production. It is meant to describe how the United States will lead by example and meet its pledge for cutting emissions.

There are four key areas of focus described in this policy: https://www.whitehouse.gov/energy/securing-american-energy

  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies
  • Make solar energy cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade.
  • Energy efficiency in our vehicles and homes
  • Developing Clean Fuels

Each is an ambitious goal in itself. For example: New Clean energy standards for cars require automakers to raise the average fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/08/29/545-miles-per-gallon-for-all-cars-by-2025-not-exactly

Irrespective of the political spectrum one belongs to, the above must be the music for the ears of all STEM Professionals. Over the past three decades with a relentless emphasis on cost cutting, standardization, automation and off shoring and out sourcing, there has been little if any emphasis on development of NEW SOLUTIONS that exploit the physical phenomena of nature. Of course exceptions to this generalization do exist particularly in the areas of IT, biology, genetics, etc. But, there are plenty of Mechanical and Electrical engineers, Physicists and Chemists and many other professionals in the STEM professional community, than there are computer scientists, biologists and geneticists. These professionals cannot be gainfully engaged unless there are big challenges posed in front of them. Government funded projects always follow the mission set by National policies. Recall the spurt in space technology after the call by the President Kennedy to “land on the moon”? Private sector, despite their professed desire for risk taking, will always place their bets on “safe” opportunities for cost reduction – milking the same old cow – rather than push new pastures and there are plenty of old cows to milk for decades to come. This leaves all the STEM professionals waiting in the wing for their opportunities, while they see steady erosion in their standard of living. Chances are, the new policies and the mandates on the industry will also spur more demand to find better ways to burn coal, make solar energy more competitive, make the homes more energy efficient, and cars that can indeed generate 50+ MPG on an average. All of these will require serious and sustained new solutions developed and perfected by STEM professionals.

Of course there is also an onus on the STEM professionals as well. They cannot simply wait in line and be told what they should do every step of the way. These are the traditional task oriented technical professionals. Instead, they need to become system thinkers and solution providers with a constant emphasis to Discover, Develop, Deploy and Exploit a stream of new solutions. We call on all STEM professionals at every level – from technicians to engineers to managers to senior managers – for this End to End Innovation. Contact us.

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