NIE

The Academy partners with the Hartford Courant’s News in Education (NIE) program, providing content for the Science Matters pages from CASE members and other scientists, engineers and physicians, as well as student scientists and engineers from middle school to the graduate level. The online articles are published monthly during the academic year for discussion among students in grades 5 to 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

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The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering is a private, nonprofit, public-service institution patterned after the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy identifies and studies issues and technological advances that are or should be of concern to the people of Connecticut, and provides unbiased, expert advice on science- and technology-related issues to state government and other Connecticut institutions. It is comprised of distinguished scientists and engineers from Connecticut's academic, industrial, and institutional communities. Membership is limited by the Academy's Bylaws to 400 members.



In the News

Bulletin of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering

The Academy publishes the Bulletin of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, a quarterly publication that is available in both print and electronic format. Click here to subscribe.

In the latest issue of the Bulletin:

Connecticut's Electric Grid:
Keeping the Lights On Three Years Later

In 2011, more than 800,000 Connecticut residents experi-enced prolonged power outages brought about by Tropical Storm Irene in August and a Nor’easter in late October. Then along came Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, and it was ”lights out” for more than 8.5 million people in the northeastern United States.

The ”Two Storm Panel,” which was created by Governor Dannel P. Malloy following the 2011 storms, prompted a number of initiatives to improve preparedness and recovery efforts from emergencies and natural disasters. “But, after 10 days of public hearings and testimony from 100 people, we broadened our scope to address the long-term effects of climate change, the first in the United States to do so,” said Joe McGee, co-chair of the Two Storm Panel and vice president of the Fairfield County Business Council. The Two Storm Panel issued their report in January 2012, with 82 recommendations. From these, Governor Malloy pro-posed 19 new initiatives. [Read More]

Click here to subscribe to the Bulletin in print or electronic format.


Reports and Studies

Executive summaries of all recent reports issued by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering are available online. Most recent reports, including the three latest ones listed below, are also available in their entirety online in PDF format (please note that some files are large and may take a few minutes to download, depending on your connection speed). Hard copies of recent reports may be ordered for a fee.

In 1998, 46 states entered into an agreement with the four largest tobacco companies to settle lawsuits related to Medicaid reimbursement and tobacco-related healthcare costs. As part of the settlement, the states made a commitment to use funds from the settlement to address tobacco-related health issues and to support tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

The original settlement provided Connecticut with an initial upfront settlement payment of $45 million and average annual payments in perpetuity of $141 million. Connecticut established the Connecticut Tobacco Settlement Fund to receive settlement payments.

The Connecticut Tobacco Settlement Fund provides funding for the Connecticut Biomedical Research Grant-in-Aid Program (“Connecticut Biomedical Research Program”) through the Biomedical Research Trust Fund. The program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH).

On behalf of DPH, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) was asked to conduct this study for the purpose of determining accomplishments achieved as a result of the research funded through the Connecticut Biomedical Research Program. This study is intended to provide information and recommendations to help decision makers understand the results and products of the program and guide its future activities. For this study, CASE assembled a committee of experts in biomedical research, the healthcare industry, and an academy member to oversee project research, develop conclusions based on the research findings and review th draft study report.

[Full Report / 5 MB]

At the request of the Connecticut General Assembly, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) in accordance with legislation adopted in the 2012 legislative session, Public Act 12-1 and Public Act 12-104, was asked to conduct a Disparity Study of the state’s Small and Minority Business Set-Aside Program (“Set-Aside Program”). Public Act 12-1 provided an overview of the initial scope of work to be included in the study, and Public Act 12-104 provided initial project funding.

Initial research identified that the state’s executive branch agencies and other branches of state government that are responsible for awarding state contracts and overseeing the Set-Aside Program do not for the most part collect subcontractor contracting data, including payment information. In addition, a review of the legal issues and case law, including presentations to the CASE Study Committee by experts on matters of race-based and gender-based programs, identified that subcontractor data and financial information is a critical component of conducting any valid disparity study. Unless quality data are collected and available at a level of detail necessary for analysis, the results of the disparity study could be challenged, and if such challenge were successful, the whole purpose of conducting the study would be negated.

The study concluded that the most effective statewide programs have a centralized structure with support from the governor and key political leaders, and advocate for MBEs and WBEs by implementing consistent programs, developing policies, overseeing and enforcing compliance, and educating stakeholders. Once the comprehensive data needed for conducting the statistical analysis are collected, the disparity study can be completed and used to inform overall spending goals for the MBE and WBE Program. Based on the results of periodic statistical analyses, if a statistically significant disparity exists, then a presumption of systemic discrimination implies the need for a legislatively mandated MBE and WBE Program, which should be implemented taking into account all of the relevant legal requirements.

[Full Report / 1MB] [Executive Summary]

On behalf of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in accordance with Section 7(f) of Public Act 12-148: An Act Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) performed a peer review of reports prepared for DEEP by Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) and the UConn Schools of Engineering and Business on methods of providing reliable electric services to critical facilities.

Reports reviewed by the CASE Peer Review Committee (PRC) included the following:

  • Analysis of Selective Hardening Options: Introduction and Executive Summary to Analysis Reports by CL&P, December 11, 2013 (see Appendix A) (Note: This version was used for the development of findings by the PRC. The original version of this report, Analysis of Selective Hardening Options: Introduction to Project Reports, dated May 31, 2013, was used by the PRC in the development of questions for CL&P/UConn. It is noted that as a result of the CL&P/UConn Briefing for the PRC, CL&P revised this report to include an Executive Summary.)
  • Reliability of Selective Hardening Options by the UConn School of Engineering (Principal Authors: Peng Zang, Gengfeng Li, and Peter Luh), May 31, 2013
  • Life-Cycle Cost Analysis of Selective Hardening Options by the UConn School of Engineering (Principal Authors: Sung Yeul Park and Sung Min Park), May 31, 2013
  • Benefit-Cost Analysis of Selective Hardening Options by the UConn School of Business (Principal Authors: Michel Rakotomavo and Albert Tzu-Wen Lin), May 31, 2013

CL&P and UConn School of Engineering briefed the PRC on the reports and responded to the questions submitted by the PRC. The PRC submitted additional questions following the briefing. CL&P and the UConn Schools of Engineering and Business responded to the questions and comments submitted by the PRC by either modifying their reports or submitting a separate written response to questions raised by the PRC (see Appendix B: CL&P Response to Questions from Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering; and Appendix C: PRC Questions/Comments on CL&P/UConn Reports with Mapping of CL&P/UConn Responses (Appendix B) Noted). This additional information was taken into consideration in development of the peer review report.

The PRC provided comments and findings for use in the development of the peer review report. Additionally, at DEEP’s request, the CASE Project Management Team conducted an initial scan of best practices for providing reliable power to critical facilities and identified possible funding sources for microgrid projects.

The PRC provided comments on the draft peer report, which was finalized on January 3, 2014.

[Full Report / 1.8 MB]

“Analyzing the Economic Impacts of Transportation Projects” was conducted on behalf of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE). The main goal of the study is to explore methods, approaches and analytical software tools for analyzing economic activity that results from large-scale transportation investments in Connecticut. The transportation system and users of transportation infrastructure interact with the economy in complex ways, causing economic impacts. Therefore, in order to effectively analyze the economic impact of transportation projects, the study committee concluded that ConnDOT should consider the following:

  • Establishing the role of economic impact analysis in the state’s strategic transportation planning process.

  • Adopting an objective, independent and consistent process for conducting economic impact analyses that incorporates the state’s regional, economic and political considerations.

  • Building capacity of ConnDOT staff including their understanding of economic impact analysis and the tools used to conduct such analyses for use in the strategic planning process and to support and manage analysts that conduct the analyses.

  • Utilizing analysts well versed in the principles of transportation planning/
    engineering and economic theory, and knowledgeable about the interrelations between the two for the purpose of ensuring validity of the results.

  • Establishing a partnership with an organization or consultant with the capacity to conduct economic analyses to achieve consistency in analyses over time.

  • Selecting an economic analysis software model to analyze the economic impact of transportation projects. Of the models considered in this study, currently REMI TranSight and TREDIS are recommended for ConnDOT’s consideration.

  • Customizing and communicating the results of the analyses in meaningful terms for various audiences (e.g., decision makers, stakeholders and the public).

[Full Report / 5.9MB] [Executive Summary]

Additional Materials

The use of Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) is a relatively new process in the United States that is designed to ensure that often overlooked or unanticipated health impacts are considered in proposed policies, programs, projects or plans. HIAs offer practical recommendations to minimize negative health risks and maximize health benefits, while addresing differential health impacts on vulnerable groups of people. They have been used by decision makers at the federal, state and local levels in a variety of sectors, including agriculture and food, built environment, education, housing, labor and employment, natural resources and energy, and transportation.

The purpose of this study is to provide the Connecticut General Assembly, state agencies, local health departments, regional health districts, and interested parties with information about HIAs for the purpose of assessing their value for use in Connecticut.

[Full Report / 6MB] [Executive Summary] [Press Release]

Additional Materials

At the request of the Connecticut General Assembly, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), in accordance with legislation adopted in the 2012 legislative session, Public Act 12-1 and Public Act 12-104, shall conduct a disparity study of the state’s Small and Minority Business Enterprise Set-Aside Program (“Set-Aside Program”). Public Act 12-1 provides an overview of the scope of work to be included in the study, and Public Act 12-104 provides for the funding of the project.

Findings from the study’s initial research and analysis of Connecticut’s current Set-Aside Program identified that:

  • The state’s executive branch agencies and the other branches of state government that are responsible for awarding state contracts and overseeing the Set-Aside Program do not uniformly collect subcontractor contracting data, including payment information.

  • A review of the legal issues and case law, including presentations to the CASE Study Committee by experts on matters of race-based and gender-based programs, identified that subcontractor data and financial information is a critical component of conducting a valid disparity study. Additionally, it was noted that unless quality data are collected and available for analysis, the results of the disparity study could be challenged in court, which would negate the purpose of conducting the study.

Therefore, it is recommended that the disparity study be divided into four distinct phases: Phase 1: Connecticut’s Set-Aside Program Review and Analysis, Legal Issues, and Stakeholder Anecdotal Information/Analysis; Phase 2: Diversity Data Management System Specification and Review of Agency Procedures and Practices Related to System Implementation, Best Practices Review and Analysis, and Establishing MBE/WBE Program Requirements; Phase 3: Diversity Data Management System Testing, Econometric Model Acquisition and Testing, Legal Issues Update, Agency Progress and Race-Neutral Measures Implementation Review, and MBE/WBE Company Survey; and Phase 4: Data Analysis and Goal Setting, Anecdotal Information/Analysis, and Final Project Report.

[Full Report* / 3MB][Executive Summary]

* Note: Revised to incorporate clarification of Section 7.2.1 ("Ownership") on page 75.

Additional Materials

Stem cell research has the potential for significant benefits to human health. Scientists are exploring the use of stem cells for the growth and development of tissues and organs, developing new drugs and studying genetic diseases.

In 2005, Connecticut joined California and New Jersey as the only states to allocate public funds for stem cell research (Public Act 05-149). The Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program was appropriated $20M for grants-in-aid for embryonic or human adult stem cell research. Additionally, this act allocated a total of $80M to be used over the course of seven years (2008-2015) from the state’s Tobacco Settlement Fund to support additional stem cell research. The stated purpose of the program is to “support the advancement of embryonic and/or human adult stem cell research in Connecticut.” While the political and scientific environments of today are quite changed from when the act was adopted, the need for funding stem cell research has not diminished.

At year six of the Connecticut Stem Cell Research Program, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) and Connecticut Innovations (CI) asked the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) to conduct an analysis of the accomplishments of the program, and to report findings and recommendations to DPH and CI.

[Full Report / 1.5 MB][Executive Summary]

The General Assembly tasked the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) with studying the workforce alignment system in Connecticut. The impetus for this study was the recognition that on the heels of the Great Recession, the state did not have an effective workforce alignment system to assist residents and businesses in their recovery from the economic downturn. This study was conducted at a time in which the General Assembly and the governor were realigning the workforce system and actively pursuing fundamental structural reforms.

The study’s goal is to identify strategies and mechanisms to assess and evaluate the value and effectiveness of those state programs and resources that have a goal of providing businesses and industries in Connecticut with a skilled workforce (with a focus on fields related to science,technology, engineering and mathematics) that meets the needs and expectations of employers, and at the same time, seeks to ensure that students receive the education they need and expect to successfully work in today’s jobs/careers and in the jobs/careers of the future. This study is not an evaluation of particular programs or industries in Connecticut, but rather, provides guidance to assure that the state continually maintains an agile, flexible workforce system thatcan respond to needs of residents and businesses in a constantly changing environment.

[Full Report / 3.6 MB][Executive Summary]

Additional Materials:

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How to contact CASE

Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
805 Brook Street, Building 4-CERC
Rocky Hill, CT 06067-3405
Telephone: 860-571-7143
*Email: acad at ctcase.org
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This page last updated: October 20, 2014

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