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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:

Soaring into the Future:
A New Age of Autonomous Flight

Flying can be exhausting. Not just for harried passengers racing to make connecting flights, but also for pilots who do not have the benefit of an autopilot to control many key functions of flight. In a keynote address on “Autonomy in Aviation: Past, Present and Future,” presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting and Dinner of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering in May, CASE member Michael Francis, former Chief, Advanced Programs and Senior Fellow at the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC), reviewed the history of autonomous flight and offered a glimpse into the future of this technology.

According to Francis, in the earliest days of flight, at the start of the 20th century, the pilot alone manually controlled every detail including altitude, direction, and speed and even assured stability. “Pilots could literally wear themselves out in a short period of time,” he noted. However, new inventions like the “gyrocompass” developed in 1908 by the prolific American inventor Elmer Sperry, paved the way for the first autopilot for aircraft, developed by his son Lawrence. Since Lawrence Sperry’s invention, there have been vast technological developments providing new capabilities, reducing pilot workload, and allowing for sophisticated operations unimaginable to early pilots. Now, the start of another technological era is underway. Today, we are rapidly advancing towards autonomous aircraft—planes that largely fly themselves. However, Francis points out that, before these new technologies can fully take flight, we “must find a way to trust the machine’s intelligence.”

Read more [PDF]

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Reports and Studies

Executive summaries of all recent reports issued by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering are available online. Most recent reports 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).

The objective of this study, conducted for the Connecticut Department of Transportation, is to identify a strategy to minimize the carbon footprint for CTDOT-contracted bus operations in Connecticut, bus systems owned by CTDOT and branded as CTtransit, including resulting benefits and challenges. The economic value of investments necessary to achieve strategy goals in terms of initial capital costs, ongoing operating costs including life-cycle costs, and overall benefits/savings were considered and presented in an easy-to-read and comprehensible format. The carbon footprint was calculated/estimated for all CTDOT-contracted bus operations. This analysis looked at the carbon footprint associated with day-to-day operations of equipment and facilities.


The recommendations are consolidated into four categories: rolling stock, facilities, resilience, and monitoring. The primary conclusion is as follows: the most effective strategy for minimizing the carbon footprint of CTDOT-contracted bus operations is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the replacement of the existing fleet with battery electric buses over the next 12 years. Battery electric buses outperform existing and alternative fuel technologies with respect to the reduction of GHG emissions and provide the additional benefit of having the second lowest expected life-cycle cost of alternative fuel technologies. Additionally, CTDOT can effect further reductions by adopting recommendations and standards for retrofitting existing bus facilities and constructing new bus facilities that are designed to reduce GHG emissions and energy consumption. In adopting these strategies, CTDOT should consider the resilience of the fleet and its operations, and institute a practice of monitoring, and modifying as needed, the assumptions of this analysis and updating these strategies accordingly.

[Full Report / 7 MB]

Additional Materials:

This study was conducted for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (CTDMV) by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) for the purpose of creating an implementation document for development of a virtual electronic screening (e-screening) and weigh-in-motion (WIM) pilot project.

Additionally, a goal of the analysis is to select virtual screening functionalities that are matched with enforcement strategies and provide flexibility taking into consideration factors such as new technologies, and changing enforcement strategies and traffic volumes over time. The performance of the functions needs to be the focus, using the technology to support those functions. Desired outcomes include

  • positively changing the behavior of motor carriers/commercial vehicles and drivers that violate state and federal regulatory requirements;
  • protecting the state’s highway infrastructure;
  • enabling motor carriers/commercial vehicles and drivers operating in a safe and legal manner to bypass inspection stations thus improving mobility by saving time, fuel and operational costs; and
  • providing enhanced motor vehicle safety for the public.

Investment in the deployment of innovative technologies to screen commercial vehicles and drivers for weight and safety inspection has the potential to improve the effectiveness of Connecticut’s commercial vehicle enforcement program and achieve outcomes including improved safety, highway preservation, and increased mobility of commercial vehicles traveling in Connecticut.

Virtual Screening Facilities (VSFs) and weigh stations with enhanced screening functionalities will enable enforcement officers to focus enforcement operations on those commercial vehicles most likely to be in violation of state and federal weight, size, and safety laws, while providing those in compliance with increased mobility by allowing them to bypass enforcement activities.

Importantly, analysis of the 24/7 data collected from these sites provides the opportunity to strategically design enforcement strategies to maximize enforcement effectiveness.

Performance measures used for administrative purposes and required by state statute for assessing the effectiveness the commercial vehicle enforcement program should be based on and aligned with programmatic objectives and outcomes. Metrics used to assess success in achieving desired outcomes should include measures related to improving safety, highway preservation, and mobility.

[Full Report / 9.3 MB]

Additional Materials:

This study was conducted for CTDOT by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering
(CASE) to identify practices for improving transportation project delivery performance for the
various contracting methods used by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT)
and other transportation agencies that are applicable for CTDOT’s use.

  • Leadership should articulate the department’s vision and objectives for project delivery
    performance and continue to foster and improve internal relations to instill a shared
    production culture and team orientation among designers, engineers, environmental
    regulators and associated construction entities.
  • To achieve the goals as set forth in the state’s Let’s GO CT!: Connecticut’s 5 Year
    Transportation Ramp-Up Plan and Let’s GO CT!: Connecticut’s Bold Vision for a
    Transportation Future, it is expected that CTDOT and the Connecticut Department of
    Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will require additional staffing and
    flexibility to engage consultants to fill staffing gaps, especially to meet short-term needs.
  • Key project delivery performance measures should be established to monitor processes
    using data-driven analysis to identify areas for improvement, and to justify needed
    funding and staffing levels to effectively implement CTDOT’s capital project program.
    It is expected that the department’s experience with ACMs may result in examination of
    and changes to other existing project delivery practices. This assessment process should
    be open and transparent to all stakeholders to provide awareness of, and public support
    for, efforts to improve project deliverability.
  • A useful strategy for improving constructability and ensuring the success of all projects,
    regardless of the project delivery method used, is early and continuous contractor
    and regulator involvement from concept through delivery to enable design and
    constructability to be considered concurrently.
    • To enhance environmental benefits and minimize environmental impacts
      of a project, a holistic design approach should be used that includes early
      and collaborative discussions between designers, construction managers
      and environmental regulators. The practice of sequential design reviews for
      environmental considerations should be replaced with over-the-shoulder
      reviews where environmental considerations are integrated into overall project
      design.
  • CTDOT should use the project delivery method and contractor selection method that
    best fits a project’s challenges and objectives to achieve potential benefits such as
    price certainty, constructability, reduction of overall project delivery and construction
    schedules, innovation, and risk transfer.
  • A consultant should be engaged to guide the development and implementation of ACM
    processes, and for training CTDOT staff in all aspects of scoping, procurement and
    contracting, and management of the relationships between the CTDOT and design and
    construction project teams in the use of ACMs.

[Full Report / 10.4 MB]

Additional Materials:

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: March 18, 2019

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