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:

Cybersecurity: Implications and Prevention
What Can We Learn from the NIST Framework

With the world becoming increasingly networked, cybersecurity is a growing concern for individuals and businesses alike. Except for those few people living without dependence on critical infrastructure provided by government and industry, such as utilities, healthcare, transportation and defense, everyone is vulnerable to a cyberattack.

Hackers exploit weaknesses in networked systems with tools such as worms, viruses, Trojan horses, Botnets and distributed denial of service attacks. E-mail scams, phishing and web-based attacks take advantage of unwary users. Some hackers embed malicious codes in hardware components during manufacture that they can later exploit. Others attach a skimming apparatus to the equipment that is used to swipe credit or ATM cards. Skilled hackers have even successfully physically destroyed equipment over the network. The most unlikely scenario, but one with a high impact, is that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) device would render useless anything that has unprotected circuits in it within the range of the device blast.

In 2013, President Obama issued an executive order, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity,” which commissioned the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to “work with stakeholders to develop a voluntary framework, based on existing standards, guidelines, and practices, for reducing cyber risks to critical infrastructure.” The framework debuted in 2014 and its core considerations are to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover.

According to Mark Raymond, the chief information officer of Connecticut’s Bureau of Enterprise System Technology in the Department of Administrative Services, Connecticut uses the NIST Framework for all of the state agencies that have federal oversight or regulation, and all cyber-risk auditing they do is based on the NIST Framework controls. For the non-regulated agencies, the state uses the 20 critical controls of the SANS Institute, “which incorporates some of the controls within the NIST Framework, but doesn’t go to the same extent,” Raymond said.

[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 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).

This evaluation study was conducted by the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) at the request of the Education Committee. The purpose of this study is to investigate the immediate effects associated with children who attend Connecticut’s state-funded School Readiness full-day or school-day prekindergarten program. The primary research questions include:

  1. Do children who attend full-day or school-day, state-funded preschool programs enter kindergarten with better language and literacy skills than if they had not attended the program?
  2. Do children who attend full-day or school-day, state-funded preschool programs enter kindergarten with better mathematics skills than if they had not attended the program?
  3. Do children who attend full-day or school-day, state-funded preschool programs enter kindergarten with better social skills than if they had not attended the program?

The findings show evidence that attending state-funded prekindergarten in Connecticut, as delivered through the School Readiness program funding stream, positively impacts students’ early literacy and early numeracy skills.

[Full Report / 6.1 MB]

Additional Materials:

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

Disparities were found by race, ethnicity, and gender for business formation, earnings, credit access, homeownership and lending, and business performance. The magnitude of these disparities varied across each specification and for each marketplace, but the estimates were generally consistent in terms of statistical significance. The presence of these disparities was aligned with findings from peer-reviewed academic journals and from disparity studies conducted in other jurisdictions.


Completion of the Disparity Study is dependent on conducting Phase 4 of the study. Taken together, the results from Phases 1-4 will provide the necessary information to determine if there is a need for a state minority- and women-owned business enterprise program and the rationale that courts have deemed necessary in order for governments to operate such programs. If there is a need for a program, the results of the Phase 3 and Phase 4 statistical analyses will then be used to determine program goals.

[Full Report / 1 MB]

Additional Materials:

The Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) conducted a study entitled Winter Highway Maintenance Operations: Connecticut, on behalf of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT). The study was conducted in response to Section 6 of Public Act 14-199 that directed the Commissioner of Transportation to conduct an analysis of the corrosive effects of chemical road treatments on 1) state snow and ice equipment vehicles, 2) state bridges, highways and other infrastructure, and 3) the environment; The analysis shall determine the cost of corrosion created by road treatments, and shall include an evaluation of alternative techniques and products, such as, but not limited to, rust inhibitors, with a comparison of cost and effectiveness.

The study found that chloride-based deicing chemicals should be expected to be the standard for the foreseeable future and CTDOT should continue to use sodium chloride as the primary deicing chemical. Furthermore, although corrosion inhibitors are available for use with deicers, literature reviewed did not find evidence of their effectiveness in the field. It is important to note that vehicle washing is the best defense to reduce/prevent corrosion and the public should be educated on the need to wash vehicles, including the undercarriage.

The study concluded that ensuring the safety and mobility of the traveling public requires the most effective winter highway maintenance practices possible. Accomplishing this is a shared responsibility among stakeholders. To achieve comprehensive and sustainable success competing factors must be considered including: safety, cost, corrosion, operating practices, materials and equipment, environmental and economic impacts, and communication with the general public, stakeholders, and government leaders. Balancing these factors presents a challenge that can be met through ongoing monitoring and continuous improvement based on evolving best practices. Also, it was noted that CTDOT engages in an ongoing process of monitoring current practices, identifying areas for improvement, and instituting improvements based on best practices.

Further, analysis of winter season injury crash data showed that CTDOT’s anti-icing strategy the reduced number of injury crashes during winter weather events. The report includes recommendations for consideration by CTDOT and Connecticut’s municipalities related to deicing chemicals and application techniques, infrastructure, vehicles, the environment, and outreach and education.

[Full Report / 5.5 MB]

Additional Materials:

At the request of the Connecticut General Assembly’s (CGA) Public Health Committee, the Connecticu Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) conducted this study to identify strategies, tactics and policies that can be employed in Connecticut to reduce the incidence of family violence perpetrated by adults and adolescents by targeting the common causes of violence.

There is concern among the general public and the state’s leadership regarding family violence/
intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetrated by adults and adolescents in Connecticut, as well as across the United States. Efforts to reduce family violence are numerous, but many standard interventions to accomplish this goal achieve minimal benefits. Additionally, family violence, and in particular, the impact of such violence directed at women, children and elders, is of particular concern. The issues and challenges that need to be addressed to identify effective research-based solutions to successfully reduce violence are known to be complex.

This study includes:

  • A review of the literature on family violence prevention and treatment, along with follow-up consultation with local and national experts, including the Centers for Disease Control; economic, social, psychiatric, and biologic risk factors that increase the risk of family violence; and consequences of domestic violence on children, including its impact on adjustment in the school setting.
  • Mining of available existing databases to identify the characteristics of perpetrators and victims of family violence, and the risk factors associated with recidivism and extreme forms of family violence (e.g., homicide).
  • A summary of Connecticut’s current state legal practices and service approaches that deal with family violence, including how the court system handles youthful and firsttime adult offenders for intra-familial violence offenses. Also, Connecticut’s practices and approaches are compared to other relevant state and national model programs and initiatives.
  • Recommendations based on the research that identify prevention strategies for the
    state’s consideration for the purpose of reducing family violence in Connecticut.

A combination of variables was taken into account in formulating the study recommendations including the literature review, mining of Connecticut data sets, findings from a focus group session, guidance from expert consultants, formal presentations of research trends, committee discussion and integration of the findings from the research.

[Full report / 4.2 MB]

Additional Materials:

This study provides an overview of shared clean energy facilities (SCEFs) and issues regarding their development and use in Connecticut. Key goals of Connecticut’s energy policy include increasing the amount of electricity generated from clean energy resources and diversifying the state’s energy supply mix. The CASE Study Committee, which included various energy experts from engineers to economists and attorneys, concluded that based on the success of the state’s residential solar PV program and Connecticut’s relatively high electricity rates, it is expected that a Shared Clean Energy Facility Program will be of interest to ratepayers seeking to reduce their electricity expense, while helping to achieve these goals.

Further, implementation of a Connecticut Shared Clean Energy Facility Program requires adoption of legislation and program rules. The program should allow for multiple business models to maximize opportunities for facility development, competition, and choice for all interested participants. Furthermore, a value of clean energy analysis should be conducted to assure rate fairness for all business interests and classes of ratepayers including low-income populations.

Additionally, transforming the energy landscape for the 21st century requires that several broader issues be addressed to achieve a cleaner, safer, and more reliable system related to the anticipated increase in distributed generation, including: fairness in overall rate design to achieve the greatest value from clean distributed energy resource generation — with a goal of reducing the overall cost of electricity; development of utility business models to adapt to the evolving operating environment; and technology challenges to assure that the intended benefits of distributed generation are achieved.

[Full Report / 2 MB]

Additional Materials:

Public Act No. 12-155, An Act Concerning Phosphorous Reduction in State Waters, sets forth a process for making recommendations regarding a statewide strategy to reduce phosphorus loading in inland, non-tidal waters to comply with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) established working groups and a coordinating committee to address the issues mandated by this legislation. Three working groups were charged with formulating recommendations for the purpose of policy development: Working Group #1: Statewide Response to Phosphorus Non-point Pollution; Working Group #2: Methods to Measure Phosphorus and Make Future Projections; and Working Group #3: Municipal Options for Coming into Compliance with Water Quality Standards. The overarching Coordinating Committee comprises the co-chairs of the three working groups with oversight by a DEEP deputy commissioner and a representative from a Connecticut town. The Coordinating Committee was tasked with guiding the project, with responsibility for overall direction and timing, and addressing cross-cutting issues.

At the request of DEEP, the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) was engaged to conduct a study of specified tasks regarding the science involved and to makerecommendations for the development of methods to measure phosphorus and make future projections for the consideration of Working Group #2.

The overall objective of this study was to meet the legislative intent of Public Act 12-155, which was to conduct an evaluation and develop recommendations to determine the scientificmethods with which to measure the impacts of phosphorus pollution in inland, non-tidal waters. At the start of the study process, the CASE Research Team and Study Committee, in consultation with DEEP and Working Group #2, considered which inland waters should be included in the study. Most states, including Connecticut, already have numeric standards for nutrients for lakes and reservoirs, and therefore it was decided that these standards are sufficient and do not need to be revisited.

[Full Report / 2.7 MB]

Additional Materials:

The objectives of this study, which was conducted for the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), included examining energy consumption of the facilities comprising the three major rail yards on the New Haven Rail Line as well as platform stations and identifying energy efficiency and cost saving opportunities for rail operations and facilities. The study focused on identifying opportunities and options to improve energy efficiency and reliability, and recommended solutions for reducing energy costs and reliance on fossil fuels that take into account the needs of Connecticut’s rail operations and facilities.

The study concluded that CTDOT should assign a staff person to serve as an energy manager tasked with leading energy efficiency and conservation efforts for all rail facilities/stations and incorporating theimportance of these efforts into the culture of the department. Under the energy manager’s leadership, CTDOT should implement a comprehensive process to exploit energy efficiencyand reliability opportunities for rail facilities/stations; this process should include conducting periodic energy audits of facilities, developing an energy management plan, and incorporating the findings into an asset management plan. Project planning, engineering and design, andconstruction, as well as rail operations that are conducted at the facilities/stations should be integrated into this process. Importantly, initiatives and projects should be evaluated with results integrated into future planning.

[Full Report / 5 MB]

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:

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
(*As an anti-spam measure, we ask you to convert this address to the usual user@host.com format.)

This page last updated: September 23, 2016

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