A New Perspective on Aviation

The Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs was happy to host an incredible group of panelists from various branches of the military to discuss the challenges and innovations in aviation. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions of a group of specialists with a vast range of experiences and perspectives on topics from the newest technologies, the path to becoming a pilot, and the importance of communication and interpersonal skills.

One of the most important topics discussed during the panel was the importance of communication when working with aircraft in the military. “It is 100 percent a people business,” LTC Toohey stated, emphasizing the need for strong interpersonal skills when flying in the military.

“You need to network...to get a common understanding between folks,” CPT Rosebaugh commented in regards to joint operations as well as communication with maintenance and engineering teams.

CPT Rosebaugh cited his experience working on different teams and missions to learn the differences between the branches of military and how those experiences allowed him to better understand and interact with his peers during joint operations.

Discussing new technology, one of the biggest topics was the use of simulators in training. The discussion turned to how far the technology has come to the point of truly simulating the reality of flying. “You feel like you are really inside an aircraft” said LTC Toohey of the latest simulators.

Students learned about the use of simulators in training. “If you crash, you just push the red button and keep going,” LTC Toohey noted, mentioning how much less dangerous it is to make mistakes while in the early training process before getting into the air.

For our engineering students, the discussion turned to all of the factors involved with incorporating new technologies into an aircraft. The importance of testing new tech and the practical application of the tech was a big point of emphasis for the panel. CPT Rosebaugh noted that there has to be a distinction between, “Flying the aircraft, rather than managing systems.” As technology increases, it disconnects pilots from their first job, which is to fly the aircraft. This gave some incredible insight for our engineering students to understand the effect that their ideas could have on the pilots they are trying to serve.

Many of the students asked questions about the best ways to become a pilot and how the path might be more difficult than they thought. In answering about the possibility of transitioning from commercial/civilian flight to the military, many of the panelists had advice on the subject.

“The military flies very differently from commercial flights,” Colonel Cullen commented.

Many of the panelists discussed the difficulties that many civilian pilots find when trying to train for military flight. The main emphasis of the difference in flying technique was on the stresses put on the equipment and how different it is to fly when you are, as CPT Rosebaugh put it, “taking it to the limit every night.” These differences can make the transition from civilian flight to military flight, and vice versa, a challenging experience.

As the session closed, students came up to the panelists for some one on one discussion. Colonel Cullen talked about the value of this panel for the students, “You don’t get this in a classroom. You don’t get almost 300 years of experience discussing their experiences. This is professional development.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Four OSU Students to Learn About Science Policy in D.C.

Emilio Mateo Emilio Mateo
Emma Wenckowski Emma Wenckowski
Pallavi Oruganti Pallavi Oruganti
Preston Manwill Preston Manwill
The Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy, in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, is pleased to announce the selection of 4 Ohio State University students who will attend the American Association for the Advancement of Science workshop, “Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering,” in Washington, D.C., March 24-27, 2019.

Please join us in congratulating Emilio Mateo, PhD student in Geography, Emma Wenckowski, BS student in Data Analytics, Pallavi Oruganti, PhD student in Veterinary Medicine; and Preston Manwill, PhD student in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy. These students were selected from a competitive pool of students across many different OSU colleges and departments.

Students will participate in a three-and-a-half day program in Washington, DC. Participants will learn about the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and appropriations processes, and tools for effective science communication and civic engagement. In addition, students will participate in interactive seminars about policy-making and communication. The final day is reserved for students to conduct meetings with Ohio’s elected Members of Congress and congressional staff.

A national coalition of scientific and engineering societies, universities, and academic organizations created this exciting opportunity. The entry-level program is organized to empower students with ways to become a voice for basic research throughout their careers. The workshop is designed for students in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, with limited experience and knowledge of science policy and advocacy who want to learn more about science policy.

Battelle Center Welcomes Peerless Technologies

The Battelle Center aerospace student community of practice and engagement was happy to welcome Jim Free, Vice President of Aerospace Systems at Peerless Technologies and former Director of NASA Glenn Research Center on February 5, 2019.

< The students, or as Jim called them “the future,” enjoyed entertaining stories of Jim’s long career with NASA. He shared his experiences in all his leadership positions, preparing humans for spaceflight, and the commitment he has to NASA’s mission. He also provided excellent advice on the transition from student to professional, work-life balance, and finding happiness in your career.

Jim has recently moved from his government roles into industry with Peerless Technologies. They are a small business that provides the spectrum of systems engineering, cybersecurity, IT, human performance and medical, and innovation and research support services. Their clients include the Department of Defense and many government agencies.

Career Fair De-Stressor Event with Dynetics

Dynetics Representative and Battelle Center Alumni, Nic Flesher planned and held an event at the Battelle Center in an effort to calm students nerves before the Ohio State career fair. He catered in plenty of Hot Chicken Takeover and came baring excellent advice for upcoming graduates. Nic was an active participant in the Battelle Center’s student community of practice and engagement for the Aerospace industry for over two years. He graduated in the summer of 2018 and found work in Huntsville, AL at Dynetics.

Dynetics is an American private, applied science, and information technology company that works primarily with the Intelligence Community, DOD, and NASA. They entered into the space market with their FASTSAT micro-satellite, purchase of Orion Propulsion, and continue to grow with their SLS contract with NASA. Nic enjoys working in their Space Solution department and informed students of some lessons learned when transitioning from a full-time student to a full-time employee. Nic went on to explain that Dynetics also has other ventures in both the defense and commercial industries. Dynetics looks at Automotive, Cyber & IT Solutions, GroundAware, Intelligence, Radars & Sensors, Space Solutions, Unmanned Systems, and Weapon Technology.

With students close to graduation, many students were curious about the company culture as well as applying for the various internships and jobs that Nic mentioned at the event. Nic followed up with “the company’s culture is very unique and it cares for its employees… and if you would like to apply I will be at the career fair to talk more and collect resumes”. Having Nic give back to the Battelle Center students and share his experiences is exactly the community engagement that the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy strives to enable.

Mobile apps and networks of drones, oh my!
Young innovators propose solutions for Tackling Plastic GeoChallenge with the help of Battelle Center coaches

Battelle Center graduate Adam Sauer helping Innovators Club students sketch out logistics of drone network to retrieve plastic trash from the ocean near sister city Tainan City, Taiwan.

Through a partnership between the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy and the PAST Foundation’s Innovators Club, two teams of middle school students submitted projects to National Geographic’s Tackling Plastic GeoChallenge. Over the past two months, Battelle Center students have coached these young innovators through pioneering solutions to plastic pollution in the waterways of Columbus and its sister cities. After all their hard work, the two teams presented their final proposals to each other and guests in early December.

One team came up with a mobile app called Plastic Points – Shifting the Tide to be piloted in Columbus, Ohio, and Genoa, Italy. Members of each city will accrue points by changing the ways in which they use and dispose of plastic. Through partnerships with businesses in both Columbus and Genoa, app users can get points by doing things like forgoing drinking straws or plastic grocery bags at participating locations and by taking quizzes on daily facts about the impact of plastic waste on aquatic ecosystems. App users can also play a game in which they get points by finding and recycling plastic waste from waterways.

The other team proposed a network of drones to scan the South China Sea for large pockets of undetected plastic waste near Tainan City, Taiwan. Once they detect plastic waste, these drones will communicate that information to a trawling ship in the area to come collect the waste.
Battelle Center student Justine Franklin helping young innovators research issue of plastic pollution in waterways of sister cities Columbus, Ohio, and Genoa, Italy.
Innovators Club student presenting team’s GeoChallenge solution – network of drones to track and retrieve plastic from South China Sea.

2018 Summit on Sustainability Highlights Food Security Student Project in the Battelle Center

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) brought hundreds of community leaders together to explore and share sustainable ideas and solutions around mobility on Oct 25, 2018.

The Battelle Center participated on a panel regarding food security and smart mobility. Dr. Elizabeth Newton, Executive Director, spoke on the panel and took the opportunity to highlight our students working on a food security project. The students, under Dr. Kadri Parris’ guidance, are attacking the wicked problem of food insecurity in Columbus by considering mobility. They are using big data to uncover challenges and pilot new approaches to help families in need access available food resources.

This project came to life when the students were able to collaborate with local partners like MORPC, Smart Columbus, Teradata, HandsOn, COTA and the Ohio Department of Transportation. MORPC has been providing high-level guidance and HandsOn Central Ohio has provided the data geocoding and data periods. Teradata has been essential in helping create the data analytics. Ultimately, the team hopes to answer these questions:
  • How far are families traveling to get to food pantries?
  • What transportation options do they have?
  • Should we focus on bringing the families to the food or bringing the food to the families?
By using data analytics, they are providing options for innovative, smart, and more sustainable transportation solutions.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes New Members

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is pleased to welcome three new members: Deloitte as an Executive Member, Colorado Air and Space Port as an Associate Member, and the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy at The Ohio State University as a Research and Education Affiliate.

“These members demonstrate the broad reach and expanded contributions of commercial space,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “We are excited to welcome all three unique organizations into our membership, and welcome their voice and expertise on a variety of issues impacting the commercial space industry.”

Deloitte’s focus in the space industry helps government agencies and private sector organizations meet the market’s rapidly growing demands. Deloitte recognizes that to maintain the United States’ competitive advantage in space, cooperation between government and the private sector is critical. Efforts must span the realms of launch, rapid acquisition, space operations, resource exploitation, resiliency, and both human and robotic space exploration.

Colorado Air and Space Port is an existing General Aviation airport and Horizontal Launch Spaceport. Located 30 miles east of Denver, Colorado, Colorado Air and Space Port offers easy access to the outstanding Colorado workforce and lifestyle, one of the leading aerospace economies in the nation, Denver International Airport, and exceptional business sites on and around the Air and Space Port. Colorado Air and Space Port brings you a mile closer to space and provides room to grow and develop with prime location and excellent incentives.

The Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy at The Ohio State University was established at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs in 2006 through the generosity of Battelle, the world’s largest non-profit research and development organization and long-time neighbor to The Ohio State University.

Building the Innovation Pipeline: Showcasing Opportunities at the Ohio Defense Forum

Director Dr. Elizabeth Newton and two students from Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy moderated a panel discussion exploring initiatives and programs that help build the pipeline of innovation to support U.S. national security. The panel was part of the Ohio Defense Forum on October 16, 2018 that brought together hundreds from around the state, including several U.S. Congressmen, state dignitaries, and distinguished military officers.

The Battelle Center students relished the opportunity to ‘try on’ the professional role of moderator before they graduate: Ms. Kayla Watson is completing her BS in Aerospace Engineering, and Mr. Ryan Wilber who is completing his MS in Mechanical Engineering. Both are active participants in Battelle Center’s student community of practice and engagement for the Aerospace industry.

The Battelle Center supports students and innovations for global, complex industries like Aerospace. Part of the center’s mission includes preparing students for the workforce with essential skills such as communication, collaboration, applied critical thinking, and an innovation mindset. Ms. Watson and Mr. Wilber prompted the panelists to consider how organizations incentivize innovation and embrace young professionals.

The panel benefited from the views of:
  • Mr. Mitch Kusmier, Director of Development, MD5 The National Security Technology Accelerator in the Department of Defense
  • Mr. Matthew J. Shaw, Vice President and General Manager, Battelle Memorial Institute
  • Mr. Tom Nelson, Director of the Washington D.C. office of BMNT Partners
  • Ms. Kathryn Kelley, Executive Director, Ohio Manufacturing Institute at The Ohio State University
  • Dr. Michael Benzakein, Wright Brothers Institute Professor and Assistant Vice President for Aerospace and Aviation Research, The Ohio State University.

A lively discussion developed around empowering the younger generation of professionals to tackle defense problems head on. The defense industry recognizes the need to remain bleeding edge and will be targeting new hires with this capability and knowledge. Students can get this experience early on by participating in hack-a-thons where they solve real world problems.

For the past three years, The Ohio State University has been one of the principal sponsors for the Ohio Defense Forum, which U.S. Congressman Michael Turner originated. The Forum strives to connect defense leaders and build awareness of the current defense environment locally, regionally and nationally. The Innovation Pipeline Panel was a new addition to the forum, the theme of which was “Ohio’s Defense Ecosystem: Connecting Ohio’s Defense Installations, Communities, and Industries.”

Battelle Center students mentor young innovators to tackle the problem of plastic pollution in our waterways

Battelle Center students Sam Malloy and Justine Franklin talking with Innovators Club students about the future of smart cities. Battelle Center students Sam Malloy and Justine Franklin talking with Innovators Club students about the future of smart cities.

 Innovators Club students brainstormed the future of smart cities and agreed to the Explorer’s Code. Before participating in GeoChallenge, team coaches and students must pledge to embrace challenges, collaboration, curiosity, and respect to learn about and try to help solve global problems. Innovators Club students brainstormed the future of smart cities and agreed to the Explorer’s Code. Before participating in GeoChallenge, team coaches and students must pledge to embrace challenges, collaboration, curiosity, and respect to learn about and try to help solve global problems.

Ohio State graduate Adam Sauer helping Innovators Club students navigate maps of waterways in Columbus and our sister cities. Ohio State graduate Adam Sauer helping Innovators Club students navigate maps of waterways in Columbus and our sister cities.

In October, the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy launched a collaboration with the PAST Foundation to bring GIS (Geographic Information System) and mapping to the Innovators Club, a STEM-focused afterschool program for middle school students in the Columbus area. Each Thursday afternoon, nine volunteers from the Battelle Center and the PAST Foundation’s young innovators explore GIS and mapping as a means to solve global problems.

During the first week, the group learned about urbanization, discussed what a smart city is, and brainstormed what they think smart cities of the future will be like. Students came up with innovative solutions, such as underground tunnels to transport people and supplies in the case of a natural disaster, renewable energy solutions, and vertical agriculture incorporated into urban architecture.

Right now, the group is participating in the Tackling Plastic GeoChallenge to propose solutions to the problem of plastic pollution in our waterways. National Geographic hosts the GeoChallenge competition annually for middle school students throughout the country. Finalist teams will compete in Washington, D.C., in May 2019.

The Battelle Center is coaching two teams of 4-6 Innovators Club students. Each team will map the waterways of one of Columbus’ ten sister cities, research the issue of plastic pollution, and propose their own innovative solution. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!

Battelle Center Students Strike Again at the International Astronautical Congress in Bremen, Germany

Battelle Center students are in front of the famous Dorint Park Hotel.

It is becoming a tradition in the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy for our students to shine at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the world’s largest gathering of aerospace professionals. Last year, there were 6 students presenting their research in Australia and this year there were 10 students presenting in Germany! In both cases, the students performed exceptionally in representing Ohio State University.

IAC provides the platform for training much needed skills for young professionals going into dynamic and globally competitive industries such as aerospace; skills like communication, applied critical thinking, and cultural competence. Prior to the conference, the students spent the summer working on their research topic, writing their research paper, and developing their presentation all under the guidance of the Battelle Center. Here is the list of the students that presented and their corresponding research title:

  • Dennis Scott: Analysis of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) Enabled Heliopause Trajectories, Using Solar-Oberth Maneuvers and Inner Planetary Gravity Assist
  • Harrison Kearby: “Leviathan Lite” Towards a Global Stewardship Organization for Space Domain Awareness, Conduct, and Remediation
  • Justin Clark: Analysis of Manned Missions Enabled by Bimodal Nuclear Propulsion Technologies
  • Nicholas Salamon: Preliminary Nozzle Design for a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Mission
  • Kai Perlmutter: Potential Applications for the Hyperspectral Imager DESIS
  • Mariah Schwartz and Sarah Haines: Evaluating the Microbial Environment Aboard ISS to Enable an Optimized Microbiome for Deep Space Human Exploration
  • Samuel Malloy: Targets for Satellite-based Emerging Disease Surveillance: Ecological Change and Zoonotic Bat Viruses
  • Taylor Huneycutt: An Analysis and Selection of Launch Windows and Orbital Trajectories for the Jesse Owens Thermonuclear Propulsion Interplanetary Spaceflight Mission
  • Zac Strimbu and Howard Schulman: Mission Architecture for a Proof-of-Concept Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Interplanetary Mission

The students had plenty to say about their experience at the conference as well as traveling abroad and learning about a different culture and city.

On the conference:

Students enjoying a private dinner with Bill Nye the Science Guy at the Bremen Ratskeller.

“IAC was an incredibly transformative experience for me as a young professional. Seeing professionals from across the world giving talks about their relative passions within space has shown me that despite cultural and language barriers, we could all talk about the same things going on in space exploration and development. That despite my young age relative to the rest of the conference, what I said gave others new perspective on my chosen field as well as American space and life.”
— Kai Perlmutter

On the training and prep:

“Preparing the research for presentation was the greatest skill I gained from the training sessions, as the concept of answering “why does this matter?” in a smooth way is key to communicating not just research, but much more as well.”
— Justin Clark

On traveling abroad:

“The feeling that stuck with me the most from this trip was simply the indescribable excitement I felt after stepping out of the airport and finally experiencing Germany for the first time. As I alluded to before, coming to this country has been a desire of mine for as long as I can remember. To those who have never had a chance to travel abroad and are reluctant to do so, I would say that nothing is quite like the exhilaration of first stepping foot into a new land.”
— Taylor Huneycutt

Virtual reality could be the future of mental health in space

Nicholas Salamon In the movie “Interstellar,” a team of astronauts travels through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity’s survival. For recent aerospace engineering grad Nicholas Salamon, the film provided more than just entertainment—it inspired his undergraduate research.

“There’s a part in the movie where the crew is just starting off on this long, arduous journey into space and one of them is really nervous, so another astronaut gives him some earbuds with nature sounds playing and it calms him down,” said Salamon. That scene, coupled with what he recalls as a very realistic rock climbing simulation experience, got him thinking about how virtual reality (VR) could have a positive impact on mental health in space.

Mental well-being, while important for all humans, is especially crucial for astronauts due to the intense nature of their environment, Salamon said. It is particularly vital on long-haul missions to the moon or NASA’s future journey to Mars, during which crews would experience much more autonomy and isolation due to their distance from their home planet.

“The crew will be in a cramped environment, far away from Earth. It’s probably going to take a big toll on their mental health,” he said, noting that an astronaut in a compromised mental state could make a mistake that ends the mission or even worse, the lives of the crew. “So why not try to apply VR, since it’s so convincing, to expose them to different environments that might help calm them down and provide entertainment?”

Under the guidance of advisor and Neil A. Armstrong Chair John Horack, Salamon produced his first manuscript, “Application of Virtual Reality for Crew Mental Health in Extended-Duration Space Missions.” The paper quickly caught the attention of others in the field and in the fall of 2017 he traveled to Adelaide, Australia to present his initial work at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), the world’s largest gathering of space professionals. Soon after, Salamon reached another milestone: his first-peer reviewed publication. His paper was published in the interdisciplinary space journal Acta Astronautica.

Click here to read the full article.

Learning the Way the Aviation World Works: Battelle Center Students Experience Industry’s Embrace at National Convention

Taking a group photo after attending the Youth Luncheon sponsored by FedEx and hosted by the U.S. Air Force. Grade-school children, college students, and pilots and/or aerospace professionals occupied each luncheon table. The event allowed us to interact with potential aviation collegiate students along with experts in the industry. (left to right) Christopher Jones: Vice President OBAP-OSU Chapter; Najla Dorsey: President OBAP-OSU Chapter; Letitia Calhoun; Dennis Scott.

O-H-I-O Proud in front of Minute Maid Park Stadium – Home of the Houston Astros (left to right) Najla Dorsey: President OBAP – OSU Chapter; Dennis Scott, Letitia Calhoun; Christopher Jones: Vice President OBAP – Ohio Satety University Chapter.

Four Ohio State University students seized the opportunity to connect with current and future aerospace professionals by attending the 42nd annual Conference and Career Exposition of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP).

Air transportation students Letitia Calhoun, Najla Dorsey, and Christopher Jones and aerospace engineering student Dennis Scott traveled to Houston, Texas for the week-long event.

Reflecting on the event, the students all remarked on its transformational effect (“mind-blown!”), which results from experiencing first-hand the breadth and context of the industry and hearing the wisdom of assembled professionals at the convention. This sort of learning does not occur inside the confines of a classroom.

Feeling embraced by the wider industry, Najla Dorsey recounts, “As a certified private pilot, I was more than inspired to continue on with my professional aviatrix journey after meeting these [female pilots]. I was finally able to recognize my unique value in a $664.4 billion industry (Air Transport). Having the opportunity to be educated and trained at The Ohio State University, one of the most distinguished institutes and flight schools in the nation, sets me apart from most with similar career goals. At the same time, I am on my way to being a part of a marginalized, sub-group of pilots, who must outperform the rest as to negate the assumption of affirmative action due to sex and/or ethnic background. My attendance at the convention has unpredictably given me educational tools unfulfilled by OSU. Those tools include meaningful connections made with women currently in my future profession who look like me and have similar life and flight training experiences.“

At the Convention, major aviation employers like U.S. Air Force, American, United, Southwest, UPS, JetBlue, FedEx, and the U.S. Navy were joined by regional airlines like Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Piedmont, Air Wisconsin, and XOJet. Other corporate sponsors represent the changing face of the industry as new technology is adopted, such as Amazon Prime Air and Walmart Aviation.

Noted Chris Jones, “The opportunity to network and talk to industry professionals with all different experiences was an opportunity of a lifetime. I had the chance to talk to people who looked like me, and were doing what I wanted to do. The journey to get to ‘professional pilot’ differed between each person but that was the uniqueness of the experience. At first, I felt alone when I came to Ohio state to study aviation however being a part of OBAP I was able to find other students and professionals who wanted to help.”

Battelle Center is dedicated to fostering students’ understanding of the wider context surrounding their engineering-heavy industry so that they gain savvy and an ability to navigate among the many disciplines comprising the industry. Battelle Center trained the students in some communication and networking skills in order to maximize the event’s professional value to them and secure a start on their first professional network. In fact, they added to their network OSU alumnus Dr. Armond E. Sinclair, who currently works at Northrop Grumman as an engineering manager.

Senior Dennis Scott said, “This conference was an amazing experience. Before this, I had never attended a professional event in my career path. I did not know what to expect and was a little apprehensive about meeting and conversing with individuals who were further along in their path than me. It was blown away by how warm and welcoming everyone was and immediately felt at ease.”

Najla Dorsey and Christopher Jones, who lead the Ohio State student chapter of OBAP as president and vice president, respectively, also incorporated peers into their professional network by connecting with other student OBAP leaders around the country such as Western Michigan University and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

The students’ transformative experience was made possible by the generous support of these OSU offices and individuals:
  • The College of Engineering Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering;
  • The Center for Aviation Studies;
  • Professor James W. Gregory;
  • The College of Engineering Office of Diversity, Outreach, and Inclusion;
  • The Ohio Space Grant Consortium; and
  • The John Glenn College of Public Affairs' Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy.

Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy students had the great privilege to interact with NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration leaders Jim Bridenstine & Janet Kavandi at an aerospace roundtable hosted by COSI on September 18, 2018.

Battelle Center grad student presents novel forecasting technique at CDC Infectious Disease Conference

Sam Malloy, a Battelle Center team lead and MPA/MA student in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and College of Public Health, presented his research in a Breaking News session at the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (ICEID) in Atlanta, Georgia, August 26-29, 2018.

Thanks to Battelle Center’s support, Sam uses observations of Earth from space to assess the risk that Ebola infections will ’spill-over’ to adjacent human settlements. By looking at changes in forest coverage in central Africa, he is developing a novel forecasting technique which will help policy-makers understand the likelihood of disease outbreak. His work is a promising addition to existing surveillance strategies for emerging infectious disease.

“It was important for us to attend this conference, because it offered a chance to hear from the community that could be using our technology. It is rare to have so many leading public health practitioners under one roof at the same time, as they are often dispatched to any number of outbreaks around the world. In that sense, when you have technology developers, scientists, clinicians, and policy-makers in the same space collaborating toward focused and organized goals you end up with a group that quickly becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and we are proud to contribute to that."

Sam’s interdisciplinary research over the past year and a half in Battelle Center highlights the complex interplay among factors such as deforestation, migration due to conflict, and wildlife hosts for pathogens. The transfer of pathogens like Ebola virus from wildlife to humans can be precipitated by drastic environmental change. Sam's use of satellite data allows for more spatially- and temporally-specific assessments of risk, giving decision makers more nuanced context for what is going on at the human-wildlife-environment interface throughout a region.

The CDC organizes the ICEID every few years to convene more than 1,500 practitioners and scholars in the emerging infectious disease community. During the event they share the latest knowledge of surveillance, outbreak response, laboratory diagnostics, public health preparedness, and factors affecting disease emergence.

By supporting Sam’s research and professional development, Battelle Center advances its mission to foster the future workforce who will tackle complex problems at the intersection of science, engineering, and public policy concerns.

Sino-American Workshop in Beijing, China

Glenn College graduate students and alums were part of a group of 12 Ohio State students, two faculty and four industry professionals that spent a week in Beijing for a cultural exchange around space exploration.
Glenn College graduate students and alums were part of a group of 12 Ohio State students, two faculty and four industry professionals that spent a week in Beijing for a cultural exchange around space exploration. The workshop was created by the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy in collaboration with the Chinese Society of Astronautics. This first-of-its-kind program supported the John Glenn College of Public Affairs mission to integrate technical endeavors with public service.

Sam Malloy, Katie McAfee and Kayleigh Gordon participating on a student panel
Sam Malloy, Katie McAfee and Kayleigh Gordon participating on a student panel.
The workshop included educational sessions explaining the history of the two space-faring nations, and the differences in leadership, implementation and execution, all taught by experts in the field from both the U.S. and China. The participants visited technical laboratories that work on breeding plants whose seeds have flown in space as well as the China Space Museum. The event provided cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary education for students and young professionals that enhanced their capabilities, built academic communication relationships, promoted space cooperation, and met the challenges of sustainable social development.

A highlight of the workshop was a court simulation held at the Beijing Institute of Technology’s law school. Students had 48 hours to prepare their arguments in a moot court that deliberated about a country’s right to mine resources from Mars. Out of the eight teams that participated, the top two teams challenged each other to a final debate and both of those teams were from the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering and Public Policy.

This workshop was made possible thanks to the Connect and Collaborate Grant provided by The Ohio State University's China Gateway, the generous support of the College of Engineering and the American Institute Aeronautics and Astronautics and the co-sponsor Chinese Society of Astronautics.

Student takeaways:

“As a policy related student, this event enriched me of how challenging but possible for people from different cultures and languages to cooperate. I found more similarities than differences between both cultural and value systems”

“It opened my eyes to more areas where I might apply my studies in the future! It is incredible how many different careers have opportunities for students from different disciplines”

“It made me consider just how important space exploration is and that I don’t have to just worry about military aspects but also be hopeful about peaceful applications”

“This space workshop was not only the coolest conference I’ve ever attended; it was also the most rewarding. Several of the non-aerospace students (including myself) initially felt like we were sneaking into the event, but by the end, I was convinced that space is truly for everyone! It was the best feeling to apply our various skills to a common interest and goal”

John Horack's name added to National Air and Space Museum's Wall of Honor

John Horack There is a new addition to the list of names on the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum's Wall of Honor, John M. Horack, professor and Neil A. Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy, has been added in recognition of his contribution to the nation’s aviation and space exploration heritage.

From the launched of his career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) George C. Marshall Space Flight Center more than 30 years ago, Horack’s work has been transformative to the field of space-flight and exploration.

Now, as the inaugural Neil A. Armstrong Chair in Aerospace Policy at The Ohio State University, Horack uses his joint appointment in the College of Engineering and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs to connect the university’s expertise in aerospace policy and aerospace engineering. The resulting linkage aims to propel the university forward in the global spaceflight community.

Click here to read the full article.

Humanitarian Mapping with Scrum “Relays”

map of columbusAdam Sauer, an Ohio State University Engineering graduate and a consultant to the Battelle Center, has an article in Medium on a new model for community based mapping efforts in Columbus.

As Columbus is in the midst of a Smart City overhaul funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, city stakeholders are looking at innovative ways to facilitate community engagement on a technical level. As hackathons and meetups have set the tone for previous efforts, one group out of The Ohio State University is creating a new model to optimize participation and output. This new model is referred to as a Scrum “Relay” model. While Scrum “Sprints” are common ways of managing deliverables among software development teams, “Relays” differ in that (similar to a Track & Field relay race) the participants change after each Sprint.

Click here to read the full article.

Undergrad’s first peer-reviewed publication connects multiple disciplines

Nick SalamonBattelle Center’s Space Student Community of Practice and Engagement (SCOPE) is celebrating member Nick Salamon’s personal accomplishment: his first peer-reviewed publication.

His manuscript, "Application of Virtual Reality for Crew Mental Health in Extended-Duration Space Missions,” appears in the interdisciplinary space journal Acta Astronautica.

Established in 1955, Acta Astronautica is a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering all fields of physical, engineering, life, and social sciences related to the peaceful scientific exploration of space.

Salamon, who will graduate this spring with a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was part of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs' Battelle Center delegation attending last fall’s International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia, where he presented his initial work. The IAC is the world’s largest gathering of professionals in aerospace and entails week-long interactions and presentations on topics as diverse as policy, medicine, engineering, science, and economics. The Congress' technical session chairs subsequently recommended his paper for consideration by the journal, kicking off a challenging peer-review process.

"Having my work peer-reviewed was pretty stressful because one of the reviewers wrote some harsh comments that I wasn't sure how to address at first," said Salamon. "I eventually realized that there was no reason to take the comments personally and instead tried to understand the cause of the complaint and address it in the paper. I think being able to interpret harsh comments in this way will be an important skill for future publications."

Salamon’s interdisciplinary research was supported financially by the Battelle Center, which also provided professional skills training and coaching throughout the research-design, execution, and presentation process. Because the IAC involves student-driven research, networking, presentations, and travel abroad, it encourages the students’ development of communication, collaboration, creativity, cultural competence, and character. As an experiential learning opportunity, the IAC has become one of Battelle Center’s annual incentives for students to experiment and grow in their understanding of the broader context of science and engineering endeavors.

Glenn College/Battelle Center student Sam Malloy among global winners of the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition

Sam Malloy, a Glenn College MPA student and a graduate research assistant in the Battelle Center is part of a three-person team that has won second place globally in the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition —the largest-ever student simulation competition in higher education. Malloy and his teammates — Kerry Edinger, University of Oregon, and Jil Heimensen, Portland State University — will each receive $500 from the University of Virginia's Batten School’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming (CLSG) and NASPAA.

This year’s competition connected more than 500 students from 159 universities and 27 countries through computer-based simulated game play at 15 global host sites.

The teams were evaluated on simulation scores, negotiation skills, and presentations made to regional site judges, who selected 22 regional winners. Malloy's team had won first place at the regional event held at the University of Washington in March. The Battelle Center was his sponsor for the event.

A panel of prominent “super judges” the determined the global winners: one first-place team from San José State University, Malloy's team tied for second place with a team from Arizona State University, and one third-place team from Cornell University.

Four Ohio State Students to learn about Science Policy in D.C.

The Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs has announced the selection of four Ohio State University students who will attend the American Association for the Advancement of Science workshop “Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering” in Washington, D.C., March 18 to 21.

Jonathan Ogland-Hand, PhD student in Environmental Science; Miguel Lopez Jr, PhD student in Biomedical Sciences, Natalie Hurst; BS student in Public Policy; and Priscila Rodriguez Garcia, PhD student in Molecular Genetics were selected from a competitive pool of students across Ohio State's colleges and departments.

In Washington, the students will learn about the structure and organization of Congress, the federal budget and the appropriations process, the role of science in policy-making, and tools for effective science communication and civic engagement. Additionally, they will conduct meet with Ohio’s elected members of Congress and congressional staff.

A national coalition of scientific and engineering societies, universities, and academic organizations created this exciting opportunity. The entry-level program is organized to empower students with ways to become a voice for basic research throughout their careers. The workshop is designed for students in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, with limited experience and knowledge of science policy and advocacy who want to learn more about science policy.

CASE Founding Organizations:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Institute of Physics
Association of American Universities
Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Colorado-Boulder

Watson selected for prestigious Brooke Owens space fellowship

Kayla Watson, a member of Battelle Center’s Space Student Community of Practice and Engagement (SCOPE), is headed to Seattle, Washington this summer to work a paid internship at Amazon Air and receive executive mentorship.

Watson is a fourth-year mechanical and aerospace engineering student and president of the Ohio State chapter of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. She made it to the top of a very competitive selection process to win the Brooke Owens Fellowship, for exceptional undergraduate women interested in joining the aerospace industry.

Watson was connected to the Brooke Owens opportunity by the Battelle Center. "The Battelle Center has been a beacon of hope during the past year at Ohio State," said Watson. "I have been able to further my interest in Aerospace as well as develop as a professional and broaden my scope to learning outside the classroom. I am amazed at the amount of support and encouragement Dr. Horack and Dr. Newton gave me and the opportunity it has given me. I would also like to thank Olga Stavridis at Women in Engineering at the College of Engineering for her recommendation as well. I am eternally grateful to the Battelle Center and all the opportunities they have made available me."

Each year, only 36 fellows are selected to work at a hosting company for 12 weeks. They are matched with two senior- or executive-level mentors (one at the host company, one elsewhere in the industry), who are drawn from a pool that includes astronauts, CEOs, award-winning journalists, and senior government officials. Fellows not only work on meaningful team projects, they also make amazing professional connections and receive professional skills training, too, while making a living wage.

The Brooke Owens Fellow Fellowship Program was created to honor the legacy of a beloved space industry pioneer and accomplished pilot, Dawn Brooke Owens (1980 – 2016). The program is designed to serve both as an inspiration and as a career boost to capable young women who, like Brooke, aspire to explore our sky and stars, to shake up the aerospace industry, and to help their fellow men and women here on planet Earth.

Battelle Center students present research in Australia at the world’s largest gathering of aerospace professionals
Recent research affirms (yet again!) that employers prize graduates who can communicate well, are creative, know how to collaborate, appreciate the value of other disciplines, and are culturally competent. [The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030]

The International Astronautical Congress 2017 in Adelaide, Australia provided a perfect opportunity for Battelle Center students to cultivate and showcase exactly those abilities.

Six graduate and undergraduate students Nick Salamon, Jon Grimm, Andrew Steen, Ariadna Martinez-Gonzalez, Kayleigh Gordon and Samuel Malloy — rose to the challenge of designing their own research projects, capturing the results in a manuscript, and delivering a compelling oral presentation. Their work had to be competitively selected for presentation by the International Astronautical Federation, the world’s oldest and largest professional association for aerospace. The students’ proposals competed in an ‘open field’ with those of working professionals.

Click here to read the students' abstracts

The students spent the summer doing the research and then practicing the presentation before audiences, developing networking skills, and learning about the practicalities of traveling abroad. Kayleigh Gordon’s presentation was delivered by co-author because she was part of a White House internship program in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

At the Congress, they enjoyed private meetings with acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot and Bill Nye the Science Guy, President of The Planetary Society. They also interacted with executives of space agencies and companies from around the world, in addition to enjoying dozens of technical research sessions and a presentation by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Two of the students made the semi-finals for best Interactive Presentation in a field of over 150.

The aerospace industry is highly multi-disciplinary, and the students’ work reflected that. Their projects included:
  • a memorial paper for U.S. Senator and Astronaut John Glenn in the history session
  • a feasibility study for evaluating the effectiveness of agricultural policy in Mexico using satellite Earth observations
  • case studies to explore whether we can predict emerging infectious disease outbreaks by using satellite Earth observations and how predictors could be incorporated into the policy system
  • an analysis of Chinese launch vehicles and their market position
  • an exploration of virtual reality applications’ value for sustaining astronauts’ long-term mental health
  • a concept for an in-orbit space tug that can move cargo around as a ‘delivery service’.
Student reactions say it best:
  • “The IAC has been the highlight of graduate school! Thank you for making it happen.”
  • “It is all about relationships! The more I progress in my career, the more I understand that creating, maintaining, and strengthening relationships create opportunities and make life more interesting.”
  • “Pretty freaking awesome!”
  • “It was really surprising how friendly the most important people in the industry are. Everyone was very accessible.”
  • “The conference opens opportunities to connect with people doing similar things in the world. It’s really exciting.”
  • “It was massive in every dimension: technical content, culture, networking, like-minded peers, exhibitions, ideas and plans, big names.”
  • “We were not just meeting heroes in the field. I took the most away from our meetings with other students in the field. A lot of Australian students were very impressed at what we [Ohio State] could do, it is a real confidence-boost. We absolutely deserve to be there.”

Using Earth Observations for Public Policy and Business Decisions

Chayanan “Nan” Visudchindaporn, a recent graduate of the College of Engineering’s ECE dept., spoke to student, faculty and staff of the Battelle Center and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs about her work using satellite remote sensing data to understand poverty at Page Hall today (8/15/17). While her work focused on her native Thailand, the data and methods are applicable to the world's other economies and areas where urban planning, housing and economic development are paramount. It’s a good example of how technological advances and data are directly relevant to important public policy and business conversations.

Click here to download a flyer.

Battelle Center grad student lands White House internship

Congratulations to Battelle Center graduate student Kayleigh Gordon (Engr’19) who has been offered a student internship at the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House.

Gordon is a masters’ student in aerospace engineering, ‘bitten’ by the public policy bug thanks to courses in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. Most recently she has been assessing China’s space launch vehicles at the Battelle Center, and this summer went to Beijing for the Global Space Exploration Conference.

In 1976, Congress established the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to provide the president and others within the Executive Office of the President with advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, the environment, and the technological recovery and use of resources, among other topics. OSTP also leads interagency science and technology policy coordination efforts, assists the Office of Management and Budget with an annual review and analysis of federal research and development in budgets, and serves as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the president with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the federal government.

Buckeye Space Launch Initiative wins first place in rocket competition

The Buckeye Space Launch Initiative won first place in the 30k Student Researched and Designed rocket competition at the Spaceport America Cup at Spaceport America, New Mexico. Their rocket reached 23,224 feet and landed and landed safely with its commercial payload — a GPS telemetry system — from a private sector partner, RadioBro. Nic Flesher, a Battelle Center student, is the project manager for the team.

The intercollegiate rocket engineering competition attracted 110 teams from across the world to the four-day event. This is the only competition where students can launch anything so large, high and fast.

Battelle Center receives grant to develop Sino-American space conference

The Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy has been awarded a $40,000 grant to host and support the first ever Conference for Sino-American Cooperation in Outer Space. The grant was given by The Ohio State University's China Gateway and the Office of Outreach and Engagement, partners in the Connect and Collaborate Grants Program.

The inaugural conference on will be held at Ohio State in the summer of 2018 and will bring together Chinese and Ohio State students and professionals where they will develop ideas for a joint space application project. Subsequent conferences will alternate between Ohio State and China. The conference goal is to foster a better understanding between the U.S. and Chinese space communities, laying a foundation for future cooperation.

Cuts to scientific research portends a lost generation of innovation

Professor Caroline Wagner has an editorial in The Hill, a newspaper in Washington, D.C., that focuses on politics and policy. She and co-author, Deborah Stine, Carnegie Mellon University, examine the impact of funding cuts to scientific and engineering research.

Learn More

Armstrong Space Symposium

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the College of Engineering sponsored the first ever Armstrong Space Symposium at the Ohio Union on Monday (5/8/17). The daylong event honoring Neil Armstrong featured panel discussions with Apollo astronauts, NASA, and other space agencies, as well as a keynote address by Dr. Michael D. Griffin, CEO of Schafer Corporation and a former NASA administrator.

Learn More

Horack leads U.N. symposium

Professor John Horack moderated an International Astronautical Federation symposium at the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space meeting in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday (2/8/17).

The event, titled “What is at Stake in Space in 2017 and 2018,” began with an introduction by International Astronautical Federation President Dr. Jean-Yves LeGall, followed by a keynote address from Dr. Sandy Magnus, president of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. A moderated panel with seven speakers addressing "Views on Space — Why We Go" followed. In the last segment of the event, Prof. Dr. Johann-Dietrich Worner, director-general of the European Space Agency, delivered a keynote address that then led into a moderated panel discussion on "International Benefits from Space."

'Hidden Figures' panel discussion

Following Tuesday's (2/21/17) screening of the movie "Hidden Figures," Dr. Elizabeth Newton, director of the Battelle Center for Science and Technology Policy, moderated a Facebook Live panel discussion on race, gender, leadership and the importance of diversity and gender equity in the private and public sectors.

Watch the video