October 21, 2021
IEEE-USA SmartBrief
Policy Watch
Cybersecurity innovation is vital to US security, the White House's choices for key Pentagon posts told the Senate Armed Services committee as they pointed to aggressive efforts by China and Russia to exploit the country's weaknesses. Procurement efforts must focus on cybersecurity and supply chain issues, said Douglas Bush, a nominee for an Army assistant secretary post.
Full Story: Nextgov (10/19) 
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Wireless carriers would be required to intercept illegal robotexts under a proposal from interim Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel. Consumer complaints about the texts, which often falsely claim to offer rewards to recipients, rose almost 146% last year compared to 2019.
Full Story: CNBC (10/18) 
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Technology Trends
Tiny rainbows help autonomous vehicles read signs
Tiny rainbows created by microscale concave interfaces in reflective displays can serve to help systems aboard autonomous vehicles accurately read road signs, something that they now often fail to do. The development by a research team at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, responds to the beams from headlights, creating concentric rings of little rainbows that are easily interpreted by artificial intelligence.
Full Story: ASME (10/20) 
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Unither Bioelectronics, a unit of United Therapeutics, reached a milestone with its first delivery of a lung for organ transplant via drone. The flight completed last month between two hospitals in Toronto "over a high-density urban setting and highly congested traffic area" showcased the future of organ delivery by drone, according to the company.
Full Story: eVTOL (10/14) 
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The worldwide shortages in automotive microchips stand to continue into 2022 and 2023, possibly into 2024, industry sources say. An electric vehicle contains an average of 770 chips, compared with 560 chips for vehicles with internal combustion engines, those sources note.
Full Story: DigiTimes (10/15) 
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Career & Workforce Development
Employers grapple with a smaller workforce
The percentage of people in the US workforce is likely to decline from 61.7% last year to 60.4% in 2030 as boomers retire, and it's unclear that enough workers will be available for jobs being created, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics analysis. "Forecasters need to shift focus from the numbers of jobs lost to the types of jobs and skills that will be required going forward," says George Kelly, senior vice president at ManpowerGroup.
Full Story: Society for Human Resource Management (tiered subscription model) (10/19) 
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The results of the 2021 IEEE-USA Salary Survey are now available! Paul Lief Rosengren writes about some of the top findings, including salary and job satisfaction increases, as well as areas where discrepancies are growing. IEEE-USA InSight
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And for those who derive at least half their income from engineering consulting, check out the 2021 Consultants Fee Survey Report. This article covers the highlights, focusing on the compensation of consultants, as well as on the impact of COVID-19 on members who earn at least half of their income from engineering consulting. IEEE-USA InSight
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