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Ohio Eminent Scholar Bharat Bhushan Influences Engineers to Engage in Public Policymaking in Washington

Professor Bharat Bhushan, PhD, PE, is leveraging his time on Capitol Hill as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow, part of the ASME Congressional Fellows program, to let the engineering and science profession know they can have an impact on public policymaking.

Bhushan, who served on the Republican staff of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology (SST) in the House of Representatives for one year, talks about his life-changing experience as a Congressional Fellow in an article, “Laboratories of Policy,” featured in the June  2015 issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine.

Bhushan, who is an Ohio Eminent Scholar and The Howard D. Winbigler Professor, Director, Nanoprobe Laboratory for Bio- & Nanotechnology and Biomimetics and Affiliated Faculty Member, The John Glenn School of Public Affairs, is a living example that engineers can use their science and technology expertise to influence legislation by being champions for science policy.

In the article, Bhushan says, “Engineers cannot remain outside the political process. Their expertise is needed to ensure that technical policy is crafted to do the most good.”

Bhushan is leading by example.  In Washington, he prepared the subcommittee for hearings on major bills, prepared hearing requests and assisted in the preparation of legislation, seeing some pieces of landmark legislation passed even in a difficult political climate.

He participated in the Frontiers in Innovative Research, Science and Technology Act, intended to reauthorize funding for various science agencies and programs.  He also worked on the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013, providing funding for establishing national networks for manufacturing innovation in targeted areas, including STEM education at all levels, and worked on preparations for a May 2014 hearing, “Nanotechnology: From Laboratories to Commercial Products,” to reauthorize the Nanotechnology Research and Development Act.

Bhushan believes it is critical that engineers find a way to become involved with policy making to influence lawmaking at the state and federal levels.

Mechanical Engineering is the award-winning monthly flagship publication of ASME. Published since 1880, the magazine delivers an interdisciplinary view into engineering trends and breakthroughs, giving readers a roadmap to better understand today's technology and tomorrow's innovations.

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