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