Congressional Visits Day 2019 Recap

The Material Advantage Student Program’s Congressional Visits Day (CVD) was held on April 1 and 2, 2019, in Washington, D.C. The CVD is an annual event that gives students an opportunity to visit Washington to educate Congressional decision makers about the importance of funding for basic science, engineering and technology.

The CVD experience began with an opening reception on April 1, featuring informative and entertaining talks by: David Parkes of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Kei Koizumi also of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and Dr. Michele Bustamante, the 2018/2019 TMS/MRS Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow. After the talks concluded, the students were presented with some role-play in advance of their appointments on the following day.

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville group

As always, the students worked hard to schedule congressional visits with legislators and staffers on April 1, with some groups scheduling up to 7 congressional visits.

The Washington D.C. Chapter of ASM International and the Washington DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia Section of The American Ceramic Society co-hosted a dinner which gave the students an opportunity to network and share their CVD experiences. Additionally, the group was given the opportunity to tour the labs at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The Colorado School of Mines group

The Material Advantage CVD event was well-attended this year with a total of 38 students and faculty from the following universities:

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Case Western Reserve University
Colorado School of Mines
Iowa State University
Michigan Technological University
Northwestern University
Purdue University
The University of Tennessee – Knoxville
University of Michigan
Washington State University

Continued thanks to Dr. David Bahr, head and professor of materials engineering at Purdue University, and Dr. Iver Anderson, senior metallurgist at Ames Laboratory and adjunct professor in the Materials Science and Engineering department at Iowa State University, for conducting the training on how to visit with legislators and for their assistance in helping to coordinate CVD. 

Dr. Bahr and Dr. Anderson both serve on the Material Advantage Committee, an advisory committee that provides recommendations and feedback about the program to the four partnering organization’s leadership.

This year we received an overwhelming number of applications, and were not able to accommodate all that applied. If you are a student and did not get a chance to participate this year, make sure that you plan to register EARLY for the 2020 event! Or if you are a professor/faculty advisor, make sure to plan on gathering a group together from your university.

Visit the Material Advantage facebook page to view the 2019 Material Advantage CVD photo album!

The California State Polytechnic University, Pomona group

Also, be sure to check back to the website for future updates: It is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss!

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