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Legislative Update

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2013 Public Policy Colloquium


Washington, D.C.

Publication Date

February 12, 2013

Start Date

February 12, 2013

End Date

February 13, 2013

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Paper Authors


Joseph Helble Dartmouth

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Joseph J. Helble is the 12th Dean of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College and a Professor of Engineering, positions he has held since 2005. Prior to his tenure at Dartmouth, Dr. Helble was the Roger Revelle Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), enabling him to spend an academic year addressing technology and environmental policy issues in the U.S. Senate. Previously, Dr. Helble was a member and later chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Connecticut, with research in the areas of air pollution, CO2 capture, aerosols, and nanoscale materials production. From 1987 to 1995, he was employed as a research scientist and manager at Physical Sciences Inc. in Andover MA, specializing in environmental and energy technology development. Dr. Helble is the author of over 100 publications and 3 U.S. patents. He is the recipient of several awards for his scholarly work, and in 2014, along with three Thayer faculty colleagues, was recipient of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education for the design and implementation of Dartmouth’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Program. Dr. Helble is a 1982 summa cum laude chemical engineering graduate of Lehigh University and a 1987 chemical engineering Ph.D. graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Richard Benson Virginia Tech

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Richard C. Benson, Dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering, holds the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Chair of Engineering, funded by Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google. He has held the position of Dean since 2005.

Prior to his current appointment, Benson was head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University beginning in 1995. Previously, while at the University of Rochester, he served as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and prior to that was the associate dean for graduate studies in the university's College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Benson's research at the University of Rochester was primarily focused on the mechanics of highly flexible structures. He and his advisees modeled magnetic disks and tapes, paper sheets, soft contact lenses, photographic film and other easily deformed structures. He has twice been honored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In 1984, he received the ASME Henry Hess Award, which honors a research publication by a young author. He also became a fellow of ASME in 1998.

Benson's teaching interests are in structural mechanics, design, and applied mathematics. In 1981 he was honored as the top teacher in the College of Engineering and Applied science at the University of Rochester.
Prior to beginning his university career, he spent three years with the Xerox Corporation as a technical specialist and project manager specializing in the behavior of paper and paper transport devices.
Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in aerospace and mechanical science from Princeton University, a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Helble, J., & Benson, R. (2013, February), Legislative Update Paper presented at 2013 Public Policy Colloquium, Washington, D.C..

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