ME Professor Sridhar Kota has been selected to serve as the Assistant Director of Advanced Manufacturing and ASME Fellow at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in Washington, D.C. for one year. He started this assignment on September 1, 2009.
OSTP advises the President and others within the Executive Office on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. OSTP leads interagency effort to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets. The Advanced Manufacturing position is a recent addition to the Technology Division of the OSTP. “The President and the Administration are very interested in strengthening the U.S manufacturing base,” said Kota. ASME originally offered Kota a congressional fellowship, but when the need for leadership in manufacturing arose, OSTP selected him for this position after another round of interviews. “I knew this would provide me an opportunity to experience policy making at the highest level,” he said.
As assistant director, Kota’s responsibilities focus primarily on identifying promising technologies and effective strategies to strengthen the nation’s manufacturing base. He looks for gaps in current federal research and development in advanced manufacturing, and works to develop strategies to address these gaps. He will develop policy recommendations to foster commercialization and manufacturing of advanced technologies. This position holds special significance in light of the country’s current economic state, as the need to create manufacturing jobs domestically is crucial.
The opportunity will certainly prove beneficial to Kota as an engineer and as a researcher. Through this position, he is gaining an “understanding of the big picture and how university research impacts the real societal needs. It gives me an extraordinary perspective.” He also sees the assignment as valuable to his work as a UM professor. “I’m learning how best to fill the Innovation Gap through engineering education and research.” He added, “It’s been an incredible experience already.”