Michael Finn, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, presented information on one element of the limitation regarding the non-citizens who received doctorates. Finn observed that the stay rates did not go down. China, India, and other countries in particular have a high percentage of PhD graduates staying in the United States as of 2007, notwithstanding the very high growth rates in their economies. There should be an ample supply, given these stay rates, and DOD has the opportunity to tap into this supply, provided the restrictions on employing non-citizens can be lifted.
Rick Stephens, with the Boeing Company, talked about STEM from the standpoint of practical applications, stressing that it takes almost twice as long as it used to take to train people to perform on Boeing’s assembly lines, for example. He suggests that there needs to be consistency and stability in funding on STEM. In addition, an important attribute of the STEM workforce is the ability to adapt and be flexible.
Levin observed that the data presented during the workshop were by and large sourced from outside DOD. The data provided by DOD were of coarse granularity and relate to the total number of scientists and engineers. There is work underway at DOD and by its contractors to develop a better quantitative understanding of its STEM workforce, but the committee does not have access to this information as yet. DOD will not be able to plan effectively without this information in one comprehensive database.
Daniel Oliver, session moderator, identified some key points and noted some reinforcing linkages to other sessions. Referring to the remarks by Katrina McFarland, Defense Acquisition University, Oliver suggested that, whether we have a crisis or not, having heard the president of the Defense Acquisition University calling her workforce of 147,000 mediocre, we can say that we have an issue. Wesley Harris gave a case study on corrosion and the shortage of 1 million workers, reinforcing a point made in the session of Panel 1 by Lyle Schwartz and underscoring the importance of not overlooking traditional basic disciplines. Referring to an earlier talk in the session on Panel 1, Oliver noted that the best value we get out of 6.1 (i.e., DOD-funded basic research) is the human capital—this is a supply-side approach. However, David Chu, in the Panel 5 session, advised us to deemphasize the supply side. Oliver suggested that DOD shift the emphasis to 6.2 funding, with its more interdisciplinary character. Regarding Carl Wieman and his emphasis on metrics, Vallen Emery asked how we measure learning outcomes. Most of the metrics used in accreditation are not direct but indirect—for example, salaries used as a surrogate for productivity of graduates. Oliver noted that, referring to the tools that Assistant Secretary of Defense Lemnios has in his tool kit, James Gates suggested that Lemnios has a pulpit and access to forums. A final point made during the Panel 4 session was the linkage between STEM and accreditation and accrediting organizations, which can provide a lever for change.
Robert Hermann, session moderator, described that each panelist in the Panel 5 session had talked about actions that DOD could take. All of the panelists fundamentally talked about organic things to do within DOD. Vallen Emery, Army Research Laboratory, believed that these actions were constrained by the fact that he could not find a larger strategy. This point was re-emphasized by David S.C. Chu, of IDA. Jennifer Byrne, Lockheed Martin Corporation, described what it meant to her to be an engineer in her career. She emphasized the need for collaboration and international engagement. She conveyed a sense of participation and activity on the part of Lockheed Martin, which appears to be addressing STEM. This echoed what was said earlier in the workshop by Rick Stephens of Boeing and Edward Swallow of Northrop Grumman, who expressed the view that they could address the STEM issue with their firm’s organic capabilities. Katherine McGrady, of CNA, focused on priorities that DOD might want to establish in this area and was trying to take the edge off of what she perceived to be an overemphasis on STEM for all of the functions within the government. She made concrete suggestions on DOD’s prioritization of what it can do internally with the resources that it has. Chu proposed that it is demand, not