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News Release

IEEE Fellow, Former Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine Addresses Role of Science & Engineering in U.S. Job Creation at IEEE-USA Annual Meeting

NASHVILLE, TENN. (5 March 2010) — Innovation is the key for the United States to thrive in an increasingly global economy, IEEE Fellow Norman R. Augustine said at the IEEE-USA Annual Meeting on Friday morning.

Augustine, retired chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, chaired the committee that produced the 2005 report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future." He said Friday the focus of the report was jobs, not just in science and engineering but all occupations.

Augustine added that while only 4 percent of jobs in the U.S. workforce are held by engineers and scientists, they play a pivotal role creating jobs for the other 96 percent.

"That's why the average citizen should be concerned about the state of science and engineering in our country," Augustine said in his keynote address at the Nashville Airport Marriott.

The theme for IEEE-USA's yearly gathering of volunteer leaders is, "The Gathering Storm: Are You Engineering the Solutions?" To follow the sessions, go to the IEEE-USA Annual Meeting blog at

Augustine lamented that many of the challenges facing the country in 2005 are still confronting us today. He cited statistics showing the U.S. K-12 education system still "performing abysmally" by international standards. This doesn't bode well for a nation trying to maintain its position as the world leader in science, engineering and technology.

"Aviation and informatics has brought the world together, leading to the death of distance," Augustine said. U.S. citizens now have to "compete for jobs with their neighbors from all around the world. … If we are going to compete, it's going to have to be through innovation."

"Rising Above the Gathering Storm" served as the basis for the America COMPETES Act of 2007, legislation that bolsters research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and improves educational programs. The authorization bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives, 397-20, and the Senate, 88-8, and was signed into law by former President George W. Bush. IEEE-USA lobbied strongly in favor of the bill.

America COMPETES was fully funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which President Barack Obama signed into law.

A video of Augustine's speech is available at:

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