March 16, 2005
LEWISBURG, Pa. — Hratch Semerjian will give the talk, "Innovation and Technology in the Economics Development of the U.S.," Tuesday, March 29, at 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Rooke Chemistry Building at Bucknell University.
The talk, which is part of the annual Ralph B. Derr Lecture series, sponsored by the chemical engineering department, is free to the public.
Semerjian will discuss the landscape of innovation today, its impact on jobs and the U.S. economy, and how the United States can maintain its leadership in innovation.
According to Semerjian, a talent for innovation has been "one of the defining characteristics of our nation -`Yankee ingenuity' is a byword around the world. Innovation is more than just a character trait, it's a pillar of our economy," he says.
"It was inevitable that at some point our competitors would try to beat us. Countries like China and India are developing the skills, resources and talent pools to be top competitors in the most advanced, high-tech fields," he said.
Acting director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Semerjian holds a doctorate in engineering from Brown University. He served with the research staff of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division of United Technologies Corporation before joining NIST.
Semerjian is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver and Gold Medals for achievement in federal service and the Brown Engineering Alumni Medal. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
With more than 100 years' experience working with U.S. industry, academia and government agencies, NIST's programs address a significant portion of the nation's modern technology-based economy, provides clear standards and benchmarks of quality, helps smaller businesses adopt new manufacturing and management technologies, and seeks to stimulate the development of high-risk, broad-impact technologies by U.S. firms.
The Ralph B. Derr Memorial Lectureships are given annually in the department of chemical engineering at Bucknell by a person in the profession who is aware of the need for and the benefits to be derived from the close cooperation between industry/government and the university.
Established in 1970, the lectureship honors Ralph Derr, a 1950 graduate of Bucknell and former chief chemical engineer in the refining division of Alcoa in Pittsburgh.