In 2014 BERA contributed to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) efforts to define science and engineering occupations related to bioenergy (bioengineer, bioenergy engineer, renewable energy engineer). BERA provided potential job duty descriptions, and assisted DOL in gaining additional perspectives on bioenergy jobs from other engineers/scientists working in this field. Bioenergy is a relatively new job occupation and DOL wants to incorporate more accurate descriptions into the O*NET OnLine database, which contains detailed descriptions for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals, students, researchers, and others. O*NET is supported by the DOL Employment and Training Administration, and developed by the National Center for O*NET Development. O*NET is the nation's primary source of occupational information. The database, which is available to the public at no cost, is continually updated by surveying a broad range of workers from each occupation. Including bioenergy jobs in O*NET is just another way to ensure that job seekers and students understand the new opportunities available in this field.
BERA works with U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) on Southeast Asian (ASEAN) reverse trade mission for waste and biomass to energy:
In late 2013, BERA worked with USTDA to host a delegation from Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand) interested in using their indigenous biomass and waste resources for power and fuels. The ASEAN delegation visited a number of WTE sites across the United States, including a facility in Dickerson, Maryland (pictured above), accompanied by BERA. BERA also coordinated an investment panel to discuss potential strategies for funding U.S. bioenergy projects in Southeast Asia, which brought together representatives from World Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and private investment firms. In addition, BERA coordinated and led a trade group session at Meridian International with representatives from associations involved with bioenergy and WTE.
BERA participates annually in Congressional Visits Day:
BERA has been involved with the Science-Engineering-Technology Working Group (SETWG) for many years. SETWG is an information network comprising professional, scientific, and engineering societies, higher education associations, institutions of higher learning, companies, and trade associations. The Working Group is concerned about the future vitality of the U.S. science, mathematics, and engineering enterprise. SETWG annually holds a Congressional Visits Day (CVD), a two-day annual event that brings scientists, engineers, researchers, educators, and technology executives to Capitol Hill to meet personally with representatives to raise visibility and support for science, engineering, and technology. Uniquely multi-sector and multi-disciplinary, the CVD is coordinated by coalitions of companies, professional societies and educational institutions and is open to all who believe that science and technology comprise the cornerstone of the Nation's future. BERA participates in CVD every year and has met with Congressional representatives from Maryland and Virginia, extolling the benefits of bioenergy and pressing for continued support for scientific research and development in this field. Below, BERA President Joan Pellegrino meets with Christopher "Chris" Van Hollen, Jr., the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 8th congressional district.
BERA's most recent testimony to Congress on biomass RD&D is available for review.