Week of 7/29/13
Invasive or Illuminating?
(The Daily Press, July 27, 2013)
Modeling and simulation has helped drive the Hampton Roads economy for more than a decade, but the picture isn't as clear when it comes to the state of Virginia.
So Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration has quietly begun developing a strategic plan for this still-evolving industry. It aims to unite leaders in the private sector, government and higher education who either develop or employ modeling and simulation. The effort crosses four cabinet secretaries and is funded by a $246,000 grant from the Defense Department, traditionally the industry's biggest customer.
The hope is to grow the industry and attract other like-minded firms. But before that happens, Virginia needs to know what it has in every corner of the state.
"We know that we don't know everybody that's in the state," said state Deputy Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson. She described herself as cautiously optimistic about the study, which is beginning with focus groups around the state.
An October 2012 study by Chmura Economic and Analytics examined the mod-sim industry in southeastern Virginia. As of last year, the region had 869 modeling and simulation establishments employing nearly 13,500 workers with an average annual salary of more than $73,000.
Although the industry comprises only about 2 percent of all employment in Hampton Roads, it has a long history in the region, the study said.
NASA Langley Research Center modeled lunar landings in 1965. Newport News Shipbuilding began using modeling and simulation to increase productivity in 1995. The former U.S. Joint Forces Command, which taught different branches of the military to train and fight together, was a heavy user of mod-sim tools.
And in 2000, Old Dominion University became the first public university to offer a modeling and simulation PhD. (More)
Beach photographer fishes and hunts with a camera
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 28, 2013)
He has captured thousands of fish - hundreds of species, all over the world - without baiting a hook or wetting a line.
Birds, too - never once pointing a gun.
Chuck Guthrie does his fishing and hunting with a camera.
A world map hanging in his office on the shores of the Lynnhaven River is covered with colored pins, each marking an exotic place where he has shot fish, corals, birds, flowers, sunsets... anything that catches his eye.
Beautiful images, tens of thousands of them, taken in pursuit of an avocation that isn't yet a decade old.
"Photography, it's an expensive addiction," Guthrie, a lifelong Virginia Beach resident, said with a laugh.
Guthrie, 63, has published one book of his work and is working on another. His pictures have appeared in numerous calendars. Framed prints hang on the walls of more than a dozen Virginia Beach businesses, including his own - Lynnhaven Marine and Lynnhaven Boatel - and in the homes of countless friends. ...
Owning a boat sales, repair and storage company wasn't what Guthrie set out to do after graduating from First Colonial High and Old Dominion University.
Photography wasn't really in the picture, either.
"I was a computer guy," he said. "When I got my MBA, my first job was working for a company in Tehran, Iran. I've worked in Syria, all sorts of places." (More)
Cox to show 3 ODU football games, including ECU
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 27, 2013)
Old Dominion's first game against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent will be televised after all.
Cox Communications will broadcast at least three ODU games this season, including the season opener at East Carolina on Aug. 31, officials said Friday.
Cox said it also will produce and televise 6 p.m. home games against The Citadel on Sept. 21 and Liberty on Oct. 5. The Citadel and Liberty are generally considered the most competitive opponents on ODU's home schedule.
When Conference USA announced in June that the ODU-ECU game would be broadcast on Fox College Sports, Cox officials said they needed to secure rights to the game from Fox to show it in this market. Cox does not carry Fox College Sports, but recently received permission to televise the game, said Betty Jo Roberts, vice president for field marketing for Cox.
Cox is the dominant cable-TV provider in Hampton Roads with about 330,000 subscribers.
The announcement by Cox means at least half of ODU's 12 games will be televised here. The Sept. 7 contest at Maryland will be broadcast on ESPNews, and because all ACC games are televised, games at Pittsburgh on Oct. 19 and North Carolina on Nov. 23 will be available. The networks are to be announced. (More)
Invasive or Illuminating?
(Audio, Backstory, July 24, 2013)
Historian Helen Rountree and Brian discuss the use of slave records from the 19th Century to enforce racial purity laws in 20th Century Virginia. Peter, Ed, and Brian then discuss the re-use and repurposing of data in other settings, and how what might seem invasive at one time, can be a tool of illumination for the historian's craft.
Prior to her retirement in 1999, Helen Rountree taught history in Old Dominion University's College of Arts and Letters. (More)
NSSA Partners with ODU's Women in Engineering Program
(Navy.mil, July 24, 2013)
Norfolk Ship Support Activity (NSSA) welcomed six female students from Old Dominion University's (ODU's) Engineering Early Advantage Program to shadow members of their Engineering Department July 18 in Norfolk.
A memorandum of agreement was signed between the University and NSSA earlier this year, promoting a partnership focused in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
"This is a very high priority for us, looking toward our future," said NSSA Executive Director, Dennis Bevington. "Providing students with the opportunity to learn and work in the Navy environment, whether it is here or somewhere similar across the enterprise, helps our community build the workforce of the future."
NSSA is a command within the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) enterprise. NAVSEA has made a continuing effort to recruit, develop and retain a diverse world-class workforce that sustains the naval advantage in technical capabilities. NSSA has developed this approach into a staple pillar of its current strategic plan and is focused on a sustainable workforce proficient in the areas of STEM.
"What we are doing here is engaging our local community to build interest in the types of careers that are heavily related to STEM, which is central to what we do at NSSA and around the Fleet," said NSSA Recruiter, Bill Wease. "Old Dominion is on the cutting edge, engaging their students as they transition from high school to college. We are taking a similar approach, so that we too are on the cutting edge, to look innovatively at how we create a future for the students who make up our community."
In the Hampton Roads area, there are several universities and technical schools that NSSA is partnering with, teaching the skills needed to be successful at a naval command. It is important that students at these institutions be given the opportunity to meet NSSA engineers to ask questions and get feedback on real world experiences working in and around the Fleet.
"One of our goals is to expand their knowledge of the engineering field," said Beverly Forbes, director of Experiential Education at ODU. "Many of them come to us very bright, very excited, love math and science, but don't know exactly what engineering is or maybe they have only seen a snippet of it. We are trying to give them a broad brush." (More)
Tick rover robot kills ticks dead
(Homeland Security News Wire, July 25, 2013)
The day may not be too far away when homeowners can schedule monthly tick clearing service, drastically reducing the risk of tick-borne illness in their pets and children. This is because the "tick rover" robot has just cleared a major hurdle. Testing last month indicated unequivocally that the device kills between 75 and 100 percent of the ticks in its path.
The day may not be too far away when homeowners can schedule monthly tick clearing service, drastically reducing the risk of tick-borne illness in their pets and children.
This is because the "tick rover," a robot invented by three Virginia Military Institute (VMI) professors, has just cleared a major hurdle. Testing last month indicated unequivocally that the device kills between 75 and 100 percent of the ticks in its path.
"The only thing more successful is chemical spray," said Col. Jim Squire, professor of electrical and computer engineering and project manager.
A VMI release reports that Holly Gaff, an assistant professor in the Old Dominion University Department of Biological Sciences, was hired by the VMI team to test the third-generation device. She ran test after test, with controls, in the tick-infested Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation in Portsmouth, Virginia.
The results? So good Gaff initially thought there was an error in her protocol. Only one in ten ticks had survived. The next time round 100 percent were killed. (More)
2 Monarchs take trip to say howdy to C-USA media
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 25, 2013)
Southern Mississippi coach Todd Monken knows plenty about football. He bounced around as an assistant coach from Notre Dame to Louisiana Tech, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oklahoma State before being hired as coach of the Golden Eagles last December.
But he knew very little about Old Dominion until he watched the Monarchs play Georgia Southern in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in December.
"I had no idea where Old Dominion was prior to that game," he said. "In my mind, I thought it was a basketball school. Not to be rude, but that's what I thought."
Monken apparently isn't alone. To most coaches and reporters who attended Conference USA's football media day on Wednesday in suburban Dallas, ODU was a mystery.
"I know they're from a good FCS league," said Jerome Boettcher, a reporter for the Nashville City Paper. "But honestly, I don't know much else about them."
That's one reason why coach Bobby Wilder and quarterback Taylor Heinicke made the trip to Texas to participate in media day.
ODU doesn't begin playing C-USA football until 2014, yet conference officials invited Wilder to come to Dallas to promote his program.
Wilder missed two days of a camp in Norfolk in which 14 high schools are participating. He also missed alumni fund-raising events. But he thinks it was worth it.
"I came here to sell our story," he said. (More)
Tick-terminator proves a drag for bloodsucking pests
(Gizmag, July 23, 2013)
It's summertime in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means the bugs are out - specifically, ticks. In light of the ensuing infestation, otherwise known as the annual repopulation, three professors at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) have crossed the business of pest control with the world of robotics by last month testing their robotic "tick rover" to determine its efficiency at removing the blood suckers from the yard.
The robotic exterminator uses biomimicry, with the robot emulating a live host to draw in the ticks as it cruises around the lawn. The rover follows a pair of tubes that are stretched across the lawn, one of which emits carbon-dioxide. Unable to resist the CO2-drenched movement, the ticks attach to a cloth treated with a common insecticide that is dragged behind the rover and quickly meet their demise. ...
Holly Gaff, an assistant professor in the Old Dominion University Department of Biological Sciences, was hired to run the tests on this third-generation tick-terminator and was so surprised by the successful results that, until further testing, she suspected her testing protocol was flawed. One in ten ticks survived the first round of testing, and the second round left no survivors. (More)
Gay couple from Norfolk challenges state's same-sex marriage ban in federal court
(Richmond Times-Dispatch/The Associated Press, July 24, 2013)
A gay couple from Norfolk has filed a civil suit in federal court against Gov. Bob McDonnell; Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli; and George E. Schaefer, the Norfolk Circuit Court clerk, because they were denied a marriage license.
The complaint, filed July 18 at the U.S. District Court in Norfolk, states that Timothy B. Bostic, a professor of humanities at Old Dominion University, and partner Tony C. London, a Navy veteran and real estate agent, sought to obtain a marriage license at the Norfolk Circuit Court but were turned down because of the 2006 amendment to Virginia's constitution that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
The plaintiffs, who are "gay individuals in a long-standing committed relationship" since 1989, according to the complaint, applied for the license July 1. That was five days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that prevented gay couples from receiving a range of federal benefits that are generally available to married people.
The Supreme Court's ruling does not overrule the state's ban on same-sex marriage, but legal experts predicted that it would open doors to lawsuits by gay Virginians. (More)
Spotlight won't be on ODU at C-USA media day
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 24, 2013)
Coach Bobby Wilder and quarterback Taylor Heinicke would surely be the center of attention today if Old Dominion was participating in the Colonial Athletic Association football media day in Baltimore.
Instead, they will be in suburban Dallas, taking part in the Conference USA media day where they'll merely be a sidelight.
ODU, which left the CAA on July 1, plays as a football independent this season, then joins C-USA in 2014. ODU and UNC Charlotte, which joins C-USA in 2015, were invited to today's media event.
ODU built a Football Championship Subdivision program that won 38 of 48 games and twice advanced to the NCAA playoffs. Heinicke won the Peyton Award, given to the nation's best FCS player, last season.
But even though C-USA is not a power conference like the ACC or SEC, it plays at a much higher level than the CAA. ODU's reputation in FCS may not mean a lot to the media and others gathered in Texas.
Coaches and players will be seated at tables at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott for several hours as dozens of reporters bounce from table to table. The C-USA media event comes a day after the Big 12 concluded its media day at the same hotel, meaning some reporters from national publications will be present.
Wilder said his feelings won't be hurt if most of the cameras and notepads bypass the table adorned in blue and silver.
"We've been welcomed with open arms by the league, but we'll very much need to take a back seat to the other teams there that are current league members," Wilder said. "This is more about the preseason favorites, the preseason all-conference team." (More)
Hampton Roads offers diverse approaches for growing business
(The Daily Press, July 24, 2013)
Economic developers are focused on finding ways to use the region's research and defense-related assets to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hampton Roads.
Local governments are spending money on shared office space and programs that guide early-stage companies on to become potentially viable. But not all of these programs are created equal. The region offers full-service business incubators, quick accelerator programs and basic office space near science centers.
To ensure the region is effectively pooling its resources, the directors of the incubators began meeting quarterly two years ago with federal funding through Innovate! Hampton Roads, an initiative of the recently disbanded Hampton Roads Partnership. A regional council of incubator directors continued meeting to swap ideas on how to strengthen their efforts, said Tom Flake, the director of the Peninsula Technology Incubator in Hampton. ...
Hampton Roads incubators ...
Old Dominion University Business Gateway at Innovation Research Park
Address: 4211 Monarch Way, 108, Norfolk
Program: Not an incubator, but offers resources to spur innovation with access to ODU staff and resources.
Of note: The research park has space, but no subsidized rent, for startups and growing businesses with a focus on manufacturing and developing innovative processes or product prototypes. Small business procurement assistance program offered through U.S. Department of Transportation.
Operating budget: $1.2 million
(Source: Jerry Robertson, executive director of ODU Business Gateway) (More)
What's her link to ODU?
(The Virginian-Pilot, July 23, 2013)
ON TONIGHT'S season premiere of TLC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" an Old Dominion University professor helps pop singer Kelly Clarkson explore her Civil War-era ancestry.
The show features experts taking celebrities on journeys through their family histories.
Tim Orr, who specializes in American military history, helps Clarkson decipher documents that shed light on her great-great-great-grandfather, a Union soldier from Ohio. Before coming to Norfolk's ODU, Orr was a park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Clarkson shot to fame after winning the first season of "American Idol" in 2002.
TLC is keeping the major details of tonight's episode - including a surprise revelation - under wraps until the show airs at 9 p.m. (More)