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NEW DEFENSE BUDGETS WILL REFLECT NEW ROLE FOR ELECTROTECHNOLOGY

 NEW DEFENSE BUDGETS WILL REFLECT NEW ROLE FOR ELECTROTECHNOLOGY
 WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A new approach to electrotechnology is crucial for the Department of Defense in the post-Cold War era, a top Pentagon scientist told engineers at a symposium on defense budget restructuring.
 Producing and marketing quality products at a price the customer can afford is the key to victory in the new international competitive economy, said Victor H. Reis, director of defense research and engineering. "The best technology is no longer enough to win."
 Reis outlined a strategy that calls for continuous linkages among researcher, developer, manufacturer and user, with the Pentagon becoming a "world-class" customer. He said the new technology development is remarkably similar to the customer-driven approach of the private sector.
 "Underpinning all this is the explosion in information and microelectronics technology," he added, describing the use of distributed simulation techniques to improve joint training and to develop new weapons systems.
 "We must apply technology not just in the quest for performance but on new concepts, better training for the field forces that are available, and better use of our production systems, including our commercial production systems," he said.
 Reis assured the symposium that the Defense Department will remain at the leading edge of electronics, communications and computing -- technologies that define "the brains and nervous system" of the Pentagon's mission.
 Reis' remarks came at the opening of the 1992 IEEE-USA Technology Council symposium, "Coping with the Impact of Defense Budget Restructuring," sponsored by the United States Activities' unit of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), held here Sept. 15-16.
 Providing an industry perspective, Robert J. Polutchko of the Martin Marietta Corporation discussed the problems of transforming companies that are structured to sell only in the defense market. He noted that future Defense Department needs may require protection for companies that have no commercial viability.
 Richard Schwartz, head of the electrical engineering department at Purdue University, noted the importance of Defense Department funding in the research community. He said universities are moving toward establishing closer ties with industry, but predictions of Pentagon budget cuts are already causing students to shift from electrical to mechanical or civil engineering paths. He warned policy makers not to be short-sighted as they reduce Defense Department budgets, noting that many engineering research activities could be moved offshore as easily as manufacturing jobs.
 The symposium also featured speakers from the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Technology Assessment and included sessions on the role of the professional society in promoting engineering opportunities in the new budget environment.
 The IEEE is the world's largest technical society, with a worldwide membership of more than 320,000 electrical and electronics engineers and computer scientists. IEEE-USA is responsible for promoting the professional careers and technology policy interests of the 250,000 IEEE members who live and work in the United States.
 -0- 9/17/92
 /CONTACT: Pender M. McCarter of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 202-785-0017/ CO: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. ST: District of Columbia IN: ARO CPR SU:


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Date:Sep 17, 1992
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