This week, Army Gen Mark A. Milley highlighted China’s hypersonic weapon system as the reason why the U.S. military continues to be concerned about Chinese intentions. Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby emphasized that China’s development of a wide range of systems and capabilities paired with their aggressive foreign and economic policies are clearly why Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III sees China as America’s pacing challenge. The Pentagon points to a need for a free and open Indo-Pacific in order to maintain national security goals. The progress of our own hypersonic missile systems are important, as well as all domains of warfare – land, sea, air, cyber, and space. Milley shared, “They have gone from a peasant army that was very, very large in 1979 to a very capable military that covers all domains, and has global ambitions. China is very significant on our horizon.” Everyone in national security plays a key role in keeping America safe.
Contract Opportunities to Watch
|Jacobs||Jacobs was awarded the Oak Ridge Reservation Cleanup Contract (ORRCC). UCOR, formed by Amentum, Jacobs and Honeywell, will support the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) mission by performing environmental clean-up at the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR), which includes the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP).
The DOE estimates the contract value at $8.3 billion, to be awarded over a 10-year period. The new contract will replace the ETTP contract awarded in 2011 to Jacobs as part of URS|CH2M Oak Ridge LLC.
“Jacobs has supported the DOE’s Office of Environmental Management’s (EM) mission at Oak Ridge since 2003 to support the clean-up of the ORR and our commitment to creating and preserving more than 2,000 high-quality jobs in the area,” said Jacobs Energy, Security and Technology Senior Vice President Karen Wiemelt. “This award demonstrates how we live our values by delivering sustainable solutions that generate a positive environmental, social and economic impact in the communities where we live and work.”
UCOR will deliver the ORRCC under DOE’s End-State Contracting Model. UCOR’s team includes four pre-selected small businesses, RSI EnTech, Strata-G, Longenecker & Associates and Environmental Alternatives, Inc. The single award indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract allows DOE, UCOR and project stakeholders to collaborate to define the end states necessary to accelerate work at ORR.
UCOR will be responsible for cleanup and remedial actions at ETTP; cleanup of excess facilities at ORNL and Y-12; design, construction and operation of the new onsite disposal facility, Environmental Management Disposal Facility; operational activities and surveillance and maintenance for multiple EM operational and non-operational facilities; and core functions for central and project services.
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|Quantum Computing||China may be touting its quantum computing capabilities, but either don’t count the U.S. out or join the work and keep advancing our nation’s capabilities. While China’s supercomputer is allegedly better than even what Google has, companies like Amazon are also working to advance their capabilities too. Quantum computing is an emerging field that uses physics to solve problems that are challenging for the traditional computer, and it’s a key component of the aerospace and defense sector.
In order to get into the field, a bachelor’s degree in physics or computer science is a good start; however, quantum mechanics, computational physics, and machine learning are needed. If you’re starting out with just a bachelor’s degree, plan to add a master’s and maybe even a doctorate if you want longevity. The climb post graduation is a bit uphill to get the right experience, but the payoff is there. While you may learn on the job, it takes some investment to get the right level of knowledge and skills so you can demonstrate strong programming capabilities and a handle on mathematics – specifically algebra and probability. If you’re having a hard time getting a quantum computing role, internships can get you the in that you need.
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and the Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation are partnering to support and encourage Girl Scout councils and troops with amateur rocket activities and the opportunity to compete in the American Rocketry Challenge. With additional support from the National Association of Rocketry and Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) middle and high school Girl Scouts will have access to meaningful skill-building experiences and gain insight into potential career paths.
Through this partnership, Girl Scouts will strengthen important STEM skills and techniques needed to build rockets, work on teams, and problem solve—critical, foundational learning for the next generation of female leaders in the aerospace industry and broader STEM workforce.
Sport rocketry is aerospace engineering on a smaller scale. This increasingly popular hobby and educational tool dates back to 1957, when it was developed to offer a safe and inexpensive way for younger generations to learn design, creation, and other key principles of rocket flight. With young women continuing to be underrepresented in aerospace and STEM careers, GSUSA and the Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation are committed to ensuring girls across the country are able to explore these innovative interest areas.
Data collected by the American Rocketry Challenge shows that participants have gone on to have diverse careers in various STEM fields. It also illustrates the need to encourage girls to pursue these interests starting at a young age. Starting this fall, councils will have access to the tools curated by GSUSA, the American Rocketry Challenge, and the Aerojet Rocketdyne Foundation, including guidance and materials for designing model rocketry experiences—e.g., building teams, recruiting volunteers and subject matter experts, fundraising, competitive verses non-competitive opportunities, and more to help troops explore the dynamic world of rocketry and aerospace engineering.
“We’re thrilled that councils and troops across the U.S. can access these amazing tools to bring sport rocketry to life with their girls,” said GSUSA Interim CEO Judith Batty. “We’re deeply grateful to GSUSA Board member Eileen Drake, CEO and president of Aerojet Rocketdyne, for identifying this unique opportunity to build on Girl Scouts’ already extensive STEM programming. As our middle school and high school girls begin to imagine their future career paths, Girl Scouts is here to arm them with valuable resources and impactful hands-on activities that allow them to experiment, push boundaries, and learn valuable skills. These experiences will prepare so many girls to do more than just build model rockets; they’ll gain a deeper understanding of gravity, principles of flight, aerodynamics, and how to problem solve under pressure.”
Since being appointed to serve on GSUSA’s Board of Directors in January 2020, Drake has been instrumental in identifying the role these organizations can play in supporting our nation’s growing needs for a broadening STEM workforce and female leadership.
Guidance and resources will be available to councils and troops beginning November 1. Interested Girl Scout troops can sign up to compete in the American Rocketry Challenge, the world’s largest annual rocket contest, for a chance to win $100,000 in prizes. Teams of youth in grades 6-12 will work together in the same way aerospace engineers do. Competing teams will experience the engineering process and compete in qualifying flights with thousands of peers across the country for the opportunity to participate in a “Final Fly-off” event in May 2022. The top-ranking teams from the finals will receive scholarship prize money and further funding toward their rocketry education. The deadline to register to compete is December 1, 2021.