By Tawanda W. Johnson
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren
Sen. Mark Udall
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R- 14th IL) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) were recently honored with the 2012 George E. Brown Jr. Science, Engineering and Technology Leadership Award for their work in ensuring that the United States meets global competitiveness challenges of the 21st century.
The Brown Award is presented annually by the Science, Engineering and Technology Work Group (SETWG) to members of Congress who are effective advocates of federal investment in science and technology. It is named for the late Rep. George E. Brown Jr., a longtime member of Congress who made outstanding contributions to federal support for science and technology throughout his congressional career.
Hultgren, an outspoken advocate for basic scientific research and STEM education, is a member of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee. He has been a strong supporter of Fermilab, working in a bipartisan manner to ensure critical funding for the laboratory’s commitment to scientific understanding and research projects dealing with challenges facing America. He also introduced the Energy Critical Elements Advancement Act of 2011 – legislation reflecting recommendations for information gathering, researching and recycling that were urged in a report, Energy Critical Elements, by the American Physical Society (APS) and Materials Research Society (MRS).
Udall has been a longtime supporter of science and engineering, both in his previous tenure in the House and now in the Senate. Before being elected to the Senate, he served on the House Science and Technology Committee, where he chaired the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee. Udall also helped found the House STEM Education Caucus, which he co-chaired. In the Senate, he has brought commitment to the science and engineering disciplines as a member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and as co-chair of two Senate caucuses, one on Science and Technology Caucus and another on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. APS and MRS recently worked closely with Udall on carrying out key recommendations of their joint report, Energy Critical Elements
, embodied in the Critical Minerals and Materials Promotion Act of 2011