Valerie Thomas Attends 2012 Congressional Visits Day in Washington

Valerie Thomas, Anderson Interface Associate Professor of Natural Systems in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, along with Robert Knotts, Georgia Tech's Director of Federal Relations, attended the 2012 Congressional Visits Day, organized by the American Physical Society, held in Washington D. C. on April 24-25, 2012.  Thomas met with members of congress and their staff to advocate for federal support of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research, as well as the value and importance of research at Georgia Tech.

Valerie Thomas visits with Representative John Lewis (center) during Congressional Visits Day
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During her visit, Thomas met with Representative John Lewis, as well as with the staff of Representative Hank Johnson and Senator Saxby Chambliss.  She highlighted the importance of federal funding for research, including funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy, as a way to help solve some of our current challenges in energy and to create a more sustainable way of life.   She also spoke about her research on energy options in the southeast.

“Federal support of research is important both for fundamental research, that can provide the basis for future advances, and for progress on national priorities, including defense and energy,” said Thomas.

Congressional visits are imperative if we are to provide long-term understanding and communication between researchers and policy-makers she added.  “We must emphasize the importance of research with members of congress and their staff, to thank them for their ongoing support, and to build long-term relationships.”