Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring & Summer Activities for GlobalPittsburgh Members Announced - Now's the Time to Join the GlobalPittsburgh Network!

Here's a list of activities planned for members of the GlobalPittsburgh Network. (If you're not a member yet, or you know somebody who would like to become a member, CLICK HERE or go to

Tuesday, May 24
Networking/Tailgate Party Event – Networking/Tailgate Party and Pirates Baseball game. Come out and meet new friends and make new professional contacts while having a fun time at the ballpark.

Saturday, May 28
Garden Planting – In the past, GlobalPittsburgh members have planted flowers in the four flower beds next to Dippy, the dinosaur, outside of the Carnegie Library in Oakland, taking pride in beautifying the city in which they currently live. This time, we will plant flowers in the garden at the entrance of the South Side by the Birmingham Bridge.

Friday, June 3
First Fridays at the Frick – During the summer, live music is performed at Frick Art and Historical Center, often featuring quintessential American styles such as jazz and bluegrass. This evening, we’ll hear saxophone music by Greg Abate, jazz saxophonist, flutist and recording artist, and his trio.

Sunday, June 5
Group Dinner at Coriander Indian Restaurant, Squirrel Hill – Come and try many delicious Indian dishes as we visit the dinner buffet at this local Indian restaurant. The group dinners occur on a regular basis and expect them to be during the first week of every month (usually on Thursdays).

Saturday, June 11
Strawberry Picking – Let’s enjoy the fruits of the summer with a trip to a local farm. We’ll fill our buckets full of strawberries! While we’re there you’ll be able to pick up recipes for strawberry pies, preserves, and other delicious treats or you can just bring the fruit home to enjoy by itself.

Wednesday, July 6
Instead of a Group Dinner we’ll meet for a fun time at a Pub Quiz Night at a local…pub, of course! Come out and show your knowledge of music, movies, science, English, or whatever will be on the quiz. Winning teams receive some cool prizes.

Sunday, July 10
Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch – A very popular event for Pittsburghers, BBB is a weekly event in the summer featuring live music at Mellon Park, Point Breeze, on Sunday mornings. Bring a blanket and a picnic - or purchase snacks at the event!

Friday, July 15
Gallery Crawl – a seasonal downtown event, this summer’s crawl features live music, spectacular art, and interesting installations. Pittsburgh’s art scene is eclectic, bold, and varied – come and check it out in this festive crawl from gallery to gallery. After the crawl, we can stop by a local pub for a drink and great discussion about the art that had been viewed.

Sunday, July 24
Movie in the Park – enjoy an outdoor movie at Flagstaff Hill in Oakland. The film starts at twilight – come early to meet other members and play Frisbee or simply chat and make new friends. This evening is the Karate Kid.

Saturday or Sunday, July 30 or July 31
Possible Glider activity – Soar Like an Eagle! This activity will be limited to ten members. Come out for a exciting trip in a glider and see the Pittsburgh countryside from a bird’s eye view.

Thursday, August 3
Group Dinner/Happy Hour at local restaurant – Send suggestions for your favorite place to eat. If you send a suggestion and your suggestion is used, please plan to attend the dinner. The group dinners occur on a regular basis and usually on the first Thursday of every month.

Saturday, August 6
Raccoon Creek State Park – Pennsylvania has some of the most gorgeous parks in the US, and Raccoon state park is one of these beautiful spaces. We can hike, swim, canoe, play sports, and just relax in the great outdoors. Bring something to share for our potluck lunch.

Saturday, August 20
Riverside Bike Ride – There are great bike routes along the three rivers of Pittsburgh – one from the South Side towards the Waterfront along the Monongahela, and one of which you could even ride all the way to Washington D.C.! Let’s enjoy a bike ride along downtown’s riverbanks to celebrate the middle of the summer and admire Pittsburgh’s landmarks on the go.

Thursday, September 1
Group Dinner/Happy Hour at local restaurant – Send your suggestion for location of this dinner. If you send a suggestion and your suggestion is used, please plan to attend the dinner. The group dinners occur on a regular basis and usually on the first Thursday of every month.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

U.S. Announces Expanded List of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Degree Programs; Qualifies Eligible Graduates to Extend Post-Graduate Training by 17 Months

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office (ICE) has published an expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an expanded Optional Practical Training (OPT) 17-month extension beyond the standard 12 months.

AP Photo
The move is an important step forward in the Obama administration's continued commitment to fixing what he called America's "broken" immigration system and expanding access to the nation's pool of talented high-skilled graduates in the science and technology fields.

The announcement follows President Obama's recent remarks in El Paso, Texas, where he reiterated his strong support for new policies that embrace talented students from other countries, who enrich the nation by working in science and technology jobs and fueling innovation in their chosen fields here in the United States, as a part of comprehensive reform.

By expanding the list of STEM degrees to include such fields as Neuroscience, Medical Informatics, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Mathematics and Computer Science, the Obama administration is helping to address shortages in certain high tech sectors of talented scientists and technology experts-permitting highly skilled foreign graduates who wish to work in their field of study upon graduation and extend their post-graduate training in the United States.

Under the OPT program, foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges and universities are able to remain in the U.S. and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate with one of the newly-expanded STEM degrees can remain for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

World's Largest Science Fair Scheduled for Pittsburgh in 2012, 2015 & 2018 - Attracts Students From 50 Countries

Pittsburgh has been selected to host the world's largest science fair, which attracts more than 1,500 high school students from over 50 countries competing for more than $4 million in prizes, not once but three times in the next decade, the Society for Science & the Public has announced.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) will come to Pittsburgh in 2012, 2015 and 2018, the SSP said. The ISEF is held in mid-May. Other host cities include Los Angeles and Phoenix.

The Intel ISEF is the world’s largest international precollege science competition. Exclusively for students in grades 9–12, it is the most prestigious forum to showcase independent research.

In addition to the direct impact of the Intel ISEF on each city -- with an estimated 5,000 registrants, including competing students and PhD level judges -- the event will provide a unique opportunity for local residents to interact with top young science researchers and innovators from around the globe, according to the SSP.

"In selecting these cities, Society for Science & the Public and Intel are honored to build on their rich traditions as leaders in science and technology," said Elizabeth Marincola, president of Society for Science & the Public.

"Working on an ongoing basis with local science communities,in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Phoenix will enable us to harness their resources -- and the inspiration of the Intel ISEF -- to promote science education and advance independent student research locally and globally. As hosts of the Intel ISEF, these cities will unite the world’s top young scientists, showcasing the quality and depth of student research to advance the future of our planet and our society."

The Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit organization dedicated to public engagement in scientific research and education, owns and has administered the International Science and Engineering Fair since its inception in 1950. Each year, millions of students worldwide compete in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in Intel ISEF-affiliated national, regional, and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF.

To learn more about the organization and its programs and publications, visit

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pittsburgh-Based Wabtec Signs $21 Million Contract To Provide Braking Equipment To Australian Mining Giant Rio Tinto

Pittsburgh-based Wabtec Corp. said it has signed a $21 million contract with Rio Tinto, a leading international mining company, to provide electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) braking equipment for a portion of the company’s freight cars and locomotives in Australia. The equipment will be delivered in 2011-12.

Under the contract, Wabtec will provide about 3,600 sets of ECP equipment so that Rio Tinto can retrofit its fleet of iron ore cars, most of which currently use Wabtec’s standard pneumatic brakes. In addition, Rio Tinto will install ECP brakes on six locomotives initially, with potential for more in the future.

“The advantages of electronic braking – including significantly shorter stopping distances – have been proven in commercial use by railroads around the world,” said Albert J. Neupaver, Wabtec’s president and chief executive officer. "Rio Tinto’s investment in this technology is a further demonstration that heavy-haul railroads can deploy ECP to reduce cycle times and improve train handling, and we are pleased to be part of the project."

With standard pneumatic brake equipment, the brakes are applied and released throughout the train sequentially, one car after another. ECP equipment uses an electronic signal to apply and release the brakes simultaneously in every car.

Wabtec Corporation ( is a global provider of technology-based products and services for rail and other industrial markets. Through its subsidiaries, the company manufactures a range of products for locomotives, freight cars and passenger transit vehicles. The company also builds new switcher and commuter locomotives, and provides aftermarket services. The company has facilities located around the world.