Chair and University Distinguished Professor, Civil Engineering Department Director, Center for Innovative Materials Research
Lawrence Technological University 21000 West Ten Mile Road Southfield, MI 48075
Senator Carl Levin Visits Lawrence Tech...
Levin Drops By Lawrence Tech To Talk Composites
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, stopped by Lawrence Technological University Thursday to learn about the school's research into advanced materials.
In a private meeting with university officials Levin discussed Lawrence Tech research into carbon fiber materials for infrastructure improvements such as stronger bridges, as well as for defense applications like body and vehicle armor.
Levin also took a walking tour of the schools' Center for Innovative Materials Research, where students are exploring ways to use composite materials for bridge construction. Dr. Nabil Grace, a Lawrence Tech expert in composite materials science, told Levin about the possibilities of advanced materials. (At left, Levin is seen chatting with Grace, chair of civil engineering at the school, over carbon fiber composite materials.)
Levin also discussed the recent passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, the largest federal investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill. The law increases the maximum Pell Grant to $5,100 next year and $5,400 by 2012 from $4,050 last year. It also reforms the student loan system, cutting the maximum interest rate to 3.4 percent. Also, monthly student loan payments will be capped at 15 percent of the borrower's discretionary income. And, federal student loans will be forgiven after 10 years in public sector jobs like teaching, nursing or law enforcement. There's also a new Teach Grant program that will provide $4,000 per year in scholarships to students who commit to teaching critical subjects in high-needs schools after graduation.
Levin also couldn't resist a dig at embattled U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, over his arrest in a sex sting in a men's bathroom in Minneapolis. Levin said that the Senate does accomplish some worthwhile thing but "that's not considered newsworthy. When we fall short it tends to be more newsworthy. Or when we fight with each other or put our feet on restroom walls."
Levin also told the students he remains opposed to raising corporate fuel economy standards for automakers, but supports increased fuel efficiency through bigger federal spending on alternative power plant research.
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