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ATO #104 - April 14, 2000

PART 1: Upcoming Chats
PART 2: Project News
PART 3: A Day Protecting Intellectual Property


QuestChats require pre-registration. Unless otherwise
noted, registration
is at:  http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/chats/

Thursday, April 19, 2000, 9 - 10  AM Pacific
Aerospace Team Online QuestChat with Chris Beins

Did anyone ever copy your work? How did that make you feel?
Chris Beins plays an intersting role! His job is to help engineers and
scientists work with lawyers and business people to understand ideas,
software and computer programs are protected and safe from hackers!
Read his bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/beins.html

Tuesday, April 25, 2000 10 - 11 AM Pacific
Regimes of Flight Aerospace Team Online Chat with Steve Smith

As an aerospace research engineer, Steve Smith spends his time doing
experimental research in wind tunnels and applying computer flow
simulations to evaluate new ideas for airplanes.
Read his bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/smith.html


"Regimes of Flight"

Design a New Aircraft CONTEST Ends April 14th!  
Regimes of Flight Design a New Aircraft Contest, Grades 4-8
For more information: go to

Regimes of Flight Art Contest begins April 17, 2000
For more information go to

[Editor's Note: Chris Beins understands technology and the laws that protect it. This makes him a busy man at NASA. Read his bio at http://quest.nasa.gov/aero/team/beins.html ]

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ...Christian Beins,
Intellectual Property Officer
at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio

8:00 AM I get into my office, check for phone messages and e-mails, get a cup of coffee. Look in my "in-box" for mail or notes, return to my desk. Double check my schedule to go over my plan for the day.

8:30 AM Most important. Technical transfer plan for NASA engine modeling software. One part of my job is to make sure that a computer program - it helps our engineers and scientists understand how the parts of a jet engine work - can be used by other engineers outside NASA to build better and safer engines.

Call Pam, an attorney, to see how negotiations are going with some contractor. I get good news and bad news. Some progress, but I need to make another phone call.

Call NASA in Washington to find out progress with the part of the government that works with exporting software to other countries. Receive a phone call from an engineer at another company about a trip he is taking and the data he wants to take with him.

9:15 AM Meet with NASA engineers to talk about the engine compressor. There are different ways to model an engine, and different ways to have computers draw pictures. We discuss the best ways to make two or more computers "talk" or exchange data between them. Then we talk about protecting that data exchange so the data can be protected.

10:00 AM I have a consultant coming to NASA in Cleveland in two weeks. I got an e-mail from her telling me the kind of information she needs. I call some of our team to make sure they will be available and have the kind of data required on hand.

10:30 AM Go across the lab to meet with an expert on starting new businesses. When this software program is finished, we need to find a suitable company who can keep the software running, answer questions about it, and make changes to it if needed. We need to recommend a plan by the end of July. This expert, Joe, is helping me with the details to see I don't leave anything out and the plan has a good chance of working like we hope.

11:30 AM Back in my office. A few phone messages and e-mails. Call Training to make sure I am scheduled for a class next month. A class in Turbulence Modeling will help me understand how the NASA engineers and computer programmers write the software I am working with. Everything looks okay. LUNCH.

12:00 PM Quick look at an engineering magazine and a computer magazine. Nothing important in the last one, but I need to take the engineering magazine home to read one article that may be useful.

12:30 PM Staff meeting. Once a week, we have a general meeting to make sure everyone in the office is informed about progress and/or problems. This helps keep things working smoother.
1:30 PM I spend some "quiet time" drafting a report about how the different pieces I am working on fit together. I've got notes about 1/2" thick. My outline is starting to make sense to me, but I need some specific details about one event, and I need to talk with NanSuey to make sure I understand his piece of the puzzle. Some of my notes are in pencil, some on the computer. After about an hour, I need a break, so I close this up and walk off to check my in-basket again. Gather the mail and look for anything that has to be done right now. Put the junk mail in the waste basket.

2:45 PM Phone call. Do I have a copy of a report that Mike wrote? No, I read it, approved it and sent it on. Don't know where is it right now, call Kim and ask if she could track it down.
3:00 PM Stop by my boss' office. He is in. I mention that I have a problem with one of the contracts, but that we're working on it and I think it will be settled in about a week. He asks if I need help, and I answer "no, not now." He asks if I am ready for another meeting next week. I'm not finished, but I will be in time. My boss seems agreeable to that.

3:15 PM I go back to working on my report - the software transfer plan. I work on the licensing and data protection parts, answering some questions and finding other new questions. Things are making some progress - slowly it seems - and I wrap this up about 4:00.

4:00 PM Answer phone messages, a couple of e-mails. There's about an hour left, so I try to figure if I have to take some "homework" with me or not. [Except for some reading, I don't think I need to take anything else home today. This is good!]

4:15 PM Look at tomorrow's schedule to make sure I haven't forgotten anything. I call Stephanie to remind her I need a draft copy of her report my Friday. She says she will e-mail it to me. Another phone call to someone with a job similar to mine. I'm trying to find out how they would handle a license problem with some software. I get a couple of ideas.

4:45 PM One last check for urgent problems. I'm lucky, today I don't have any emergencies to take care of. Start to back my briefcase. Straighten up my desk so I can find things in the morning.
5:00 PM Lights out. Lock the door. Tomorrow will be another day!


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