14 Grand Challenges engineers will have to address

The world is continually becoming congested as the population slowly approaches 7 billion. This population will consume more, pollute more, and require conveniences that come with urbanization and the desire for clean water and clean air. Given these changing dynamics, engineers are now faced with a collective responsibility to satisfy the lives of people around the world while still preserving the carrying capacity of our ecosystems.

So the question then becomes, what should be done now and in the near future to ensure that the basic needs for water, sanitation, nutrition, health, safety, and meaningful work are fulfilled for all humans? The National Academy of Engineering has called engineers to action by identifying the 14 “Grand Challenges” that need to be solved to ensure the planet’s survival.

Clean water
Economical solar energy
Economical solar energy

The challenges are:

  1. providing access to clean water;
  2. preventing nuclear terror;
  3. engineering better medicines;
  4. advancing health informatics;
  5. making solar energy economical;
  6. developing carbon sequestration methods;
  7. securing cyberspace;
  8. reverse-engineering the brain;
  9. Reverse engineering the brain
    Reverse engineering the brain
    Improving urban infrastructure
    Improving urban infrastructure
  10. managing the nitrogen cycle;
  11. providing energy from fusion;
  12. restoring and improving urban infrastructure;
  13. engineering the tools of scientific discovery;
  14. enhancing virtual reality; and
  15. advancing personalized learning.

So, which one will you tackle?

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  1. I’m truly glad I found this post. I’ve been checking for data on solar energy for ages.Looking forward to reading more posts about energy.

  2. If anybody is interested there is a National Academy of Engineering (NAE): Chicago Summit taking place on April 21-22, 2010. The Summit will address the following issues: clean water; carbon, energy and climate; urban sustainability; and global health.

    To learn more, please visit our website at http://iit.edu/grand_challenges. For the latest issue-specific news and event updates, I encourage you to connect with us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GCChicagoSummit. We hope to engage new, influential audiences through the use of social media to increase awareness on these critical issues.

    Thanks and have a great day!

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