Grand Challenges for Engineering

Grand Challenges for Engineering

On February 15, 2008, the National Academy of Engineering announced its list of 14 “grand challenges for engineering,” examples of the types of challenges confronting societies in the twenty-first cen- tury. The solutions to these challenges will all have large engineering components. Although engineers cannot solve these challenges alone, neither can the challenges be solved without engineers.

The fourteen grand challenges are:

  • Making solar power economical;
  • Providing energy from fusion;
  • Developing carbon-sequestration methods;
  • Managing the nitrogen cycle;
  • Providing access to clean water;
  • Restoring and improving urban infrastructure;
  • Advancing health informatics;
  • Engineering better medicines;
  • Reverse-engineering the brain;
  • Preventing nuclear terror;
  • Securing cyberspace;
  • Enhancing virtual reality;
  • Advancing personalized learning; and
  • Engineering the tools of scientific discovery.

From: Engineering in K-12 Education, National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council of the National Academies. 2008.

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