March 29, 2008

The Challenge of Engineering in the Future

Throughout human history engineering has driven the advance of civilization. From the metallurgists who ended the Stone Age to the widespread development and distribution of electricity and clean water, to radio and television, spacecraft and antibiotics, computers and the Internet, engineering has made incredible strides. For all of these advances, though, as the population grows and its needs and desires expand, the problem of sustaining civilizational advancement, while improving the quality of life of all peoples, poses major challenges.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, a panel of 18 engineers, technologists and futurists including Google co-founder Larry Page and genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter spent more than a year pondering how best to improve life on Earth and came up with 14 Grand Engineering Challenges.
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging”. -- Joseph Campbell

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