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Duke forum to address global engineering problems
Date:2/17/2009

Experts will gather at Duke University March 2-3 to discuss engineering solutions to major challenges facing the world today, ranging from national security to education and energy.

The summit is in response to the Grand Challenges for Engineering report (http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/) issued last year by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) that detailed how engineering has and will play a critical part in resolving major societal issues.

Topics to be addressed at the NAE Grand Challenges Summit include alternative energy, green technologies, health care, national security, and education and learning. Participants will include Robert Langer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology bioengineer, and Jeff Hawkins, founder of the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience.

The summit is jointly hosted by Duke University, the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering and Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. The event is open to the public, but registration is required at http://summit-grand-challenges.pratt.duke.edu/.

In the NAE report, an international panel of technology scholars identified 14 critical barriers to a sustainable way of life. They represent problems requiring a combination of science, technology and policy to solve, such as producing alternative energy, safeguarding the environment, providing clean water and improving healthcare.

"Although the NAE led this effort, addressing such complex, and sometimes conflicting, issues will necessarily require innovation and cooperation from engineers of all kinds, as well as policymakers, economists, a broad range of scientists and -- importantly -- the public," said NAE President Charles Vest. "Only by coming together can we make a difference in the world and secure our future."

Thomas Katsouleas, dean
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Contact: Richard Merritt
richard.merritt@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

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