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1 The Engineer of 2020 Visions of the Future of Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The Engineer of 2020 Visions of the Future of Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The Engineer of 2020 Visions of the Future of Engineering

2 2 National Academy of Engineering Fall 2002 workshop –Envision the engineer of 2020

3 3 Our 21 st Century World Changes over last century –Engineering, through technology, has “forged an irreversible imprint on our lives and our identity” –The developed world Longer, healthier lives Improved work and living conditions Global communication Ease of transit Access to art and culture Moral and ethical challenge for the future –Make the same true for the developing world

4 4 Population & Demographics Global challenges –The world will become more crowded 8 billion by 2020 –There will be more centers of dense population Mostly in countries in the developing world –Many will live in regions with fewer technological resources

5 5 Population & Demographics Aging society in the developed world –By 2050, ratio of taxpaying workers to nonworking pensioners in US will fall from 4:1 to 2:1 Impacts: –Economic stress –Increasing demands on health care system –Heightened labor force tensions –Increasing political instability

6 6 Population & Demographics 2000 US Census –By 2050, almost half the US population will be non- white Challenges: –Engineering profession must develop acceptable solutions to an increasingly diverse population –Engineering schools must attract students from under- represented sectors

7 7 Population & Demographics The “Youth Bulge” & Security Implications –Nations in many politically unstable parts of the world Disproportionate number of 15- to 29-year olds –Results Continued social and political unrest and threats from terrorism and religious fundamentalism Increased need for military services and security measures at home and abroad Migration from youth bulge countries to rapidly aging countries may mitigate the problem US concerns regarding increased terrorism will probably limit this migration –Increased need for engineering schools to attract domestic students

8 8 The Global Environment Natural resource & environmental concerns –Increasing demand for energy Declining petroleum production and reserves –Global deforestation –Increasing demands for potable water Falling water tables in China, India, & US, which produce half the world’s food supply –Global warming –Depletion of the ozone layer Challenges: –Ecologically sustainable practices –Technological solutions coupled with conservation

9 9 Breakthrough Technologies Biotechnology Nanotechnology Materials Science & Photonics Information & Communications Technology The Information Explosion Logistics

10 10 Biotechnology Tissue engineering & regenerative medicine –Replacement skin for burn patients –Spinal cord repair –Repair/replacement meniscal and articular cartilage –Repair/replace bladder engineered.organs/index.html temcell.html

11 11 Biotechnology Nanotechnology & MEMS Bioinformatics Defense against biological and chemical weapons –Civil engineers  understand transport characteristics of agents and diffusivity in air and water supplies –Mechanical engineers  devise pumps and filters able to deal with airborne and waterborne agents –Electrical engineers  design sensing and detection instruments agnostics_research.html

12 12 Biotechnology Safety & reliability considerations –Engineers must acquire basic knowledge about biological systems –Engineers must pay attention to fault-tolerant designs

13 13 Nanotechnology Multidisciplinary –Bioengineering –Materials science –Electronics http://www.nanoengineer- HPSESSID=855def63bf78fef91ffed786f044ba5d ch.cfm?doc_id=5091

14 14 Nanotechnology Possible future technologies –Environmental cleaning agents –Chemical detection agents –Creation of biological organs –Development of NEMS –Development of ultrafast, ultradense electrical and optical circuits 1140090185

15 15 Materials Science & Photonics Traditional engineering disciplines will increasingly incorporate new materials –Composites –Atomic-scale machines –Molecular-based nanostructures –Smart materials & structures –New fuel cell technologies –Optical sources Decreasing physical size Increasing power and reliability

16 16 Information & Communications Technology To appreciate the potential, consider those technologies that your parents lived without –Personal computers –Cellular phones –Photocopiers –Fax machines –Video conferencing –Internet

17 17 Information & Communications Technology Foreseeable future –Pocket-sized 10 gig hard drives and computers –Desktop machines and software powerful enough to make routine activities of contemporary engineers obsolete –Worldwide broadband networks Huge volumes of data Realtime collaboration anywhere in the world Perceptions of connectedness, location, & access will continue to change

18 18 Information & Communications Technology Imperative for engineers –Accommodate connectivity –Develop a role for core competencies in Fundamentals of digital systems, electronics, electromagnetics, photonics, discrete & continuous mathematics, materials –Cultivate skills related to use of IT for communications purposes –Remain state of the art in IT and updated common engineering practices –Make common use of computer-based design-build engineering

19 19 The Information Explosion Exponential growth in data and knowledge –Previously, possible for a person to be conversant about much of science, mathematics, medicine, music, and the arts –Today, an individual’s area of expertise continues to diminish in relation to total body of knowledge Example of future  Health care today –Specialists

20 20 The Information Explosion Engineering’s response to explosion of knowledge –Past  Develop new areas of focus with increased depth of individual knowledge and decreased breadth of knowledge –Future  The ability to function on interdisciplinary level is critical for solving complex problems Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission

21 21 Logistics Revolution in movement of goods & services and improved productivity –Wireless communication –Handheld computers –Inventory tracking and database software “Just-in-time” manufacturing –Far-flung networks of suppliers and manufacturing units linked together Future  Challenge of moving goods and services more efficiently will continue

22 22 Technological Challenges Physical Infrastructures in Urban Settings Information & Communications Infrastructure The Environment Technology for an Aging Population

23 23 Physical Infrastructures in Urban Settings Past & present approaches to urban development –Attention to human services & private-sector requirements –Insufficient attention to environmental impact & sustainability Result  Large cities are the victims of –Pollution –Traffic & transportation infrastructure concerns –Decreasing greenery –Poor biodiversity –Disparate educational services

24 24 Physical Infrastructures in Urban Settings Arguably, the US has the best physical infrastructure in the developed world BUT these infrastructures are in serious decline –Water treatment –Waste disposal –Transportation –Energy facilities Engineering is ideally positioned to address these issues –Requires the will of public leaders & the general public Security enhancements  global terrorism

25 25 Information & Communications Infrastructure More recent vintage  has not suffered the ravages of time Vulnerabilities include accidental or intentional events –Malicious attacks –System overloads –Natural disasters Profound effect on our national economy, our national and personal security, and our lifestyles

26 26 Information & Communications Infrastructure Future  public & private sectors must develop strategies & take actions to –Continually update the infrastructure to keep pace with technology –Increase capacity to respond to the rapid growth in information and communications technology-related services –Develop and design systems with a global perspective –Work to increase security and reliability –Consider issues of privacy Actions will involve legal, regulatory, economic, business, & social considerations

27 27 The Environment Natural resource and environmental concerns –Increasing demand for energy –Fossil fuel supply –Increasing demand for potable water –Global deforestation –Global warming –Depletion of ozone layer

28 28 Energy California  projections for 2020 compared to 2000 usage (California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, 2001) –40% more electrical capacity –40% more gasoline –20% more natural gas energy

29 29 Fossil Fuel

30 30 Water Within the next 20 years, virtually every nation will face some type of water supply problem (UN World Water Development Report, 2003) –China, India, and the United States Produce half the world’s food Are experiencing falling water tables –Presently More than 1 billion people have little access to clean drinking water 2 billion live in conditions of water scarcity –Future  water supplies will affect the world’s economy and its stability

31 31 Global Deforestation Global per capita forest area (Forest & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1995) –Projected to fall to 1/3 of its 1990 value by 2020 –Due to population growth in tropical areas and shrinking forest area

32 32 Sustainability Ecologically sustainable practices must be developed and implemented to preserve our environment –In both industrialized and developing nations Conservation must be combined with technological innovation –Engineers need to be educated to consider issues of sustainable development –“Green engineering” Embed social and cultural objectives into traditional engineering focus on technical & economic viability

33 33 Technology for an Aging Population New technologies can help an aging population maintain healthy, productive lifestyles well beyond conventional retirement age –Engineering can address the challenges of aging Assistive technology –Accommodate people of all ages who are challenged by physical or other limitations

34 34 Technology for an Aging Population Several areas for improved services for aging patients (Center for Aging Services Technologies, 2003) –Monitors, sensors, robots, and smart housing Allow elderly to maintain independent lifestyles Alleviate the burdens on care providers & government programs –Operational technologies that help service providers reduce labor costs or prevent medical errors –Connective technologies that help elderly communicate –Telemedicine Provide basic or specialized services to patients in remote locations or to amplify access to medical services

35 35 Conclusion “The comfortable notion that a person learns all that he or she needs to know in a four-year engineering program just is not true and never was.” (NAE, 2004)

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