National Academy of Engineering Conference on Clean Water and Other ‘Grand Challenges of the 21st Century,’ April 21-22

Author: Bevan Griffiths-Sattenspiel

The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST), along with academic and corporate partners, will co-sponsor a symposium in Chicago, IL during April 21-22, 2010, on four areas related to several Grand Challenges: clean water; carbon, energy and climate; urban sustainability; and global health.

According to the event’s website:

In the year 2000 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) issued the result of its survey of the 20 most important engineering achievements of the 20th century from the viewpoint of the United States. The list includes the basics of life as we know it today (electrification of homes and businesses, clean water, refrigeration and air conditioning), as well as advances in communications, electronics, materials, medicine, transportation that have changed the way we live. These 20 achievements are listed below, and a discussion is found on the website http://www.greatachievements.org/.

Looking forward, the NAE recently commissioned a committee of engineers, scientists and futurists to solicit ideas related to the “Grand Challenges” facing the global society in the 21st century. A list of the 14 Grand Challenges is also presented below and discussed on the website http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/.

Visit their website for more information on the NAE Global Challenges Chicago Summit 2010

Take a look at the agenda and you’ll see there are a number of noteworthy speakers coming to the conference including John Holdren, President Obama’s science and technology guru and Ray LaHood, the current U.S. Secretary of Transportation. Another name I am familiar with is the brilliant Dr. Lynn E Broaddus, who will be serving as a moderator for the clean water panel discussion. I have met Lynn at previous River Rallies and most recently at a water-energy summit hosted by the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, where Lynn serves as director or environmental programs.

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