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A call to face the world’s biggest challenges

February 24, 2010

Summit will seek to engage public in solutions for a sustainable future

Phoenix Summit of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges

Organized by Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering []

Engineers, scientists, government and education leaders from across the country will participate in the launch of a call to action by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Science Foundation. The aim is to focus public attention on the challenges the nation must address to maintain national security, quality of life and an environmentally and economically sustainable future in the 21st century.

The Summit is designed to provide for public participation.

More information:



April 8-9


Arizona Biltmore, 2400 E. Missouri Avenue, Phoenix, Ariz.


As the world’s population grows, the challenges of maintaining and improving the quality of life – socially, economically and technologically – will require efforts of increasing magnitude and complexity.

In its role as adviser to government leaders on issues critical to the nation’s future, the National Academy of Engineering has assembled a list of 14 Grand Challenges to spotlight the most pressing of these needed endeavors.

The list addresses the importance of developing new medicines and biomedical technologies, harnessing sources of renewable energy, ensuring larger supplies and wider distribution of clean water, keeping cyberspace secure, and reducing vulnerability to the impacts of natural disasters, among other goals.

The Academy has selected ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering to host one of five summits around the country this year to increase public awareness of these issues, and to begin the process of engaging the public in the process of facing these challenges.

The Grand Challenge Summit Series represents a commitment to sustain the public dialogue critical to developing effective solutions to societal problems, as well as a commitment to transform the way we educate today’s students so that they are prepared for the challenges ahead.


•    Leland Hartwell, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, President & Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

•    Kristina M. Johnson, Under Secretary for Energy, U.S. Department of Energy

•    Pamela Matson, Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University

•    James Duderstadt, President Emeritus and University Professor of Science and Engineering, University of Michigan