Skip to main content

Industry leaders discuss the future of engineering

Douglas Davis speaking at podium during NEF regional dialogue at ASU Skysong
February 20, 2015

The National Engineering Forum and Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering hosted executive-level representatives from industry, academia, non-profit organizations and government on Feb. 19 to discuss the future of engineering.

Specifically, they talked about solutions to the “3C's” – capacity, capability and competitiveness – the three central challenges facing American engineering.

“At Lockheed Martin, we know first-hand that engineering is not just crucial for national security; it is critical for economic growth,” said Jeff Wilcox, Lockheed Martin vice president of engineering and founder of the National Engineering Forum (NEF). “We partner with NEF in regional dialogues to bring engineering competitiveness to the forefront, and to join together to champion the American engineer.”

Given the growing biotechnology industry and focus on attracting new technology companies to the region, Phoenix served as an ideal location to host the 15th National Engineering Forum regional dialogue, the first to be held in 2015. The event was held at SkySong, ASU's Scottsdale Innovation Center.

“Strength in engineering means strength in competitiveness and strength in ideas,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “Engineering will play a key role in our ability to meet the challenges we face and in making the planet a better and more sustainable place to live. Hosting the National Engineering Forum here in the Valley ensures that Arizona has input in this important national conversation on the future of the engineering profession.”

Douglas Davis, senior vice president and general manager of the Internet of Things Group at Intel Corp., provided the evening’s keynote address. Davis, an ASU alumnus, spoke about the engineering challenges and opportunities facing the Phoenix region.

“Local engineering leaders and educators are building a pipeline of young, talented American engineers who will be innovators of the 21st century and keep the United States competitive in a global economy,” he said.

“NEF dialogues are building a much needed nationwide community of action,” added Deborah L. Wince-Smith, Council on Competitiveness president and CEO and NEF co-founder. “Cultivating and reinforcing the American engineering enterprise is critical to national competitiveness. Engineers must be engaged and activated to enlighten all Americans about the power of engineering in solving global grand challenges and creating opportunities for our nation.”

The National Engineering Forum, which brings together leaders concerned about the sustainability of the United States engineering field and its impact on the nation’s security and prosperity, is gathering input from these regional dialogues to inform the agenda for a national cornerstone event in 2017. Previous forum dialogues have been held in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, Detroit and San Diego.