Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering
GOALS OF THE FRONTIERS OF ENGINEERING PROGRAM
The practice of engineering is changing. Engineers must not only be able to thrive in an environment of rapid technological change and globalization, but they must also be able to work in interdisciplinary teams. The frontiers of engineering are at the intersections of engineering disciplines, and researchers and practitioners must be aware of developments and challenges in areas other than their own.
At the three-day Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, 100 of this country’s best and brightest engineers, ages 30 to 45, have an opportunity to learn from their peers about work being done on the leading edges of engineering. It is hoped that the exchange of information on current developments in many fields of engineering will lead to insights that may be applicable in specific disciplines. In addition, the symposium gives engineers from a variety of institutions in academia, industry, and government, and from many different engineering disciplines, a chance to make contacts with and learn from individuals whom they would not meet in the usual round of professional meetings. This networking may lead to collaborative work and facilitate the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields.
The number of participants at each meeting is limited to 100 to maximize opportunities for interactions and exchanges among the attendees, who are chosen through a competitive nomination and selection process. The choice of topics and speakers for each meeting is made by an organizing committee composed of engineers in the same 30- to 45-year-old cohort as the participants. Each year different topics are covered, and, with a few exceptions, different individuals participate.
The speakers at the Frontiers of Engineering Symposium must address a unique challenge—to communicate the excitement of their work to a technically sophisticated, but nonspecialist audience. To achieve the objectives of the meeting, speakers are asked to provide a brief overview of their fields and to address several aspects of their topics: a description of the frontiers in the field, the experiments, prototypes, and design studies that have been completed or are in progress, new tools and methodologies, limitations on advances and controversies, and the theoretical, commercial, societal, and long-term significance of the work.
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