Before you can save the world, you'd better write a to-do list so nothing gets overlooked. Some of the world's brightest minds have done just that by laying out this century's greatest engineering challenges.
The panel of 18 engineers, technologists and futurists included Google co-founder Larry Page and genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter. They spent more than a year pondering how best to improve life on Earth and came up with 14 Grand Engineering Challenges, a list the National Academy of Engineering deemed so momentous it should be capitalized.
- Make solar energy affordable.
- Provide energy from fusion.
- Develop carbon sequestration methods.
- Manage the nitrogen cycle.
- Provide access to clean water.
- Restore and improve urban infrastructure.
- Advance health informatics.
- Engineer better medicines.
- Reverse-engineer the brain.
- Prevent nuclear terror.
- Secure cyberspace.
- Enhance virtual reality.
- Advance personalized learning.
- Engineer the tools for scientific discovery.