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Project Title:

Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Engineering for the Twenty-first Century
PIN: DELS-WSTB-15-01        

Major Unit:

Division on Earth and Life Studies
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
National Academy of Engineering

Sub Unit: Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources
Board on Atmospheric Sciences & Climate
Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology
Board on Energy & Environmental Systems DEPS
Board on Earth Sciences & Resources
Board on Environmental Studies & Toxicology
Board on Life Sciences
NAE Office of Programs
Ocean Studies Board
Water Science and Technology Board

RSO: Johnson, Stephanie

Subject/Focus Area: Engineering and Technology; Environment and Environmental Studies

Project Scope
An ad hoc committee will conduct a study to identify high priority challenges for the broad fields of environmental engineering and science.  The committee will identify grand challenges for environmental engineering and science for the next several decades. These should be significant societal challenges that will require the expertise of environmental engineering and science to resolve or manage. For each challenge, the committee will:

·         Discuss the relevance of the challenge, its magnitude, and implications

·         Identify the key questions or issues related to the challenge that require the expertise of environmental science and engineering to address (i.e., what role does
environmental engineering and science play in addressing the challenge?)

·         Discuss the state of relevant environmental engineering and science knowledge and practice relevant to these questions and issues

·         Identify areas where knowledge and practice need to advance to address these challenges, and discuss the type of research needed to achieve that advancement 

The committee will use as a model for its work the innovative study process used in the 2008 NAE report, Grand Challenges for Engineering.  The challenges identified in the new study, which will be focused on environmental issues, will be linked back, as appropriate, to the broader NAE grand challenges.  A study website will be used to solicit input from the scientific and engineering communities at the beginning of the study and throughout its course. The project will include the development of communications products to explain the findings of the report, which could include booklets, interactive graphics, videos, or other products.  Outreach efforts will include direct contact with relevant organizations, a series of seminars (either in person or on the web) and possibly the development of a series of summits at U.S. universities.  These dissemination and translational efforts will continue for 9 months after the release of the expert report.

Project Duration: 21 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 05/04/2017
 Meeting 2 - 09/05/2017
 Meeting 3 - 01/11/2018


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