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The United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE), a private, non-profit institution that was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act that led to the founding of the National Academy of Sciences. The NAE is part of the United States National Academies, which also includes:

The NAE is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the rest of the National Academies the role of advising the federal government. The NAE operates engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. The current president of the NAE is Dr. Charles Vest.

As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The NAE has more than 2,000 peer-elected members and foreign associates composed of senior professionals in business, academia, and government who are among the world’s most accomplished engineers.

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Membership in the National Academy of Engineering

To be elected to the membership of the NAE is considered the profession's highest achievement and is often a recognition of a lifetime worth of accomplishments.

Nomination for membership can only be done by a present members of the NAE for outstanding engineers with identifiable contributions or accomplishments in one or both of the following categories:

  • Engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature.
  • Pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.

Though the average age for members is over 70, some members have been elected at a relatively young age, the youngest being Google co-founder Larry Page, who was elected in 2004 at the age of 31.

Notable members in addition to Page are Paul Allen, Sergey Brin, Vint Cerf, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Dean Kamen, Steve Wozniak, Richard Stallman .

Major Prizes from the National Academy of Engineering

The Academy annually awards three prizes that award $500,000 to the winner. In a sense these constitute the "Nobel Prizes of Engineering." The three prizes are the

Program areas of the National Academy of Engineering

  • Grand Challenges for Engineering

In February 2008 the NAE announced a list of 14 "grand" challenges for engineering in the next century. The NAE convened a committee of experts in engineering, science, and technology to form this list. The committee convened over the course of several months and took input from public comments made on the project website as well as opinions from experts external to the committee.

On October 6, 2008 at the NAE annual meeting, a public symposium was held where several members of the committee spoke publicly about the challenges. Following this event, a print version of the Grand Challenges website was made available online at the site.[1]

Members of the public voted on the challenges in rank order of importance, and as of the close of voting on June 30, 2008, the results of the votes are as follows: (poll rankings)[2]

  1. Make solar energy economical
  2. Provide energy from fusion
  3. Provide access to clean water
  4. Reverse-engineer the brain
  5. Advance personalized learning
  • Frontiers of Engineering

The Frontiers of Engineering program assembles a group of emerging engineering leaders - usually aged 30–45 - to discuss cutting-edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. The goal of the meetings is to bring participants together to collaborate, network, and share ideas. There are three Frontiers of Engineering meetings every year: the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, the German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, and the Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. The Indo-U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium is held every other year.[3]

  • Diversity in the Engineering Workplace

The goal of the diversity office is to participate in studies addressing the issue of increasing and broadening a domestic talent pool. Through this effort the NAE convenes workshops, coordinators with other organizations, and idenitifies program needs and opportunities for improvement.

As part of this effort the NAE has launched both the EngineerGirl![4] and Engineer Your Life[5] webpages.

  • The Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education

The Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education.[6] works to advance engineering education in the United States, aiming for curriculum changes that address the needs of new generations of engineering students and the unique problems they will face with the challenges of the 21st century.

The Center works closely with the Committee on Engineering Education, which works to improve the quality of engineering education by providing advice to policy makers, administrators, employers, and other stakeholders.[7]

  • Engineering, Economics, and Society

This program area studies connections between engineering, technology, and the economic performance of the United States. Efforts aim to advance the understanding of engineering's contribution to the sectors of the domestic economy and to learn where engineering may enhance economic performance.[8]

  • Techcological Literacy/K-12 education

The goal of this project is to provide advice regarding the creation and implementation of engineering curricula at the school-age level. The project also hopes to inform instructional practices, particularly dealing with the connections among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

The project also aims to investigate the best ways to determine levels of technological literacy in the United States among three distinct populations in the United States: K-12 students, K-12 teachers, and out-of-school adults. A report (and associated website), Technically Speaking,[9] explains what "technological literacy" is, why it’s important, and what is being done in the U.S. to improve it.

  • Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society

The Center for Engineering, Ethics, and Society seeks to engage engineers and the engineering profession in identiftying and resolving ethical issues in associated with engineering research and practice. The Center works is closely linked with the Online Ethics Center.[10]

  • Engineering and the Environment

This program, recognizing that the engineering profession has often been associated with causing environmental harm, looks to recognize and publicize that the profession is now at the forefront of mitigating negative environmental impacts. The program will provide policy guidance to government, the private sector, and the public on ways to create a more environmentally sustainable future.[11]

Outreach Efforts

To publicize the work of both the profession and the NAE, the institution puts considerable efforts into outreach activities.

A weekly radio spot produced by the NAE is broadcast on WTOP radio in the Washington, DC area and the file and text of the spot can be found on the NAE site.[12] The NAE also distributes a biweekly newsletter focusing on engineering issues and advancements.

In addition, NAE has held a series of workshops titled News and Terrorism: Communicating in a Crisis, in which experts from the National Academies and elsewhere provide reporters, state and local public information officers, emergency managers, and representatives from the public sector with important information about weapons of mass destruction and their impact. This project is conducted in collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation.

In addition to these efforts the NAE fosters good relationships with members of the media to ensure coverage of the work of the institution and to serve as a resource for the media to use when they have technical questions or would like to speak to an NAE member on a particular matter. The NAE is also active in "social media," both to reach new and younger audiences and to reach traditional audiences in new ways.

See also

References

External links

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