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Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium (2006)

Chapter:ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
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ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES

Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
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Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
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Introduction

GARRICK E. LOUIS

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia


AMY SMITH

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts


Alleviating poverty and ensuring sustainability present daunting challenges and great opportunities for engineering in the 21st century. The challenges involve not only the technical complexities of developing sustainable, affordable, small-scale infrastructure and other engineered systems, but also the “engineering” of difficult interfaces between these technical components and the socio-economic, cultural, and political contexts in which they are embedded. The opportunities are principally the “opportunity cost” to society of resolving these problems and the size of the potential markets that will benefit from innovations, including 3 billion people who live on less than $2 per day, 2.1 billion who do not have access to sanitation services, and 1.2 billion who do not have access to safe drinking water.

The goal of the session on engineering for developing communities is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge about new techniques and approaches across engineering disciplines to address these problems. This session has three objectives: (1) to inform attendees of the challenges and constraints of engineering for developing communities; (2) to generate discussion and ideas for innovations; and (3) to create a network among attendees for future collaborations.

The presentations focus on three main areas: (1) meeting basic human needs—energy, water, security, health; priorities; challenges; and innovations in technology, methods, and policy; (2) innovations for development—creating added value, opportunities, appropriate technology, indigenous knowledge, role

Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
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of markets in innovations; and (3) sustainability in a global context—life-cycle analysis, risk analysis, and cost-benefit analysis; policies for energy, security, and ethics; green design. The presentations cover both practical and policy aspects of these issues.

Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
×
Page33
Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
×
Page34
Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
×
Page35
Suggested Citation:"ENGINEERING FOR DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES: Introduction." National Academy of Engineering. 2006. Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2005 Symposium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11577.
×
Page36
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This volume includes 16 papers from the National Academy of Engineering's 2005 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) Symposium held in September 2005. USFOE meetings bring together 100 outstanding engineers (ages 30 to 45) to exchange information about leading-edge technologies in a range of engineering fields. The 2005 symposium covered four topic areas: ID and verification technologies, engineering for developing communities, engineering complex systems, and energy resources for the future. A paper by dinner speaker Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is also included. The papers describe leading-edge research on face and human activity recognition, challenges in implementing appropriate technology projects in developing countries, complex networks, engineering bacteria for drug production, organic-based solar cells, and current status and future challenges in fuel cells, among other topics. Appendixes include information about contributors, the symposium program, and a list of meeting participants. This is the eleventh volume in the USFOE series.

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