About this Study
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a committee of prominent environmental engineers, scientists, and policy experts to identify grand challenges and opportunities in environmental engineering for the next several decades. The committee was also asked to describe how the field of environmental engineering and its aligned sciences might evolve to better address these needs

Rather than focusing on specific environmental engineering challenges, the committee chose to identify the most pressing challenges of the 21st century for which the expertise of environmental engineering will be needed to help resolve or manage. The committee sought input from the scientific community, nongovernmental organizations, and the broader public and benefited from ideas produced from four prior Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors workshops on Grand Challenges.1 In total, over 450 ideas for grand challenges were submitted. This report identifies five broad and interconnected challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that people and ecosystems thrive.

The study was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Delta Stewardship Council.

Committee Members
Domenico Grasso, Chair, University of Michigan, Dearborn
Craig H. Benson (NAE), University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Amanda Carrico, University of Colorado, Boulder
Kartik Chandran, Columbia University, New York City
G. Wayne Clough (NAE), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
John C. Crittenden (NAE), Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Daniel S. Greenbaum, Health Effects Institute, Boston, MA
Steven P. Hamburg, Environmental Defense Fund, Belmont, MA
Thomas C. Harmon, University of California, Merced
James M. Hughes (NAM), Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Kimberly L. Jones, Howard University, Washington DC
Linsey C. Marr, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg
Robert Perciasepe, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Arlington, VA
Stephen Polasky (NAS), University of Minnesota, St. Paul
Maxine L. Savitz (NAE), Honeywell, Inc. (retired), Los Angeles, CA
Norman R. Scott (NAE), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
R. Rhodes Trussell (NAE), Trussell Technologies, Inc., Pasadena, CA
Julie B. Zimmerman, Yale University, New Haven, CT