Past Lectures Archive
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The Confluence of Arts and Engineering
As technology advances, arts and engineering are combining in new and surprising ways. From videogames that require software development, storytelling, and visual skills, to electronic music that's produced by both programmers and composers, the two disciplines are drawing ever closer. In today's networked society, it's even more important for artists and engineers to collaborate to create experiences that lead to intellectual growth and knowledge. This panel examines some of the novel creations that have set the foundation for this new spirit of multidisciplinary cooperation.
October 22, 2015
El Niño Engineering Challenges
As perhaps the strongest El Niño on record forms in the eastern Pacific Ocean, public officials in California are preparing for a winter in which disastrous floods might interrupt the state's drought emergency. The members of this distinguished panel will discuss current weather predictions, how this water could help resolve the current drought, what has been done to better control flooding in the Los Angeles basin since the last wet El Niño years of 1982-83 and 1997-98, and effective long-term solutions.
April 23, 2015
The Age of Drones and New Societal Concerns
While drones have been widely used since the 1960s during the Vietnam War, they really revolutionized warfare during the recent Middle East conflicts. We saw drones take on roles in both surveillance and strike. The drones aren't being used just for the military. Commercial entities such as Google and Amazon are looking at how they can use drones as well. The increasing use of drones, however, has created unforeseen privacy, security, safety, and regulatory challenges that must be addressed.
October 22, 2014
U.S. Manufacturing: Technologies for Recapturing Global Advancement
Did you know that if the top 500 U.S.-based manufacturing companies were counted as an independent nation, their total revenue would rank them as the third’s largest economy in the world! Yet, the US manufacturing sector has experienced substantial job losses at an alarming rate over the past two decades. Since the historical peak in the late 1970s, fewer and fewer jobs have been created in the manufacturing sector. In fact employment in manufacturing is now at its lowest since 1950.
April 24, 2014
Engineering for the Body: Reproducing body functions
Human biologists, computer scientists and engineers are teaming to advance neuroscience toward achieving yet another one of NAE’s Grand Challenges, namely, understanding the complex network we call brain. Modern noninvasive methods can simultaneously measure the activity of many brain cells. Comprehension of how the brain works will enable engineers to simulate its activities, leading to deeper insights about how and why the brain works and fails.
October 24, 2013
Engineering for the Body: Reproducing body functions
Over the last several years, engineering has empowered numerous innovations in the field of medicine that have improved the lives of many. These innovations cover a wide array of areas, including prostheses (producing limbs with 3D printers) and transplants, nanotubes, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine (growing body forms) and genetic medicine to name just a few.
April 25, 2013
Bioengineering: Robotics and Medicine
Over the past century, engineering has made numerous fundamental contribution to the field of medicine. From the most prosaic forms of engineering like sewer and water sanitation, to chemical engineering processes to produce drugs like penicillin in economical form, and now with medical applications of robotics, engineering has been crucial is increasing human life expectancy.
October 25, 2012
California's Clean Transportation Future
The world needs fundamental and rapid changes in transportation technology, fuels and systems because of the immense and growing impact of transportation on the planet. Increasingly, these impacts stem from three main and integrated challenges: urban air quality, energy security and climate change.
April 26, 2012
The United States Energy Challenge
American energy independence will be achieved when all cars, trucks and buses on U.S. highways - boats, ships and barges on U.S. waterways - aircraft flying U.S. airways - trains on U.S. railways - and off-road recreational, construction and farm vehicles, are powered by transportation fuels made in the USA from U.S. resources.
October 27, 2011
Smart Grid: How Smart Is It?
Our nation’s electric power infrastructure that has served us so well for so long – also known as “the grid” – is rapidly running up against its limitations. Our lights may be on, but systemically, the risks associated with relying on an often-overtaxed grid grow in size, scale and complexity every day.
April 27, 2011
Cyber Security and You
Your data is at risk and you need to protect it. Our growing dependence on information technology has given rise to the need for greater protection of digital networks and infrastructures.
October 14, 2010
California's Water Challenge
Water is life. We simply need it to survive. Where does our water come from? The faucet is only the final stop. Depending on where you are in the world, your supply may be drawn from groundwater, surface water such as lakes, rivers or reservoirs, or desalinated seawater.
November 12, 2009
Sustainability of Our Planet
The long-term maintenance of human wellbeing depends on the wellbeing of the world around us, which in turn depends on the responsible use of natural resources.It is now clear that human activities have a significant and sharply escalating impact on the biodiversity of world ecosystems, and there is abundant scientific evidence that humanity is living unsustainably.