Grand Challenges for Engineering  -  Mar 03, 2015

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Technologies, Ideas, and Research

Let us know about innovations that you think will contribute to building our future and addressing world needs.  Some ideas can be found among the stories from the NAE's weekly radio series, Innovative Engineering.  On the left, we are seeding the discussion with articles from NAE publications.  We look forward to hearing your ideas.

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solving problems occurring in different cultures

David Carrott, Virginia


Your #1 topic for 21st Century Innovation is "Energy Conservation," and the comment by Jigar Y Patel of Bangalore addresses a concern I had in 2005. I have a US Patent (#7,685,817) on a technology that is not the "all encompassing answer" because there is no such thing. But, it was designed to solve a problem with an untapped resource technology. Question: what would happen to the US energy problem if 10% of the residential homes that used air conditioning during the 3-months of summer did so without the need of local energy providers? Solution: We would not have brown outs. Question: what would happen to the US energy problem if 25% of the residential homes that used air conditioning during the 3-months of summer did so without the need of local energy providers? Solution: The US would have surplus of energy, and could export that energy to neighboring countries. The US would be energy rich. Question: is there a energy resource that has unlimited recharge potential and does not present an environmental issue? Solution: Nuclear Control Rods (e.g., Hafnium-72, etc) absorb photonic energy from nuclear reactors like a battery, yet when discharged can be reused over and over. But, instead they are buried with other reactor resources. Comment: General Motors invested US$138.3 million to support increased production of the Ecotec 1.4-liter engine used in the Chevrolet Cruze. The US government invested around $1 billion into the Volt. Yet, it is impossible find investment funding for a 4 phase development program, at $5M each, to develop a production engine that supplies a 2-3 month continuous 1 Amp of 18 - 24Volts.

Pan Covenant, California

"We need enhanced human/machine hybrid intelligence (CI - Cybernetic Intelligence) immediately." 

We need enhanced human/machine hybrid intelligence (CI - Cybernetic Intelligence) immediately. This comes down to brain-machine interfacing I believe. As soon as this happens, the "augmented" intelligence will be able to solve all other problems with it's enhanced intelligence, therefore it should be our top priority and receive maximum funding. kallisti fNoRd

Jigar Y. Patel, Bangalore


My concern about energy security and global warming of this world. We have coal that last may be for 100 years. We have oil that last may be for 40 years. Ok we can survive on coal and oil for 70 years easily. But the problem with coal and oil is global warming. So what is the solution. It can be solved be by solar, maybe by wind. Still solar and wind has many limitation. So basically we want something that works like I.C Engine and Steam Engine without pollution. We can use it in car and also we can generate electricity with it like power station. So basically we need to solve problem by engineering. Another thing I am writing is there is no meaning of increasing efficiency up to 10% or even 20%. Because people will drive more. Up to here I write something of no use. Now I come to point. I am independent Researcher mechanical engineer. I try to solve problem with my own way. We can utilize stationary force to do work. I know it is against to law of energy conversion. You go through my full paper , you will get to know exactly what I want to explain you. Pl visit http://www.energyefficien

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