Grand Challenges for Engineering  -  Oct 31, 2014

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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 and podcast series, Engineering Innovation.  On the left, we are seeding the discussion with articles from NAE publications.  We look forward to hearing your ideas.



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Andres Vazquez Bastidas UPBC, Mexicali, B.C.

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I agree is fundamental preserve the basic needs for water, sanitation, nutrition, health, safety, is challenger for engineering, the people in the world is increasing, needs a form of resolver all basic needs, for a the good quality of life on Earth. Engineer "today" is ready for all this?

Andrew Cote, Enfield, CT

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Photovoltaic efficiency can be advanced by a simple design that sets up “One to One Correspondence Junctions” between the P and N stimulated materials that respond to selected frequencies from across the solar spectrum. Compared to current designs,such a junction array uses more of the available band of sunlight, avoids the "band gap" problem and bypasses the eventual energy loss from the absorption of electrons as they transport through the substrate. I am searching for a partner to evaluate this design and work with me to come up with a prototype. Please contact me at cote.andy@gmail .com .

DAMIAN MONTANO, MEXICO

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I think the challenges that engineering will have to face in the future are very important to our lives for the innovation of new methods of obtaining solar energy make it more economical, thanks to the engineering involved in medicine and not there are many diseases could fight cancer. before patent a medicine have to do several human trials. also is engineering speak as we explore our universe ||

Calderon, Francisco, Mexicali, B.C

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Hello every one did you heard about the water that does not wet?the polymer that changes color with small electrical stimulation? or paint that can detect if food is in good condition? All those things exist but we need to think how to use them in our daily life.example: the water for clean our laptops or electronics without damage. polymer for polarized our cars or glasses. the paint for make an application for our cell phones and Know if our food is good or not. I would like to know what you think about this

Brenda veyna, Mexicali Baja california

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am a student of engineering in energy at the Polytechnic University of Baja California and I think the future will need to have covered human needs such as the search   Make solar energy accessible due to lack of oil to look for new alternatives that offer us new options to supplement it and the new challenges we face engineers today will need to work day by day to advance technology .

Raul Pina Navarro, Mexicali B.C Mexico

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Nowadays emissions of carbon dioxide are a major problem on health because this damage and contaminating water, oxygen and contributing to climate change.This problem has have many years due to use of fossil fuels as the main energy source, without realizing that we are damaging our planet. Definitely is necessary to find a new control methods of emanation of carbon dioxide. Engineering is working in these methods which neutralize the carbon dioxide, but also how to find new ways to produce renewable energy and not depend on fossil fuels. One of the most efficient methods to control of carbon dioxide is the chemical method which neutralizes and transforms the gas in other element.

James Tomich, United States

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COMPLICATED SIMULATIONS FALL SHORT. Reconstructing a visualization of the real process in study will accelerate further model modifications for accelerating design and manufacturing to First-time-right!

Michael, Peru

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I work for an NGO in Peru that drills water wells and installs hand pump systems in remote villages. I would like to know if anyone is working on a hand pump system that is truly a VLOM (village level operation and maintenance) pump. Many systems claim to be, but still require a certain level of skill and tools to maintain. Is anyone working on a tool free system that can be assembled and disassembled by hand?

Omar, Mexico

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Support Vector Machines implemented in subthreshold VLSI synthesis of translinear CMOS circuits will enable high performance computations at low energy consumption. This will enable embedded artifitial intelligence in information processing, which in fact will enable wereable smart electronics. Floating Gate transistor will reduce the overall complexity of analog circuit design used in these subthreshold translinear synthesis of CMOS low power design.

nichole, chicago

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what is technology all about to engineers

Kevin, New York

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Where can you find types of engineering disciplines?

sneha kalra, agra

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nano tecnology is the future technology.we can make use of nano mites...sense of touch should be there in the future technology.

amin, importer

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dear sir/madam. i want prouduce. the solar sistem in my country , would you. please advice and help me for lates tecnologe. with best regards. mr.amin. ebrahim

Muir Kumph, Austria

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The ability to control and access the Hilbert space of many qubits will change forever the kinds of things that can be simulated and computed. The quantum physics is well understood now. See Wineland and Haroche's Nobel prize this year in physics. It now remains an essentially engineering challenge to build machines which are cold enough and have low enough levels of environmental noise to take the prototypes out of physics labs and put them to work in industry and economics. I vote strongly for quantum computing as the next grand challenge. A related challenge would be a novel form of cooling which makes achieving the microKelvin or lower temperatures easy.

Daniel Radcliffe, Quebec

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I love your ideas.

Rajankumthra Patel, Mumbai India

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Hello all, i am writing on the topic of making good clean energy affordable. By creating some type of paynt, ve can use solar energy to power our owens reducing the need to cook potatoes in vedges.

lucas, nebraska

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if possible is there sch ting as a mix of electornic engineering and nuclear i wish to study the isteps on some of the worlds most life saving medical matchines to make sure lives dont have to suffer.

balaji, india

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i have the thirst to do anything new ,,,,,, but i need an ignition ,,,,,,,,

Jamie walker, scotland

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A large gyroscope ball with rotation momentum held by large hydraulic arms acting like a hand on a hand gyroscope only 10000 times bigger! Solution for clean electricity generation solved! More energy output than input surely???

ANMOL KUMAR SINGH, INDIA

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HI I AM ANMOL KUMAR SINGH FROM INDIA. I AM A STUDENT OF ENGINEERING. I HAVE MADE A DESIGN ON WHICH THERE WILL BE NO EFFECT OF HEAT AT ANY TEMPERATURE. THIS DESIGN CAN HELP TO MAKE A HOUSE ON A HOT OR A COLD PLANET. THANK YOU

JOHN YOHNCKE, 308 WEST ARLEE STL MO

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HI MY NAME IS JOHN YOHNCKE LIVE IN STL MO 63125 BELONG TO A MOPED CLUB HERE THINK THAT MAZDA WOULD DOMINATE THE THE MOTORCYCLE WORLD WITH A ROTARY ENGINE BIKE MOTOR WOULD GIVE BETTER HANDELING GIVING BIKE GYRO EFFECT ON TURNS HELP ELIMINATE GETTING CROSSED UP AT HIGH SPEEDS AND HAVE LESS MAINTENANCE HOPE YOU CONSIDER THIS MARKET AND IDEA THANK YOU JOHN YOHNCKE

R.B. Raju, Mumbai, India.

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Hanging two equal weights at forward and backward outside a wheel makes the wheel stop, but slightly more weight at any one side than the other side makes the wheel run towards lesser-weight side. If the world realizes this clue, people will work in this direction to travel without touching the lessenning oxygen. The same clue can be used for two wheels attached to a round plank with coin type magnets fixed below it and right below this rotating plank, a fixed round plank with two single wires opposite to each at the place where it touches the magnets of above rotating plank. Bring out these two single wires from just below the smooth surface (for enabling the two wheels rotate - the weights used for the wheels should be for movement in one directionn i.e., one wheel pushes the other wheel from its back and the other wheel pushes the previous wheel in the same way, resulting the plank rotate) and connect these two wires to one hole of a fixed dummy plug with other hole connected to earthing. The speed of the rotating plank can be increased by adding more weight and draw the power from the plug.

RICHARD GOODING, USA

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I have been working on a theory on energy/fuel savings in many catagories. What I did was put a few thoeries from each subject and put them together. After awhile I started to see a pattern evolve. Anyhow , This theory has lead me to many levels . But, I will save you from the details . The following is what the theory can build. 1.) A semi truck that will run on the same fuel and get 100 miles to the gallon instead of 5-7 miles. The vehicle will only have to be modified under the hood and some different gauges installed on the dash. Accually the math adds to 140 miles to the gallon at 65 miles per hour. The number 100 is on a average for slower traffic and for in town or the city driving. The power plant will have more torque, produce very low emissions, quieter operating procedures, and a better jake braking system. 2.) Large farm equipment, That will be able to run on the same fuel or use gasoline. With a new propulsion unit. They will be able to run for 12 hours on 6 gallons of fuel instead of 200 gallons. This type of tractor will help the farmers out all over the world. The only modifications to the tractor is the same as the semi trucks. 3.) Automobiles that will be able to get up to 280 miles to the gallon and run on gasoline, diesel, hydrogen, or vegitable oil. What ever you prefer. They will get the same miles to the gallon. Gasoline is more accessable. They will produce less emissions, quieter, have more torque and more dependable. The price of the units will add only a thousand or two to the price of the vehicle new. If the vehicle is purchased from the factory without the motor. This can be installed in any vehicle. ( cars, trucks, suv's, sports cars, luxury cars etc...old or new) modification same as above. 4.) A propulsion unit and electric generating unit for boats ranging from 40 feet to 1000 feet that would use no fuel to operate at all. NO WIND,SOLAR, BATTERIES, OR ANY FOSSIL FUELS AT ALL. The weight and the speed of the boat will be its fuel supply only. With the combined theories, I was able put together a platform that will allow the vessals to operate at 8 miles per hour to top speeds with no consumption of any fuels. This propulsion unit will allow the boat to travel as far as you want as long as you stay above a minimum speed. The Propulsion Units will be more dependable, vibration free, a major noise reduction, have more torque, and produce less emissions. 5.) A Generating Unit for homes, offices, schools, hospices, churches, etc... That will take all the utility bills for the home and reduce them to what a 100 watt light bulb uses burning it 24/7/365 days a year. No hike in the bill from the grid in any season. 6.) A passenger aircraft seating 2-20 people can be able to fly without the need of fuel after the aircraft becomes airborne. The aircrafts propulsion unit will be a air induction system that would use the air that passes over the fuselage and wings as the fuel supply. The airplanes will be able to fly anywhere in the world without stopping to refuel. If you wanted to start in the UNITED STATES and fly around the world at 70,000 feet on cruise control at 400+ miles per hour for a week or more and not ever need fuel. This is the aircrafts propulsion unit you would need. This will do a few more incredable achievements for the future. I am writing to see if we can work together in getting these from theory on paper and blue print form. To a product and to the factory floor sir. I do not know how to get funding for things like this. I will come to your city to build these or anywhere you want me to. I will not need any money but 10 dollars a hour and a place to stay while I'm there. I will want to be a partner on all patents and for your state or city to have the rest of the monies made from these in the future. The facility, tools, and the purchase of the materials to build each proto-type will have to be provided.

Mike Wagner, Indiana

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I am not an engineer, nor do I have experience with fusion technology. But, I am interested in emerging green technology. One idea that sounds crazy on the surface, but may spark thought (no pun intended) is to develop a conductive high altitude baloon system over the Aura Borealis area in Alaska. It seems the magnetic energy creates hghly charged particles that interact with lower levels of atmospheric gases, which casts the beuatiful colors in the sky. Sounds like free energy, courtesy of mother nature. I can't imagine air traffic being an issue. Certainly no wildlife concerns at that altitude. The only real issue is storing the power and transferring it to populated areas. However, with advancement in battery technology, I think by the time a system were built, the power transfer could easily be solved.

Barry Bowdidge, San Diego, CA

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I have the plans but need an engineering firm to help with a "Strip City Building Machine". This can be used over and under any road to implement the latest technologies and environmental enhancements. This will solve a major portion of the population problem in a totally new way.

Natalie Stevens, England

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I have a simple, inexpensive idea for creating safe drinking water

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Tamkang Univ.,Taiwan, R.O.C.

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HARNESSING THE GRAVITATION ENERGY CAN SAVE HUMAN BEINGS FROM EXTINCTION; YET, THE PRICE COULD BE VERY HIGH. THE WORLD CIVILIZATION WILL BE SUBJECT TO SERIOUS IMPACT VERY SOON AND THERE IS NO SIGN OF WARMING AT ALL. With great advances in the techniques of harnessing the gravitation energy, the world is entering into the “Era of Energy Revolution”. Here, the “Era of Energy Revolution” is defined as the era that using no fossil fuels and the primary energy source comes from the gravitation. Using gravitation energy to generate the electricity has many advantages: (1) it can be generated at any time and at any place on the surface of the planet; (2) it uses no fossil fuels and generates no carbon dioxide; (3) once the system is installed then the electricity is free of generating cost. Accompany with the progresses in the gravitation energy, the world has started incubating an artificially-created mega tsunami. This mega tsunami is still rapidly gaining more energy thru politicians’ and entrepreneurs’ wrong decisions. In no time, our civilization will be subject to serious impacts by this mega tsunami. The domino effect will further deteriorate the whole situation. Right now, the worst thing is that there is no sigh of warming at all and the time of taking the necessary steps is running up. This mega tsunami arises from the fact that the world big problems such as the earth warming, energy shortage and clean water problems can be solved simultaneously due to the discovery of the methods of using the gravitation energy to generate the electricity. Some eight years ago, just a few weeks after the method of transferring the gravitation energy to a liquid’s potential energy was found, the method of transferring the gravitation energy to electricity was discovered also. This electricity generating system has a very unique feature: it purely uses the gravitation as its energy source. The common question about the loss of the energy during operating, for example the energy loss due to friction, is solved by repeatedly refueling the lost energy from gravitation energy. Despite the fact that the paper describing this electricity generating system still haven’t been published, the world is still marching into the Era of Energy Revolution, and there is no way to stop it. The relevant paper is still waiting for being published. The patent of this electricity generating system has been filed already. It is mandatory that the content of this filed patent will be open to public after a fixed period of time. This due day is just a few months from now. Simple, very low construction cost and free of electricity generating cost is very appealing to ordinary people. No political power can stop people from using it. It is time that we can really get rid of using fossil fuels and start healing our wounded earth. The future perspective seems very appealing. Don’t you think it is time to celebrate this very special moment? “Wait a minute, my dear friends”. I don’t think it is time even to think anything about the celebration. Before we can enjoy this great achievement, our civilization will be subject to serious impacts. Consider the impacts of this system to the energy industries and the subsequent domino effects on world financial, the possible impacts are quiet obvious and the results are beyond our imagination. Am I bluffing? You judge it. Time will tell everything and it is not very far away from now. No. 19, Nov. Dec. 5, 2010

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Tamkang Univ.,Taiwan, R.O.C.

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My dear friends, I haven’t submitted any comment to this web page for quite a long time. I think that it is time to write this comment to share with you the cutting edge results in the researches of the renewable energy. In early 2003, it was found that the universal gravitation is not just a kind of force existed in the universe, it is also a kind of renewable energy. Nevertheless, this result had never been released until late Oct. 2010. In the conference Green IT 2010, Singapore, Oct. 25-26, a paper with title “Universal Gravitation: An Ultimate Renewable Energy” written by Yuh-Huei Shyu disclosed the techniques of transferring the intangible gravitation to tangible potential energy (www.greenitconf.org). One can find the complete design of this system in the conference proceeding. To one’s great surprise, the theoretical foundation of this system is not a new theory. Instead, it is based on Pascal’s principle, an important physical principle that has existed for more than three hundred years long (Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662). Whenever we talk about the Pascal’s Principle, the hydraulic lifts come to one’s mind first. In a hydraulic lift, we used to exert a small amount of pushing down force on the small piston, and then derive a large amount of lifting up force on the big piston. Here is an interesting question “If we exert a large amount of pushing down force on the big piston, then what would happen on the small piston?” One might think that it is not a good idea to do it in this way because one can only get a small amount of lifting up force. This is very true if we only focus on the lifting force derived. Nevertheless, this is the correct move if we are interested in transporting the liquid stored at lower water level to location at higher water level. It is worthy to point out that the big force on the big piston can be derived by putting a heavy object on the big piston and have the gravitation to generate the desired pushing down force. The discovery of gravitation energy has a very profound implication: it has shown that human beings are now capable of generating the renewable energy which was thought as gift from the nature. No. 18, 2010-11-14

Miguel Prazeres, Lisbon, Portugal

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Using uncommon approaches to solving engineering challenges may result in finding unexpected but nevertheless valuable solutions. One of such approaches is Biomimicry. The core idea is to look into Nature's technologies, find out how organisms solve specific problems (e.g. energy saving, resource storage and production, communication and transportation) and then abstact the key concepts and design principles in order to generate a new solution (product, process, strategy). More information can be found in the following web sites: Ask Nature: The Biomimicry Design Portal (http://www.asknature.org/). The Biomimicry Institute (http://biomimicryinstitute.org/).

Pradeep velur, India

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I am Pradeep doing MSc Biotechnology in India.I have ideas to create artificial skin membrane to stop infections on burnt patients. So i want to work on it to develop and save patients from infections.

Gregory, spartanburg,sc

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I think The Venus Project to happen is what is needed.

Michael, California

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Three steps: 1. Slow down 2. Reverse 3. Stop THE AGING PROCESS

Guillem, Barcelona

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REducing waste at our homes and offices is my main concern. We need to manage consumption (smart grid), reduce energy and water waste at buildings (better building/home automation) and how to connect everything. So the first thing is to have and standard for devices communications, like CAN for automotive applications. Ideally with no extra wiring (which means wireless or Power Line Communications). I hope others will work on building techniques to reduce impact, enhance carbon trapping and others. The point is: where to start?

Post-Science, California, USA

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A Technical Guide on How to Think Post-Science for Non-Expert Thinkers Here we try to give a technically guide to non-experts on how to think post-science solutions of value, software, and touch. The problem of software is the complete automating of software. Touch is collision without bouncing off. The forward accounting equation of cash flows: Cash Return = Sum of Cash Flows + Cash from Resale is accepted by all the real estate professionals. In fact, it is used in almost all commercial valuation software systems based on the discounted cash flow method. The accounting equation has two prices, the current price and the resale price, which is in the last term, Cash from Resale. The difference between the commercial Discounted Cash Flow Method and the Infinite Spreadsheet, the commercialized post-science solution of value, is that the former uses just one accounting equation, and the later solves for a set of an infinite number of equations of the same form, for the price and all the resale prices to infinity in time. The Infinite Spreadsheet is illustrated at http://www.infinitespread sheet.com. Its main advantage in practice over the Discounted Cash Flow Method is that by taking the calculation to infinity in time, it requires one less input, namely, the resale price. The key to understand the completely automated software is to realize that human beings have been created with Associative Memory. In contrast, computers have Direct Access Memory. The Associative Memory remembers things by association and allows human beings to access an unlimited amount of information, for example, from a computerized library system, which uses a tree-structured, numerical multiple-choice user interface, and which is also the Universal User Interface in the completely automated software system. The numerical answers to the Universal User Interface form the Universal Computer Source Codes. Thus, the computer handles the integer answers, which is the native language of the machine, and the user reads the explanations to the integer choices in native human language or universal multi-media expressions. All the programs are generated, as all the proteins are generated by DNA, which corresponds to the Universal Computer Source Code. The Address of the statement generating statement is remembered, again, by the Human Associative Memory; to access the Address, the user moves down the same tree-structured, numerical choice questions, but, instead of generating the statement, a flag is set before hand requesting the generator to generate the Address. The Address corresponds to the Universal Permanent Numbers, which can be used as globally searchable numerical names for permanently fixed entities, such as books, journal articles, people, land, and globally transactional merchandizes. The meanings of the unlimited amount of Universal Permanent Numbers are remembered and manipulated by the completely automated software. Most current search engines are designed for searching news items, which change continuously. The solution of touch is best understood from the mechanism of prolonged contact in sports, such as tennis, table tennis, and golf. Ordinarily, a ball bounces off a racket after an impact. At some point in time during the impact, the ball and the racket surface will have the same position and the same velocity, but different accelerations, usually at the expanding phase of the racket surface. Two objects will move together, if they have the same position, velocity, acceleration, jerk, kick, etc. What is needed in prolonged contact is to create the required acceleration at the moment when the ball and the racket surface have the same position and velocity. Can the acceleration be changed instantaneously? That the acceleration, unlike the position and the velocity, can be changed suddenly could be considered the Law of Touch. If one can time the precise moment to accelerate the racket, one can achieve prolonged contact, say, from the usual 4 milliseconds for tennis to 7 or 8 milliseconds. Roger Federal, possibly the world best created robot, has demonstrated prolonged contact with his forehand stroke in tennis. Ta-You Wu, the Father of Chinese Physics, coins the word “jumpulse” to denote a sudden change of force, while Newton’s impulse is a sudden change of momentum. Touch is permanent contact, requiring the precise timing and the exact amount of jumpulse, which has a weight unit, with one newton equals one wu. Your comments will be greatly appreciated. HC February 17, 2010

Hugh Ching, California

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Two-Minute Video on Post-Science The solution of value can solve the economic problems of allocation and distribution. We must break down all the technical barriers to computer usage, so that even a homeless can program a computer and that society will always be able to achieve full employment. The solution of software or completely automated software can provide Technical Freedom to software, while free and open source software provides Economic Freedom to software. All the physical work should be done by robots. Robots should be self-manufactured. Human should just program the robot software, which improves the operation of the self-manufacture robots. All the software should be completely automated software, so that it can be auto-updated to future versions. The value to the robots should be pre-determined by the solution of value. The most difficult problem in robotics is how to make the robot come into contact with an uncontrolled environment safely. Today, no robot can touch, which is the problem of dynamic contact, unsolved by Newton and all the scientists since Newton. Post-Science Institute has solved the problems of value, software, touch, and computer graphics needed for the construction of robots based on homotopy.

NOM, NZ

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Oh dear, your page has been spammed by the so-called president of Vulvox, Neil Farbstein. He persistently spams tech websites with drivel, claiming to have breakthroughs in nanothech, genetic engineering and even cold fusion, trying to con people into investing in his bogus company.

Timothey Adam, Koksijde (Belgium)

"Many universities talk about the grand challenges of engineering, but not many actually promote student involvement with these challenges" 

I've been thinking about my engineering/college experience that I'm about to start. Many universities talk about the grand challenges of engineering, but not many actually promote student involvement with these challenges (sure, their allowed to work on it, but the university in many cases prefers the 'senior' researcher to look into it). I've also thought about senior projects, and how they should be relevant to society. Now what if we combine the two: let the students (with their originality and open-mindedness) create innovation in the 14 challenge areas as their senior projects. Maybe this could be promoted by a inter-university competition or an annual prize for each of these areas. To the students, this might be a good way also to promote hands-on learning and creative thinking. Timothey Adam California Polytechnic Institute (SLO, CA) Class of 2013

Eddie, New Albany

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I think the idea of VR is an interesting concept. I think schools impliment this into their daily routin to help people with disability's and people with phobiea's of public speaking.

Neil Farbstein, Vulvox inc.

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Vulvox breakthrough collectors will be able to generate electricity with 50% efficiency or greater. The dual solar thermal-photovoltaic system will wrest approximately twice as much power from an area as regular solar thermal or photovoltaic energy systems. Our technology can be used to retrofit existing parabolic troughs and solar power towers to increase their efficiency. Besides applications at utility scale solar power plants that are contributing electricity to the California power grid, they will also have an important advantage in the upcoming industry of rooftop solar power. Apartment buildings, skyscrapers and industrial buildings all have flat roofs that can accommodate our solar power systems and the greater efficiency of dual thermal-photovoltaic energy generation systems will make it cost competitive with other generation systems. The Vulvox collectors will not depend upon complicated advances in quantum or solid state physics. Our novel combination photovoltaic-solar thermal collectors will achieve the unprecedented efficiencies predicted here by means of relatively simple modifications to solar energy equipment; modifications that can be developed at a moderate cost. The Vulvox solar system will generate higher power levels than competing parabolic troughs and solar power towers, while retaining all of the storage capabilities of solar thermal power. Besides the inherent efficiency advantages of this collection system, we are sure we can add other modifications that will increase energy collection and electricity generation beyond those efficiencies. Modifications to increase the heat flow rate of the thermal collectors are an example. Every time a photovoltaic panel system is upgraded and increases in power we can substitute it for a lower power panels used in previous "builds." and the higher power panels can be used in upgraded combination PV-solar thermal collectors with higher efficiency. Also, every time solar thermal systems are upgraded they can be combined with the latest practical photovoltaic collectors to keep the next generation combination systems cost competitive and to keep their efficiency higher than all other collection systems. Contact us for more information. HTTP://VULVOX.TRIPOD.COM PROTN7@ATT.NET

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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SOLVING THE EARTH WARMING IS VERY IMPORTANT, YET, SOLVING THE WORLD FINANCIAL TSUNAMI IS MUCH MORE URGENT. THE CAPABILITY OF BEING ABLE TO SOLVE THE FINANCIAL TSUNAMI IS AN UNEXPECTED BONUS TO THE GES’s (Gravitational Energy System) FUNCTIONS. APPARENTLY, THE ADOPTION OF GES IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT WAY TO SOLVE THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS. Theoretically, current financial tsunami can be solved easily if we could quickly and dramatically increase the global economic activities. Increasing the economic activities is very appealing when the business is blooming and the prospect of the future is bright. On the contrary, if the future of the business is gloom, then the investors won’t make any investment. It then turns out to be the governments’ responsibility to increase the economic activities. Despite that the governments has all means to increase the economic activities, they have no privilege of free from failure. When using political power to solve a problem, very often a compromised mean is an unavoidable result. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Whether or not the governments’ strong involvement will successfully solve the financial tsunami is still a question. No government has confident on solving this problem so far. The best things what they can do are trying to stop the situation of deterioration. We need to look at this crisis from different aspects and figure out cheaper feasible solutions. The government is the last mean to solve this problem. The better ways to solve crisis are to allure investors to make large investments and to awake ordinary people to do more consuming activities. These two moves will solve the unemployment problem and have the world economy back to the good old days. Everybody knows how to solve the financial crisis. The main problems left are “How to attract investors make large investment?” and “How to persuade ordinary people to do more consuming activities?” The answer is very simple “LET THE INVESTORS SEE LOTS OF MONEY LAID IN FRONT OF THEM AND LET ORDINARY PEOPLE SEE THEIR BRIGHT FUTURE.” It is the show time of GES. The adoption of GES will have us enter into the era of “ENERGY REVOLUTION”. The life in this era is beyond one’s imagination: “ENERGY IS FREE”. Every house is supplied by enough electricity with free of charge or very, very low price for all year around. The reason is very simple: a method of transferring out the intangible gravitation energy to electricity has been discovered. The cost to construct this kind of power plant is much cheaper than conventional ways. Once the construction is completed, no material needs to be consumed in order to generate the electricity. GES will have people enjoy the life of free energy. But wait a minute, before we can enjoy the benefit of free energy, GES needs to be widely deployed. GES is not fully compatible to current energy generating systems. This is a bad news, yet, it is also a “BIG GOOD NEWS”. On the one hand, it is a bad news, because many businesses will be withered. Therefore, many people will loss their jobs very soon. On the other hand, it is a big good news, because GES will open a new dimension of markets. For example, “Saving energy and reducing carbon” has long been a doctrine right now. This is not correct in the era of energy revolution. In the era of energy revolution, saving energy very often means that “wasting of material”. It is really not correct. It is not hard to figure out how many current used equipments and systems need to be modified to fit into this new era. GES will not only have investors see their business future, but also will have ordinary people see their good free energy’s life. Do we have any other system can do all of this? 2009-03-10, No.17

john wylie, Santa Cruz, Ca

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I am UC Berkley Mech. Engineering Grad. 1962. I strongly urge the comittee to give serious consideration to HIF (Heavy-Ion ignition Nuclear Fusion) technology. Financially motivated opposition have created a widly accepted Myth thru their propaganda, that this technology is 30 to 50 years in the future........Though there are daunting economic and engineering challanges, many respected scientests believe that 4 cent per kwh electricity (competitive or better than coal) can be produced within the next 10 years, and at a payback which makes this look like the only realistic avenue to real energy independence. Help give Heavy-Ion Fusion a fair evaluation?????

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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NO EXTRA CAPABILITY HAS BEEN ADDED TO THE GES (GRAVITATIONAL ENERGY SYSTEM) EVER SINCE IT WAS DESIGNED SIX YEARS AGO. IN THESE DAYS, THE ATTITUDES OF THE MODERATOR OF THIS WEBSITE AND SOME SCIENTISTS WHO HAS BEEN READING MY COMMENTS HAVE CHANGED. SOME SCIENTISTS START REALIZING THE POSSIBILITY OF TRANSFERRING OUT THE ENORMOUS ENERGY FROM THE EARTH GRAVITATION. In my last comment, I listed eleven world grand problems and claimed that GES can solve them all. This claim sounds very unbelievable. Am I bluffing? Of course not! In fact, nothing is new here if you ever carefully read my comments. Under the condition “Electricity can be sufficiently supplied with very, very low cost”, there is no doubt that these problems can be solved easily. After I submitted my last comment, I didn’t expect that it will be posted because it is totally beyond contemporary scientists’ comprehension. In that comment, I had a chance to give a much clear picture to explain the power of GES. I am glad that it didn’t get rejected. The deep rooted doctrine of the “Principle of Energy Conservation” has been making all of my comments unbelievable. The posting of my comments with marks “No.07” and “2008-10-13” at their ending is a big mental progress in attacking the energy related world problems. The posting of my last comment reinforces this kind of progress. Let me summarize here what mental progress has been made. The old PRINCIPLE OF ENERGY CONSERVATION is stated as follows. “The total amount of energy remains constant in an isolated environment.” It is obvious that the factor of gravitation had never been taken into a serious consideration when this principle was proposed. In deed, if we neglect the factor of gravitation then isolated environments do exist. Every one knows that this is one of the most important principles in physics. Despite the fact that this principle is not clearly defined, it has been used to solved many big problems in the history of physics. Since that the gravitation penetrates any physically existed environment, therefore, there really exists no isolated environment. The gravitation of planets is an important energy resource, therefore, we can’t restrict scientists not to designing systems to transfer this kind of energy out. Once a scientist plays with the gravitation, then his system doesn’t need to obey the old principle of energy conservation. To play with the gravitation, let me give a “revised” PRINCIPLE OF ENERGY CONSERVATION as follows. “The total amount of energy remains constant in an environment that the quantity contribution of the gravitation from this environment to the energy equation is negligible.” Therefore, given a system if it doesn’t contain any design trying to transfer out the gravitational energy then it still obeys the old principle of energy conservation. It is interesting to notice that the statement “The total amount of energy remains constant” is correct (so far), and the statement “The total amount of energy DOESN’T remains constant” is also nothing wrong. The only problem is that “Can we find a design that could transfer out the gravitational energy?” My last comment revealed what I always want, yet, had gotten no chance to say before. After reading it, one should have noticed that the impact of GES on our future society will be very deep and hard. FURTHERMORE, SINCE THAT GES IS A MATURE TECHNOLOGY. THEREFORE, ONCE IT IS DISCLOSED, THEN THE WHOLE WORLD WILL FACE THE TIME, NAMELY, “THE CONSTRUCTIVE DESTRUCTION” VERY, VERY SOON. Now, let’s back to the GES. Most scientists would think that GES is too good to be true. How could an unknown mathematician know everything about the technologies of constructing a power plant? What is the odds that he knows everything? You are right, he doesn’t know everything. Nevertheless, he knows what component can be acquired from the market. For example, if I can find a very good wind field, then I don’t have to design a wind turbine from scratch because I can buy it from the market. What is the next step? Some scientists would think that GES’s inventor should implement its prototype and then demonstrates its functionalities. This kind of thought is really not correct at all. Prototype’s construction often takes time and money. The construction of a prototype takes place only when its design has been proved to be correct and worthy of further investigation. Right now, besides the GES’s inventor, the rest of the world scientists really have no idea how it works. The technology of even just transferring a small amount of the gravitational energy out is not an easy thing. Don’t mention that the technology of transferring out the energy in a large quantity. GES is the ONLY way and the BEST way to solve THE ENERGY RELATED WORLD GRAND PROBLEMS so far. Therefore, transferring out the GES and then have more scientists to do further development is the only right thing that we should do immediately. 2009-01-24, No.15

Allyn Norton, PENC, Wilmington, NC

"The success of alternate energy through sun, solar, etc., in lieu of hydrocarbons, depends on large scale storage and retrieval, for base and level loading.  If adequate storage cannot be forseen today, what are the energy strategies which must be selected in lieu of practical national level energy storage? " 

The success of alternate energy through sun, solar, etc., in lieu of hydrocarbons, depends on large scale storage and retrieval, for base and level loading. The US Dept. of Energy Research Programs do not target storage beyond 4 hours when, in fact, 12 hours minimum appears needed. What are the alternate energy storage strategies scalable to national base electrical loading? What are the alternatives to having such large storage technologies ? Be specific please and not just that we need all energy sources simultaneously. Given the future potential for national scale energy storage, what will be the subsequent role of atertnate renewable energy generation? If adequate storage cannot be forseen today, what are the energy strategies which must be selected in lieu of practical national level energy storage?

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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IN THE UNKNOWN WORLD, THERE EXISTS LOTS OF TRUTH AND FACTS THAT CONTRADICT WHAT WE THINK IN OUR CURRENT KNOWN WORLD. This comment might sound like plots of a science fiction, but, it is not. Still, all what I wrote here are truth or facts. This comment will reveal something to challenge the limits of contemporary scientists’ imagination and their knowledge spaces. The GES (Gravitational Energy System) is an electricity generating system which can transfer out the gravitation force and generate a large volume of electricity at any time and any place. GES has been well designed and proved long time ago. If I tell you that GES has been proved more than two thousand times, then you might not believe it. Yet, it is not exaggerated at all. A workable GES was designed almost 6 years ago. Every night before the designer falling asleep, GES was brought up from his memory and undertook the most stringent review. Thru these repeated processes, every minor error was corrected and better structure was discovered. Right now, the GES is not just a piece of machine; it is a piece of ART. Therefore, despite the fact that, no one except its designer have ever seen GES, it has been proved more than two thousand times so far. Objectively speaking, GES might be the most important system that human beings ever made so far. If you think that the designer of GES is very arrogant, then you are totally wrong. The designer is not arrogant at all. The real arrogant one is the GES itself. You may not have a clear picture of what can GES do. Now, let’s consider the following world problems: (1). Energy shortage problem, (2). Power plants and vehicles pollution problems, (3). Earth warming problem, (4). Clean water shortage problem, (5). Food shortage problem, (6). Desertification problem, (7). Power transportation problem, (8). Environmental protection problem, (9). Power supply after catastrophes problem, (10). Power supply after landing MARS, (11). Financial Tsunami problem. Above problems pretty much cover the biggest problems that we are facing now. Can you tell me how long and how much cost should we spend to solve them all? Can you imagine that GES can solve them all. Am I kidding? Absolutely no, I am very serious. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these problems. (1). Energy shortage problem: Gravitation is a mysterious force existed in Nature. It is invisible and intangible. In daily life, we even don’t notice its existence. Hydraulic power system may be the best example that we use the gravitation force. Comparing the impact of an asteroid against a planet, we know that the gravitation force is enormous and it has been an unknown world how to extract the intangible gravitation force. GES cleverly transfer out the gravitation force and generate a large volume of electricity. Using GES to generate electricity, we can have stable power supply at any time and any place. Therefore, GES will solve the problem of fossil fuels’ running out. (2). Power plants and vehicles pollution problems: Once GES is adopted, it will replace all other ways of generating electricity. Thereafter, power plants’ pollution will be under controlled. Furthermore, car driven by fuels will gradually be abandoned. Hydrogen, electric and air cars will be widely accepted. They run in the way of without fuel cost (Energy is FREE). Pollution problems will be solved magically. Can you imagine that? (3). Earth warming problem: Once power plants and vehicles pollution problems are solved, the earth warming problem will be solved automatically. (4). Clean water shortage problem: We don’t have the water shortage problem at all. Nevertheless, we have the water distribution problem. Some areas have too much water while some areas have too little . Eventually, big rivers will have their water flow to oceans. Using the very, very low cost power generated by GES, we can transport large volume of water thru a long distance journey to those areas that need it before it flows to ocean. Using GES, clean water shortage is no longer a world problem at all. (5). Food shortage problem: Using energy generated by GES to control the temperature of the greenhouse. A large volume of food can be produced even in the arctic or desert. Food shortage is really not a problem at all. (6). Desertification problem: The sandstorm caused by desertification is a big world problem now. With GES we can massively transport water to desert. We can stop the deterioration of the desertification. Furthermore, we can do more constructive desert modification. This will provide large number of job opportunities. (7). Power transportation problem: Basically, GES is constructed locally. There is no need of long distance power transportation. (8). Environmental protection problem: GES produces no carbon dioxide, environmental protection is thus enhanced. (9). Power supply after catastrophes problem: Power supply is always a big problem in disaster areas. GES can be built in modules. To assemble these modules is very easy. (10). Power supply after landing MARS: GES can supply sufficient and stable power after landing MARS. (11). Financial Tsunami problem: GES will lead us to the era of energy revolution. The adoption of GES will have us to start solving the problems listed above. We can create a large number of job opportunities. Therefore, financial tsunami can be solved in a very short period of time. Am I writing a chapter of a science fiction? Of course not. Everything I wrote here is based on the existence of GES and its functionalities. Until the discovery of GES, the enormous energy hidden behind the gravitation has long been an unknown world. There is no doubt that earth gravitation is the biggest energy source that we can use. The adoption of GES will make the other ways of power generation obsolete. It is not a dream at all that every house on the Earth can be provided by enough electricity with FREE OF CHARGE. All of this is not a magic at all. It just happen to be that human beings’ daily life heavily depend on energy, and GES can transfer the gravitation energy out without any cost. Despite all good news about GES you have just read, there remains a final question “Are we ready to transfer out GES from its inventor and start solving the world problems?” I don’t know, and you tell me. 2008-01-07, No.14

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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Writing comments is different from writing facts. While writing comments of a proposed solution of Grand Challenges, one can add personal views, conjectures, feelings and imagination to it without worrying about their feasibilities. On the contrary, while writing the facts of a solution to the Grand Challenges, all what one can write are facts, truth and nothing else. I wrote a few numbers of comments on this web site before. One thing I would like to point out is that all what I wrote are truth, facts and nothing beyond. Before I start making any point, I would like to confess that I am the one who have solved the earth warming problem. I use the first-people “I” to play as the role of an objective observer. Besides, I use “the inventor” of the system that solves the earth warming problem as the inventor himself. Using different roles to explain things have the advantage that I can explain facts of this revolutionary system from a very objective aspect. Writing the facts of the solution to the Grand Challenges for this web site is a very hard task for me. The main reason is that the gap between my knowledge space and contemporary scientists’ understanding about the Grand Challenges is very big: (1). No scientist expects that the earth warming problem can be solved. Don’t mention that it was solved by a unknown mathematician. Therefore, the fact that “The earth warming problem has long been solved” is regarded as a plot of a science fiction. (2). The solution involves a direct defying of the “Principle of The Energy Conservation”. Despite the arguments proposed in the posted comments are logically correct from theoretical aspect, yet, scientists are still skeptical about the existence of the real system. (3). The claim that we can generate a large volume of energy from gravitation is unthinkable and unacceptable to scientists. There exists no previous recorded experiment so far. Many scientists think that it only exists in the virtual world. (4). “Borrow the power and then use it” is a very deep Chinese philosophic theory. Many scientists would think that it is just an abstract slogan. There is no clue how this theory can be adopted in generating large volume of energy. (5). Writing facts based on this existed revolutionary system is very easy for me. Nevertheless, since that this solution is beyond contemporary scientists’ imagination, therefore, many facts I wrote about the system are regarded as nonsense. Every scientist has his own unique background, therefore, it is very hard for me to tell whether or not the designated fact I wrote will be agreed by individual scientist. Behind the statement “the earth warming problem has long been solved long time ago”, something needs to be clarified. In fact, the earth warming problem is not solved directly. The real fact is that it is an inevitable consequence of adopting the energy generating system. To be more specifically, the method of using earth gravitation to generate a large volume of electricity has been discovered. The generating can take place at any time and any place. It will eventually replace contemporary power plants using fuels, coal or nuclear. It will also make the solar energy, wind power and hydraulic power generating obsolete. When this time comes, the earth warming problem will be solved automatically. If you ask me how long do we need to make this kind of system work? Here, I can firmly tell you that if I can transfer this system to leading research groups, then, one year would be enough for a workable prototype system. The cost is cheaper than any known existed power plant. People add new knowledge to their knowledge base, whenever new knowledge coincides with their old knowledge and believing. Wrong interpretation about the “Principle of Energy Conservation” has been deeply rooted in scientists’ knowledge world. It’s just very hard to get rid of its bad influence. No matter how many times I have pointed out that the “Principle of Energy Conservation” has a precondition, namely, “In an isolated environment”, I believe that a very high percentage of scientists still believe that counterexample never exists. Breaking the myth of the principle of the energy conservation is the first step to find the “free” energy. Nevertheless, this is still not good enough. What we are dealing is the most mysterious energy resource, namely, the gravitation. You can’t see it, you can’t touch it and you can’t feel it (except those astronauts who ever visit the outer-space). There is nothing like the so called “INCREMENTALLY TRANSFER OUT THE GRAVITATION”. In other words, there is a big gap between current energy transferring techniques and future energy transferring techniques that can transfer “a little bit more” energy out from the environment. It doesn’t mention that how hard it could be if we want the “extra” energy becomes “a large volume”. The truth is that it takes at least three more “BIG BREAKTHROUGHS” to solve the problem. Here, each big break through is related to an alien concept and a technology’s breakthrough. The most important thing is that unless all of these three breakthroughs are achieved, one can’t get a large volume of electricity at any time and any place. Two months have passed since I submitted my last comment. For quite a long time I hesitated to write any more comments to this web site. All I know are truth and facts, and this seems not fit to the purpose of this web site. From my knowledge space, there are so many facts that contradict to public believing. Therefore, it took me quite a long time to decide to write this comment. This world needs this revolutionary system. Therefore, writing more facts about the system may be the best policy for me right now. 2008-12-17, No.13

Yuh-HUei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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The earth warming problem has been solved by a mathematician many years ago. The inventor's system use gravitation to generate a huge volume of electricity. The processes involved generate no carbon dioxide at all, therefore, it can be used to replace contemporary power plants using fossil fuel, coal or nuclear. Furthermore, this system will make solar energy and wind power generating obsolete. Does this system really exist? I believe that many of you want to know more about this. This is a question that is very easy to be answered. Yet, it is also a question that is very hard to be answered. It is very easy, because all it takes is a short time demonstration. From another aspect, this question is very hard to be answered. Nowadays, there exists no mechanism that will provide basic respect and secure technology transfer for the individual inventor; therefore, it is very hard to answer this question. Nevertheless, before the inventor can demo the whole system, I would like to help clarifying the system by asking the following questions. (1) Do you obey the doctrine of the principle of the energy conservation before? (2) Do you agree with the comments with date marked 2008-10-10 and 2008-10-13 at the end of the comments? (3) If you agree with these comments, then why do you think that this kind of system doesn't exist? On these questions, I think I have something to share with you. Physics is a science of observation. No matter how good a physicist could be, he can only perform a finite number of experiments. Experimental results are collected and analyzed. While analyzing the data, regular patterns are identified. If a designated regular pattern is so important, then it will be recognized as a "Law" or "Principle". Since scientists can not perform exhausted experiments for any regular pattern, therefore, it is a very wrong attitude to think that physics law and principle should be unconditional obeyed. I believe that every physics law and principle is true in the ordinary condition. Yet, I also believe that the validity of every physics law and principle has its limitation. If you don"t agree that the principle of energy conservation can be violated, then I can firmly tell you that you can't find the solution to the earth warming problem. Let me tell you one more thing "SOLAR ENERGY IS NOT THE BIGGEST ENERGY RESOURCE TO THE HUMAN BEINGS, BUT GRAVITATION IS." 2008-10-18, No. 10.

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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In my previous comment with date marked 2008-10-10 at the end of the comment, I wrote "The principle of energy conservation has long been regarded as correct is that the quantity contribution of gravitation to the energy equation in any recorded experiment was negligible." This is not correct statement. The correct description should be "The principle of energy conservation has long been regarded as correct is that the quantity contribution of gravitation FROM THE ENVIRONMENT to the energy equation in any recorded experiment was negligible." This means that the designers of previous recorded experiments never tried to acquire the energy from the environment. This concept seems very strange and hard to believe. For the rest of this comment, I will talk more about it. This concept has been existed for more than a thousand years. It came from the ancient Chinese martial art. The ancient martial art Tai Chi Chuan is well known to Westerners as the slow motion routines. One of the supreme guidelines of Tai Chi Chuan is, let me translate it from Chinese directly "Borrow the power and then use it." Acquire power from your enemy or environment and then use it. Now back to the earth warming problem. The principle of energy conservation has long been regarded as the doctrine that should not be violated. This doctrine is in fact not correct. One's imagination and creativity should not be blocked by this doctrine. In other words, one can imaging that to get more energy from the environment is nothing wrong. In fact, this is the only way to solve the earth warming problem. 2008-10-13.

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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The common images about the earth warming are that: it is an ultimate crisis, it is very hard, it hasn't been solved yet and it is likely to remain unsolved in the foreseeable future. Despite the future looks glooming, we never give up the hope that in the near future, some one in the world will magically find the solution and solve this problem. We are lucky, because the real situation is not that bad. The images are not totally correct: the "complete" solution (with complete proof) has long been discovered, say since February 2003. It might sound strange that the complete solution has long been found, because the public media has never heard about it and the earth warming problem remains. Nothing is strange about the inventor's behavior. The major problem is that there exists no appropriate way to transfer out this technology to proper parties and then use it to solve the earth warming problem. To be more specifically, let's assume that you are a mathematician and you discovered the solution to the earth warming problem; then, what would you like to do? I guess that: (1). You don't want to write a paper and then publish it, because plagiarism is very common in academia and you don't think that the editor has the privilege to read it before anyone else. (2). You don't want to apply for a patent, because that you don't trust the patent agent. Still, plagiarism is the major concern. (3). Virgin Earth Challenge provides handsome reward for people who can solve the earth warming problem. This really appeal to you. Yet, after you carefully read its competition guidelines, I don't think that you still want to attend this competition. This challenge apparently neglect the case of individual designing that carries no patent protection at all. Still plagiarism is the major problem. The earth warming is a very hard problem. It took inventor 3 and half years to figure out the whole thing. The experience has shown that people are still not ready to accept the fact that the earth warming problem has been solved. The inventor expects that it may take more time to transfer this technology out. What's a PITTY. I shall conclude this comment by pointing out that relevant authorities are not taking the right action to get the solution. and I also want to know: Do we really want to solve the earth warming problem? I am really confused. 2008-10-08

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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In my last comment, I pointed out that main stream scientists are working on a problem space that containing no "complete" solution to the earth warming problem at all. It seems that this is a rather subjective prejudice. Nevertheless, it is not true. Instead, the conclusion was based on the facts and objective deep observations. In this comment I will talk about this. Also in my last comment, I wrote "Main stream scientists are good in finding the innovational solutions, yet, they are too conservative to have the revolutionary concepts. It is very unlikely that the revolutionary solution will come from the main stream scientists." Also, main stream scientists would think that this conclusion is rather superficial and unacceptable. Still, on the contrary, this conclusion was based on long time very deep observations and thoughts. Therefore, in this comment I will share my theories behind all of this with you. Let me ask everyone of you who are now working on the project that will solve the earth warming problem:  Can your project COMPLETELY solve the earth warming problem? I will also ask everyone of you who plan to submit a proposal to solve the earth warming problem:  Can your project COMPLETELY solve the earth warming problem? If no one give me the answer "YES," then the correctness of my conclusion is clear. Nevertheless, it is still not correct yet, because, I never asked any main stream scientist this question. My conclusion was based on my assumption “If there exists a feasible project that will completely solve the earth warming problem, then, public media shall have some news reported.” Scientists often sale their ideas in public media in order to get funds to support their researches. On this, my conclusion purely based on my understanding about the behaviors of main stream scientists. As to the conclusion that the main stream scientists are unlikely to find the revolutionary solutions, my theories will lead to a rather interesting issue. It will take a while to explain the implications behind this conclusion. Now, let’s me share my observations with you. Before a scientist writing down his proposal to solve a problem, he needs visions (pictures) of a system that will solve the problem. The visions contain what functions will be supported, how these functions are implemented and how the problem is solved. No matter how he designs his system, he always keeps in mind the doctrine “In any design, no physics law or principle should be violated.” Now, let’s back to the earth warming problem. The major cause of the earth warming is that we use the method of burning to generate electricity. The doctrine here for the main stream scientists is the principle of energy conservation. This indicates that if you discard the method of burning to produce electricity, then you need an alternative way to produce electricity. The doctrine now is the principle of energy conservation. No scientist dares to propose a project that violates the energy quantities equation. No scientist would run the risk of ruin his academia reputation to propose a project that will gain free energy. This is why I said that they won’t have any chance to get revolutionary solutions. Here comes the highlight of this comment. Now, let’s take a closer look at the principle of energy conservation. Consider the following two statements: (1) The total amount of energy remains constant in a system. (2) The total amount of energy remains constant in an isolated system. Statement (2) is the principle of energy conservation. According to the principle of energy conservation statement (1) is not correct, because that if it is correct, then why should the constraint of “isolated” is put in (2). Now, if everyone agrees that statement (1) is incorrect, then can anyone give me a counterexample. No, I don’t think so, because I have never heard about it. Since no counterexample have ever been constructed, therefore, whenever people talk about the principle of energy conservation, they only care about its conclusion part ,whether or not the total amount of energy remains constant, and neglect its condition part, an isolated system. Is that right? Can you tell me? Don’t give me the answer right away. Now, it’s time to take a second look at the statement (2). A careful scientist must have noticed that there has never existed an isolated system in the universe, because gravitation will penetrate any physically existed system. The principle of energy conservation has long been regarded as correct is that the quantity contribution of gravitation to the energy equation in any recorded experiment was negligible. This implies an interesting question “If the energy quantity contribution of the gravitation in a system is not negligible, then will the principle of energy conservation still hold? No known result was reported. Its answer depends on whether or not one can design a system with energy quantity contribution of the gravitation is not negligible. This is hard, yet it is not impossible. The doctrine of principle of energy conservation deeply rooted in every main stream scientist’s mind. It blocks the growth of the seed of imagination and creativity, and this is why I say “It is very unlikely that the revolutionary solution will come from the main stream scientists.” From above discussions, you should have agreed with me that if one can’t let go the doctrine of principle of energy conservation, then he wouldn’t dare to propose a revolutionary solution. As to whether or not one can find the solution, it is another story. I can guarantee to you that it is very challenging. Now I do think that you do agree with what I said “we need alien theories and alien visions”. 2008-10-10, No.07

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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If there exists feasible technical solutions to the earth warming problem, then I must say that we are making a big mistake now: we are doing nothing constructive to solve the problem and we are wasting our precious time. Suppose that we are given a problem, and we are searching for its solution. If the searching space that we are working on doesn't contain any solution, then, no matter how hard we are trying, we are not going to get the solution. According to my observation I have the following conclusion: innovational systems can't "completely" solve the earth warming problem, and only revolutionary systems can solve the earth warming problem. Here, let me point out that the difference between an innovation system and a revolutionary system is that an innovational system will improve system's efficiency, while a revolutionary system will cause a paradigm shifting. Currently, tens of hundreds scientists are working on some innovational system and trying to solve the earth warming problem. Unfortunately, the solution space that they are working now doesn't contain any "complete" solution. They keep on working on it, and no one tell them that they are wasting their time (trying to solve the earth warming problem). To solve the earth warming problem, we need to work on the solution space that contains "complete" solutions. Now let me talk a little bit about the revolutionary system. To "completely" solve the earth warming problem, we need to discard the conventional way of burning fossil fuels to generate electricity. It seems to be very hard to get start with. Yes, it is very hard. If it doesn't, then we shall have the solution long time ago. Yet, I will give you a hint to start with. If you are sensitive and careful enough, you will recall that we have a very vague description about the definition "ENERGY". In fact, this leaves a big room for evolution. The evolution on this definition will lead to the revolutionary systems to solve the earth warming problem. This is what I mentioned in my previous comments: we need "alien concepts and alien visions" to solve this problem. What we need are summarized as follows. Revolutionary Concept 1: The innovational progress can't solve the earth warming problem. We need a REVOLUTIONARY solution. Revolutionary Concept 2: Main stream scientists are good in finding the innovational solutions, yet, they are too conservative to have the revolutionary concepts. It is very unlikely that the revolutionary solution will come from the main stream scientists. Revolutionary Concept 3: Whoever has found the revolutionary solution to the earth warming problem must has a new definition for the abstract concept "ENERGY". If only revolutionary systems can solve the earth warming problem, then we really don't care about how many more prospective scientists are thrown into this problem and how much more research budget are allocated to attack this problem. All what we care about is how to locate the very first person who can light us to the revolutionary solution. I shall conclude this comment by the following: It takes a talented and open-minded superior officer to take the right action and solve the earth warming problem.

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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What Should Be Known And What Should Not Be Done In Attacking The Earth Warming Problem. A conventional model to solve an engineering problem works as follows. Firstly, we analyze the problem. Secondly, we propose a workable proposal. Thirdly, after the proposal is approved, a project is then launched. Lastly, we finish the project and the problem is thus solved. Applying this model to the earth warming problem just doesn’t work. The earth warming problem remains unsolved for quite a long time. No sign indicates that it will be solved in the near future. It is time to take a closer look at this problem from its entirety. I am a scientist. I am also a deep thinker. I have 9 years of experience in investigating the energy shortage problem. I am surprised to find that energy shortage problem and the earth warming problems share the same solution. Therefore, the comments I submitted and to be submitted are based on my experience, and rather than on my imagination. The earth warming problem has following features that do not occur in conventional engineering problem: 1. It is a must-be-solved within a limited time problem. Without solving this problem, major catastrophes will occur frequently. 2. Any action taken to solve this problem may result in one of the following consequences: (a). It completely solves the problem without any side effect. (b). It completely solves the problem. Yet, it causes at least one serous problem. (c). It doesn’t solve the problem. Yet, it causes at least one serous problem. (d). It deteriorates the problem. (e). Nothing is changed. (f). Other cases. Any action taken often involves a large amount of expense, therefore, case (e) is very unlikely. To simplify the discussion, I use case (f) to absorb all other possibility. Case (a) is our goal and other cases seems to do no good to the world. From above observations, Earth warming problem is more than a problem, it is an ultimate crisis. Trial and error is a very common method in investigating an unknown problem. Nevertheless, this method is not a good idea in attacking the earth warming problem. Knowing the possible consequences of each action is very important before the action is taken. Without thoroughly evaluating possible side effects, the action taken may result in more serious problems. Therefore, before we start thinking about the ways to solve this problem, we need to clarify things that should not be done by any people. The action taken to attack this problem is not decided by the prospective scientists. It is decided by the politicians. The decision is often recommended by the consulting group. It is excited to involve in the team of solving the earth warming problem. Most people like to make the history and become the heroes of the history. Yet, this is a very dangerous thought, because that one often forgets that he can easily bring up more problem to the world. One often underestimates its serious side effects. A typical earth warming problem solving team is organized as follows: politician, consulting group, administrative personnel and prospective scientists. Things that should be known and should not be done by each of the member of the team is given as follows. Politicians: 1. We are looking for a complete solution that cause no side effect at all. 2. Need to evaluate all possible side effects whenever an action is adopted to attack the problem. 3. It is possible that this problem has no solution. Nevertheless, we can’t rule out the possibility that some scientific freak has solved this problem. 4. No one is authority in this problem, therefore, consulting group still can make very wrong recommendations. 5. Final decision on whether or not taking an action doesn’t depend on the number of votes. 6. Politicians need to have the courage to abort an ongoing action if unexpected side effects occur. Consulting group: 1. Don’t recommend any action that one doesn’t know well or one doesn’t have carefully evaluated its possible side effects. 2. A prestige scientist doesn’t know everything. Therefore, he shouldn’t give too much subjective opinions on things that he doesn’t know. 3. Trial and error is not a good method to attack this problem. 4. May be revolutionary (rather than innovational) concepts and principles are keys to the solution. It means that one should keep an open mind to think over the strange concepts whenever he encounters. 5. Need to have courage to make recommendation to abort an action if necessary. Administrative personnel: 1. Administrative personnel’s job is to help prospective scientists to finish their projects. 2. Inspiration is a very important factor for perspective scientists to get the clues of solutions. Administrative personnel should not do anything that will shut down the source of inspiration. For example, the mechanism of moderating the submitted comment of this web site is not a good policy. One need to know that a struggling prospective scientist is eager for inspiration from outsiders, especially when the only solution is the revolutionary one. A revolutionary solution is often unbelievable and sounds like a science fiction. Moderating the submitted comment will shut down one possible source that might lead to the solution. Perspective scientists: 1. The world needs a complete solution to the original problem, and rather than solutions to approximate problems. 2. Need to clearly point out possible side effects whenever derived methods are reported. 2008-09-14 No.5

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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I suggest the following problems be added to the list of the grand challenges. 1. Earth warming problem 2. Energy shortage problem 3. Desert modification 4. Power supply after catastrophe 2008-08-30 no.3

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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Behind grand challenges are vital problems for human beings. I classify these problems into 3 types: Type 1: The problem that if we can¡¦t solve it then it may result in the extinction of human beings. The earth warming problem is the representative. Type 2: The problem that if we can¡¦t solve it then it may result in the loss of tens of millions of human lifes. The world energy shortage problem is the representative. Type 3: Those problem that its solution can dramatically improve our life quality. In this type, we have various problems from different aspects. It is interesting to notice that the most vital problem ¡§the earth warming problem¡¨ is not on the list, instead, it is replaced by the challenge ¡§develop carbon sequenstration methods¡¨. Besides, the ¡§World energy shortage¡¨ problem is also not on the list. It is replaced by two challenges: 1. Make solar energy economical, and 2. Provide energy from fusion. The earth warming problem may result in the extinction of human beings. Nevertheless, voting result indicates that top two most important grand challenges are ¡§Make Solar Energy Economical¡¨ and ¡§Provide Energy From Fusion¡¨. It is worthwhile to point out that most scientists who voted have nothing related to these two challenges in their research works. Most of them are strangers to these two challenges. Neither the challenge ¡§Make solar energy economical¡¨ nor the challenge ¡§Provide energy from fusion¡¨ attracts scientists to cast their votes for them. In fact, it is the illusion that these two challenges will solve the ¡§World energy shortage¡¨ problem. Also, challenge ¡§develop carbon sequenstration methods¡¨ is ranked high. Voters thought that the success of this challenge will solve the earth warming problem. Here comes the question: Do we make the right descriptions about these two problems and do we make the right voting? My interpretation about the ¡§World energy shortage problem¡¨ is as follows. In the forseeable future, we will run out of oil. Therfore, we need to find new methods to generate enough power that are currently generated by using oil. I disagree to replace the world energy shortage problem by challenges ¡§Make solar energy economical¡¨ and ¡§Provide energy from fusion¡¨. The reasons are as follows. 1. ¡§Make solar energy economical¡¨ is not equivalent to ¡§The world energy shortage problem¡¨. With the limitation of the sun light, solar energy can¡¦t supply power all day long and in a stable way. 2. The feasibility of ¡§Provide energy from fusion¡¨ is still unknown so far. Being able to show its feasibility is already a very big break through. Don¡¦t mention that to use it to generate the power. So far, scientists still don¡¦t have much knowledge in this area. It is a very strange decision to replace a simpler problem by a harder problem. 3. Replacing the world energy shortage problem by challenges ¡§Make solar energy economical¡¨ and ¡§Provide energy from fusion¡¨ apparently depreciates energy generating researches using other approaches. No evidence indicates that these two challenges are superior and they are the right ways to solve the energy shortage problem. 4. Politicians may get the wrong impression that ¡§Make solar energy economical¡¨ and ¡§Provide energy from fusion¡¨ are the two best approaches to solve the energy shortage problem. The side effects are that politicians might make very wrong policies and make wrong decision while allocating researching budget. 5. Lots of young scientists may get the wrong impression and be attracted to these two areas and devoted themselves to attack the challenges. If intrinsically, these two challenges are not the right direction to solve the energy shortage problem, then, this will cause a big waste of talented brains. I also disagree to replace the ¡§Earth warming problem¡¨ by the challenge of ¡§develop carbon sequenstration methods¡¨. They are not equivalent. Earth warming problem is much harder than this challenge. Understanding the problem is the first step to solve the problem. Once a prospective scientist understands the problem, sometimes, in order to solve the problem easily, he may try to transform the original problem into another form (using well understood model), and then solve it. Very often, different scientists transform a common problem into different forms. It is scientists¡¦ responsibility to decide whether or not to transform it into another problem domain. Faithfully describe the original problem is the best policy. 2008_08_26 no.2

Alexandr Vorobyov , Simferopol Ukraine

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NEW TECHNOLOGIES FOR DISASTER-MEDICINE IN THE POOREST COUNTRIES COMPUTERED DEVICES FOR MULTIPATIENT RESUSCITATION. SUCCESSFUL EXPERIMENTS IN MOSCOW & KIEV. THE RUSSIAN & UKRAINIAN MEDICINE AUTHORITIES DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INVENTION. WHO INVEST THE MONEY IN THE MEDICINE OF THE FUTURE?! SMALL INVESTMENT IS REALLY CHANCE FOR THE PEOPLE IN DISASTER SITUATION. SOME DEVICES IS WORKING IN CRIMEA IN SURGERY AND NEONATOLOGY. THE BEST RESULTS WERE OBTAINED ON MORE THEN 3000 PATIENTS ( ADULTS & NEWBORNS). ALL DEVICES ARE PATENTED IN UKRAINE. DISASTER RESUSCITATION SERVICE NOW CANNOT HELP FOR THE VICTIMS IN MANY EXTRAHOSPITAL SITUATIONS – OUR DEVISEC CAN DO IT FOR 1-2-3-4 AND MORE VICTIMS USING ONLY ONE DEVICE. 1/. NEW KIND OF MECHANICAL VENTILATION IN DISASTER MEDICINE. Patent of Ukraine 2004. Authors proposition for collaboration in Disaster Medicine. 4 situations when rescuer is not able to help Situation # 1. Special rescue team could not reach the severe traumatized patient. Only one of them able to do it. The patient is not breathing well. Artificial lung ventilation must be performed. How to save him? Our answer: WE CAN DO IT! Situation # 2. Special resue team with helicopter has found the severe traumatized patient. Only one rescuer able to descend in ground. The patient is not breathing well. Artificial lung ventilation must be performed. How to save him? Our answer: WE CAN DO IT! Situation # 3. The twins are delivered in a very small house in a mountain village. Two of them are suffering of severe respiratory distress syndrome. How to save them? For the newborns with RDS there is a special respiratory program. But what can do the neonatologist habituated to special neonatal ventilators? Our answer: WE CAN DO IT! Situation # 4. Terrorist action in hospital. There are many different wounded people. How to help them? Our answer: WE CAN DO IT! In disaster no possibility to help the wounded people with traditional remedies. Inventor has own computer program to perform mechanical ventilation in newborns & adults. The Best American ventilator costs about 50000 $. Inventor has one in Crimea for 1000$ with the best results of ventilation. These inventions able do resuscitation in any place in any age effectively and cheaply. NB. DISPOSABLE RESUSCITATOR IN DANGEROUSLY INFECTED PLACES. INVENTOR MORE THEN 20 YEARS IS USING DIFFERENT MODELS "IMPULSAR".

Reinier Wolterbeek, Netherlands

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Seawater Greenhouse is the solution for fresh water shortage! www.seawatergreenhouse.co m

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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Transfer out the energy of Earth gravity is the only way to solve the world energy shortage and the Earth warming problems at rhe same time and is the cheapest way. These are very special problems, therefore, it may take a very "special person" (may be not a special research team) to solve it. Why not post a challenge to quest for the solution. The result may surprise every one of you.

Yuh-Huei Shyu, Taiwan, R.O.C.

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Transfer out the energy of Earth gravity is the only way to solve the world energy shortage and the Earth warming problems at the same and is the cheapest way. These are very special problems, therefore, it may take a very "special person" (may be not a special research team) to solve it. Why not post a challenge to quest for the solution. The result may surprise every one of you.

Pedro, Spain

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Compressed air (open hardware) motor and vehicles.

Andrew N., Corvallis, OR

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A challenge I didn't see was the development of more efficient/better alternative fuels (whether it be biofuels, hydrogen, etc.). While fusion seems to be a viable long-term solution to replace coal/oil for energy, we need to have a stop-gap solution on the automotive side. Furthermore, plastic products made from fossil fuels are piling up in landfills. Engineered biodegradable polymers or plastics made from biofuels could lead to sustainability.

Cameron L, Corvallis, OR

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Alternative energy sources were mentioned on the list but there are many more than just solar and fusion. While fusion has tremendous potential it could still be a long way off so in the mean time other forms need to be developed. Wind power is just beginning to become popular and has shown to provide large amounts of power but it requires a large area. Biodiesel from secondary agricultural products or from algae is a viable alternative, but it also has it drawbacks. Hydrogen fuel cells could be used to power vehicles and hydrogen could be a great way of storing energy during times of excess production from solar cells and wind turbines. All of these are viable alternatives but with further engineering developments their implementation and efficiency could greatly increase.

Sarah S., Oregon

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The importance of good infrastructure for a city is under-rated. When I lived in Portland, OR the bus system was great and I rarely drove. I now live farther south and riding the train or bus up to Portland to visit family isn't really an option because of the infrequency or unavailability of public transportation. My only option is to drive and hope to car pool. A short train trip between towns like in Europe would be much more ideal.

Sarah S., Oregon

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While it may be useful to make further advances in the medical field and computer technology, it is more important to assure that everybody on Earth has at least an acceptable standard of living and decrease the negative effects people are having on the source of all most all resources, the Earth. I think that the challenges concerning alternative energy sources, infrastructure, and clean water are much more important then reverse engineering the brain or medical informatics.

Sarah S., Oregon

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I think the most important challenge is the "Advanced Personalized Learning". The advancement of people and society education is the most important challenge and will play the biggest role in deciding what other areas time and money will be invested. Having more educated citizens allows for more educated people in power and hopefully better decisions that will benefit the majority of people on the planet.

Mary, Corvallis, OR

"needs. People who are struggling to find potable water and sufficient nutrition will see no benefit from personalized medicines that they cannot afford..." 

While it is apparent that all of the engineering challenges are significant in their impact on the world, the urgency and importance of their solutions are widely varied. As mentioned in some of the documents, engineering knowledge and technologies are not spread evenly throughout the world. While securing cyberspace and advancing artificial intelligence have great potential applications, a large percentage of the world's population is failing to attain the most basic of human needs. People who are struggling to find potable water and sufficient nutrition will see no benefit from personalized medicines that they cannot afford; similarly, reduced vulnerability to identity theft and increased cyberspace security is meaningless to someone living in an area lacking the infrastructure to support those issues. While I believe that all of the challenges listed by the NAE are valid in some context, it is my opinion that engineering solutions that would benefit the human population as a whole are much more significant long-term than those that only minimally enhance the lives of a select few.

Matthew C, OR

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I'm surprised that issues regarding waste management didn't make the list. Currently contaminated areas pose a significant threat to human and environmental health while solutions to dealing with contamination and future waste seem inadequate in their capacity to minimize our presence on this planet.

Chad Langbehn, Oregon State University

"We should stop adding to the degradation first and then once that is under control we can worry about the damage that has been done. " 

I think that by far the most important challenge in this list is the need for a new source of energy. Obviously more efficient solar power would be nice, but fusion or nuclear power could also work. If we had a clean method for producing power (like nuclear power maybe) then we would not need to sequester carbon, it does not make sense in the first place. It is like shoveling snow as soon as the snow storm starts. A better use of your time would be to either stop the storm (analogy does not work too well here) or make a snow blower to clean it fast once it stops snowing. The same goes for the nitrogen cycle, by continuing to use fossil fuels we are making the problem worse. We should stop adding to the degradation first and then once that is under control we can worry about the damage that has been done. If an alternative to fossil fuels is found, then the smog that is present in large cities would first stop getting worse and then as time progresses, they would start to get better. This would definitely help the public health. Although it is not a miracle cure that solves all our problems, it would certainly have great health benefits associated with it. The other challenges seemed more like something to satisfy public opinion or human curiosity, and while it would certainly be nice to reverse engineer the brain or secure cyber space, I believe that the need for a cleaner energy source is a far more pressing issue. That being said, I would like to propose a far more realistic, already economically viable, and quicker solution to problem of “dirty” energy. Nuclear power! It is safe, cheap, clean, and available. People think that it is so dangerous because when they think nuclear, they immediately jump to either the nuclear bomb, or Chernobyl/Three Mile Island. While I agree that Chernobyl was a disaster, it was not something that would ever happen in the United States or with any well built reactor. The control system was built so that if there is a failure it goes to meltdown which is stupid really. All reactors in the US and every reactor built since then are designed so that if there is a problem the reactor shuts itself down. Three Mile Island while generally thought of as a disaster is actually a major success. The accident should not have happened in the first place, but once it did, it was contained and nobody was hurt. The radiation that did leak was approximately 1/6th the amount of radiation received from a chest x-ray. Nuclear power has also been around for almost 30 years since Three Mile Island, and it is much better regulated and now it has much better safety measures in place. Now if you compare that safety record against how many people have died mining coal, or the number of people that have died due to explosions at fossil fuel refineries, like the eleven that died in the Texas City BP refinery. Nuclear power has an amazing safety record. The last problem is nuclear waste. Fortunately the government has built a repository to house all the nuclear waste. It is secure and can hold enough waste to provide all the power we need for the next 100 years. I may be a little biased in my assessment of the importance of these issues because I am not planning on going into the healthcare industry and I do not particularly like working with biological systems, I prefer to work with more traditional material.

Warren G, Corvallis, OR

"Existing and future engineers must step forward, willing to apply their talents and opportunities to a greater cause: safeguarding others' wellbeing. " 

In western culture, engineering judgment has traditionally been held in high regard. In fact, it was one of the few occupations (including medical doctors) that were originally deemed "professions." An occupation may be called a profession if it requires advanced study (including theory) and "mastery of a specialized body of knowledge and undertake to promote, ensure, or safeguard some matter that significantly affects others' wellbeing." Engineers have been given this status (and responsibility) because of their ability to not only resolve existing issues, but because they have the problem-solving prowess required to answer the evolving needs of society. For the past six thousand years, society's problems were localized and they impacted communities of cities or regions, but the outlined challenges pose a threat because the community they impact is the whole world. Existing and future engineers must step forward, willing to apply their talents and opportunities to a greater cause: safeguarding others' wellbeing. I believe that the primary issues which necessitate engineering application, political action, and common attention are those focused on sustainability. People will only be able to survive in a stable society if adequate food, energy, and materials are available; uneven endeavors to fulfill secondary issues are in vain if they are unable to be enjoyed. Traditionally, as a society grew, they experienced "feed-back control", wherein greater needs (energy, food, materials) prompted greater production. At the increasingly global scale of needs, however, our lands may seem less fertile and endless, and the world more like an isolated island. Overconsumption (and lack of preparation) will present a situation wherein we are unable to fulfill needs. An analogy is drawn to once-inhabited, desolate islands: what were the inhabitants' thoughts when they cut down the last tree? Some challenges are more important and imminent than others, and it is easy to get carried away with fear. However, I believe that the best way to approach these challenges is to be reasonable and provide ample engineering judgment in the workplace and in our communities. Engineers everywhere must be willing to use their specialized judgment in their specific careers, and also arenas outside their profession (even if it is uncomfortable). Doing so will ensure that these great challenges are resolved and that society is able to prosper for additional millennia.

Nathan C., Corvallis, OR

"...developing a better nuclear power generation infrastructure would have been a better item to add to the list of challenges. " 

In my opinion, developing a better nuclear power generation infrastructure would have been a better item to add to the list of challenges. Nuclear power generation technology has been developed for decades, whereas fusion has yet to be proven to be a competitive means for power generation.

Ugi, Corvallis, OR

"The biggest challenges the world faces today is the negative impact on the environment due to our rapidly increasing use of energy. " 

All of these challenges revolve around the world's ever growing consumption of all of our resources. One solution that would limit this demand for clean water, energy and food is to substantially curb the population growth to match what the ecosystem can handle in a healthy way. Since this is not possible for many reasons, engineers have to find a way to make things work. The biggest challenges the world faces today is the negative impact on the environment due to our rapidly increasing use of energy. Both solar and fusion energy are much cleaner than the fossil fuels our society depends on. We already know a lot about how to make solar panels so we have good ideas as to how to make it more economic and efficient. The fusion energy has so far been limited to quite a few successful lab tests. The great interest the international community has in its large scale potential is a very valuable resource. The large scale experimental reactor being built in France will provide valuable information about the design, operation, and maintenance of fusion power reactor. These two challenges are achievable but when we reap the benefits is just a matter of how much resource we devote to it today.

Cassey, OR

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I think that a good job was done of pulling together a diverse group of challenges that will interest many people in different fields.

danny bobrow, dulles, virginia

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Dr. El-Baz, thank you for enlightening me as a fellow geologist in a way that geology is being used to solve world problems. I would be glad to assist in any way, i work as a senior office engineer at dulles airport on tunneling and building expanison but am "rooted" in geology and worked as a geotech engineer on the bigdig for many years. appplauds to you danny j bobrow

LEW, MA

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1. Keep a running tabulation of all the comments. 2. See which ones come up the most often. 3. Have your experts comb them for the best ideas. 4. Don't get hung up on ownership. 5. Look for the"Why didn't I think of that" ideas. 6. Publish the best ideas submitted by you readers -- not verbatim, but as best summarized by your (best) editors. 7. Give a link to all the submitted comments.

raveendra, hyderabad

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respected sir sir my openian is electrial power supply into signal type please give some information

Dave Zumbrunnen, Clemson University

"Imagine the economic, intellectual and inspiring activities that would result if humans could transit much more readily to other worlds." 

For long term human survival and to preserve Earth as a pleasant habitat, we need to tap into resources available in the solar system. Because we are not now able to do so, resources for human existence are drawn only from our home world. Our ability to transit through space is currently restricted by primitive spacecraft propulsion systems. Imagine the economic, intellectual and inspiring activities that would result if humans could transit much more readily to other worlds.

Michael W. Gray, Searcy, AR

"Survival, health, and happiness comes from the barest of neccesities..." 

When all else fails, as evidenced by this congressionally mandated forum, then perhaps we should each consider making our own Plan B. If one is interested in some ingenious technological or sociopolitical 'rabbit-out-of-the-hat-tr ick' to keep up the modern way of life, I haven't a clue, but I see I'm not alone in that. Plan B, as it were, is an approach to a simpler life that we voluntarily gave up decades ago, as we tend to look for more in life, we appearantly stopped looking back. Basically, it was how things got done before the advent of mass production and mass transportation. Perhaps now is the time to look [back] into methods of survival in the unlikely event that things get a little 'bumpy' in the near future. Life is actually meant to be much simpler than we have made it out to be. Survival, health, and happiness comes from the barest of neccesities, which are; shelter, heat, water, and food. These four items should be our only 'survival' concerns, the rest is trivia. As most people would have shelter, as evidenced by the housing bubble, then that leaves us with only three major concerns. If one has no source of home heating other than the conventional gas or electric heating systems, then it is advisable to search the internet or elsewhere on quadrafire wood-burning stoves, as these are very efficient sources of heat. However, multi-layered clothing should not be overlooked as the primary method, as the body is extremely efficient in producing heat. Our next concern is water. All fresh water falls from the heavens, so to speak. There is an ingenious bit of engineering developed by our ancient scholars thousands of years ago, still used today on our modern high-tech buildings. It is called a gutter. It would be advisable to look into rain-catchment systems. That leaves us one more concern; food. It is a very sad fact, and quite humbling, that I never knew until fairly recently that a seed was actually ALIVE, as in breathing, as it is an embriotic living miniature multifolded plant, awaiting only water, and the proper temperature to trigger it's enzymes and begin it's unfolding to further it's quest, and submit it's genes to the awaiting world. Well, now I know, this is where food comes from. It would be advisable to look into organic raised-bed gardens, as well as open-pollenated seeds, and of course, save your own seeds. Start composting very promptly, as organic soil takes time to grow. One could buy and plant a fruit tree for the price of a typical insta-meal. Plant several along the back yard, along with grapes, berries, and perhaps a couple of nut trees if space provides. Also look into growing sprouts....highly efficient and healthy. There is one more survival issue that's easily overlooked, but NONE of us would have made it without; they are called neighbors. Share with them all that you have; they got your back side. If one has money being lost in investments (a.k.a. the U.S. dollar), then perhaps one should invest in canned foods, and deposit them in the spare junk closet. Also, as soon as possible, buy hand-tools (be the motor). One more bit of advice; don't look for water in a desert, and don't look for soil on concrete or asphalt. If one is thinking green, one is doing the right thing.

Martin T. Sherman, London, UK

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I am the inventor of a renewable energy power plant design which has the potential to meet many of the challenges positted here. The Tidal Irrigation and Electical System is both a carbon dioxide sink and source of algal biomass perfect for convertion to bio diesel as well as a source for the raw electricity necessary for the proposed hydrogen economy. A flash presentation can be seen at www.seavac.org. There are many specific engineering and marine architectural challenges that will need to be met in the realization of this concept and so I welcolme the NAE's and other interested party's input.

Brian Schreifels, Burnsville, minnesota

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i only saw two fields that are needed and many others that you folks missed completely. their is a whole lot that of people on earth can do without research and decoveries without spending a dime, but you folks are looking at the money instead, thats your problem because your head are in money not humans.

Jeremy D. McLain, PE, USA

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The following is submitted for the consideration of all concerned: Here is a rough outline of an idea for the solar technology (as well as the water-desalination) challenge. It would be to develop an integrated solar-thermal-chemical-el ectrical plant. Much of the energy-intensive industries are involved in production of chemicals. Here is a basic outline: 1. Develop solar energy capable of heating a working fluid up to 2500C. Basically use concentration of sunlight. Up to that high temperature, it would be good to use molten tin as it has a very large temperature range from melting to boiling. Because of the high temperature, high possible efficiencies can be reached (up to 90% carnot efficiency, in the case of molten tin). The molten tin would travel a closed loop being heated by the concentrators to its Hot working temperature, going to end-load processes via properly designed heat exchangers, then returning at Cold working temperature to be heated again. 2. Develop piping capable of transporting 2500C fluid. One way to do this is an evacuated double-wall pipe with the inner pipe being carbon or carbide and not exposed to the atmosphere. The connecting flanges would be tricky to design but would probably be made of a high temperature ceramic (high insulation as well), maybe out of zirconia. The outer tube would be metal such as shiny aluminum with low emissivity. Pretty much like a Thermos bottle. Other things like pumps, valves, holding tanks would have to be designed with the same considerations. 3. With the capability of this high temperature "thermic circuit," end loads such as chemical-forming processes, steam turbines can be driven. For instance, direct thermolysis of water begins at 2000C and hydrogen can be produced to feed into many other chemical processes (such as haber-bosch ammonia production). Also, downstream (i.e. the waste heat of some processes is the feeder heat to others) processes can produce more H2 via the Sulfur-Iodine Cycle. 4. Another benefit of such a set-up is that you can displace production of CO2 as well as develop processes which would use waste stream CO2 from coal/nat. gas plants. The solar heat could be used to drive a Fischer-Tropsch process to produce a variety of useful hydrocarbons, i.e. methanol to use with flex-fuel vehicles. Much better than using up half the food supply just to drive our SUVs around. 5. Downstream heat in the plant can also be used to steam water for desalination and electrical generation. 6. Many other industrial and chemical processes can be developed using such a "thermic circuit", i.e. melting metal, aluminum, titanium production, etc, all of which take a lot of energy. Placement of a such an integrated plant would be tricky, but in the US a good place to start would be the southwest relatively close to "the market." Looking on google maps, I can see a good spot for a pilot demonstration plant would be right west of the Salton Sea in CA, west of Hwy 86, North of Hwy 78. There, there is lots of access to brine water, lots of sunshine, not too far from population centers that can use the electrcity, chemicals, desalinated water that are produced. Also, several natural gas plants aren't too far away and their waste CO2 could be utilized. Also lots of agriculture nearby that can use the ammonia for fertilizer. Looking further down the road, there are plenty of places in the world with lots of sunshine and salt-water but need energy and clean water.

B C Bhowmick, Asansol,India

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Dear Sir, I have read the 14 ideas with all the seriousness under my command.The ideas are indeed brilliant,the committee has done a wonderful job which desrves appriciation of every body. The basic psecdmg@igcar.gov.in>r emise of all the esercises is invention of machines and devices which will poduce more energy for long time with available resources in this planet,make better medicines,built better roads, more powerfull computers etc to make life in this planet better, richer , more enjoyable and rewadring. I would, if you pardon my impertinance,like to make my following submssions : So far our attempts have been directed to designing bigger computers to help us solve complex problems. Built bigger and more sophisticated machines to perform the job we human canot do or do it with difficulty and take longer time. Efficiency ,convinience,power and speed are important critaria of our machines. However time has come to spare some thought in the reverse directions. Cant we thruogh our resarch in genetic engineering can bring about some desirable changes in human body so that it will perform both mentally and physically much better than our present body. Can't we make our eyes more sensitive even to infred light so that much of the need for electric light in night lwill diminish. Can't we improve our brain,make it's memory much bigger and speed faster so that we can do what computer does for us. Can't we have two hearts ,just like two lungs and kidneys, so that we can perform harder work for longer time. Can't we have a second liver so that we can eat and digest many more food items, even leaves. Can't we make our limbs longer and stronger so that we can walk and run faster and traverse longer distances. With these improvements in human body the need for energy, machines ,conventional food, water ,transportations etc etc will go down drastically.This beautifull planet will remain a comfotable abode for us for a long long time. Thanking you .Again beg to be excused for my impertinance B C Bhowmick

Cao Murrano, Researcher, USA

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Leo, HK Double the salary and vacancy for researchers. Attract cleverest people to do research. ------------------------- ----------- I second that.

Thomas Brinsmead, Newcastle Australia

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Not only the technological hardware, but more importantly also the social coordination technology (technique) is needed, to take the sorts of ideas that are generated by a forum such as this and synthesising them into suitably co-ordinated action that will eventually lead to the actual realisation of the desired engineering technological advances. Whether such technology is management and bureaucratic administration; democratic participation, facilitation, and leadership; markets and contracts; or some other cluster of techniques, behaviours and attitudes, and communication infrastructure, the engineering challenges presented on this website will not be entirely solved by individual genuises tinkering away in their garage (and probably not by enthusiastic volunteers working in their spare time) even if we all agree which one(s) are the most important. The efficiency of information technology in enabling the communication of ideas across the globe has arguably not been matched by a commensurate effectiveness in creatively combining those ideas into an integrated design, and then into efficiently coordinating genuinely collective action to realise something approximating that design (or improvements thereto). Confidence that such collective design and implementation processes exist - and are effective - would motivate participation in socially useful group activity (such as making serious attempts to solve the engineering challenges described here) by improving confidence in the likelihood of eventual payoff. It is the meta-engineering challenge of engineering the self-catalysing joint process that combines human need identification, scientific discovery, engineering design, production, and the investment of resources into these activities as part of the distribution of any subsequent associated increased access to resources, that may have some of the greatest ultimate potential for improved outcomes for humanity. What scope is there for engineering these processes and what scope is there for their improvement (efficiency, effectively, equity, ethicality) thereby? Of all the engineering challenges proposed, only "Advance Personalised Learning" and "Engineering the tools of scientific discovery" touch upon this meta-engineering challenge, and only Personalised Learning directly addresses improvements in the human infrastructure upon which the development of the social infrastructure described here can build (access to clean water and health improvements do so indirectly, as do some of the energy projects). If the above perspective has merit, then advance Personalised Learning is a too narrowly conceived challenge. A more self-sustaining project would be to extend the goal to personalised support for individual learning, research and effective action, and tailored support for group (social) effective and ethical learning, research, decision making and action coordination.

Edgar M. van Wingerden, Netherlands, Europe

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Improving infrastructure involves timing, cost/benefit analysis, the decision making process and technological limitations. In transportation much engineering effort is being put into hybrid cars, PHEV and the like, the barriers being battery range and wear, time of recharge etc. Some talk of a future hydrogen economy, the barriers here are even more overwhelming. But all technical studies indicate that electric driving is the most cost-efficient. Electricity is easy to produce from a multitude of renewable or fossil energy sources and fast to transport with an existing infrastucture in place, but difficult to store onboard a vehicle. How then to proceed, given the current state of technology? If one projects a map of an electr. grid onto a map of highways and thruways one easily sees interesting possible connections. The state of Israel has recently decided to go ahead with electric driving, signing contracts and letters of intent. This decision is important, has far-reaching consequences as well as pointing the way to the future. The geopolitical implications are beyond the scope of this forum but what if the United States of America (U.S) would decide to follow? So lets do a little thought experiment, a little number crunching spiced with some statistics. The U.S would have to P/N track and dig a narrow guidance/drainage trench in the middle of all its highways and thruways (similar to kids electric race tracks to give you an idea). And while we are at it perhaps in the northern states automatic deicing/snowremoval. Although this might seem like a giant undertaking, advances in diamond asphalt cutting show that it can be done very fast, eg. at night so as to not interfere with traffic to much. Starting in large metropolitan areas, where pollution and congestion is greatest, this would create a market for electric vehicles that lower brush contacts and guidance into the highway, operating on battery only in residential areas. The other thing that comes to mind when thinking about this would be the ENORMOUS amount of electric powerplants that would need to be build. But interestingly this turns out NOT TO BE THE CASE. The reasons for this are both technical and because of consumer behaviour. On the one hand electrical generating capacity is based on PEAK load (currently around 4.6 Kw on average + reserve) and on the other hand drivers leaving the house for car rides usually turn of the lights, tv, computers etc. and cannot use many of the appliances at home, while driving. For equality purposes lets assume man and woman both have cars and use equal amounts of electricity at home and whenever they leave the home they each take about 2 Kw of POTENTIAL with them on the trip. (this leaves room for 600 watts of standby power in the home) Because there is no need for a bulky, heavy engine and its accessories, fuel storage or large heavy batterybanks, improvements in weight, aerodynamics and rolling resistence, as well as regenerative braking back into the grid, it takes only 4 Kw for such cars or light trucks traveling at 50 miles/hour. 240 mln vehicles would drive an average of 10000 miles/year. So 240 mln x 10000 miles/50 miles x 2 Kw(the other half is left at home)/1000 (to convert to Mw) = 96 mln Mwh. The average powerplant is 1000 Mw. For the ten hours of daily driving peak (8 hr job + 2hr commute) thats 1000 MW x10 hrs x 365 days/year = 3.65 mln megawatts. 96/3.65 = about 26 new powerplants to be built. To put this in perspective: if people would change to LED lightning in the future, as they probably will, this would save an annual production of 80 (coal) fired powerplants in the U.S. How much would one pay for fuel? Currently conventional cars get 25 miles/gallon. Again at 50 miles/hour thats a price tag of 4 Kw (+ say 30 percent transmission/other losses) = 5.2 Kw x 10 $ cents (per Kwh) x 25/50 = 26 $ cents PER GALLON gas equivalent. Alternatively this would be a potential revenue source for state /local and/or federal government. Now at first it might seem odd or even constrictive to have to give up steering and power control on the highways and thruways, but statistics show humans are not very good at it: with an annual toll of 40000 fatalities in traffic accidents and more than 3 mln wounded, a guidance system, electronic anti-collision and speed control probably would do better and virtually eliminate that suffering. Besides, this gives one the option to do other things on long boring trips. Speed limits are now enforced by police much-needed-else where and traffic tickets can add up. Pollution-control and co2 recycling is much easier/costeffective at central powerplants then at the tail end of 24 mln daily cars moving at random. Coal fired powerplants could then switch to cleaner biofuels such as ethanol, continuing markets for biofuel farmers. Other economic benefits might be increased worker productivity, lower risks of inflation/price volatility, a peace dividend due to lower geopolitical tension, lower costs of health-, car- and life insurance, the creation of jobs, of markets for windfarmers or other renewable energy investors: there is room for more power and speed (it has a fourth power relationship) along the highways. Of course a public/private hybrid electrical automobility model would have to offer a smooth transition path as well as a choice for consumers. Provided they do not get stranded without fuel, if one could afford a mln $ hydrogen vehicle with a range of say 200 miles or rising gas prices: this highway would still be open to all.

Barbara Masi, Lexington, MA

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Renewable energy is the most important by far. Wind energy, solar energy, energy from fusion. Think of all the problems this will solve: decreasing oil resources, pollution, OPEC and major oil producer oligopolies' control over national economies, as well as issues of energy needed for developing nations.

Alex, Boston

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The key tool to solve all mentioned top engineering challenges is Artificial Intelligence.

VINOD, INDIA

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Zero Energy Home, Vegetarian diet movement, Bio gas and liquid bio fuels

Creighton William Brown, Brisbane, Australia

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1 Maximise efficiency of Human capacity to produce 2 Emergency Civil Defense Military call-up

Barrie Cohen, HATFIELD, ENGLAND AL10 0QX

"" 

RE PROJECT: INTERNAL COMBUSTION POWER UNIT FUELLED BY WATER RUN ON 400 TIMES OVER UNITY. There is no carbon in the equation. I know that you will know more about the benefits than I do. My good friend relates this to me. This is of necessity a brief introduction to him. In 1979, his college professor, Head of Technology and Nuclear Physics, and three students including him developed this idea. The most tragic personal circumstances, including suspicious deaths overtook the team. He counts sixteen suspicious deaths. He escaped with his life after being blown up out of an army jeep. In March 1983, my friend came to England where he has lived since. He feels now with support is the right time to bring the benefits to the widest possible audience. I thank you for reading my letter. He would be in your greatest debt if you have any suggestions how to move the project forward; Yours sincerely Barrie Cohen

Lee, Torrance

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The future depends upon everyone , not just those at the top , those with a piece of paper, saying See me smart,. electric cars are going to be the future , right now I could build to a car that would go six to 800 miles per charge , this isn't even hard , but as we know there's way too much money being made by the oil industry , and taking away all that money is not profitable , hydrogen cars are going to be the big push , because they can sell you the hydrogen fuel , at five or $6.00 a gallon or more , and give you a car that gets around 50 or 60 miles to the gallon , instead of a military car that gets six to 800 miles per charge , with a lithium ion battery, and if the technology is pushed forward from the new idea in a bio battering , that could go much higher , but what if ? well I'll keep the rest of that until we talk , if we talk ? If the future of the planet is important enough to talk to me ! As I do not have a piece of paper that says {See me smart } solar and wind turbines technology and the combination of the two , could absolutely replace all other energy , as long as we can store the energy , plus there are some other things out there that will produce energy just from the difference in temperature , that would produce energy even without the sun , but it does all come down to one thing , can it be pushed forward fast enough to save the human race from extinction ? For the driver of greed outweighs the extinction of the human race every time . So if the drive for greed , and only those on the inside , stop being the only answer , then you will talk to me , won't you ! But if only the greed , and those on the inside or allowed to play , then I will not hear from you will I , because I do not belong to the inside crowd !!

chester, arkansas

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In the third world 40 to 60 % of the people are still working the soil. It is fossil fuel that has enabled rich countries to do other wise. Are we disconnected from our food source and thus from reality. Idigenous culture's are often said to be happy with their lifestyle. I think these poor people have more knowledge to offer us than we can presently imagine.As our policies force them off the land vital skills are being lost. And we have become obese. Expect this to change.

Dennis, san jose

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There remains much to improve in the education of our children. We made slight improvement the past seven years. Our challenge should be how to make better teachers in the lower grades.

jordan, Waltham, ma

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Unfortunately, reverse-engineering the brain is just as "AI complete" as directly programming AI or fully understanding proteomics. It will be a bio-research porkbarrel bigger than the genomics project or AIDS research. Software is the most complex engineering there is, because it is not resource limited, yet we do not have the ability to design systems with more than 10 million unique moving parts (lines of code) without the engineers getting in each other's way. Understanding and replicating bio-design -- how evolution succeeds without a superhuman intelligent designer - is a better path to intelligence than reverse engineering. As far as survival priorities go; the first need is to reduce humanity's share of the biomass to say a population of only 1 Billion, not by war or disease, but by imposing a global market for birthrights. Then we need enough automation running on renewable resources to provide each person with the highest possible standard of living without the need for slave colonies and mass consumption of manufactured goods. This will return a lot of land to public domain for vegetation and biodiversity.

mohammedking kabir, offa,nigeria

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the profession should be made to go through more years of industrial training like our medical counterpart four out of seven years is practical exposure to reality

Wan Azhar, Malaysia

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How about cultural diversity? If no one believes in Islam or Hinduism and instead throw their lives at the mercy of science and engineering, how will our spiritual needs be fulfilled? I think to understand humanity's purpose of being should be investigated. And how to share material well being should be a priority. So that we can all investigate the true purpose of life. Technology is our means of getting there. Methinks.

Miican Lin, TX

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Why does captured CO2 need to be stored underground? Could plants be developed to take part of the burden? I am not a biologist and am not intimately familiar with precisely how plants process CO2, but it seems that at least some CO2 could be used to promote plant growth. Since plants also require and process nitrogen, it would seem possible to use their natural abilities to help manage the nitrogen cycle. If, for instance, greenhouses were built as part of waste processing systems, they could help with recapturing CO2 (mostly released from burning fossilized plant matter), managing the nitrogen cycle, purifying grey water (and thus helping with the water problem) and processing tons of organic waste that currently rot in landfills (the overall waste problem was not on the list, but could be addressed). Although some kinds of waste, like municipal sewage, is not considered fit fertilizer for edibles, it could certainly be used for hardwood, bamboo, cotton and other materials used in buildings and artifacts. More and more, we are finding that understanding, utilizing, and mimicking natural processes and substances is the key to solving many of the problems humanity has brought upon itself. Why waste the thousands of years Mother Nature has already spent on research?

Bob, Palo Alto

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Robotics. The world revolves around labor. Much of the social progress over the past 150 years has been due to the industrial revolution where the replacement of human labor with machines have reduce the need for grinding work just to feed us. A good fraction of our society have escaped the need for labor mostly by inheriting wealth. Robotics will potentially remove the need for work for everyone. That, at the end, is what everyone strives for. Work for interest and not need.

Geraldine Clayton, UK

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Considering the wars that have been, and are being fought over scarce energy resources, the highest priority must go to finding out how to obtain cost efficient energy from universally available resources like the sun, or fusion. My next priority would be restoring and improving urban infrastructure - especially transport. If all the man hours wasted on waiting for and sitting on inefficient, unreliable daily commuter transport. could be freed up for work or pleasure the world would be richer and happier. Good luck with getting financial and policy support for your excitingly intelligent plan to start improving the way we live!

james, CA

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Collaborate in re-inventing civilization as a whole system, creating a post-scarcity world, so that everyone has an equal share of sustainable abundance.

Stu Berg, Ithaca, NY

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One engineering area you didn't cover is transportation. More environmentally friendly transportation vehicles and infrastructure need to be developed. Examples could be electric, hydrogen, and fuel cell powered vehicles and the infrastructure to support them.

David Ham, Worthington, Massachusetts

"It is an embarassment to me that we in the U. S. use more energy per capita (by far) than people in other advanced counties. " 

I am convinced that the most critical issue for our civilizations to deal with now and throughout this century is climate disruption. Several topics the panel included address aspects of this important problem including solar power, carbon sequestration and water supply. I would like to emphasize shorter term, high payoff solutions inaddition to these longer term, major initiatives. Enginerering and promotional efforts to increase energy conservation in all aspects of our society can have a large and short term impact if promoted by our governments. More energy efficient transportation systems (mass and personal), energy efficient building designs that reduce heating and cooling requirements, energy efficient lighting (preferrably with no mercury) and appliances are important areas for improvements. Progress is being made on all of these and other uses of fossil fuels, but there is still need for much more improvement. It is an embarassment to me that we in the U. S. use more energy per capita (by far) than people in other advanced counties. We should try to use our technical abilities to achieve the status as the country with the lowest per capita carbon footprint, not the highest.

Jim Bourassa, Chicago, IL

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Many of these challenges can be met by an understanding of what occurs at the sub-atomic level. That is the biggest challenge, in my opinion. My organization developed a theory that shows that the fundamental constants in physics, such as the fine-structure, the masses of the electron and proton, and gravitation are not just random values, but have an exact value based upon a quantum-scale, dynamic Aether (the Aether unit has a precise value equal to Coulomb's constant times 16pi²). The Aether Physics Model is stunning in that it mathematically predicts and explains the measured values of physics with striking precision. Beyond a revolutionary paradigm of the fundamental laws and taking all the disciplines of science to a new level, practical applications of availing the Aether could include benefits to humanity such as anti-gravity, clean energy, and fully developing biotechnology and nanotechnology. For more, see http://www.quantumaetherd ynamics.com

Zoran Eremic, Zrenjanin, Serbia

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Here is my list (in order of appearance): -Cheap (if not free) and clean Energy -Ultimate industrial revolution in nanotechnology -Conquering gravity, space colonisation -Significant extension of the life expectancy given the present technology possibilities, I'm free to set it within 50 to 100 years time-frame

Cory Vandeberg, Fond du Lac WI

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I think one thing that should be on the list is some kind of population control. The more people there are the bigger the problem is.

Gam, Montreal

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Flood control with water. Sandbags to bank the flooding river? With an over abundance of water during flooding, engineering finds innovative ways to control the flow of the flood with the available water. From waterbags to water fences, the building blocks of H20 are some of the means to redirect and limit the overflow of water born catastrophes saving lives, health, land, crops, homes, insurance . At one with with nature, engineering understands the oft repeated adage of fighting fire with fire.

Ross Smith, Texas, USA

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We are still completely dependent on technology from the 1800s to store, move and convert the energy we generate - chemical reaction batteries, internal combustion engines, and power lines and electric motors based on copper wire. We have just about reached the upper limit on all of these. We need a major push to develop new technologies to do these tasks, for example superconducting ceramic wire or microwave transmission to move electricity in bulk over long distances. Without such an effort, all our work on new energy sources won't get us very far.

Tom Kimbis, Washington, DC

" As head of the Solar Energy Technologies Program at the U.S. Department of Energy... " 

As head of the Solar Energy Technologies Program at the U.S. Department of Energy, I am encouraged that the National Academy of Engineering has named lowering the cost of solar energy among its 14 Grand Challenges for the 21st Century. Our solar team here in Washington, our many private and public partners, and especially our stellar national laboratories, are working hard to achieve this vision. By targeting research and development on solar cells, modules and systems; improving manufacturing process efficiencies; and breaking down market barriers to solar across the nation, we hope to achieve solar electricity cost-competitiveness in the U.S. by 2015. Our team will continue to monitor the status of this NAS effort through this website and other means as new ideas are submitted about this Grand Challenge. Thank you for raising the visibility of the importance of achieving cost reductions for solar power.

Jean R. Desvernay, China

"" 

As far as I am concerned, developing new renewable energies is a priority, but an another even present challenge is the need for our sociaties to reform our political system. The last 8 years as shown in the field of foreign politics followed by teh US nad UK, and also worlwide in the field of sciences and environmenal protection the flagrant mishape of our democratic system. Our representatives democratie are great but imperfect as they do not counter balance the power of the once elected represantant.Despite new communication technologies, the decision of our represantants are not influenced enough by the electers, it seems taht once in power, there's very little citizens can do to change the course of cation of their represantant, as for example despite the wide puplic appeal agasint the was in Irak in the UK, the UK went there, despite public concern. It also seems that once in power represantant have to much impunity. We should imagine and test a new democratic system, a more direct democratie, where decision is not tranfered to "middle men" butand then directed into action but where public opinion should be tranfered directly into action. i think one of the best way to come up with an ameliorated democratie will be to test it in virtual world such as second life and so on.

dennis b, ny, usa

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we are faced with many challenges. Perhaps the greatest lies not in the doing but in figuring out the correct ethical approach...should we clone humans and at what point do we draw the line? should we continue to experiment w/nanotechnology or diseases and to what extent? Do we withhold technology from other countries that may be beneficial because it may have military applications developable?.... i suspect so long as there is man, there will be challenges which we will win technologically speaking, but we'll have to bear in mind after the fact if we did the right thing....

Gavin Minton, Los Angeles, USA

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I'm surprised that making launching into space 10x more economical is not on the list. If space launches were much cheaper things like large orbital solar power plants and mining ore and other resource gathering off world would become economically feasible, This would greatly help Earth's environment and energy needs by lessening our burden on planetary resources and open access to unlimited resources and clean energy.

Tom Hughes, Michigan,USA

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The next step forward for my committe is the release of all of our plans and drawings for the hydrogen replacement system for the power plants that was stolen by force from one of our offices in 2006. There are several other systems included in our package,including a new battery system and a hydrogen train engine,all completely working,not theoretical. The folks who are challenging our system and keeping anything but petroleum and coal as the energy sources will eventually have alot of explaining to do.

R. L. Smith, United States

"" 

I'd like to acknowledge the creative effort into developing the list of engineering challenges. Certainly this list addresses many curent problems. I would like to comment on the "reverse engineer the brain" topic. I interpret this item to mean develop an understanding for the way the human mind works. Specifically to learn how humans make decisions and what environment, educational, emotional factors go into causing a given action. I feel this is very important to learn because this could help ameliorate many contemporary problems that are human-created. This task would involve understanding at a small scale (neuron or biochemical level) and a system level (brain/nervous system). Mapping and analyzing systems of this complexity requires advanced engineering and scientific methods. However, this is not the scope described in the topic pop-up. That scope envisions advanced interfaces between man and computer perhaps as envisioned by Ray Kurzweil recently. Personally I find those ideas horrorifying, dehumanizing, and a violation of what it means to be human. It conjures up pictures not of a better human existence but of Star Trek Borg like creatures that live in a computer-connected virtual world that houses the database of what independent human existence once was. Perhaps a worst-case scenerio, but if that's the future, I'll opt out (assuming I have a choice in 2029), and go buy a cabin in the Montana wilderness.

Ray, Houston

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I think that while all of the various technical challenges your website has listed have merit, none of them address the single greatest need of our species. We are all trapped in a single gravity well with a single set of supplies. Until humanity can expand into our solar system and later into other solar systems we are at risk of extinction. A modern version of the Orion drive system needs to be developed for space vehicles allowing us to colonize and exploit the abundant resources of our solar system. Until our species exists in multiple, self-contained habitats, we are subject to the forces of the universe that could easily destroy Earth's ability to support us. A single asteroid could remove our species forever. All of our eggs are in one basket and as beautiful as it is, it is not always going to be habitable. A powerful, high speed, propulsion system needs to be developed. Without it we can count on our world being destroyed long before we ever get our species established anywhere else.

Robert Winder, Volant PA, USA

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It seems that energy from Fusion would be the top priority because it would make all of the other things much easier to achieve.

Solomon Wasserman, Long Beach, NY

"" 

I am an electronic engineer with broad engineering and software experience. Working for my last employee I came up with the concepts of new technologies for which my company took out six patents internationally. Company had to lay-off hundreds of engineers, and I was one of them. I was never rewarded for this work. I was teaching electrical engineering and computers in college as an adjunct professor for seven semesters. I could never become a full time professor with a decent income and benefits because I did not complete my Ph.D. degree. I have made numerous proposals on how to improve the learning process across many disciplines, but for one full year I could not receive the serious consideration by my administration. The academic environment is extremely constrained, illogical and unappreciative to any innovation. It seems to me that the main goal of the administration is to keep their jobs while receiving great annual increases comparable in size to annual income of an adjunct professor. I can compare the two educational systems of the FSU and the US. I am the product of the Soviet education, and could recommend that for the benefit of the society we should consider paying for the education and even a stipend to students in the fields that are desirable for the society as a whole. As far as practical technological suggestion goes I would like to offer the patentable solar distillation device which could process any kind of water, producing a clean, potable water for any use, mostly domestic, personal hygiene etc. This technology is scalable and could be used even over the whole surface of the Sahara or any other deserts, providing all the water required for agriculture, life sustenance, energy production and carbon sequestration - all in one shot. The idea is not new, but I have made it inexpensive. I do not have the finances to make the first step. I am working on it but I am not there yet. Does anyone cares to help me? Sincerely, Solomon W.

seydmehdi K. Ezzabady, Yazd - Iran

"" 

Dear sirs/Moms : I am an Iranian Scientist and Inventor working on a project to derive energy from Earth magnetic Field . I have a theory in this concern under the name of "TAEZZ". As to this theory man will have another free ,green everlasting ENERGY which is different from Existing renewable energies . We may use it right now in space for space labs and so forth. when super Conductor gets industrial market man may use it on earth. In future soon there will be cables hanging from sky to supply earth energy .

Nick Jongebloed, North Carolina

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I had a difficult time choosing the most significant from the several outstanding topics you have identified. Clean energy and improved education techniques I believe to be crucial. Of course, if we can get to a place where struggles to succeed in arenas presented at your site received equal press as does the latest "Britney drama"... perhaps we would see some real momentum (chalk that under "Social Engineering Challenges"). Thank you for what you're doing.

Jim, Rhode Island, USA

"" 

The development of an international CERN-scale center for biology should be pursued. At it's heart would be supercomputing resources and a workforce comprised of computational biologists. The goal of the center would be to use systems biology and machine learning (AI) approaches to engineer in-silico models of human biology for the sake of predictive medicine. The result would be faster turnaround time for the design of new pharmaceuticals and therapies that are tailored to individuals. The impact to humanity would be significant as all forms of suffering would decline significantly and lifespan would skyrocket. Longer lifespans would provide the motivation for people to be more responsible and less apathetic as it would be their future they are destroying.

Maren Abes, Philippines

"I believe in the power of great minds." 

I read on a newspaper here in our country about the 14 top technological challenges. And I was so amazed that The US National Academy of Engineering has their own way of improving the lives of the people. There are so many things that needs improvement. Solar energy affordable, providing energy from fusion, managing the nitrogen cycle, providing access to clean water around the world, reverse engineering the human brain, preventing nuclear terror and securing cyberspace are good end excellent ideas. I hope that all of that 14 challenges can be improved. I believe in the power of great minds. I know that you put so much effort on researching and exploring the things that are still unanswered. Improving things and making it better is a very difficult job,but it's worth it.. Someday I want to be a scientist. Being Scientist and Engineer is Big Deal!! Keep up the Goodwork!!

Dean Procter, Sydney Australia

" Cyberspace security is head of my list... " 

Cyberspace security is head of my list - thats why I've worked out how to make it better. Many of the greatest advances in recent years can be credited to the 'hive mind' enabled by the internet. Great idea the net - now let's make it safe - so we can all realise our full potential. Authentication and anonymity need to go hand in hand so we have freedom of thought and speech - with a little safe commerce to pay for the pipes. see: transinteract.com Keep up the good work. Best regards, Dean Procter

Robert, St. Louis, MO

"" 

I think two fundamental things that need to be addressed for the good of the world as a whole are reform of American politics, starting with strong campaign finance reform (and other methods used to extricate money from non-human entities such as corporations from exerting influence on politics), and also a serious assessment of the financial inequalities brought about by rampant and unchecked capitalism. These may seem less "grand" than the 14 stated ideas, but in my view, those ideas can much more easily be addressed after we address some of the problems at home. Do you want to build a spaceship today and rocket off towards Alpha Centauri using standard chemical thrust engines, or do you want to invest in the research and production of fusion or matter-antimatter rockets so that in 40 years when you take off, you can still reach the nearest star first? Please don't view this comment as a statement on politics, though of course the implications are inherently political. Our system works EXTREMELY well for a very few, moderately well (but not nearly well enough, judging by credit scores, net worth assessments, and education scores) for most, and not very well at all for far too many. These financial inequities, these imbalances of power, will inexorably lead to a decline in the US as a new generation of dynastic elites become permanently entrenched in power, and the masses are reduced to helpless plebs. In a sense, this has already happened, but it hasn't risen to the level of public consciousness yet. But it may not be too late, if we act now. We need to examine our republic, identify the problem areas, come up with viable solutions, and re-engineer as needed so that the freedom which drove the last two-hundred years of progress can continue to drive the next two-hundred.

W. R. Bayne, United States

"" 

If you do not quantify your "vision" before selecting priorities, your priorities may bear little relevence to the real "scope of work". If you believe it will take several decades (or more) for mankind to voyage regularly from this planet to others in our solar system as a social expansive "frontier" with new rersources, your choices need to quickly focus on reducing the incentives (and opportunity) for humans to breed irresponsibly. Societies must emerge where every new person is wanted by someone who can financially support them. We have the tools but not the understanding or the will to use them effectively. In the sixties, many people understood that societies encouraging unlimited family size tended to be motivated by cultural, religious or political beliefs preparing for war of some sort, intending to dominate eventually through sheer numbers and quite willing to demand that others "foot the bill" (feed them). These are inward-looking aggressive philosophies that need to be examined, identified, and refuted as unacceptable in either short or long term. I would suggest that even those that do believe we will soon plunder the nearby planets and colonize them should weigh carefully whether the increasing explosions of frustration over the accelerating decrease in quality of life on Terra will put citizens of the world at each other's throats again before space becomes our "new frontier".. Even today we "tolerate" terrorists as being political as opposed to criminal. How long can any civil society afford to do that? Once those of such mind and morals get and explode even a "dirty bomb", cities of size become no longer feasable. The social and political re-engineering then necessary will require all available engineering and financial resources for a LONG time; and those invested in urban real estate will be trapped and/or broke. Just a layman's two cent's worth.

len batterson, chicago

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I love Ray's advanced seeing on the future of man and machine. 2029 maybe a little early for man/machine intelligence but he certainly has it in the right century which really is near time. Also since man will both perceive and conceive the world differently as intelligence increases both man and the new species which develop from man will experience reality in a fundamentally different and new manner both virtually and perhaps even more interesting-actually. Len Batterson

Leo, HK

"" 

Double the salary and vacancy for researchers. Attract cleverest people to do research.

sheila, ny

"I suggest a strong initiative in education to develop and train young engineers for future talent to work on these challenges. " 

I am submitting a second comment on future challenges for engineers... I suggest a strong initiative in education to develop and train young engineers for future talent to work on these challenges. By passing the current dead and dying US public education system might be useful. Other countries appear more able in this educational effort. My bias however, is for US engineers. Wealth follows innovation, and I would like our country to have some money to pay its way. Culture, view point, and thinking is an inescapable part of the human engineer. I am not sure that I would be as comfortable with foreign infrastructure and way of life solutions. But then I am too old to know better.

Nathan , Crary

"" 

I believe all of the engineering challenges are important and need to pursued to various degrees. I believe the most important however, is the development of cost-effective, competitve solar panels. Not only are the current power sources mostly non-renewable and polluting but they continue to cause political instability across the globe. The sooner the technology and infrastructure for solar energy can be developed and integrated, especially in the U.S., China, and India, the sooner we can curb the impending global warming crisis, energy crisis, terrorist threat crisis and corporate/government oligarchy crisis tainting our planet. p.s. I'm an optimist I swear :) -Nate

Steve Quai, Full time RV'er

"" 

Though the following may fall under 'social engineering' or psychology, what would motivate large numbers of the worlds citizens to become involved with the goals and processes to address the issues/ opportunities discussed in the original concept?

  • Image Gallery

    • Aaron Brown and panel

Changing the Conversation
Visit the NAE's Changing the Conversation website to learn more about how to talk to young people in ways that will inspire them to pursue engineering and to take on the Grand Challenges. The site includes good examples of engineering outreach, messaging and taglines that were focus group-tested, and a community of users who share ideas.

Grand Challenges podcast.
On October 6, 2008 the NAE hosted a symposium on the Grand Challenges project, where two panels consisting of luminaries from industry, media, and the presidential campaigns took part in a discussion about the challenges. The event was moderated by former CNN anchor Aaron Brown and included Thomas Friedman of the New York Times; former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; Daniel Sieberg of CBS News; Bernadine Healy of US News and World Report; Paul Kaminski, former U.S. Under Secretary of Defense; and Grand Challenges committee members William Perry, Alec Broers, and Ray Kurzweil. To listen to the podcast of the event, please click here to visit the NAE website.

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