In the year 2050, nearly 10 billion people will share our fragile planet. How will we ensure that they have access to food, clean water, economical shelter, and universal health care? How will our agricultural and manufacturing bases be made sustainable? What innovations will drive the economies of tomorrow? How will our infrastructure be renewed and made resilient to natural and man-made disasters? How will nonpolluting and renewable energy sources be deployed to address the challenge of global climate change?
These challenges, like many that have come before, are ones that engineers will help to address. As members of the most diverse engineering discipline, mechanical engineers have always played a role in improving society through technology—in short, making the world a more livable place. At Iowa State University, we have a mission to apply the fundamentals of our discipline to address significant national and global needs—such as energy and the environment, national security, health care, and the cyberinfrastructure.