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? How will our infrastructure be renewed and made resilient to natural and man-made disasters? How will nonpolluting, renewable energy sources minimize global climate change?
These challenges are ones that engineers address. Mechanical engineers have always worked to improve society through technology, to make the world a more livable place. At Iowa State University, fundamental science and engineering has to address significant national and global needs.