ECL-USA Summit 8 was held at the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute in Houston. Summit 8 included an exploration of the future of engineering through the lens of biomedical engineering and the stewardship role of engineers with respect to climate and extreme weather challenges. Our provocateurs included:
- Guru Madhavan, National Academy of Engineering. Guru described the different problem types that engineers deal with – HARD problems that can be SOLVED like the invention of the ATM; SOFT problems that are impacted by human behavior and must be RESOLVED like traffic congestion; and MESSY problems combining the elements of both hard and soft problems that must be DISSOLVED like the Ebola crisis.
- Matt Kuhn, Johnson & Johnson Center for Device Innovation. Matt described CDI’s process for developing transformative medical devices.
- Corey Squire, Positive Energy. Corey provided background on AIA’s work to shift the paradigm of architectural design through their “Resolution for Urgent and Sustained Climate Action.”
- Cyane Dandridge, Strategic Energy Innovations. Cyane outlined SEI’s work to create climate action leaders in California’s educational system and described engineering as a high leverage point for climate action.
- Cindy Cooper, The Lemelson Foundation. Cindy described the “Engineering for One Planet” initiative, a joint project of Lemelson and Venture Well that is working to develop principles of “Environmentally Responsible Engineering” that can be incorporated into the curriculum for all engineering disciplines.
- Dr. Phil Bedient, Severe Weather Prediction Center, Rice University, and Charlie Penland, Walter P. Moore. Phil and Charlie provided an overview of the ongoing “Galveston Bay Flood Risk Reduction Study,” a unique partnership between academia and the private sector to increase the resilience of the Houston/Galveston Bay area to storm surge flooding that is “breaking the frame” of the traditional system of constructing large projects.
Summit 8 provided additional support for ECL-USA’s role as a source of learning and inspiration, as a connector of leaders and organizations, and as a venue for sharing great work being done throughout the engineering community and by other organizations.
More detailed information on the summit outcomes will be provided in the coming weeks. Copies of provocateur presentations are available on the Summit Information page.