NAE Perspectives

Commentary Series

Perspectives ThumbnailThe NAE Perspectives provides an opportunity for practitioners, scholars, and policy leaders to comment on developments and issues relating to engineering and to reflect on opportunities important to the advancement of the NAE mission. The purpose of the NAE Perspectives is to bring diverse voices and perspectives to discussions related to current issues, opportunities and challenges facing engineers and engineering, and to foster public engagement in engineering.

These short-form commentaries, published on the NAE website, will focus on topical issues accessible to a wide range of audiences. Some essays may be supplemented with videos or webinar events.

For more information on the commentary series and for submission inquiries, contact NAE Perspectives managing editor Kyle Gipson at
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  • PostedNovember 29, 2023

    We have entered the cyber-physical age, but we are unprepared for it due to systemic under-allocation in the physical sciences and the lack of a truly multidisciplinary engineering curriculum.
  • PostedAugust 31, 2023

    US embassies are impressive feats of architecture and engineering. They are more than ordinary buildings; they are multifunctional campuses serving as centralized headquarters for American diplomats and foreign-service officials.
  • PostedMay 24, 2023

    Keeping and maintaining an obsolete but functioning technology may make more sense than acquiring a newer technology, especially if competition and customers are not demanding change.
  • PostedMarch 10, 2023

    Systematic manual examination of ballots, rigorous ballot accounting procedures, and public compliance audits would increase election transparency and are urgently needed.
  • PostedFebruary 14, 2023

    Formative experiences inform individuals’ perceptions of themselves and others in the classroom, community, and workplace. In engineering, the image of a typical engineer – perpetuated in a “hidden curriculum” – often distorts perceptions of the work and abilities of those who differ from that ...
  • PostedOctober 17, 2022

    Engineering impacts everyone. Diversifying the field is imperative if we want to build on engineering’s legacy of extraordinary impact. Why? Because diversity leads to better outcomes, explains Gary S. May in the latest NAE Perspectives.
  • PostedSeptember 30, 2022

    Robin Podmore (NAE) is president, Incremental Systems Corp. (IncSys). Anjan Bose (NAE) is Regents Professor, School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Washington State University.
  • PostedApril 7, 2022

    Human control over technology was a concern thousands of years ago when early humans sought to ensure safe use of fire. Later, control over horse-drawn wagons and eventually steam engines led to debates about how to make the most of their benefits while limiting dangers. Now questions of control ...
  • PostedJanuary 19, 2022

    Over the past decade there have been consistent alarm signals about US leadership in science and technology. Arguments often boil down to the need for additional funding for R&D. In this perspective, I reflect not on the well-justified need for such additional funding, but for more effective ...
  • PostedNovember 2, 2021

    While transportation is costly in many ways and tiresome for many, it is critical for economic and social wellbeing. Goods and people need to reach their desired destinations in a timely manner. Large amounts of money, energy, land, labor, time, and natural resources are devoted to travel. And it ...
  • PostedOctober 26, 2021

    Engineering has made vast contributions to health and medicine, from designing water and sewer systems that have saved millions of lives to optimizing healthcare delivery systems and creating ever more sophisticated medical devices. New applications of evolutionary biology to medicine are now ...
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