2021 National Academy of Engineering Annual Meeting

July 15, 2021 AT 04:15 AM

2021 NAE Annual Meeting Technical Forum

Engineering Responses to Climate Change

“Few…would be prepared to admit that the activities of man could have any influence upon phenomena of so vast a scale [as our climates and weather]…. [Yet] such influence is not only possible, but is actually occurring at the present time.”

                                    – Guy S. Callendar, engineer, “The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature,” Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 1938


As researchers and explorers in every field seek to discover and explain phenomena, their peers—and the public—may resist novel interpretations of “conventional wisdom.” Such is human nature.

So it is that the climate change documented by a British engineer more than 80 years ago has remained contested and, more importantly, unaddressed. Meanwhile, the evidence supporting its existence continues to mount. A recent study[1] reports that more than a third of heat-related deaths globally are attributable to human-caused climate change. The Royal Society and National Academy of Sciences publication Climate Change Evidence and Causes: Update 2020 notes that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions also increase the likelihood of life-threatening and economic-devastating events such as heavy rainfall and snowfall episodes (and subsequent flooding), sea level rise, and more intense hurricanes.

Engineers are at the frontlines of efforts to both reduce the pace of climate change and allay or remediate its effects. This year’s forum speakers will discuss engineering contributions to enhance understanding of climate change threats to food security and the economy, and to mitigate impacts through improvements in energy, infrastructure, and transportation. Like the climate itself, their work transcends national borders. Unlike the changing climate, it may yield widespread global benefits.

October 3: Technical Forum Panelists and Perspectives

Climate Equity – Leslie Shoemaker, Tetra Tech
Energy Production, Storage & Transmission – Mohammad Shahidehpour, Illinois Institute of Technology
Infrastructure – Tim Lieuwen, Georgia Institute of Technology
Decarbonization – Sally Benson, Stanford University
Transportation – Ken Washington, Ford Motor Company

Moderator: Deanne Bell, Television Host and Founder/CEO, Future Engineers

Sponsors – TBD

Tentative Schedule

Registration coming soon


[1] Vicedo-Cabrera, A.M., Scovronick, N., Sera, F., Royé, D., Schneider, R., Tobias, A., Astrom, C., Guo, Y., Honda, Y., Hondula, D.M. and Abrutzky, R., 2021. The burden of heat-related mortality attributable to recent human-induced climate change. Nature Climate Change 11(6): 492-500.