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Despite experiences with the 1918 flu and other, more recent diseases that spread quickly (e.g., SARS, AIDS, MERS), nearly everyone was caught unprepared by covid-19.
What lessons need to be learned to prepare effectively for future pandemics? Experience shows that they will surely occur, especially as the world gets “smaller” and more interconnected through travel and trade.
At this year’s NAE annual meeting, the following plenary speakers and technical forum panelists will offer their perspectives on such health scourges, their impacts, and the role of engineering in preparing for and addressing them.
Lessons Learned: How to Prepare for Future Pandemics? (e.g., testing, vaccines and therapeutics, ecology, engineering standards, AI & machine learning, logistics)
Pandemic Impacts on Society: Engineering’s Role (e.g., education [including the digital divide], impact of broadband infrastructure on communities [some better off than others], differential effects on vulnerable populations, economic impacts and impacts for the future of work)
Keeping Society’s Systems Operational: supply chains (e.g., food and essentials), electrical grid, broadcom/telecom systems, transportation, manufacturing (e.g., PPE, vaccines, therapeutics), and media.
Implications for the Future of Work (e.g., technology assistance, AI and machine learning, societal impacts, economic impacts)
Rapid Engineering of Critical Supplies: The Role of Advanced Manufacturing (e.g., direct manufacturing, including 3-D printing, of testing supplies, masks, face shields, gloves)
Pandemics and Poverty (e.g., application of the global Multidimensional Poverty Index to population disparities during a pandemic)