In This Issue
Summer Bridge on Engineering the Energy Transition
June 26, 2023 Volume 53 Issue 2
This issue explores the energy transition needed to address the mounting threats of climate change. The articles are an excellent resource to help inform meaningful decisions and steps for energy-related contributions to reduce carbon emissions.

President’s Introduction The Goal of a Net Zero Carbon Energy System: The Importance of How

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Author: John Anderson

Engineering focuses not only on “what” but also on “how.” The US goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 is a monumental challenge—one of the greatest ever faced by our country.

To explore ways to reach this critical goal, the NAE President’s Business Advisory Committee (PBAC), which was created in 2020 to help engage the business community, formed a focused working group. Among other ideas, the group decided to convene experts in the production, transportation, and use of energy to formulate potential paths toward net zero carbon. This issue of The Bridge is the result.

Tom Degnan[1] (PBAC chair and former manager, Breakthrough and New Leads Generation, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Co.), and Tim Lieuwen

(professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, with a strong record of contributions to the field of energy) agreed to serve as guest editors. They identified topics that effectively illustrate the broad scope of the energy transition, and enlisted deeply knowledgeable industrial prac-titioners as well as researchers at universities and national labs to offer their expertise and insight in each area.

The articles in these pages provide a clear-eyed assessment of engineering challenges to be addressed and opportunities to be pursued to achieve the critical global energy transition. They offer a blueprint—the “how”—for steps toward ensuring sustainable quality of life in the face of an existentially daunting threat.

I thank the editors and authors for this valuable resource.


John Anderson is president, National Academy of Engineering.


[1]  Bold denotes NAE members.

About the Author:John Anderson is president, National Academy of Engineering.