Early-Career Engineers Collaborate Across Disciplines at FOE

Mon, October 09, 2023

Attendees listen to presentations at the Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering 2023 Symposium, September 11-13Almost 100 highly accomplished early-career engineers gathered at the NAE’s The Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering 2023 Symposium on September 11-13. This was the program’s 29th annual meeting. During this exciting symposium, engineers from varied disciplines and diverse backgrounds engaged in collaboration, networking, and information sharing. Hosted by the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, the event featured in-depth presentations about cutting-edge developments in four main areas: resilience and security in the information ecosystem, engineered quantum systems, complex systems in the context of health care, and mining and mineral resource production.

“This year’s The Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Symposium was another successful collaboration of the next generation of engineers,” said NAE President John L. Anderson. “Being introduced to innovative research and diverse perspectives across all engineering disciplines enables attendees to open their minds and see beyond their individual focus areas. It also encourages them to continue building networks. The attendees are making waves in industry, universities, and government, and I look forward to seeing how these collaborations will change our world.”

National Academcy of Engineering Conference_20230911_JMP_1-Enhanced-NR.jpgThe symposium featured formal presentations from specialists in academia, industry, and government, as well as informal breakout discussion groups. The talks fostered intimate and dynamic conversations. Many attendees said they were awestruck at the diversity of the information they were receiving. For some, the information increased their knowledge of engineering topics outside their areas of expertise, and for others, this was a chance to broaden their understanding and implement new ideas.

“I’m really fascinated and excited about the number of people from different disciplines. I’m aerospace; I tend to go just to aerospace conferences,” said Kat Coderre, deputy manager for Deep Space Exploration Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin. “I think this symposium is going to be eye-opening and will hopefully give everyone here a chance to reflect and bring things back into our individual industries and make engineering, science, and research a little bit better as a whole.”

“My area is in cyber-security, so it’s quite relevant,” said Evelyn Kim, HRL Laboratories research scientist, when referencing the topic of resilience and security in the information ecosystem. “It was interesting to hear from the policy side, which I was not really doing in my work. It’s given me some insights and different perspectives that I haven’t thought of. I do see some ties between what I have been doing and what I am hearing from the talks.”

National Academcy of Engineering Conference_20230911_JMP_052-Enhanced-NR.jpg

Faculty and graduate students gave attendees tours of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Engineering Center, which houses a number of the university’s engineering classrooms and laboratories. Visitors witnessed firsthand the center’s many projects across multiple engineering disciplines. Keith Molenaar, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was delighted to open the school’s doors for the FOE symposium.

“It has been an honor for the University of Colorado Boulder to collaborate with the National Academy of Engineering in hosting exceptional early-career faculty from academia, industry, and national labs,” Molenaar said. “This symposium has already forged meaningful connections, primed for addressing critical global challenges.”

The next FOE symposium, the 2023 EU-US FOE Symposium, will take place on October 15-18 at Nokia Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey.

Abstracts of all sessions from the 2023 USFOE are on the FOE’s website. Additional information from the 2023 USFOE will appear in the fall issue of the NAE’s quarterly publication, The Bridge, which will be available online on October 1. The winter issue of The Bridge will include articles by 2023 USFOE speakers.

Information on all FOE events can be found on its website at www.naefrontiers.org.

Images courtesy of University of Colorado Boulder.