Design and Delivery of Large Engineering Projects


Fri, May 31, 2024

Washington, DC, May 31, 2024 —

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in collaboration with the U.K. Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), Canadian Academy of Engineering (CAE), and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) will host a virtual ideas forum on Design and Delivery of Large Engineering Projects on Monday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 4 from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EDT.

“The United States has recently made historic and unprecedented investments in infrastructure, as have Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom,” said NAE President John L. Anderson. “As democracies and engineering leaders, we must learn from each other and better understand how our unique distinctions and shared visions apply to the design and deployment of the large engineering projects that we build for our societies."

The forum will consist of four sessions. On June 3, the first session, “Technical, Organizational, and Geographical Forces Affecting Large Projects” will discuss instances where engineering megaprojects are impeded by other forces. The second session, “Effective Practices for Managing Megaprojects” will provide perspectives on how to better engage with large engineering projects.

Continuing June 4, the third session, “Shaping Global Coordination and Cooperation in Megaprojects” will explore multinational large projects. The final session, “Guiding Engineering Education and Skills Development” will consider the implications for engineering education to prepare the workforce that will deal with design and deployment of megaprojects.

“Each of our nations has a strong history of delivering megaprojects domestically and internationally, often in partnership. The next quarter century will test our capacity to build the necessary infrastructure on-time and on-budget" said CAE President Catherine Karakatsanis. 

From cleaner energy sources to railways to aerospace projects, between $6 trillion and $9 trillion is spent on megaprojects across the globe annually. “In order to reach our net zero targets, and protect our planet for future generations, we will need to successfully deliver many large-scale complex engineering projects in the coming decades,” said RAE President Sir Jim McDonald. This means that the global engineering community needs to significantly improve the delivery of megaprojects.”

Due to the massive scale and scope of large engineering projects, challenges can arise in terms of ballooning costs and extended timelines. “Over the coming years, the achievement of our shared goals will necessitate the delivery of infrastructure on a massive scale” said ATSE President Katherine Woodthorpe. “The challenge of effectively designing, managing and coordinating these projects while fostering the necessary skills pipeline to ensure their continued execution into the future remains significant in our field.”

As more megaprojects are funded, designed, and deployed, it is important to gain perspective from past projects, consider solutions to reduce bloat, and utilize these lessons to prepare future generations of engineers.  


The event will take place via Zoom on Monday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 4 from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. EDT / 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. GMT / 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. AEST. Registration is required.



About the Academies

The National Academy of Engineering advances the welfare and prosperity of the nation by providing independent advice on matters involving engineering and technology, and by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and public appreciation of engineering. Established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the NAE is celebrating 60 years of engineering leadership in service to the nation. The NAE, NAS, and National Academy of Medicine (NAM) work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective advice to spark progress and advance science, engineering, and medicine for the benefit of society.

The mission of the Canadian Academy of Engineering is to demonstrate leadership in the responsible application of engineering knowledge for the benefit of Canadians, provide strategic advice to decision-makers, contribute to shaping the future of engineering and recognize and honor outstanding engineering achievements and service to the profession.

The Royal Academy of Engineering harnesses the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public.

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems. 

Sabrina  Steinberg
Contact Sabrina Steinberg
Communications/Media Associate
National Academy of Engineering