Study in Progress

Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Engineering for the Twenty-first Century

Meetings

Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Engineering and Science for the Twenty-first Century: Meeting 1 - 05/04/17
Grand Challenges in Environmental Engineering: The Future of Water, Food, and Energy - 09/05/17
Grand Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental Engineering and Science for the Twenty-first Century: Meeting 3 - 01/11/18

Statement of Task

The Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is undertaking a study to identify high priority challenges for the broad field of environmental engineering and science. Given the current and emerging environmental challenges of the twenty-first century, a study that describes how the field of environmental engineering and science might evolve to better address these needs could serve as a guide to the community and help frame research priorities.

An ad hoc committee of the Water Science and Technology Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will undertake a study to identify high priority challenges and opportunities for the broad field of environmental engineering for the next several decades. Given the current and emerging environmental challenges of the twenty-first century, a study that describes how the field of environmental engineering and its aligned sciences might evolve to better address these needs could serve as a guide to the community and help frame research priorities. These should be significant societal challenges that will require the expertise of environmental engineering and its aligned sciences to resolve or manage. For each challenge, the committee will:

  • Discuss the relevance of the challenge, its magnitude, and implications;
  • Identify the key questions or issues related to the challenge that require the expertise of environmental engineering to address;
  • Discuss the state of knowledge and practice in environmental engineering and aligned sciences relevant to these questions and issues; and
  • Identify areas where knowledge and practice need to advance to address these challenges.
The project is being overseen by the Water Science and Technology Board in collaboration with the NAE Program Office, the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES), and other units at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Delta Stewardship Council.