Engineering for the Future

To begin addressing this future, the National Academy of Engineering in 2008 surveyed a diverse committee of experts from around the world to identify “Grand Challenges” that the world, and hence the engineering profession, will need to solve over the next century and beyond. On the UC Davis campus, for instance, Ruihong Zhang, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering, invented technology that turns industrial waste and household garbage into energy. Her biodigester does that now on the site of the university’s former landfill. Daniel Sperling, director of our Institute of Transportation Studies, and Bryan Jenkins, professor of biological and agricultural engineering, helped write California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the world’s first air quality standard to reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels.

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