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Great engineering challenges of the 21st century - Lord Broers (Edwards Lecture)




6.00pm Registration / 6.30pm Lecture Starts / 7.45pm Networking and Refreshments

Series: Part of the Edwards Lecture Series

Engineering has driven the advance of civilization throughout human history. This is demonstrated from the metallurgists who ended the Stone Age; through the mechanisation of the Industrial Revolution; to the unprecedented pace of achievement in the 20th century where advancements including automobiles, air travel, computers and the internet revolutionized human existence in developed countries.

The 21st century poses challenges as formidable as any from the past that await engineering solutions.

Lord Broers will outline 14 challenges for engineers in the 21st century as identified by a panel of engineers, scientists, social scientists, an architect and a politician called together by the US National Academy of Engineering. While some of the challenges will build upon 20th century advances in enhancing the standard of living of those in developed countries, the majority of these challenges will address the sustainability, environmental and security problems facing the world in the 21st century and will help close the gap between rich and poor nations.

The challenges will also span a broad range from re-engineering the human brain to fusion energy.

Lord Broers FREng FRS is a distinguished engineer and world renowned nano-technology pioneer who has specialised in the design and use of electron microscopes and in the fabrication of microelectronic chips.

He studied at Melbourne University in Australia and the University of Cambridge in the UK. He then worked in the research and development laboratories at IBM in New York for 19 years where he fabricated the first man made devices with nanometre dimensions and went on to be responsible for the advanced development of IBM’s microchips.

He returned to Cambridge University in 1984 where he extended the technology of miniaturisation to the atomic scale.  He became Head of the Department of Engineering, Master of Churchill College and then Vice-Chancellor of the University.

He was a director of Lucas Industries, Vodafone and several high technology start-up companies. He became President of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2000 and a Life Peer in 2004.  He chaired the Lord’s Science and Technology Committee from 2004 until 2007.  He is Chairman of the Board of the Diamond Light Source and is a Fellow of the National Academies of Engineering of the USA, China and Australia.

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When & where

12.00am - 12.00amThursday 18th March 2010