Technology challenges of the 21st Century
14 May 2007 | Online Presentations | Contributor(s): Eugene S. Meieran
The 20th century was a century of remarkable scientific and technical achievement, as recorded in the National Academy of Engineering book, "A Century of Innovation". Three forces ("a perfect storm") combined to make this possible; almost universal availability of electric power to enable many of the other achievements, the breakthroughs in fundamental understanding in physics, mathematics and engineering that provided the intellectual impetus, and the huge amount of capital expenditures that went into ships, railroads, factories, power stations, equipment and so forth, that allowed these engineering accomplishments to be made available to a vast audience at affordable costs. The airplane, telephone, computer, automobile, refrigeration, nuclear power plants, and clean water supplies, etc., were all enabled by these three forces.