Cover image for Engineering tomorrow : today's technology experts envision the next century
Engineering tomorrow : today's technology experts envision the next century
Bell, Trudy E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Piscataway, NJ : IEEE Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 308 pages : color illustrations, portraits (some color) ; 29 cm
General Note:
Includes index.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
T174 .B451 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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The rush of technology in the 20th century brought more advances than the 11th through 19th centuries combined. Automobiles and aircraft, television and radio, computers and global communications, medical imaging and the leap of humans beyond Earth's atmosphere -- all these were born from the creative spark and labor of scientists and engineers.

How can we ensure that technology is humane and not inane? Can nations mount an effective defense without having to shoot? When computer intelligence exceeds human intelligence, what will it mean to be human? If you could "uninvent" one technology, which would you choose -- and why? How can we prevent ourselves from drowning in high-tech waste? Why should engineers take the long view?

These questions and many others are explored in Engineering Tomorrow: Today's Technology Experts Envision the Next Century by 50 world-renowned experts in all disciplines of science and technology.

Nobel laureates Arno Penzias and Charles H. Townes, Internet co-inventor Vinton G. Cerf, environmentalist Stewart Brand, physicist Freeman J. Dyson, record-holding oceanographer Sylvia A. Earle, arms experts Norman R. Augustine and Richard L. Garwin, and microchip pioneers Jack S. Kilby and Gordon E. Moore are among the 50 featured scientists and engineers who envision technology's potential for the 21st century -- as well as the social responsibility borne by all who are engineering today and planning for tomorrow.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Of professional-society provenance (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), techno-optimism is this tome's presiding theme. A glimpse into the near-term future of electronics, it taps the views of about 50 engineers, most of them laureates of either Nobel Prizes (such as Arno Penzias, of background infrared radiation fame) or IEEE awards (such as Vinton Cerf, codeveloper of the Internet). Beneath the interview-type boxes with the engineers crawls a narrative of technical directions in specialized fields, such as medical devices, computerization, nanotechnology, energy and the environment, and space vehicles. Clearly suited for an interest level more intense than the browsing general-interest reader would evince, this book could still match up with that specialized interest that is weighing an engineering career. That's because the authors go beyond discrete technical matters to include various state-of-the-profession issues, such as raising the low percentage of women and minorities in electrical engineering. The book's career guidance aspect is what may break price resistance in individual libraries. --Gilbert Taylor

Library Journal Review

"How will the next century change us?" is commonly asked as the 20th century comes to a close. Engineering Tomorrow not only explores the answers to this question but also asks: "How will we change the next century?" Bell, former editor of Scientific American and Omni, and Dooling, principal writer, Science@NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center, mix a history of recent technological advances with an analysis of where engineering seems to be headed. Sidebars containing insights from 50 of today's leading technology experts (including Nobel laureates, inventors, and engineering fellows) are interspersed in the narrative. Many of these experts raise ethical and societal concerns dealing with how these advances will be used. Myriad technologies are reviewed including electric vehicles, artificial organs, space exploration, and the Internet. An entire chapter is dedicated to our responsibility to the environment. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.ÄWilliam Baer, Harold B. Lee Lib., Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Organized around things and processes that make up modern life, essays by 50 prominent scientists and engineers describe significant technical, resource, and social problems and offer observations and suggestions for approaching the future. The well-written background text by science writers Bell and Dooling provides continuity. An author of the "big bang" theory discusses his definition of "good" theories; Vinton Cerf, a "father of the Internet," describes his optimism about the Net; Freeman Dyson explains why and how physicists continue to explore both outer space and the "microverse" of subatomic particles; Stewart Brand articulates the need for a long-term perspective on problem solving; and Sylvia Earle recommends that people take a more serious look at how we are changing the earth. The authors, selected for their prominent contributions to science, society, and engineering, come across as very human role models. They identify "big" problems that will need to be solved as today's students become professionals. This book should be a first stop for students seeking answers into how we got to "now," as well as for those exploring career options. A truly inspiring book that should be in college libraries and in career counseling offices. General readers; undergraduates; two-year technical program students. E. J. Delaney; University of Wisconsin--River Falls

Table of Contents

Vinton G. CerfWilson GreatbatchJack S. KilbyArno A. PenziasCharles H. TownesJohn G. KassakianRoger D. PollardDonald R. ScifresRalph C. MerkleRobert A. BellSamuel J. KeeneWade H. Shaw, Jr.Rui de FigueredoDouglas C. EngelbartAlan KayGordon E. MooreRao R. TummalaTingye LiRod C. AlfernessBennett Z. KobbA. Robert CalderbankWayne C. LuplowStephen B. WeinsteinS. Joseph CampanellaRobert W. LuckyCato T. LaurencinThelma EstrinGeorge S. MoschytzRay KurzweilVictor WoukLinda Sue BoehmerWilliam F. PowersGeorge L. DonahueFreeman J. DysonBurt RutanRobert ZubrinJoseph R. VadusStewart BrandGhassem AsrarSylvia A. EarleM. Granger MorganNorman R. AugustineRichard L. GarwinDavid A. KayMyron KaytonEdward Alton ParrishDonald ChristiansenDonna ShirleyJohn B. SlaughterEleanor Baum
Forewordp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Chapter 1 Threshold of the New Millenniump. 1
What are key policy and social issues facing the Internet?p. 4
What is the secret of happiness in a career?p. 8
What are some of technology's unanticipated consequences?p. 12
What constitutes a good scientific theory?p. 18
How can we be wiser about decisions of what to pursue in science and technology?p. 24
Part I Technologies for Society's Infrastructure
Chapter 2 Structures and Devicesp. 31
How soon can we free ourselves from fossil fuels?p. 34
If you could 'uninvent' a technology, which would it be?p. 40
How will information technology transform global culture?p. 44
Are we prepared for the nanotechnology revolution?p. 50
Chapter 3 Systems and Managementp. 55
When will society recognize that nuclear reactors are environmentally safer than fossil-fuel power plants?p. 58
How can effective communication help engineers develop the best products?p. 64
Can engineers abdicate leadership forever?p. 70
How can we accurately evaluate creativity and diversity?p. 74
Chapter 4 Computers and Softwarep. 79
Can we make society smarter?p. 82
How can we separate the Internet's wheat from its chaff?p. 88
Are computers really the tide that will float all boats?p. 94
How can we prevent ourselves from drowning in high-tech waste?p. 98
Part II Human Application Technologies
Chapter 5 Communicationsp. 103
Are we eating our seed corn?p. 106
When is unlimited information effectively no information at all?p. 110
The electromagnetic spectrum--public trust or pork barrel?p. 114
What is the role of industrial research laboratories in the twenty-first century?p. 120
Chapter 6 Entertainmentp. 125
What is the most environmentally sound way to dispose of consumer electronics products?p. 128
How will the Internet affect social relationships?p. 132
What is the future of the U.S.'s universities and corporate research laboratories?p. 136
Why can't we better predict which technologies will succeed?p. 140
Chapter 7 Medicine and Biologyp. 145
How can mentoring overcome racial discrimintion?p. 148
What practical advice can encourage women engineers?p. 154
How can we ensure that technology is humane and not inane?p. 160
When computer intelligence exceeds human intelligence, what will it mean to be human?p. 166
Chapter 8 Transportationp. 171
How much will we pay for freedom of movement?p. 174
What is the potential of computer intelligence in mass transit?p. 178
Will cars ever have jet fighter controls?p. 184
Can we overcome our fear of flying?p. 188
Chapter 9 Explorationp. 193
How can we further explore the 'microverse'?p. 196
Why are humans driven to explore?p. 200
Do we really need an armada to explore Mars?p. 204
Will humans live in cities floating on the oceans?p. 208
Part III Engineering our Priorities
Chapter 10 The Environmentp. 215
Why should engineers take the long view?p. 218
How can we best invest in the next generation of scientists and engineers?p. 222
What does it take for people to realize that technology-induced climate change is jeopardizing our very lives?p. 228
Why is it urgent now to investigate low-carbon sources of energy?p. 234
Chapter 11 War and Peacep. 241
How can we watch out for a weapon that hasn't been invented?p. 244
Can we mount an effective defense without having to shoot?p. 248
How much privacy will we trade for safety?p. 254
How do we reduce the body count?p. 260
Chapter 12 Preparing Engineers for Tomorrowp. 265
How can students experience the impact of engineering on society?p. 268
Engineering ethics--who cares?p. 272
Why is diversity essential to sustaining creativity?p. 278
How can people learn to get along better?p. 284
How can more young people be attracted to engineering?p. 288
Appendix The Fifty Technology Expertsp. 293
About the Authorsp. 297
About the Editorp. 298
Acknowledgmentsp. 299
Indexp. 302