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National Academy of Engineering Annual Meeting - Public Registration

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Engineering for Pandemics: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

About this Event

“It’s as bad as anything can be…all the theatres and nearly all the shops and restaurants are closed, and the streets have been full of funerals all day and ambulances all night.”

– Katherine Anne Porter, Pale Horse, Pale Rider (1939)

Those words were written about the influenza pandemic of 1918. The description was tragically accurate a century later, as a novel coronavirus, covid-19, swept the world in a matter of weeks. Lives and livelihoods were ended, businesses and global supply chains were disrupted, national and local economies tanked. Healthcare and other workers deemed essential were pressed into service with inadequate protection, risking their health and that of their families. Educators scrambled to complete the academic year. Socioeconomic and racial disparities led to differential impacts. Governments at all levels struggle to make the best decisions with conflicting information and limited resources. The long-term consequences are as yet unknown.

Despite experiences with the 1918 flu and other, more recent diseases that spread quickly (e.g., SARS, AIDS, MERS), nearly everyone was caught unprepared by covid-19. What lessons need to be learned to prepare effectively for future pandemics? Experience shows that they will surely occur, especially as the world gets “smaller” and more interconnected through travel and trade.

At this year’s NAE annual meeting, the following plenary speakers and technical forum panelists will offer their perspectives on such health scourges, their impacts, and the role of engineering in preparing for and addressing them.

Agenda for public attendees (all times listed in ET)

Sunday, October 4

Noon- 2:00pm - Public Program

  • Chair's Remarks
  • President's Address
  • 'Intro'duction of the Class of 2020
  • (the Induction Ceremony will be held in October 2021)

3:00- 3:30pm - Awards Presentation

4:30- 6:00pm - Plenary Speakers

  • David R. Walt, Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Bioinspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School
  • Pam Cheng, Executive Vice President, Global Operations and Information Technology, AstraZeneca

Monday, October 5

12:30- 2:30 - Forum: Engineering for Pandemics Preparedness Response and Recovery

  • David R. Walt, Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Bioinspired Engineering, Harvard Medical School
  • Pam Cheng, Executive Vice President, Global Operations and Information Technology, AstraZeneca
  • Daniel Work, Associate Professor, Institute for Software Integrated Systems at Vanderbilt University
  • William B. Rouse, Research Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
  • Paul McKenzie, Chief Operating Officer, CSL Limited
  • Sabina Alkire, Director, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative
  • Deanne Bell, TV Host and Founder/CEO, Future Engineers (moderator)

3:30- 4:30 - Special Lecture: Racial Injustice and Lack of Equity

  • John Brooks Slaughter, Professor, Rossier School of Education and Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California

Wednesday, October 7

11:00-12:00 - Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship in Aerospace Engineering

  • A. Miguel San Martin, Chief Engineer, Guidance & Control Section, NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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