Technical and Engineering Challenges of Addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

November 1-2, 2018

This workshop brought together engineering disciplines to develop a unified response and path forward for fostering the successful implementation of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Download Workshop Report

The United Nations recently published 17 Sustainable Development Goals1. Many of these goals pertain to the engineering community including clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, etc.

The implementation phase for the targets embodied in these goals will need to begin soon. While the policy component of the goals is reasonably well established, and while some of the goals may be outside the purview of engineering, successful implementation of many of these goals will require substantial new engineering, reengineering, and retrofitting across all engineering disciplines.

The goal of this workshop is to formally frame the discussion that must take place across all of engineering so that the requisite actions become possible and successful. This is directly supporting UEF mission to advance engineering arts and science for the welfare of humanity. The workshop has the following three specific goals:

  1. Establish the new engineering, reengineering, and retrofitting of production systems for goods and energy.
  2. Establish the new engineering, reengineering, and retrofitting of infrastructure.
  3. Establish the changes that are necessary in the education and professional training of engineers across disciplines.

Steering Committee

  • Heriberto Cabezas, US EPA, AIChE
  • Lucy Alexander, AIChE
  • Randy  Over, AAES
  • Bill Kelly, ASCE
  • Dele Ogunseitan, UC Irvine, TMS
  • Linda Battalora, Colorado School of Mines, SPE
  • Dick Wright, ASCE
  • Reggie Vachon, ASME

Preliminary Schedule

Thursday, November 1, 2018

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Opening Remarks and Workshop Agenda - Organizers
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM Keynote Speaker: Szabolcs Szuromi, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary
10:15 AM - 11:00 AM Keynote Speaker: Cristina Contreras Casado, Harvard University
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM Break
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM Panel 1:  Education and Professional Training of Engineers
  Moderator: Barbara Arnold, SME
  Patricia Brackin, ABET 
  Liv Haselbach, Lamar University
  Yvette E. Pearson, Rice University
  Facilitated discussion/ Q&A
12:30 PM -1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM - 2:15 PM Keynote Speaker: William Colglazier, AAAS
2:15 PM - 3:00 PM Keynote Speaker: Joe Lima, Schlumberger
3:00 PM - 3:30 PM Break
3:30 PM -4:30 PM Panel 2:   Production Systems for Goods and Energy
  Moderator: Heriberto Cabezas, U.S. EPA
  Martin Green, NIST
  John Craynon, Export-Import Bank of the United States
  Dale Keairns, Deloitte Consulting LLP. 
  Facilitated discussion/ Q&A
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Summary Session
5:00 PM -6:00 PM Networking Reception

Friday, November 2, 2018

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM Recap from Previous Day and Agenda 
9:30 AM - 10:15 AM Keynote Speaker: Bill Kelly, ASCE
10:15 AM - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Panel 3: Infrastructure
  Moderator: Bill Kelly, ASCE
  Melissa Bilec, University of Pittsburgh
  Denise Nelson, The Berkley Group
  Theresa Harrison, Public Works - City of South Bend, IN
  Facilitated discussion/ Q&A
11:30 PM -12:00 PM Recap and End of General Workshop
12:00 PM -1:00 PM Organizing Committee only: Working Lunch: Next Steps and Action Items
1:00 PM -3:00 PM

RAPID Session: The Role of Modular Processing in Sustainable Development

RAPID Session: The Role of Modular Processing in Sustainable Development:

Friday, Nov. 2nd, 1pm–3pm (Open to all Workshop attendees) 

RAPID will hold a problem-discovery brainstorming session at the end of the Technical and Engineering Challenges of Addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals workshop to identify the potential role of modular processing in sustainable development. The workshop will convene scientists, engineers, and other stakeholders working in the field of sustainable development to identify the challenges that cannot be addressed with conventional technologies and highlight those that could be solved with modular solutions. During the event, Ignasi Palou-Rivera, RAPID program director, will present an overview of the RAPID manufacturing institute and the institute’s roadmap followed by small group breakouts. There will be plenty of time to ask questions about RAPID and to provide your perspective on where modular chemical process intensification (MCPI) could have significant impact.

Register Here

Schedule is preliminary and subject to change without notice.

This workshop was possible thanks to a generous grant from the United Engineering Foundation. The United Engineering Foundation does not endorse results or recommendations from this workshop.

Featured Speakers

Patricia Brackin

Dr. Patricia (Patsy) Brackin is in her first year as director of Rose-Hulman's engineering design program, joining with colleagues to find ways to incorporate design opportunities throughout a student's four-year college experience—in any major course of study.Read more

E. William Colglazier

Dr. E. William Colglazier is Editor-in-Chief of Science & Diplomacy and Senior Scholar in the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS).  He works there to advance knowledge and practice on science policy and science diplomacy and to support international collaboration and cooperation in science and technology. He served as the fourth Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014.  In this non-political position of fixed term, his role was to provide scientific and technical expertise and advice in...Read more

Liv Haselbach

Liv Haselbach is chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lamar University. She previously was at Washington State University and the University of South Carolina. She has authored numerous papers on sustainability and low impact development.Read more

William Kelly

William E. Kelly, Ph.D., P.E., retired as director of external affairs at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2015.  Prior to joining ASEE in September of 2007, he was a professor of civil engineering at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. where he also served as dean of the school of engineering from 1996-2001.   He is a past member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Committee on Sustainability (CoS) and has taught sustainability as a practitioner adjunct faculty member at George Mason University.  He is a co-...Read more

Joe Lima

Joe Lima is the Director of Global Environmental Sustainability for Schlumberger. Before this role, Joe served as Global Environmental Solutions Manager for Schlumberger Well Services where he was responsible for developing technologies that reduce the overall completion footprint as well as the development of the Schlumberger chemical disclosure process. From 2008 through 2010, Joe served as the Unconventional Resources Theme Manager for North America where he was responsible for directing technology development and application throughout the region specifically for shale and tight gas...Read more

Yvette Pearson

The job title and responsibilities of Yvette E. Pearson, the associate dean for accreditation and assessment in the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, are changing to better reflect the school’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Pearson’s new title, effective July 1, is associate dean for accreditation, assessment and strategic initiatives.Read more

Szuromi Szabolcs

Szuromi Szabolcs (born in 1972) is a Hungarian canon lawyer and medievalist, best known for his work in Paleographical and codicological research on the original pre-Gratian manuscripts, “work in progress” theory regarding canonical collections between the 8th and 12th century, and historical development and forms of relationship between Church and state. Currently, he is the President of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPCU; Budapest, Hungary).

He is a full professor of PPCU, invited lecturer of several European, USA, and Far-Eastern universities, and a member...Read more