The fourteen grand challenges of engineering, compiled by the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2008, have implications for the future of engineering education and practice. Engineers in 2020 will need diverse skills to tackle the multitude of issues and factors involved in adequately and successfully addressing the challenges. Extract from the NAE document on the 14 grand challenges reads – This statement emphasizes the relevance of a holistic systems thinking approach in solving the multi-faceted global problems that we face now and will face in the future. This presentation will discuss the critical skills that engineers must have in the 2020 timeframe in order to contribute to devising sustainable solutions to our global problems, problems that affect everyone in every corner of the world. Project management skills will be the cornerstone for integrating the multiple skills across geographical boundaries as well as across cultural divides. This presentation will demonstrate how project management skills, tools, and techniques can be brought to bear on solving 2020 engineering challenges. Using a socio-technical systems framework, this presentation will Illustrate the application of project management to bring about new products, services, and results efficiently within cost and schedule constraints to address the 14 grand challenges. With the recommendations of this presentation, positive outcomes of multinational projects can be achieved so that we can improve the global quality of life. Engineering educators must come together to develop robust curricula to adequately prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead. This World Congress is a good starting point.


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  • Received: 18 January 2014
  • Accepted: 30 April 2014
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