National Engineering Forum to focus on key issues in national meetings

Capacity, capability and competitiveness are topics in year-long discussion series


The National Engineering Forum (NEF) is opening a nationwide conversation on how to ensure the engineering profession is ready to lead America into a secure and prosperous future. NEF follows its inaugural event in New York with a series of national dialogues beginning April 18 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory near Knoxville, Tenn.

NEF brings together stakeholders to develop solutions to what it calls the 3 C’s: three challenges facing engineering in America:

  • Challenge of Capacity – Growing the nation’s technical talent
  • Challenge of Capability – Preparing the U.S. engineering workforce for the 21st century
  • Challenge of Competitiveness – Securing America’s leadership in an increasingly innovation-focused global economy 

Lockheed Martin, the Council on Competitiveness, and the National Academy of Engineering launched NEF, which now has a growing roster of partners from academia, industry, the national laboratories, and professional associations. Participants share a common vision for transforming the way Americans perceive, experience and prioritize engineering.

“The competitiveness of the United States depends on a skilled workforce of engineers and innovators who are equipped to design solutions to our nation’s most critical needs,” said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Lockheed Martin. “Throughout history, our nation has turned to superior engineering and technology to solve our most difficult challenges.”

NEF’s 2013 dialogue series will be held in cities across America with a prominent role in shaping the nation’s engineering heritage and its future. The Knoxville area was selected for April’s dialogue based on the pivotal role of East Tennessee in American engineering as the home of ORNL and the Tennessee Valley Authority, along with the University of Tennessee’s 175 years of engineering education.

“America’s future productivity, prosperity and security are a function of the roles engineers and the engineering professional play in our society,” said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness. “In an era of turbulence, transition and transformation, engineering leadership will be critical in building a strong foundation for America’s long-term growth and competitiveness.”

Upcoming regional dialogue sites include Albuquerque on May 29; Los Angeles on June 11; Detroit on July 8; and San Diego on October 10; with other cities to be announced soon. The regional dialogues will create a countrywide conversation culminating in a national event next year.

For more on NEF and the 3C’s, visit or follow us on Twitter @NatlEngForum. 

Source: National Engineering Forum (NEF)

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