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A Grand Challenge: National Academy of Engineering Talks Cybersecurity at CMU

By Abby Simmons, originally published at

A presenter at the National Academy of Engineering talks about Cybersecurity

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) gathered for a regional meeting and symposium at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute to discuss cybersecurity, which is now one of the greatest challenges in the 21st century.

Past CMU President Subra Suresh's opening remarks on the intersection of technology and humanity noted the unintended consequences of technological advancements. Suresh referenced the NAE's 20 Greatest Engineering Achievements in the 20th Century, a list of inventions that revolutionized the way we live, including automobiles, spacecraft and computers. Several years later, the organization identified its 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century, and securing cyberspace is now one of them.

"The remarkable thing about this is, if you put the two lists side by side, you cannot help but wonder if there is at least some partial connection to the achievements we helped to create in the 20th century and the grand challenges we face today," Suresh said at the April 13 meeting.

NAE President C.D. Mote Jr. added that current challenges are not about things — they are about people.

"And they are about all people on the planet," he said.

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