The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together through 2-1/2 day meetings a select group of emerging engineering leaders from industry, academe, and government labs to discuss pioneering technical work and leading edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. The goal of the meetings is to introduce these outstanding engineers (ages 30-45) to each other, and through this interaction facilitate collaboration in engineering, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields, and establishment of contacts among the next generation of engineering leaders.


  • Amit Misra
    Chair and Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
    University of Michigan

    My research interests are in processing and manufacturing of light-weight and radiation-tolerant metallic materials and nanocomposites for advanced engineering applications in nanotechnology, nuclear energy, transportation and defense.

    FOE provided me with a unique opportunity for an inside look at a leading American multinational corporation (Google), learn about their fascinating research, learn about the latest advances in engineering and manufacturing from the insightful seminars, and network with my peers in other engineering disciplines. The combined package makes this a one of its kind experience that I have never had in any other professional meeting or workshop. I thank NAE-FOE for this opportunity and congratulate them for their effort in championing such a valuable and unique networking event.

  • Marcie Black
    Director, Chief Technology Officer, President
    Bandgap Engineering

    Our work is changing the face of solar.  By transferring nanowire solar cells to solar cell lines, we increase the efficiency and lower the cost of solar electricity, thus doubling the margins for solar cell makers.

    The FOE meetings have allowed me to meet engineers and learn about new fields that I previously knew little about.  It is a great way to cross pollinate different areas of engineering.

  • Aaron Striegel
    Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
    University of Notre Dame

    The focus of my research is on instrumenting mobile devices to better understand user behavior and global network performance.  

    The FOE conference was a fantastic experience to meet talented, inspiring researchers and to put serious thought into truly important challenges we face as a society today. 

  • Megan Mitchell
    Technical Director for Dream Chaser
    Charles Stark Draper Laboratory

    I am currently leading a team to develop a fault-tolerant flight computer with guidance, navigation and control and mission management software for Dream Chaser, a space plane that will provide American access to the International Space Station.

    The FOE program creates an environment that fosters research and relationship connections that can spark discontinuous and impactful advances often seen when one field borrows inspiration and ideas from adjacent fields.

  • Thomas McGuire
    Aeronautical Engineer, Compact Fusion Inventor, and Team Lead
    Lockheed Martin

    My compact fusion project aims to develop THE global power source. I am also working on hypersonic plasma propulsion systems, breakthrough physics that tap the zero point of energy, and metamaterials solutions that alter the way we interact with the world.

    The FOE meeting was an inspirational opportunity to share the energy and passion of my peers across the spectrum of innovation. Energy and passion is a fire that needs fuel, and FOE burns brightly.

  • Desiree Plata
    Assistant Professor of Chemical & Environmental Engineering
    Yale University

    I work on improving the development of engineered systems and novel chemicals to include environmental objectives without sacrificing performance or increasing costs. We use geochemical tools, physicochemical fate models, and fundamental reaction chemistry to reduce potential impacts to the environment and maximize material and manufacturing performance.

    The FOE is critical to global engineering progress because it stimulates creativity in the nation's most active engineers.  In particular, the FOE fosters discussion between researchers who work in seamingly disparate areas of knowledge (and may not otherwise have an opportunity to interact).  This broad idea sharing can provide the new perspective needed for a researcher to overcome a challenge that he or she may have been facing for some time, and surmounting those challenges enables innovation.

    What's even more impressive is that the FOE seeks to tangibly catalyze research collaborations by offering seed grants to FOE alumni, which is a fantastic opportunity for the participants and truly sets the FOE apart from other conferences.