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.


  • Sarah Bergbreiter
    Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
    University of Maryland

    My research is focused on engineering robotic systems down to sub-centimeter size scales for use in disaster scenarios, in the manufacture of structures, or to provide medical interventions with minimal trauma.

    The FOE symposium embodied one of my favorite parts of graduate school -- learning from and talking to experts in a wide range of engineering fields. It was fun to find connections between the research challenges encountered across disciplines, and I look forward to collaborating with many of the participants I had great discussions with in the future.

  • Leonardo Ajdelsztajn
    Principal Scientist, Coatings & Surface Technologies
    GE Global Research

    I explore novel processes and coating solutions for applications in health care, oil and gas, aviation and powder generation, with recent emphasis on harsh environments and non-conventional additive manufacturing processes.


  • Jeanette Domber
    Principal Payload Systems Engineer
    Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp

    Ever since watching the first shuttle launch, I have been fascinated by space. I led the Ball team that designed repair electronics for a recent Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Now, I work on the design and development of future large aperture telescopes.

    I really enjoyed my experience at FOE. In particular, learning about other fields was more fascinating and applicable to what I do on a daily basis than I expected. The caliber and openness of the other attendees was rewarding as well. Lastly, I previously had little knowledge of the National Academy of Engineering and its mission. Learning about this organization has introduced me to additional resources and opportunities.


  • Eduardo Silva
    Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering
    University of California, Davis

    My research applies engineering principles and approaches to study and manipulate the stem cell response and environment, which is expected to expand our understanding of stem cell fate decisions and their trafficking in the body. 

    Participating in the FOE Symposium provided an ideal opportunity to view engineering in action and its impact on society. The opportunity to interact and foster connections with truly inspired engineers was simply unique. 

  • Elizabeth Wayman
    Director, Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative
    U.S. Department of Energy

    I lead a DOE team working to enhance U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing clean energy technologies. I also co-founded STG International, a non-profit organization developing solar energy technologies for remote locations in developing countries.


  • Pablo Zavattieri
    Associate Professor, Lyles School of Civil Engineering
    Purdue University

    My lab focuses on programmable, architectured, and bio-related materials at the interface of solid mechanics and materials engineering.

    The FOE offers the perfect environment for creating new ideas to address some of the most important challenges and needs in a way that encourages the collaboration with some of the most brilliant scientists and engineers from different areas. New possibilities of cooperation present themselves when you realize that your work has new, exciting applications with the work of others.