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.


  • Frank DelRio
    Mechanical Engineer
    National Institute of Standards and Technology

    My research group promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness in the development and use of materials and components for small-scale applications through the development of mechanical measurement and microscopy techniques. 

    FOE provides a unique opportunity to interact with young scientists and engineers from academia, government labs, and industry on established and emerging technologies and trends, not only through the formal presentations from world-class researchers in their respective fields, but also through the informal break-out groups, poster sessions, and social events. In this format, FOE participants are encouraged to learn more about the current and future grand challenges in society and then to establish collaborations at the symposium to address some of these issues.

  • Burcin Becerik-Gerber
    Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    University of Southern California

    My research program focuses on the acquisition, modeling, and analysis of data for user-centered built environments, and the development of novel frameworks and visualization techniques to improve built-environment efficiency and increase user satisfaction. 

    The FOE symposium was a great opportunity for me to meet with scientists and engineers from both industry and academia who focus on similar topics with different perspectives. Since my area of research is a multidisciplinary one, I had the opportunity to build collaborations with researchers from different backgrounds, and I was able to learn more about cutting edge research in symposium topics.

  • Mario Epler
    Manager, Alloy and Process Modeling R&D
    Carpenter Technology

    As part of a primary metals producer, my group applies advanced simulation techniques to address specialty alloys needs for demanding applications in the aerospace, medical, consumer, and energy markets. We utilize computational modeling to link processing, structure, and properties of materials.

    The FOE symposium illustrated that many of the technological challenges that we are trying to address in research and development are not unique to our respective fields. Through the diverse set of presentations, common themes emerged that stimulated technical discussions focused on addressing our common needs.

  • Jodie Lutkenhaus
    Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering
    Texas A&M University

    My research focuses on electroactive polymers, polyelectrolytes, and energy storage, with specific applications that include stimuli-responsive smart-coatings, batteries, and capacitors.

    FOE has inspired me to look beyond my borders, to form relationships outside my discipline, and to go after high-risk, high-impact global problems.

  • Lars Blackmore
    Principal Rocket Landing Engineer

    In my research, I design algorithms and operations for precision rocket landing on Earth and Mars using convex optimization to solve previously intractable onboard guidance and control problems.

    The FOE symposium was a unique opportunity to learn about cutting-edge research outside of my field and to make connections between industry and academia. FOE has a unique format that enables informal interactions that are highly enjoyable and effective. 

  • Desiree Tullos
    Associate Professor, Water Resources Engineering
    Oregon State University

    My work investigates questions around the sustainable management of rivers, applying field and modeling studies to advance understanding on the physical and biological processes that shape river from the particle to basin scales. 

    The program is a very effective means for generating new ideas by integrating disciplines and cultures. For example, the FOE meeting in Mysore helped me identify commonalities in the architectures of communication networks and river networks and helped me launch a new research program on sustainable flood management in the Himalayas.