I suggest the Lifelong Learning Imperative truly is a grand challenge.
Here’s why: The scope is not only ambitious, it is bold. It encompasses engineers at all ages; it embraces engineering at all stages.
It’s also a good time to consider the difference between “being an engineer” and “becoming an engineer” – and the ways that lifelong learning can make a difference in the lives of individual engineers, in the innovative and competitive capacity of our economy, and in the vibrancy of the profession of engineering.
My journey began when I heard a podcast on how Science is drowning in data on Real Science and how Scientists are turning to Cloud Computing to solve some of the problems. This took me to the research funded by NSF (about 5 million dollars to 14 Universities) on a wide variety of problems from Data Analytics to Visualization.
If you want to take a little peek into the future and some of the problems concerning nations, it is good to track organizations like NSF. What do they fund? Why do they fund it? What were the results? What happened to the technology built, lessons learned? Is there an opportunity to use these as a base for a business? Or simply as research data?