efficiently realistic computer models of geoengineered structures that include detailed information on geometries and material properties. They will have a large digital library of in-depth case histories to train students in geoengineering. They will have the opportunities to make more educated real-time decisions based on the realistic computer simulations and rapid exchanges of information.


A comprehensive and complete understanding of soils and rocks and the development of effective, efficient, and economical new solutions to problems in geoengineering must consider not only mechanical interactions but also interactions with all forms of energy: mechanical, thermal, chemical, and electrical. New ways of obtaining and processing information about soils and rocks have the potential to revolutionize our engineering capabilities. Some of the ways that the new technologies we have discussed in this chapter may make this happen are summarized in Table 3.5. Application of all these new technologies and the need to incorporate more electronics, biology, chemistry, material science, and information technology into geoengineering has major implications for education as well as practice, and these issues are discussed in Chapter 5.

The committee sees tremendous opportunities for advancing geoengineering through interaction with other disciplines, especially in the areas of biotechnology, nanotechnology, MEMS and microsensors, geosensing, information technology, cyberinfrastructure, and multispatial and multitemporal geographical data modeling, analysis, and visualization. Pilot projects with vertical integration of research of multiple disciplines—perhaps including industry, multiple government agencies, and multiple universities—should be explored as alternatives to more traditional interdisciplinary proposals.

The importance of the human factors discussed earlier in this chapter should not be neglected in the application of advanced technology, whether it be advanced sensors, geophysical exploration, remote sensing,

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement