The structure of universities can facilitate interdisciplinary research but is still lacking in its support of interdisciplinary engineering education.
NSF should create an interdisciplinary undergraduate education program to support education appropriate to GES and adaptation and transfer of knowledge to geoengineering from such disciplines as nanotechnology, biotechnology, and infotechnology.
NSF should leverage research funding to engage design and consulting engineers in geoengineering research and development activities. Proposal evaluation criteria could include credit for matching funds and in-kind services from industry, or some portion of available research funds could be dedicated to projects with matching industry support.
In concluding its work, the committee was pleased to learn of the recently completed National Academy of Engineering report Engineering Research and America’s Future: Meeting the Challenges of a Global Economy. The main recommendations in that report are for increased investments at the federal and state levels, especially for fundamental research; upgrading and expanding laboratories, equipment, information technologies, and other infrastructure needs of universities; cultivating greater U.S. student interest in, and aptitude for, careers in engineering and in engineering research in particular; development and implementation of innovative curricula; and revision of current immigration procedures to make it easier to attract top scientific and engineering talent from around the world. Each of these recommendations should be adapted specifically to help meet the challenges of geoengineering in the twenty-first century.