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MAKING THINGS 21st Century Manufacturing and Design S U M M A RY O F A F O R U M Prepared by Steve Olson for the
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The subject of this report is a forum titled Making Things: 21st Century Manufacturing and Design held during the 2011 Annual Meeting of the National Acad - emy of Engineering. Opinions, finding, and conclusions expressed in this publication are those of the forum participants and not necessarily the views of the National Academy of Engineering. International Standard Book Number 13: 978-0-309-22559-5 International Standard Book Number 10: 0-309-22559-0 Copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (888) 624-8373 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); online at http://www.nap.edu. For more information about the National Academy of Engineering, visit the NAE home page at www.nae.edu. Copyright 2012 by the National Academies. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examina - tion of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Preface M ore than two decades ago, just as I was arriving at the Mas - sachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a commission of 17 MIT scientists and economists released a report that opened with the memorable phrase, “To live well, a nation must produce well.”1 Is that still true? Or can the United States remain a preeminent nation while other countries increasingly make the products that once were made in America? These questions were at the center of a forum titled “Making Things: 21st Century Manufacturing and Design” held during the 2011 Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Engineering. In a wide-ranging and provocative conversation, seven leaders of business, government, and academia explored the many facets of manufacturing and design and outlined the many opportunities and responsibilities posed by manu - facturing for the engineering profession. Craig Barrett, the former CEO and chairman of Intel Corporation and a passionate leader in the movement to improve K–12 education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), described what it will take for America to remain a manufacturing leader in the 21st century. Rodney Brooks, former head of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT and founder-chairman of Heartland Robotics, painted a compelling picture of low-technology products being manufactured by high-technology robots. 1 Michael L. Dertouzos, Richard K. Lester, Robert M. Solow, and the MIT Commission. 1989. Made in America: Regaining the Productive Edge. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. v
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vi PREFACE NAE President Charles M. Vest presenting opening remarks. Larry Burns, former vice president for research and development and strategic planning of General Motors Corporation, drew on his experiences at GM—positive and negative—to distill five essential les - sons for the next generation of engineers. Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation, issued a forceful challenge to be “impatient with the status quo” in protecting America’s historical strengths. Regina Dugan, the director of the Defense Advanced Research Proj- ects Agency (DARPA), warned that weaknesses in U.S. manufacturing could threaten national security—“to protect, we must produce.” Brett Giroir, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives at Texas A&M and CEO of the National Biosecurity Foundation, described a particular aspect of protection—the manufacturing of vaccines and treatments to guard against pandemics and bioterrorism. Finally, David Kelley, founder and chairman of IDEO, highlighted the importance of design thinking—along with individual and institu- tional confidence—to creativity, innovation, and success. Ali Velshi, CNN’s chief business correspondent, served as a superb moderator for the forum. The partnership between the NAE and Ali benefits us both. The NAE can take advantage of Ali’s ability to ask
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vii PREFACE probing questions and lead engaging conversations. And Ali has the opportunity to spend time with people who have thought deeply about engineering. As Ali said, the media “need to find heroic stories about engineering. They exist, but we have to be better at putting them together.” As the nation heads into a presidential election year, manufactur- ing probably will not be a prominent issue in debates or on television. Yet manufacturing made America strong and will do much to shape its future. As we prepare to make decisions about the policies of this nation, we would all benefit by spending more time talking and thinking about manufacturing. Charles M. Vest, President National Academy of Engineering
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Contents I The Many Facets of Engineering 1 Prerequisites for Success, 1 A High-Tech Approach to Low-Tech Products, 3 Five Lessons for the Next Generation, 5 Fostering Impatience with the Status Quo, 9 Produce to Protect, 11 Produce to Live, 13 Creativity, Confidence, and Innovation, 15 II From Talk to Action 17 Job Creation, 17 The Role of Government, 19 The Benefits of Diversity, 21 The Importance of K–12 Education, 22 The Global Effects of Local Action, 24 APPENDIXES A Forum Agenda 25 B Biographical Information 27 ix
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