Skip to main content

Engineering for Pandemics: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery: Proceedings of a Forum

View Cover

Purchase Options
Purchase Options MyNAP members save 10% online. Login or Register



The 2020 Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Engineering took place under the most unusual circumstances in the Academy's 56-year history. In January 2020 the first few cases of a respiratory illness caused by a newly identified coronavirus were reported in the United States. By March, COVID-19 had become a global pandemic. As soon as the first few cases were reported, engineers began working wiith scientists, medical professionals, and others in the public and private sector to address needs generated by the pandemic. They brought automation, process control, and artificial intelligence to the production of protective equipment, diagnostics, and therapeutics. They established robust supply chains of critical materials. They strengthened the communication technologies and platforms that allowed people to telework and keep in touch with friends and family members.

The 2020 annual meeting was held virtually. The two main plenary presentations, delivered by David Walt, the Hansjörg Wyss Professor of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard Medical School, and Pam Cheng, executive vice president of global operations and information technology for AstraZeneca, focused on the critical role of engineers in responding to the epidemic. Similarly, the annual forum, held the next day and organized by NAE executive officer Al Romig, Jr., and a distinguished organizing committee, was entitled "Engineering for Pandemics: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery". The plenary and forum presentations, which are summarized in this volume, abundantly demonstrate the essential functions that engineers have performed in responding to the virus. They also reveal the lessons derived from engineering that must be absorbed to prepare effectively for future pandemics and for other disasters, expected and unexpected, that will certainly occur in the future.


Suggested Citation

National Academy of Engineering. 2021. Engineering for Pandemics: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery: Proceedings of a Forum. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

48 pages |6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-309-15046-0

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press and the Transportation Research Board have partnered with Copyright Clearance Center to offer a variety of options for reusing our content. You may request permission to:

  • Republish or display in another publication, presentation, or other media
  • Use in print or electronic course materials and dissertations
  • Share electronically via secure intranet or extranet
  • And more

For most Academic and Educational uses no royalties will be charged although you are required to obtain a license and comply with the license terms and conditions.

Click here to obtain permission forEngineering for Pandemics: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery: Proceedings of a Forum.

Translation and Other Rights

For information on how to request permission to translate our work and for any other rights related query please click here. Customer Service

For questions about using the service, please contact:

Copyright Clearance Center
22 Rosewood Drive
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel (toll free): 855/239-3415 (select option 1)

Loading stats for Engineering for Pandemics: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery: Proceedings of a Forum...