Poll results

Nicole Flores
Nicole Flores

PostedFebruary 27, 2008

Visitors to this site have been choosing the Grand Challenge that is most important to them. The results of that poll are ranked here by the number of votes each engineering challenge received during the period February 15 through June 30, 2008:

1. Make solar energy economical
2. Provide energy from fusion
3. Provide access to clean water
4. Reverse-engineer the brain
5. Advance personalized learning
6. Develop carbon sequestration methods
7. Engineer the tools of scientific discovery
8. Restore and improve urban infrastructure
9. Advance health informatics
10. Prevent nuclear terror
11. Engineer better medicines
12. Enhance virtual reality
13.  Manage the nitrogen cycle
14. Secure cyberspace

So far, 25,113 votes have been received.  These results will be updated regularly, as more votes come in.

Sort By
  • Joshua

    Posted 8 years and 5 months ago

    Joshua from VA comments on Poll results
    Yes, attaining clean drinking water is important but doesn't need to be made top priority. If solar energy is made more economical, solar energy could then be used to assist in providing access to clean drinking water. Sometimes one solution can make others. If you think on a broader scale, clean energy can lead to solutions for multiple challenges.
  • Casey

    Posted 8 years and 5 months ago

    Casey from Mesa, Az comments on Poll results
    I think its important to redesign the Urban areas since with a growing population and stable amount of land mass, we will need to redesign. Better now with leisure than later with urgency.
  • Dylan

    Posted 9 years and 3 months ago

    Dylan from NY comments on Poll results
    Water availability and cleanliness should be our top priority. We can survive a day without electricity, but we cannot without water. Economically and Environmentally practical energy is important but not as essential to life as water.
  • John

    Posted 9 years and 5 months ago

    John from Australia comments on Poll results
    3. Provide access to clean water

    Then once this is achieved for all, next would be 5. Advance personalized learning.

    And following proper education for all, the rest will follow.
  • Atma

    Posted 9 years and 7 months ago

    Atma from Tempe, AZ comments on Poll results
    Finding solutions for clean water and managing the nitrogen cycle are equally as important if we plan to be on this planet for a while because they are crucial to our existence. Seeing that we still for some reason have countries with limited or no access to clean water that isn't swarming with bacteria and toxins (like nitrates in run-off water), that should be number one on the list. A lot of the challenges are interwoven though, like providing cheaper solar energy and carbon sequestration.
  • yunus

    Posted 10 years and 3 months ago

    yunus from student comments on Poll results
    . Manage the nitrogen cycle
  • Tom

    Posted 10 years and 8 months ago

    Tom from LA, Califonia comments on Poll results
    The combined effort of solar energy, fusion energy and carbon sequestration will be required as a solution to the rising carbon dioxide levels and climate change. Providing access to clean water and improving urban infrastructure are just as important especially to developing nations.
  • Grant Clark
    Grant Clark

    Posted 12 years and 11 months ago

    Grant Clark from Montreal, Canada comments on Poll results
    Managing the nitrogen cycle is crirtical over the long term, especially considering that have yet to get our population under control! Assuming that we all want to eat, that is, and clothe ourselves, build, etc. with renewable, biological materials.
  • George Dowd
    George Dowd

    Posted 13 years and 4 months ago

    George Dowd from SD, USA comments on Poll results
    Energy is the thing to begin with, because energy is necessary for everything. I don't care how it's done, but cheaper energy means cheaper electricity, cheaper transportation, etc. In the long run, cheaper energy means cheaper everything, which means everything can be done easier. With regards to ethics, that is not an engineering challenge. Furthermore, man is inherently evil. We aren't going to all work together perfectly to solve all of the world's physical wants and needs. Far better to not waste time trying, and do what you can, with whom you can, when you can without worrying that you won't get everything done.
  • kevin

    Posted 13 years and 4 months ago

    kevin from Mauritius comments on Poll results
    Avoiding death is a greater challenge than giving life Life lost cannot be repaid by money or watts. so, we must make sure that our nuclear plants are more reliable than our dogs. All the other engineering challenges are also very important as you may all agree, but it is better not to give life than to take lives. Nuclear terror, like its name says...
  • Richard Hidalgo
    Richard Hidalgo

    Posted 13 years and 6 months ago

    Richard Hidalgo from Quito, Ecuador comments on Poll results
    If we can get solar energy, at a lower cost than oil energy, we will achieve a cleaner and better preserved earth. That is our number one problem.
  • Ben

    Posted 13 years and 6 months ago

    Ben from Gove, Australia comments on Poll results
    New sources of energy are the most important engineering challenge as without cheap energy the current economy will collapse. Once we do this, then we can work on the robots to do all our physical work for us : )
  • Mark

    Posted 13 years and 6 months ago

    Mark from Louisiana comments on Poll results
    This list is almost perfect. It covers new available energy sources, clean drinkable water, maintaining the enviroment, and the future of health care. I just thing the nitrogen cycle should be higher on the list.
  • C Booth
    C Booth

    Posted 13 years and 7 months ago

    C Booth from Boston comments on Poll results
    Many of these are wacko, and fail to recognize what is really important - clean air, drinkable water, available energy, sustainable environment, universal health care (available in all developed countries except the nutcase US). Fusion is pie in the sky. We already have a well engineered fusion power plant located a safe distance from major population centers - the sun, 150 million km away. It is highly appropriate to choose development of solar energy as the first priority, and education will bring down the birth rate. As to medicines, if you threw all the medicines in the world into the sea, more people would live longer and the fish would get sick. We need healthier food and less medicines, not more.
  • Thommy

    Posted 13 years and 8 months ago

    Thommy from Littleton, CO, USA comments on Poll results
    I feel providing access to clean water should be ahead of making solar energy economical and providing energy from fusion.
  • Steve Masoomian
    Steve Masoomian

    Posted 13 years and 9 months ago

    Steve Masoomian from Houston, TX, USA comments on Poll results
    Providing access to clean water is of utmost importance because without it you lose much of the human endurance necessary to accomplish the other 13 grand challenges. Water is a non-renewable resource that must be conserved for all of humanity to have access to food and potable water and to curb disease that comes from undersanitation. Reducing the human misery that results in a lack of access to clean water is an activity that compels the highest virtue in mankind.
  • German Urdaneta
    German Urdaneta

    Posted 13 years and 9 months ago

    German Urdaneta from Colombia (S outh America) comments on Poll results
    Science is really wonderfull. Both man´s self conscience is still better. It is true that the challenges listed are of the utmost importance. But, how about revovering the public´s trust in the engineer´s reliability and fair honesty? Is ethics rebirth a challenge or just a vain hope? If we engineers, as leaders of the usage of the planet´s resource and the betterment of the living conditions of mankind, act ethically all the challenges can be met, since the wordls resources could be devoted to solving these issues. Also ethics could prevent much of the violence thst deviates most needed resources into violence and terrorism fighting. To attain ethics, the only way is a proper education , ethically lived.
  • Alexander

    Posted 13 years and 10 months ago

    Alexander from Belarus comments on Poll results
    I think that one of the most important challenges is teleportation.