This award supports the NSF goal to 'achieve excellence in U.S. Science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at all levels', and will 'provide opportunities for young people that will attract them to and prepare them for careers in science, mathematics, and engineering'. Through a student essay competition, undergraduate and graduate students will be selected to attend two premier conferences in engineering and systems design. The competition will be widely advertised through the conference websites of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and to researchers in engineering design. Posing the essay assignment as an exercise by an industry employee requires the students to consider the effect of global competitiveness on engineering design practices, particularly in light of complex systems. Conference experiences promote growth in individual students and can also serve to strengthen the overall research quality of the research at the student's home institution when this knowledge is shared among their peers.
The objective of this award is to support undergraduate and graduate student attendance at the annual ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC) and the AIAA Multidisciplinary Analysis and Optimization (MAO) Conference. A secondary objective is to encourage students to think deeply about what engineering design of complex systems will be like 20-30 years in the future. Students will communicate their thoughts on this topic in an essay which will be judged by a distinguished group of engineering design researchers and educators. Travel funds will be provided for students who are selected through the design essay competition. A poster session will be organized at the conferences to give the students an opportunity to interact with researchers and discuss their ideas on the future of engineering design of complex systems.