One of major challenges to engineering is the ability to create an entirely secure cyberspace. This means the advancement of personal security on the online world as well as national security as pertains to a state or country. This requires having protective measures against hacking of transmitted messages, as well as identity theft on social sites. Engineering is utilized in the ICT world today and especially in transport and communication systems. If people with ill motives manage to hack into such systems, a country’s activities could become entirely disabled. Utility services like water, electricity, and gas would have a direct effect on people’s lives and hence such systems pose a formidable threat if they are prone to cyberspace crime.
This area requires more engineering innovations to offer more secure systems that are less prone to cyberspace insecurity. Recent innovations may include advanced biometric technologies such as combined voice recognition and fingerprint reading. Internet users should also be educated on the psychological and habitual activities that promote cyberspace crime, as this would minimize internal threats. They should also be enlightened on the laws and regulations that require keen observation.
Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure
Restoration and repair of infrastructure is another major challenge to engineering (Engineering Challenges). Infrastructure comprises of roads, power, and utility grids that a country or state utilizes to improve its citizens’ living standards. Urban areas tend to have a higher population pressure and hence the infrastructural facilities serve more people. This causes the facilities to be more exposed to wear and tear through continual use, accidents, and terrorist attacks. Engineers are faced with the challenge of designing sewage and disposal systems to sustain the large urban populations. Recent technological innovations such as mobile phones, digital television, and faster internet access require infrastructural innovations that engineers must design appropriately to ensure continuous operation. Engineers are faced with the challenge of maintaining old infrastructural installations, for example, underground pipes and cables since they have become buried and hence inaccessible.
Transportation systems require calculated designs to suit the needs of different users such as pedestrians, cyclists, personal vehicles, and mass transit vehicles. Equally important is the design and construction of safe, hygienic and affordable places of residence for people living in urban areas. The challenge comes about when striking a compromise or balance between quality and cost. Application of robotics and automation together with the use of strong construction materials with adequate reinforcements have facilitated dramatic progress to be achieved in terms of infrastructural development.
Engineers have to consider the aesthetic aspect of their constructions as this affects the joy of living. Engineering designs are now aimed at not only solving physical problems but also integrating with the natural landscape (Engineering Challenges). However, much as engineering principles may have solutions to the physical environment certain policies implemented by a country’s governing authority may hinder any developments from occurring since funding is essential for any project to be completed successfully.
Prevent Nuclear Terror
Engineers face a monumental challenge as regards to preventing the nuclear terror that comes with nuclear weapons. Knowledge on how to make such bombs is readily available on the internet, and any bright brain with the necessary fissile material can make such weapons for sale, terrorism or otherwise. Engineering faces the challenge of detecting nuclear material tracing its use so as ensure security from the use by terrorists (Engineering Challenges). It is also difficult to detonate or deactivate such devices once they are completely manufactured and ready for use. The methods of detecting nuclear materials are currently not sufficiently efficient, and new and better methods need to be innovated.
"Engineering Challenges." Grand Challenges for Engineering. N.p., n.d.
Web. 30 Sept. 2012.