Challenges and prizes
Henry Petroski discusses how incentives and prizes play an important role in encouraging research and development work on tough engineering related challenges. Meeting a challenge and walking away with a prize can be only the beginning of what might prove to be a long and convoluted engineering development project. The grand challenges relating to human health include offering access to clean water, restoring and improving urban infrastructure, and advancing health informatics. Clean drinking water is essential to good health, but worldwide there are problems with aquifers contaminated with arsenic and other naturally occurring poisons, as well as by manmade pollution. Generally speaking, a design competition has a specific structure or device as its objective. Competition announcements and guidelines also can require that engineers work with architects or artists, and the teams may have to prequalify by establishing their credentials in bridge design.
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