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Defense & Security

Call an engineer: Norman Augustine talks about reinvigorating science and engineering

The pace of change of modern technology requires that the engineering profession reinvent itself. Norman Augustine addressed this topic at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing symposium. (Video interview and podcast of speech)
29 April 2009, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3200904.0002

The engineer of the 21st century will have certain fundamentals in common with the one of the 20th century; however, the 21st century engineer is unlikely to recognize the education received by his or her predecessor. Even the language is different...think about it: mouse, chip, computer, virus, and more! Augustine spoke in a symposium-wide plenary session on April 13, 2009 at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing symposium.

Later, he shared his views with SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs in a 30-minute interview covering changes and challenges in engineering, particularly in the United States. Augustinerecommendedd that people "call an engineer" for solutions to most of the big problems faced by society.

SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs talked with Norman Augustine at the DSS symposium.


Augustine received the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States and also received the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Public Service Award. He has five times received the Department of Defense's highest civilian decoration, the Distinguished Service Medal. He is co-author of The Defense Revolution and Shakespeare in Charge and author of Augustine's Laws and Augustine's Travels. He was selected by Who's Who in America and the Library of Congress as one of "Fifty Great Americans" on the occasion of the Who's Who's 50th Anniversary.

Listen to or download the plenary talk. (58 minutes; MP3 format)

Transcript of Augustine plenary talk (PDF)