In the 21st century, the complex issues facing society will likely demand an approach that combines a ‘technology push' with a ‘societal pull' to address interdisciplinary challenges such as climate change, human health, information security and privacy, and urbanization. Engineering progress sparks challenges for the imagination, such as understanding the human brain and consciousness, harnessing quantum coherence, realizing general artificial intelligence, and venturing to the planets and the stars.

A decade ago, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering. These serve as a set of blueprints for innovation to enhance the quality of life and suggest the direction of educational programs for the technical workforce of the future.

In 2022, the Caltech Division of Engineering & Applied Science explored one of these grand challenges with CE10: Caltech Energy 10 to answer the question: How do we cut U.S. GWG emissions in half in ten years?