National Academy invites Tien to Japan-America Frontiers symposium

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Assistant Professor Iris Tien, who was one of 30 engineers from the United States invited to the Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering symposium organized by the National Academy of Engineering and its Japanese counterpart. (Photo: Jess Hunt-Ralston)

Iris Tien has just returned from a gathering of a few dozen of the most promising young engineers from the United States and Japan, thanks to an invitation from the National Academy of Engineering.

The 2018 Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering symposium invited 60 early career engineers for two days of intensive conversations about emerging technology in water treatment, bionics and prosthetics, smart structures and materials, and advanced artificial intelligence.

“It was a great opportunity to bridge across the two countries and see how Japanese and American researchers approach common research challenges,” said Tien, an assistant professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She said the conversations allowed the group “to explore how different approaches — e.g., machine learning and systems-level analyses — apply across areas of engineering.”

The Japan-America Frontiers meeting is a cooperative effort of the National Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Academy of Japan. This is the third time Tien has been invited to one of the prestigious Frontiers gatherings, which are designed to promote international collaboration, transfer of techniques among disciplines, and create new ideas.

Last year, she went to the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium, and she traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2015 for the Arab-American spinoff that focuses on science, engineering and medicine.

She’ll continue to contribute to the Frontiers-led conversations later this year, when she returns to the original stateside symposium to organize a session on resilient and reliable infrastructure.