14th German-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

March 28 – 31, 2012
Potsdam, Germany


The activity aims to bring together outstanding, early-career German and American engineers from industry, universities, and other research institutions to introduce their areas of engineering research and technical work, thereby facilitating an interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge and methodology that could eventually lead to the development of cooperative networks of young engineers from both countries.


Conferences are held annually, alternating between Germany and the United States, with about 30 engineers from each country participating. Funding on the German side is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. An organizing committee comprised of German and U.S. engineers develops the program for the event and assists in the selection of participants. Co-chairs for the 2012 GAFOE meeting are Prof. Dr. Cynthia Barnhart, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Peter Moser, Head of New Technology R&D at RWE Power Germany. The topics that will be covered at the 2012 GAFOE symposium are Energy Storage, Implantable Electronics, Robotics for Hazardous Environments and Nanomaterials and the Environment.


Since 1995, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has held an annual Frontiers of Engineering symposium that brings together 100 outstanding engineers (ages 30-45) from U.S. companies, universities, and government to discuss leading-edge research and technical work across a range of engineering fields. The goal of the symposium is to introduce these engineers to each other, challenge them to think about developments and problems at the frontiers of areas different from their own, and thereby facilitate collaborative work, the transfer of new techniques and approaches across fields, and establishment of contacts among the next generation of leaders in engineering.

In 1998, NAE expanded the Frontiers program into the international arena with the first German-American Frontiers of Engineering (GAFOE). Since then, bilateral programs with Japan, India, and China have also been added to the Frontiers portfolio. The 2012 GAFOE symposium will be held in Potsdam, Germany. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation co-organizes the German-American Frontiers of Engineering with the NAE. Apart from GAFOE the Frontiers portfolio of the Humboldt Foundation also includes symposia for the natural sciences with the US, Japan, China, and Great Britain, as well as symposia for the humanities with the US, and Israel. Moreover, AvH has started a series of Frontiers of Engineering Symposia with India in 2009.

This program is financed by the:

Frontiers of Research Symposia

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