NAE Virtual Incubator: Register to Watch NAE against COVID-19 Pitch Competition on June 26th at 1:30 EDT

June 19, 2020

Preparing a Generation to Tackle the Grand Challenges

We invite you to join us live online, Friday, June 26 from 1:30-3:00 EDT, as the first set of teams from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Call to Action against COVID-19 pitch their concepts to an Expert Review Committee of NAE members.

REGISTER HERE (in addition, media queries can be directed to Randy Atkins:; 202-329-1248)

The NAE’s virtual incubator is facilitating development of hundreds of ideas for ways engineering can help address various aspects of the current pandemic, catalyzing collaboration amongst a multi-generational range of engineers – from students in the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program to cutting edge researchers in the Frontiers of Engineering program to eminent members of the NAE itself – as well as other disciplines.

The five initial presentations below will each be followed by Q&A with the panel. Audience members will have an opportunity to submit comments in an ongoing chat.

At-Home Diagnostics for COVID-19 Infection and ImmunityA single paper-based test, like a pregnancy-test, would show an instant color change if either you are currently or have previously been infected with the novel coronavirus.

More efficient and effective COVID-19 vaccine deliveryAn innovation to administer considerably smaller doses of vaccine using needleless delivery directly into the skin, where immunological response is enhanced, through a mechanism that could allow immunization of more people per batch.

Self-disinfecting N-95 masksTraditional masks trap COVID19 in filter fibers sitting directly atop the nose and mouth. As the virus accumulates, infection becomes increasingly likely. The proposed method would integrate a copper coating that is able to destroy both viral and bacterial pathogens without the need for manual disinfection.

Wearable Sensors for Remote Monitoring of COVID-19 PatientsA first-of-its-kind wearable bandage incorporating a wireless sensor that could monitor five vital signs pertinent to the COVID-19 patients, enabling better isolation of patients and enhanced data collection.

Handless Door OpenerAn international team of students, who met at a Global Grand Challenges Summit in London, will present a design for a foot-operated door opener compatible with lever and knob latch handles.


Questions about the event logistics should be sent to:

Randy Atkins
Director, COVID-19 Call to Action
Director, Communications/Media
“Engineering Innovation” on WTOP Radio
Director, Grand Challenges for Engineering project (“Because Dreams Need Doing”)
National Academy of Engineering
Cell: 202-329-1248

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is an elected group of our nation’s (and the world’s) most accomplished engineers.  Its mission is to “promote the technological welfare of the nation by marshaling the knowledge and insights of eminent members of the engineering profession.”  The NAE is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an independent non-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress to provide objective analysis and advice to the nation.