Over the course of centuries, engineering of all kinds has transformed our lives -- and the field continues to have the potential to improve the quality of life for every person on the planet.

This coming Friday (February 15), the US National Academy of Engineering will post a list of "grand engineering challenges" for the 21st century on a special site, which has already garnered many comments from the public. To create the list, the Academy assembled a special committee that includes some of the most innovative names in engineering, including our own Larry Page.

I think we will see on the list such things as renewable, sustainable and affordable energy, reduction of dependence on petroleum, desalinization, vastly improved food production, greenhouse gas reduction, and affordable and sustainable housing -- but these are just my guesses. No matter which challenges are selected, we know that attention to detail and daring goals are the twin drivers of innovation.

Please visit the site, contribute your ideas and have a look February 15 to see what the experts have decided are the grandest of the grand challenges for engineering in this century.

Of course, I hope "Internet for Everyone" makes it onto the list, but if it doesn't, it's still on mine :-).