NAE/NSF Abstracts

Abstracts:

The Physical Sibling of the Digital Twin

“Digital Twin” is the term that now encompasses IoT, BIM, AI, AR, and every manner of engineering simulation datasets from FEA and CFD to Quantitative Analysis and Actuarial math.

While great strides are being made to represent the Digital Twin on Blockchain as a proxy for digital value, very little is being done to secure the Physical Sibling of the Digital Twin.

The Physical Sibling is where the actual intrinsic value is stored which underwrites the value of the Digital Twin.  When this physical sibling becomes disconnected, divorced, or otherwise corrupted, this can invalidate the Digital Twin in unpredictable ways.  Many example of this condition exist from the 2008 Financial Crisis, to the current attack vectors on Blockchain applications.

This session introduces the Integrated Engineering Blockchain Consortium and how the engineering communities in infrastructure, energy, transportation, manufacturing and construction are developing a novel use case for blockchain technology that secures the intrinsic value of the physical sibling for the benefit of the entire blockchain ecosystem.

The presentation concludes with a short discussion of macroeconomics where a token that stores value in infrastructure upon which everyone depends may, in fact, bypass 19th Century Economic principals of consumption profits in favor of profits yielded from reduced systemic risk.

 

Correcting The Flaw in Market Economics

What if there was a simple, tiny, and barely perceptible flaw in market economics, which if corrected, would resolve a great many complex problems that we see in the world today.  What if this correction required no revolution, no crisis, and no structural change to any existing institution?  If all we needed to do was measure ourselves a little bit differently, could we bring ourselves together to do it?

A delicate cycle exists among Finance, Insurance, and Engineering.  A bank will not lend money unless a project is insured, insurance will not underwrite a poorly engineered project, and finally, engineering requires finance to cover soft costs.  These three forces acting together are responsible for nearly all value upon which society utterly depends.  If we lose one of these pillars, we lose all three.  This is the nature of systemic risk in our communities and ultimately, in our world.

Today we measure economic growth in 19th century terms of land, labor, and capital, where value is measured through endless and often senseless consumption of natural and public resources.  What if we could measure “risk” instead of  “return” as an intrinsic basis of currency?  In essence, we would store value in people and infrastructure, instead of gold, or oil, or debt, etc.  The only thing that would change is the incentive to preserve resources rather than consume them.

By now, most people have heard of Blockchain technology as that Bitcoin thing.  What few people realize is that this technology allows us to measure value differently than ever before.  This could lead to great peril of Casino economics, or it could lead to great advances in the human condition.  It depends on how we measure ourselves.   This presentation explores the research of the Integrated Engineering Blockchain Consortium and our mission to incorporate blockchain technology across the multi-disciplinary engineering professions.

 

Why Engineers need to take blockchain Technology Seriously

Blockchain technology is the most recent in a wave of technologies overtaking public consciousness. “Disruption” is an understatement as predictions of entirely new monetary and governance systems are the new standard of media hype and horrors. Yet few people realize that Blockchains were invented by engineers – in their own image! This presentation will explain the origin of blockchains, the problem that blockchains solve, current trends, and the enormous opportunities and strategic advantage presented to the engineering profession, if and only if we choose to accept them.  Etc…

Decentralizing the Engineering Profession: TBD

Commercializing Intellectual Property of Research Universities; TBD 

The Innovation Bank; TBD

Meeting the innovation demand in a Post-COVID19 world; TBD

21st Century Education for STEM Professionals – TBD

Decentralized Oracle Network.

The majority of public blockchain applications use smart contracts that depend on oracles – third party conditions that trigger a smart contract payout.  The utility of smart contracts is limited only by the variety of Oracles that can be relied upon and the physical conditions that they validate.  For example, an energy related token would be contingent on engineers who create the power.  A transportation related token would be contingent on the safety of roads and bridges. A real estate related token would be contingent on safe and well maintained structures.  Bitcoin itself is only as valuable as the infrastructure that supports it.  The question remains – who is going to decentralize the Oracles?  This is the core function of CoEngineers blockchain, to create a secure, incorruptible, and  decentralized body of Oracles who are qualified to adjudicate any smart contract that interacts with the physical world.

 

Large Scale Carbon Sequestration:

Managed seaweed forests restore ocean health with the same pathways as in nature (photosynthesis, digestion, and nutrient return to photosynthesis).  It does this by reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations through expanding forests of seaweed.  Recycling plant nutrients expands the seaweed forests, creating biodiverse ocean afforestation zones, with ocean pH levels closer to normal.  Initially, areas without acidification sustain shellfish.  Eventually higher populations of edible crustaceans and fish enjoy the new seaweed forests.  Calculations by this research team suggest that climate change could be reversed in less than 50 years.  However, ocean forestation would need to occur on an enormous scale with build, operation, and maintenance costs in the billions of dollars.  Where no mainstream financial instruments appear to be viable for such a project, a blockchain strategy and algorithmic game interface may be the financing opportunity for this type of project.  This project is unique for it’s ability to start small and scale rapidly growing as the network grows. Reference: Oceanforesters.org

 

Disaster relief and recovery.

Professional Engineers are essential after large-scale disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods where an immediate and comprehensive accounting of structural integrity of buildings, physical infrastructure and public hazards is required. Unfortunately, State Laws restrict the practice of Professional Engineering to only those registered in each state. Obtaining an additional state license may take over 30 days and cost several hundred dollars. Chronic shortage of licensed engineers results in delays, incomplete or scattered information, non-standard assessment, silos and pockets of data, or invalid observation by under qualified persons.  Such baseline assessments are essential for the public, multiple government agencies, health care professionals, as well as insurance companies, financial institutions, supply chain and regional industry, etc. This blockchain application would relieve this condition in two ways: 1. Allow for engineers registered in other US jurisdictions to immediately receive temporary comity for the duration and scope of the disaster, 2. Result in the rapid compilation of a single comprehensive and standardized damage condition assessment for the entire event captured on an immutable record that could be used by all agencies for the purpose of delivering services, mitigating damage, or reducing crime, scams, and fraudulent claims.

 

Building Information Modeling (BIM 1);

With Blockchain technology, BIM models have great potential to become massively networked ledgers of engineering information shared by multiple writers where separation of responsibility is provided, consensus is assured, and immutability is secure.  Increasingly, BIM models and CRMS may merge to include logistics, sales, and financial data as well.  Next, factor in Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, etc. and complexities of integrating them all would far exceed the ability for a centralized management system.  Such scenarios may be textbook-perfect applications for  blockchain technology.

 

Building Information Modeling (BIM 2). 

In the near future, legacy hierarchical engineering firms will be pressured by upstarts to find greater efficiency by reorganizing to a network structure.  However, the transition from Hierarchy to network is extremely difficult, risky, and in fact, few have been successful.  BIM (and similar modeling systems) may provide a unique controlled environment for first-use of blockchain technology and associated networked structures to coexist within legacy organizations.  An enormous use-case in it’s own right (see BIM 1), by introducing Blockchain in this fashion, legacy organizations may become reified across the enterprise in a planned transition to a fully enabled and networked engineering platform.  Paper here. 

 

Municipal Governance on Blockchain.

Many small and large cities regulate publicly owned resources such as trees, signs, parking, roadways, and even form-based zoning, etc.  These regulations can often cost a great deal to enforce and may result in loss of public goodwill due to perceived government over-reach.  We are developing a novel approach using a public ledger and multi-agent algorithmic game mechanics to help communities self-regulate shared public assets.  This may ultimately  be applicable to state and federal assets as well. Article here

 

Technical Staffing:

Many companies from AECs to Aerospace experience strong business cycles which may result in periodic mass hiring and mass layoffs.  During such cycles, permanent employees may be adversely impacted by the work load volatility while the broader communities may struggle with external economic shocks resulting from these swings.  IEBC is developing a novel blockchain approach for decentralizing and validated pools of ‘liquid’ knowledge assets for rapid deployments, decreased volatility, and predictive allocation.

 

Next Generation of Engineers:

IEBC is partnering with proven on-line gaming company Enjin who are developing a blockchain layer for engineering immersion mods in the popular MineCraft ecosystem. Many engineers cite legos as their favorite childhood toy.  But today, computer games such as Minecraft are becoming increasingly sophisticated modeling and simulation exercises applicable to engineering.   IEBC is interested in the ability to identify young modelers who demonstrate high engineering proclivity in order to develop the next generation of engineers. The blockchain allows users to create an indelible record of their play/build history that may be recognized by mentors, college applications, trade applications, and corporations who seek to identify and nurture future STEM talent.   This will give IEBC potential network of 20M young engineers worldwide ultimately providing an early and continuous path to an engineering profession. Article here

 

Maintenance and Replacement insurance:

IEBC is specifying a smart storage medium for future repair, maintenance, and replacement funding to be time-released by a novel insurance product  programed by engineers and actuaries to reduces volatility in such expenditures and preserve economic value of real assets.  The storage of value in infrastructure many be accounted as a function of true operational utility. Paper submission pending.

 

Real Estate Operating System:

You can’t have smart cities unless buildings have a “memory”.  IEBC in association with Urban Logic, LLC are developing a project that aggregates all information from BIM models to sales, operations, maintenance and public records on an immutable decentralized database adjudicated by engineers for the purpose of valuation, insurability, and securitization of real assets.  RE-OS would increase market efficiency and allow securities to mark-to-value instead of mark-to-market, thereby resolving a contributing factor of the 2008 financial meltdown.   Article here

 

Internet of Things:

IoT is a promising technology that calls for the placement of sensors on any number of real-world conditions as a means of collecting information and automating transactions.  Unfortunately, sensors fail. Who is going to design, specify, locate, isolate, maintain, interpret, and replace billions of sensors?  This is the domain of engineers.  Fortunately, a sensor may be programed to send a micro payment back to a decentralized body of engineers who may validate and support the operation of critical sensors.

 

Artificial Intelligence:

AI engines such as IBM Watson and others, demonstrate enormous potential for advanced data processing in critical technological fields such as health care, engineering, and transportation.  The drawback is that the AI machine needs to be calibrated to a known set of experts.  Only then can AI go forward to make predictive conclusions.  To whom will society assign this tremendous responsibility to protect our most critical AI systems?  IEBC proposes that our novel Engineering Knowledge Database could serve this purpose while also mining the currency Quant thereby amplifying the intrinsic value of the Quant.

 

BidPool  

Many contractors say that their COGS (cost of goods sold) consumes 10-30% of their expenses. Obviously, this cost is passed on the customer.  Project bidding can be made far more efficient with BidPool Adjudicated Smart Contract Gaming platform.  BidPool is a Value Game that reduces the cost of procurement, increases project assurance, and realigns market incentives to reward high individual integrity by introducing simple game mechanics on a blockchain ledger, and novel allocation of knowledge Asset. Article here

 

Public Gun Safety on Blockchain: 

According to some sources, almost 280,000 Americans have died from guns in the last decade.  Even opponents of gun control acknowledge that there is a need to assure that a gun owner is qualified to operate each specific type of firearm that they possess. Even proponents of gun control acknowledge that registering private information with a central authority (government, insurance, gun schools) constitutes a loss of civil liberty.  This method uses blockchain technology to preserve 2nd Amendment rights and relative anonymity, while also creating an insurable condition for gun owners, incentivising proper qualifications, and preserving regulatory compliance. Article Here

 

Urban Forest Management on Blockchain:  

Many municipalities are adopting laws that restrict the cutting of trees on private property in response to factors such as canopy loss, erosion control, wildlife protection, urban forest management, development, view amenities, climate change, etc. However, most models for tree regulation are unpopular with their imposing fines, permit fees, high density development, and government regulation on private property owners.  This blockchain technique allows communities to self manage private property with a tree token that is mined as trees grow and sunk as trees die.    

 

Large Scale Carbon Sequestration.  

Polypropylene (PPR) is often considered the scourge of landfills and environmentalists the world over for its ability remain inert for up to 10,000 years.  Polypropylene however is making a strong entry as a water pipe material substituting for copper (Cu), for example. When comparing the environmental impact of producing PPR and Cu, polypropylene is safer, cheaper, and localized. PPR melts at very low temperature (300F PPR vs 1900F Cu) and can be recycled infinitely into any number of products from roadways to building materials to 3D printer stock and piping. If part of the World’s remaining petroleum endowment were converted to PPR, we would avoid enormous ecological consequences while providing many future generations with a renewable raw material for construction, piping, and manufacturing of any number of useful products.  A blockchain application, would provide the economic incentive and accounting system to create this clean polypropylene industry. Article here.

 

The Value Game (TVG)

TVG is a multi-agent algorithmic game that manufactures intangible value which can then be articulated by a digital token.  The Value Game is formed from the intentional network consisting of a shared asset (school, bridge, land, water, etc.) and the strategic placement of diverse groups of people all of whom have in their best interest to preserve the asset rather than consume the asset.   By holding the variable of tangible value constant, the intangible value can be measured into existence to form the basis of a social currency through the strategy of immutable transaction records.  Applications may include supplementation of government services or where government services are not available.