For more than 25 years, the NAE has identified the best and brightest early-career engineers from large and small companies, research universities, and government laboratories to discuss their leading-edge research and innovation across widely disparate disciplines through this annual symposia.

This year Hu is among 100 early-career scientists to participate in the symposium which will be held in Seattle from September 21-23. Participants are nominated and then undergo a rigorous selection process that culminates in an acceptance rate of about 20 percent.

Hu is the first Berkeley Lab scientist to receive this honor since Lisa Alvarez-Cohen in 1996 and Ross Schlueter in 1997. Her research focuses on developing and applying novel numerical approaches and software integrated with machine learning to analyze multiscale coupled thermal-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes. The research advances our predictive understanding of fundamental Earth science and improves our ability to adaptively control energy recovery and storage in Earth’s subsurface.

“This is such a high honor for an early-career engineer,” Hu said. “I’m excited to be selected as a participant in the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium this year because it means that I can represent the important role of the Earth sciences in Engineering. I think that science and engineering are often considered to be very different from one another, but as a numerical modeler, they seem to me to be very closely related—many of the same questions and challenges appear in both disciplines.

“I am excited to use my models to advance fundamental understanding of the Earth sciences. Building upon an improved understanding of the Earth sciences and geomaterials, we can then make use of our fundamental knowledge to enhance our ability to recover energy from and to store gas or dispose of waste on Earth.”

The symposium will consist of four plenary sessions—1) Microbes – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 2) Conversational AI, 3) Technology and Racial Justice and Equity, and 4) Hydrogen: a New ‘Universal’ Energy Carrier for the Carbon-free Future—a breakout session, and tours. Speakers have been selected and will focus their talks on leading-edge research and technical work for a technically sophisticated but nonspecialist audience. Participants are expected to engage in the discussions during the plenary sessions and networking. A list of sessions can be found here.