Building the World

Annual Frank P. Davidson Lecture

Frank P. Davidson’s first book was published by Harvard University Press when he was still an undergraduate. He was the American co-founder, in 1957, of the Channel Tunnel Study Group. In 1970, he was appointed chair of the Macro-Engineering Research Group of the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a post he held for 25 years. From 1974 to 1976, Frank Davidson and Kathleen Lusk Brooke taught “Failure of Human Systems” at the School of Engineering at MIT, followed by tandem courses in “Failure” and “Success” at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute. In 2006, they published Building the World.


Davidson’s pioneering leadership in the world of macroengineering has led to the establishment of the “Frank Davidson Lecture,” the first in September 2012, presented in Paris by Prospective 2100. Following each lecture, presentation materials will be available here.



by Ernst G. FRANKEL, Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Arctic has become the latest of development areas on Earth and not just because of the immense, largely untapped resources that are becoming increasingly accessible, but also for the opportunities for shorter sea routes and greater accessibility of markets.  Although many of the Arctic sea routes are still only open part of the year and usually require special ice-class vessels as well as ice-breaker escort, more operators are taking advantage of savings in fuel and travel time between major trading areas such as the Europe/U.S. East Coast and East Asia trade. FRANKEL_Lecture

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One Comment

  1. What a fitting tribute from and to Frank Davidson and the cause of Macro Engineering!

    I know that Frank and his admirers had worked with the former president at a school in Rhode Island to try to launch a similar effort.

    Kudos too to Chancellor Keith Motley at U Mass Boston for his leadership and vision, far too often lacking in higher education.

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