Vivek Wadhwa, a tech entrepreneur in the Triangle best known for his work at Relativity and his outspoken candor about the perils of venture capital financing, returns to Durham on Monday to deliver a lecture about the future of technology.

Wadhwa, who now lives in California, has evolved into an academic and author, writing for a variety of publications about technology and especially issues involving immigration – with a big emphasis on high-tech workers and engineers. But his talk, which is being hosted by Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, focuses on another aspect of engineering.

The technology of discovery and innovation.

Wadhwa plans to discuss “the advances in technology that will transform industries and help us solve humanity’s grand challenges,” he says.

“This is what I have been learning for the last two years at Singularity University.”

Wadhwa, who started his march into academia with a posting at Duke, is the vice president of Academics and Innovations at Singularity. Singularity was founded by tech visionary Ray Kurzweil.

The title of the speech:

“How Engineers Can Save the World: Why this will be the most innovative decade in history for solving the Engineering Grand Challenges”

Wadhwa returns to the Triangle with a new honor and positive reviews about his first book.

The World Technology Network Summit in New Tork last week presented Wadhwa with its technology policy award. He had delivered the keynote address in place of Kurzweil, who had done so the previous two years, but didn’t stick around for an awards event.

“They asked me to give the keynote in place of Ray Kurzweil—who has done this for the last two years. And they wanted me to stay for the gala because I was a finalist for the technology policy award,” Wadhwa wrote in an e-mail.

“When I saw the list of finalists—Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Aneesh Chopra, I thought someone was “pulling my leg”. I jokingly tweeted that I welcomed a debate with Obama on policy. And I returned home early and missed the gala.

“But as my flight landed in San Francisco, two hours ago, I learned that I had won.”

Wadhwa’s book focuses on the immigration issue and is a summing up of work he along with students at Duke and elsewhere in examining what continues to be a sore spot: Recruiting and retaining high-tech immigrants while the U.S. economy continues to struggle and high-tech jobs, especially for engineers, remain in demand.

Wadhwa’s book is titled: “The Immigrant Exodus: Why America is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent.”

A number of reviewers have praised it, including The Financial Times.

“As a rule, open economies tend to grow faster than closed ones. Those, such as the US, that take the huddled masses to its bosom, have an unbeatable advantage over societies that shut them out. Until they stop doing so, that is,” a reviewer wrote.

“There is no better monitor of America’s shifting immigration regime than Vivek Wadhwa. Born in India, the entrepreneur and Duke University scholar fell in love with the US as a child when his father was on a posting to New York.

“’I also fell in love with the American people,’” he writes in this new book, The Immigrant Exodus. ‘They were kind and open-minded.’

“Today, Wadhwa says, he would be unlikely to get a green card, let alone US citizenship.”

Wadhwa will speal at 7 p.m. in the Fitzpatrick Schiciano Auditorium.