Commitment to President Obama: 20,000 GRAND CHALLENGE ENGINEERS in a decade Schools will specially prepare new generation to take on societal aspirations

PostedApril 17, 2015

Commitment to President Obama: 20,000 GRAND CHALLENGE ENGINEERS in a decade Schools will specially prepare new generation to take on societal aspirations

President Barack Obama greets science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) leaders including National Academy of Engineering President C. D. Mote Jr. during the 2015 White House Science Fair, in the Map Room of the White House, March 23, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

In a letter of commitment presented to President Barack Obama today, more than 120 U.S. engineering schools announced plans to educate a new generation of engineers expressly equipped to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing society in the 21st century.

These "Grand Challenges," identified through initiatives such as the White House Strategy for American Innovation, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering, and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, include complex yet critical goals such as engineering better medicines, making solar energy cost-competitive with coal, securing cyberspace, and advancing personalized learning tools to deliver better education to more individuals.

Each of the 122 signing schools has pledged to graduate a minimum of 20 students per year who have been specially prepared to lead the way in solving such large-scale problems, with the goal of training more than 20,000 formally recognized “Grand Challenge Engineers” over the next decade.