NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program

  • Francesco Tresalti
    La Sapienza (University of Rome), 2019, B.S. Energy Engineering

    "The title of my GCSP project is PV powered pumping system proposal: Providing access to water - Rutenderi. It is a comparative analysis between two different methods (a subsurface and a well system) to bring water to a Rwandan village called ...

  • Sum Po Ava Chan
    City University of Hong Kong, 2018, B.S. Applied Biology

    “My scientific outlook was greatly inspired by the GCSP. It is a combined curricular and extra-curricular program that allows students to integrate research experience, global dimension, interdisciplinary curriculum, service learning and ...

  • Jesse Williams
    The Catholic University of America, 2019, B.S. Mechanical Engineering w/Concentration in Aerospace Engineering

    Jesse Williams is also pursuing his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at The Catholic University of America.

    Graduate Thesis: Utilizing thermography to analyze and detect damaged areas on frescoes within The United States Capitol. The results will be ...

  • Sami Golaski
    Bucknell University, 2018, B.S.B.A Accounting and Financial Management

    “Working to become a Grand Challenge Scholar has pushed me to venture outside of the accounting world, and immerse myself in interdisciplinary experiences that allow me to create value with my business acumen whether it be engineering ...

  • Chee Jit Lim
    Taylor's University, Malaysia, 2018, B.S. Mechanical Engineering

    “GCSP has encouraged me to explore what is beyond the classroom. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in this program as it pushed me to explore and learn knowledge of different disciplines. Going abroad also showed me the perspective and ...

For current information on the GCSP, please contact or GCSP Proposal Review Committee Chair Katie Evans (KEVANS@LATECH.EDU).


The NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering, created in 2008, presented an aspirational vision of what engineering needs to deliver to all people on the planet in the 21st century. In just 15 words, the vision it calls for is:

“Continuation of life on the planet,
making our world more sustainable, secure, healthy, and joyful.”

The century-spanning vision was based on 14 GOALS that the NAE recognized as necessary to deliver this vision in the 21st century.

Numerous engineering schools and K-12 programs have adopted the NAE Grand Challenges to inspire practical projects for their students through an educational supplement called the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP), which identifies the following five competencies that students must achieve to prepare to address these global challenges:

  1. Talent Competency: mentored research/creative experience on a Grand Challenge-like topic
  2. Multidisciplinary Competency: understanding multidisciplinarity of engineering systems solutions developed through personal engagement
  3. Viable Business/Entrepreneurship Competency: understanding, preferably developed through experience, of the necessity of a viable business model for solution implementation
  4. Multicultural Competency: understanding different cultures, preferably through multicultural experiences, to ensure cultural acceptance of proposed engineering solutions
  5. Social Consciousness Competency: understanding that engineering solutions should primarily serve people and society reflecting social consciousness

Addressing any of the Grand Challenges for Engineering naturally spans multiple disciplines, and because solutions are implemented differently in different parts of the world, the program prepares students to think in international terms and to develop globally relevant perspectives and skills. 

The GCSP was inspired by the NAE but is not controlled by the academy. Each adopting university, college, and school is independently drawn to the program—often by its students—and defines its own supplemental approach to preparing students in the five competencies within its existing engineering program. Each institution selects its students, determines their attainment of the competencies, and decides how it will recognize their achievement.

For more information on the GCSP, please contact or GCSP Proposal Review Committee Chair Katie Evans (KEVANS@LATECH.EDU).

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