NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program

Alumni
  • Connor Cotton
    Duke University, 2016, B.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering

    “The Grand Challenge Scholars Program was an incredibly important part of my college experience. Through the interdisciplinary curriculum component of the program, I took classes that allowed me to critically examine not only the technical, ...

  • Edgar De Leon
    University of Southern California, 2016, B.S. Industrial and Systems Engineering

    “The NAE Grand Challenges Scholar program provided me with a framework to explore some of the toughest problems facing humanity. I participated in research aimed at understanding the unintended and undesired consequences of health information ...

  • Swetha Swaminathan
    Arizona State University, 2016, B.E. Biomedical Engineering

    “Participating in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program has definitely been a worthwhile journey. It has given me so many opportunities that I would have otherwise not known where to find, and I definitely would not have been able to maximize ...

  • Grant Jirka
    Duke University, 2016, B.S. Biomedical Engineering

    “As a biomedical engineering student at Duke University, I benefited greatly from the Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP). My research focused on exploring the design of nanoparticle drug delivery vehicles to enhance their depot stability ...

  • Yitaek Hwang
    Duke University, 2016, B.S. Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering

    “My GCSP project was “Lowering the Cost of Corrective Eyewear from Eye Exam to Buying Glasses.” I led a small startup that designed and built self-adjustable eyeglasses to address the 702 million people living with uncorrected ...

MAP_thumbThe National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a combined curricular and extra-curricular program with five components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century.

In 2008, the NAE identified 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century. The Grand Challenges are a call to action and serve as a focal point for society's attention to opportunities and challenges affecting our quality of life.

In a letter of commitment presented to President Barack Obama, 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.  Several schools across the country have also created their own letters of commitment to show their dedication towards addressing these Grand Challenges.

Welcome Dr. Ramakrishna!
We are pleased to announce that Dr. B.L. (Rama) Ramakrishna, an emeritus professor at Arizona State University (ASU), has joined our team! As Director of the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program Network, Dr. Ramakrishna looks forward to working with universities and engineering schools in the United States and around the world that offer the GCSP to their students. He will be focused on the growth of the GCSP Nework, data collection, sharing of best practices, GCSP-related research, community building efforts, outreach, and partner development.  Rama’s contact information at NAE will be bramakrishna@nae.edu, tel. 202-334-1896, Keck Rm. 1047.

An Open Invitation - Make This a National Program!


Motivated by the National Academy of Engineering vision for the future and also by the increasing calls for a new engineering education paradigm, Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering proposed this new education model to prepare engineers to be world changers. The program was endorsed by the National Academy of Engineering in February 2009.

It is hoped that the Grand Challenge Scholars Program will be replicated at many other outstanding engineering programs across the country to yield for the nation a pool of several thousand graduates per year uniquely prepared and motivated to address the most challenging problems facing the world and the nation. Moreover, the program will also serve to pilot innovative educational approaches that will eventually become the mainstream educational paradigm for all engineering students.

It is anticipated that each participating institution will develop its own specific realization of the five components and that students who complete the program successfully will receive a distinction of Grand Challenge Scholar endorsed by their institution and the National Academy of Engineering.


Program Components
 

1. Hands-on Project OR Research Experience: Related to a Grand Challenge
2. Interdisciplinary Curriculum: A curriculum that complements engineering fundamentals with courses in other fields, preparing engineering students to work at the overlap with public policy, business, law, ethics, human behavior, risk, and the arts, as well as medicine and the sciences
3. Entrepreneurship: Preparing students to translate invention to innovation; to develop market ventures that scale to global solutions in the public interest
4. Global Dimension: Global Dimension: Developing the students’ global perspective necessary to address challenges that are inherently global as well as to lead innovation in a global economy
5. Service Learning: Developing and deepening students’ social consciousness and their motivation to bring their technical expertise to bear on societal problems through mentored experiential learning with real clients

For more information, contact Dr. B.L. Ramakrishna at RRamakrishna@nae.edu.