NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program

Alumni
  • Rachel Hegab
    Louisiana Tech University, 2019, B.S. Biomedical Engineering

    “The multidisciplinary approach of GCSP has broaden my perspective on innovating medical solutions for improvement of patient’s lives. My participation in the GSCP motivated to go beyond my research in lab on tailorable hydrogels for ...

  • Kerri Devine
    Duke University, 2013, B.S.E. Electrical & Computer Engineering and B.S. Computer Science w/Certificate in Energy & Environment

    “With buildings currently consuming over 40% of the world's energy and wasting over half of that energy, a truly energy secure future will require the digitization of our built environment.  As a Grand Challenges Scholar, I ...

  • Rachel Teater
    Ohio State University, 2018, B.S. Biomedical Engineering w/Minor in Humanitarian Engineering

    Being in the GCSP encouraged me to pursue a well-rounded, global education. I found opportunities to perform research and travel to India and Ghana and also took a fantastic class in entrepreneurship that I never would have without GCSP. My long ...

  • Joycelyn Yip
    University of Southern California, 2015, B.S. Biomedical Engineering w/Minor in Art History

    ”As a Grand Challenge Scholar, I built upon my engineering education - B.S. Biomedical Engineering, M.S. Mechanical Engineering - by pursuing diverse experiences outside of the classroom. With GCSP as a guide, I conducted cardiovascular ...

  • Madeline Koldos
    University of Southern California, 2019, B.S. Mechanical Engineering

    “My Grand Challenge Scholars Program involvement was primarily engineering the tools of scientific discovery, namely to enable space exploration. This was through working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Mars 2020 rover and at Blue Origin ...


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 Sherri Hunter (SHUNTER@NAE.EDU) or GCSP Proposal Review Committee Chair Katie Evans (KEVANS@LATECH.EDU).

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