NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program

2019 NAE GCSP Annual Meeting

2019 GCSP Annual Meeting Student/Alumni Group Photo
  • 2019 GCSP Annual Meeting - Students/Alumni Group Photo

The 2019 Annual Meeting of the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) was held at the National Academy of Sciences building, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC on November 12, 2019. The Annual Meeting provided a forum for GCSPs to learn from each other, engage with GCSP stakeholders, and generate ideas for growing the GCSP movement across the US and around the world. This event began with a reception on Monday evening, November 11. On Tuesday, the program began at 8:30am. 

The 2019 Annual Meeting focused on two broad themes: 1) connections and alignment with other groups and networks and 2) deep engagement with students and alumni. Panels that align with these themes established a framework for discussion. Much of the annual meeting was devoted to breakout workshop sessions, which were facilitated by expert members of the GCSP community and were intended to provide participants with practical, engaging experiences. See below for workshop session descriptions.



Aligned Programs
The Grand Challenges Scholars Program, Ten Years Later: Engineering a Better World for all Humanity (very large file - will take some time to open)
Proposal Development
Student/Alumni Panel

Luggage Storage - we have an unattended coat room where many attendees put their belongings for the day.

For accommodations, State PlazaHotel Hive and Hotel Lombardy are among the many hotels in the nearby area.

For transportation, we recommend that you use taxis, rideshare options like Lyft and Uber, or Metro, as visitor parking is very limited. The closest Metro station is Foggy Bottom-GWU, about half a mile away. Nearby parking lots include:

  • PMI (Columbia Plaza) - 2400 Virginia Avenue (202) 785-2448
  • PMI – 1111 19th Street
  • GW Elliot School Garage near Department of Interior – 1957 E Street, NW

For questions, please contact Sherri Hunter at

Breakout Descriptions

Ethics and the Grand Challenges (Concurrent Session – morning and afternoon)
Rosalyn Berne, NAE Director of the Center for Engineering Ethics and Society

STS scholar David Nye has suggested, “The central purpose of technologies has not been to provide necessities, such as food and shelter; for humans had achieved these goals very early in their existence. Rather, technologies have been used for social evolution.” Technologies are part of a “system of meaning,” inseparable from the stories that surround them. Even the Grand Challenges are used for social evolution, surrounded by stories of good engineering, ethically speaking. However, what harms and goods could arise because of pursuing the grand challenges? Whose values do the grand challenges represent? Given current knowledge and the technological capacities available to engineers today, what ought engineers be doing, or not doing? This session will explore questions such as these, and offer pedagogical tools and material for integrating ethics into Grand Challenges Scholars Programs. 

Applying an Entrepreneurial Mindset to the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (Concurrent Session – morning and afternoon)
Keith Buffinton, Professor, Bucknell University
Amy Trowbridge, GCSP Director, Arizona State University

This workshop will demonstrate how students can apply an entrepreneurial mindset not only to achieving the Viable Business/Entrepreneurship competency but in fact to achieving all five of the GCSP competencies.  An entrepreneurial mindset is characterized by a driving curiosity about the world and learning, by an ability to see the connections between disparate aspects of knowledge and life, and by a keen focus on creating value for clients and stakeholders.  Through activity and discussions, we will explore how curiosity, connections, and creating value are fundamental to solving the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering and addressing the biggest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.  

Aligned Programs (Concurrent Session – morning and afternoon)
Cathy Leslie, Executive Director, Engineers Without Borders USA
William Oakes, Director, Purdue EPICS

What are the opportunities for connection and synergy between Grand Challenges Scholars Programs and aligned groups and networks, like Engineers without Borders?  Through discussion and guided group activities, participants will explore available opportunities and develop a greater understanding of the extended GCSP network. 

Proposal Development (Concurrent Session – MORNING ONLY)
GCSP Proposal Review Committee

Are you a faculty member or administrator who would like to engage with the proposal review committee? This workshop is intended for school representatives who are developing or planning to develop a GCSP proposal or have questions about the proposal review process. Participants will have the opportunity to work directly with directors of GCSP programs from the GCSP proposal review committee.

Student and Alumni Organizing (Concurrent Session – AFTERNOON ONLY)
Neel Bhoopalam
Maria Foo
Andrew Mang
Jessica Noglows
Mikaela Rikard
Shaun Wootten

Are you a current GCSP student or alumni of the program who would like to make connections and engage more deeply with the GCSP community?  Through facilitated discussion, students and alumni will develop concrete plans to leverage their undergraduate GCSP experiences and other available resources.