W. Reichert1, M. Absher2, J. Carpenter3, Y. Louise4, L. Stein5

1Duke University (UNITED STATES)
2Pratt School of Engineering (UNITED STATES)
3Louisiana State University (UNITED STATES)
4Viterbi School of Engineering (UNITED STATES)
5F.W. Olin College of Engineering (UNITED STATES)
The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently released a list of fourteen "Grand Challenges for Engineering" that must be addressed in order to achieve a sustainable, economically robust, and politically stable future for our children and our children's children ( These challenges range from the most basic of human needs (provide access to clean water) to the extraordinary (reverse engineering of the brain). Thematically, the fourteen challenges are initiatives for improving the human condition by identifying safe and clean energy resources; providing for human health, nutrition and security; restoring and reinventing infrastructure for urban habitation; advancing computing power and capabilities; and developing new tools for teaching, learning, medicine and scientific discovery. While many of these technologies are clearly targeted for the developed world, another important theme of the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering is identifying technologies that are accessible, affordable and appropriate for global deployment to under-resourced regions.

Motivated by the NAE 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 called NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program to prepare engineers to be world changers. The program was endorsed by the NAE in February 2009. The goal is to build a national network of 100 Grand Challenge Scholars Programs, where each participating institution will develop its own specific realization of the five components. To date, 43 schools of engineering have expressed interest in developing a GCSP (, of which the following schools have active programs.

Duke University, Pratt School of Engineering (Tom Katsouleas)
The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (Richard K. Miller)
University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering (Yannis Yortsos)
Arizona State University, Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering (Deirdre Meldrum)
Louisiana Tech University, College of Engineering and Science (Stan A. Napper)
NC State University, College of Engineering (Louis Martin-Vega)
University of Iowa, College of Engineering (Alec Scranton)
Lafayette College, Lafayette College (Sharon A. Jones)
The University of Tennessee, College of Engineering (Wayne T. Davis)
Western New England College, School of Engineering (S. Hossein Cheraghi)
St. Louis University, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation & Technology (K. Ravindra)