Do you want to make a difference with your education? Have an impact locally or globally? Do you want a portfolio of accomplishments when you graduate or just a transcript? I highly encourage you to consider applying to be a Grand Challenge Scholar. The unique element of this program is that it is experiential based. While we often teach what and how, this will help you understand why. Research – you will focus on a segment of a National Academy of Engineers Grand Challenge working in conjunction with a faculty mentor. Your service learning can take you abroad in conjunction with the Global outcome requirement or you might find a service related opportunity in your own community. The interdisciplinary component can be addressed with courses related to your Grand Challenge, but maybe it could be an interdisciplinary problem that simply requires you to learn from other disciplines by applying engineering to solutions. The culmination of your education can end with a degree in engineering, which in light of the need for more engineers, is a good thing. However, when you can demonstrate to a potential employer what you accomplished with your research, how your global experience shaped your thoughts, how your leadership role shaped your career choice or maybe the entrepreneurship experience where you helped create a new non-profit organization, your opportunities will be endless.
Our mission is to create the leaders of engineering that will have a set of capabilities that the industry needs for the future. Some say we are at an important pivot point in the quality of life on the planet. The Grand Challenges focus on sustainability and the conditions that people will have to live with in the future. You have an opportunity to do something about it.
Dr. Michael Kessler
College of Engineering