Grand Challenges Scholars Program

Making Advancements in Today’s Challenges

The Ritchie School is looking for ambitious students who want to work collaboratively as part of a diverse team in order to find solutions to complex challenges such as virtual reality, solar energy, urban infrastructure, cybersecurity and clean water.

Creating Tomorrow's Global Leaders

With a mission of advancing technical and scientific knowledge and capabilities to improve quality of life for our global society, the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science is a natural fit for the Grand Challenges Scholar Program. The program is a unique opportunity for our students to gain the expertise, knowledge, and social, ethical and environmental awareness needed to become leaders in addressing the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges.

Our students have the unique opportunity to work with a team of fellow Grand Challenges Scholars towards sustainabilitysecurityhealth, and joy of living advancements while focusing on the five core Grand Challenges competencies.

  • GCSP Competencies
    1. Talent Competency: mentored research/creative experience on a Grand Challenge-like topic
    2. Multidisciplinary Competency: understanding multidisciplinary 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
  • What are the Grand Challenges?

    At the turn of the century, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) reviewed the engineering achievements that transformed our society and identified 14 Grand Challenges for the 21st century. The NAE identified these challenges with the goal of leveraging the expertise of engineers and computer scientists to find impactful solutions to real world problems.

    The Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP), in turn, is designed to revolutionize our engineering and computer science education to prepare the next generation of engineers and computer scientists with the knowledge, skills, tools and mindset to solve these grand challenges.

  • Becoming a Grand Challenges Scholar

    All incoming students who are interested should enroll in the Engineering Connections Seminar (ENGR 1511). This course is required for all engineers, but we encourage everyone else interested in Grand Challenges to enroll as well. This is a one-credit class offered in the fall quarter.

Review our GCSP Manual
CTA banner image of abstract geometric pattern

Ready to learn more?

Fill out our interest form