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Grand Challenges Scholars


The Grand Challenges Scholars Program has five pillars that students must pursue in order to be well-prepared to tackle the Grand Challenges upon graduation. Students must participate in each of the five pillars, however, the depth of immersion in each component can vary. It is required for students to have a high level of immersion in at least two of the five components (one of which has to be the talent competency) and a medium level of engagement in at least two other of the five components. The last component may be pursued at a low level. Levels of immersion will be described individually for each component. Overlap amongst the components is valid and recommended to get the most out of the program. This does not mean that students can double count activities, but rather, that they are encouraged to seek activities with deep exposure, which may contain multiple aspects to demonstrate multiple competencies, for example, participating in ETHOS (Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service Learning).


Mentored research or creative experience on a Grand Challenge-like topic. This is required to be a high level of immersion.

Understanding different cultures, preferably through multicultural experiences, to ensure cultural acceptance of proposed engineering solutions.

Understanding of multidisciplinary engineering systems solutions developed through personal engagement. This component is required to be at least a medium level of immersion.

Understanding, preferably developed through experience, of the necessity of a viable business model for solution implementation.

Understanding that the engineering solutions should primarily serve people and society reflecting social consciousness.


For the GCSP application, the students will develop a plan of activities to satisfy the five competencies. This plan will be reviewed by a mentor and approved by the GCSP Steering Committee.


Grand Challenges Scholars Program, Dr. Markus Rumpfkeil, Director