The Catholic University of America

Oct. 29, 2015

Engineering School Named to Grand Scholars Program


The Catholic University of America School of Engineering was recently accepted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Scholars Program, which is “designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century.”

Engineering Dean Charles Nguyen petitioned the National Academy of Engineering in March 2015 for CUA to be recognized as the 20th college and university with an approved Grand Challenge Scholars program. CUA is the only school in the Washington, D.C. area and the only Catholic institution in the country to be recognized with the honor.

According to Nguyen, the program is a way to raise the profile of the engineering school while better preparing students to face real world challenges. Engineering undergraduate students who complete the program will receive a distinction of Grand Challenge Scholar, as endorsed by the NAE.

The program will operate like an honors program for the top 20 to 30 students in the engineering school. Students who participate will receive interdisciplinary training focused on entrepreneurship, global dimensions, and service learning.

They will also be required to complete a hands-on project related to one of the 14 grand challenges for engineering in the 21st century, as identified by the NAE. Those challenges include issues related to solar energy, clean water, urban infrastructure, cyberspace security, and preventing terrorism.

“This is an exciting, challenging time for society, our nation, the world, and higher education,” said Nguyen. “We are excited to be afforded the opportunity to be on the forefront of educating today’s scholars to solve tomorrow’s problems and challenges by participating in the NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program.”




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