The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has compiled a list of 14 “Grand Challenges” that must be addressed in order to achieve a sustainable, economically robust, and politically stable future. These challenges range from the most basic of human needs, such as access to clean drinking water, to practical issues including improving urban infrastructure.

Lafayette offers all students, both engineering and liberal arts, the opportunity to engage in the pursuit of solutions to the Grand Challenges at two levels of interest:

  • Option 1 – Project only: A “shallow dive” in which a multidisciplinary team of students address a Grand Challenge through a project. The project is offered as a ¼ unit course. Students work collaboratively to make incremental progress on one of the 14 Grand Challenges.
  • Option 2 – Grand Challenge Scholar: A “deep dive” in which the student would apply to become a Grand Challenge Scholar. Students who complete all five components of the program will receive a special cord at graduation and will receive recognition from the National Academy of Engineering.

Students interested in Grand Challenges projects or the Scholars Program should:

  • Identify a problem related to a challenge
  • Connect with other students
  • Connect with a faculty member with knowledge/interest in the area
  • Students and faculty should inform the GC committee of their interest by clicking below

Get Involved