College of Engineering joins White House initiative to produce engineers ready for ‘Grand Challenges’

Logo: National Academy of EngineeringN.C. A&T is among more than 120 U.S. engineering schools leading a transformative movement in engineering education announced at the White House today.

The schools will establish special educational programs designed to prepare undergraduates to solve “Grand Challenges”—complex yet achievable goals to improve national and international health, security, sustainability and quality of life in the 21st century. Together, the schools plan to graduate more than 20,000 formally recognized “Grand Challenge Engineers” over the next decade.

The College of Engineering at N.C. A&T will graduate engineers in accordance with the National Academy of Engineering’s vision for ensuring a competitive engineering workforce ready to create solutions to the complex challenges of the present and the future. The Grand Challenges Engineers Program will emphasize expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation; global and cross-cultural perspectives, and social consciousness with exposure and experience in other areas as specified in the deans’ letter to President Barack Obama.

“For the College of Engineering at N.C. A&T, the decision to participate in this initiative was any easy one for our leadership team since the elements central to preparing Grand Challenge Engineers align strongly with our strategic agenda,” said Dr. Robin Coger, dean of the College of Engineering.

“A&T’s engineering and computer science students have consistently built competitive portfolios in preparing for their professional careers. The GCEP at N.C. A&T is a logical ‘next step’ because it links that tradition with a nationwide framework.”

Goals of N.C. A&T’s GCEP Program

  • The program is designed to prepare the type of engineering workforce needed to address the complex technical problems of the nation and the world.
  • Each N.C. A&T Grand Challenge Engineer will build an individual portfolio that displays their accomplishments in the five key elements of the program (i.e., Grand Challenge research/projects, experiential and inter-disciplinary experiences, entrepreneurship and innovation, global and cross-cultural perspectives, and social consciousness).
  • The NAE’s Grand Challenges span topics ranging from energy and water to cyberspace security to engineering the tools of scientific discovery. Hence these Challenges overlap strongly with the five cross-department research strengths of the college.
  • Student portfolios will be assessed by a panel of industry partners. Students that meet the standards specified by GCEP at N.C. A&T will be recognized as Grand Challenge Engineers.

For more about the initiative, see the National Academy of Engineering’s announcement at

For more information about the College of Engineering at N.C. A&T, click here.

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