PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



College of Engineering Announced As Part Of National Engineering Education

by Stefanie Tomlinson

Penn State’s College of Engineering is among more than 120 U.S. engineering schools leading a transformative movement in engineering education announced at the White House yesterday.

In a letter presented to President Barack Obama, Penn State and peer institutions committed to 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.

Penn State’s College of Engineering has committed to graduate at least 40 undergraduates and 10 graduate students as Grand Challenge Scholars by 2019.

“It is so critically important to prepare engineers who are trained to address global challenges of the 21st century through interdisciplinary and transnational teamwork,” Engineering Dean Arm Elnashai said. “Our program will allow us to formally recognize engineering students who have made the commitment to become Grand Challenges Scholars and to celebrate the accomplishments from their global, service learning partnerships.”

Each of these students will engage in projects with partners outside of the U.S. that require them to develop innovative solutions to real problems that their partners are encountering in Africa, South America, the Far East and the Caribbean.

In addition to these transformative project experiences, students will take courses that address cross-cultural communication, team skills, leadership, innovation and creativity.

In order to be recognized as a Grand Challenge Scholar, students will be required to submit a portfolio demonstrating how they have achieved each of the five elements of the program: a project related to a Grand Challenge theme, interdisciplinary team work, entrepreneurship, global engagement and service learning.

“This is an exciting time to be an engineer – to be poised to address the pressing problems facing the world, to collaborate across cultural and international boundaries to find solutions,” Director of Engineering Leadership Development Mike Erdman said. “This program encourages and recognizes the students who are stepping up to these challenges, and Penn State is proud to be a leader in these efforts.”

For details about the initiative please see the National Academy of Engineering release, “U.S. Engineering Schools to Educate 20,000 Students to Meet Grand Challenges,” online at

About the Author

Community Content

Content submitted by members of the community not affiliated with Onward State. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of our staff. To have your work published on Onward State, go to


More by Community

Op-Ed: One Year After Our Son’s Hazing Death

“It is important to talk openly about what has transpired this past year, and over many years, and to remind your children that they are important to you. Tell them to take nothing at face value, be cautious, guard against peer pressure.”

College From A Basement Window View

Get To Know Penn State’s Business Fraternities


Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Sophomore midfielder Shea Moyer scored the game-winning goal in the 80th minute of a rainy season opener at Jeffrey Field.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Student Life

Student Body President Cody Heaton Welcomes Class of 2022 At Convocation

UPUA President Cody Heaton welcomed the incoming Class of 2022 Saturday evening with an inspiring speech.

Start The Semester Off Right With These Welcome Week Activities

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Penn State Officially Welcomes Class Of 2022 At Convocation

The Class of 2022 joined the Penn State family Saturday evening at Convocation.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend