Engineering Grand Challenges

President Obama being presented the letter signed by 122 engineering deans.

President Obama being presented

the letter of commitment. Source

Engineering has solved a countless number of the world’s problems in the last century. The invention of automobiles, telephones, even space crafts have all shaped the world we live in today, while advances in computer science improves these technologies.  As we enter the 21st century, engineers and computer scientists alike must ask themselves: what problems still remain, and how can I use my skills to help?

Miami’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) is one place where students learn not only the technical skills, but also the leadership skills to help solve some of those problems. Specifically, there are 14 engineering ‘Grand Challenges’ that will require significant attention in the 21st century, as compiled by the White House Strategy for American Innovation, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering, and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. This includes, but is not limited to, providing access to clean water, making solar energy economical, securing better medicines, and enhancing virtual reality.

CEC is 1 of 122 universities that recently signed a letter of intent to help engineers use their full potential in solving these upcoming issues. The letter and signatures were presented to President Barack Obama this past spring.

Dean Marek Dollár said, “This is a grand challenge indeed, but I believe Miami’s College of Engineering and Computing is equipped to educate the next generation of problem solvers. As the letter states, we have committed to providing a program with five key learning experiences.”

The five key elements are:

  1. A creative learning experience connected to the Grand Challenges
  2. Authentic experiential learning with clients and mentors that includes interdisciplinary experience
  3. Entrepreneurship and innovation experience
  4. Global and cross-cultural perspectives
  5. Development of social consciousness through service-learning

“Our college has already implemented these five stipulations through classwork, research projects, clubs, and cultural experiences, with plans to continue offering more opportunities in the coming years,” said Dean Dollár.

Stay tuned in with the CEC Experience to see how we’ll be solving these challenges!