Grand Challenges Scholars Program

Wright State is part of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, which helps sharpen the focus of students preparing to become future leaders with a deeper and broader understanding of how to address 21st century challenges.

Program Vision

The vision of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program at Wright State University is to offer its students the opportunity to train and provide meaningful contributions to society through programmatic components that target sustainability, health, security, and joy of living.


About the Program

In each of the broad realms of human concern — sustainability, health, vulnerability, and joy of living — specific grand challenges await engineering solutions. The world’s cadre of engineers will seek ways to put knowledge into practice to meet these grand challenges.

With input from people around the world, an international group of leading technological thinkers was asked to identify the challenges for engineering in the 21st century. Their game-changing goals for improving life on the planet, announced in 2008, are the basis for the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenge Scholars Program.

Through completion of the five components of the program, students can engage in research relating to their selected grand challenge, explore interdisciplinary coursework, gain an international perspective, engage in entrepreneurship, and give back to the community through service learning.

The program benefits students by providing opportunities and helping them sharpen their focus on those results that benefit humanity. As of April 2018, more than 150 universities worldwide were participating or developing Grand Challenge programs.


Program Benefits

  • Be a part of the global movement that addresses the needs of society in the 21st century across 14 grand challenge topics.
  • Join a network of passionate professions who wish to make a positive impact.
  • Develop depth of expertise in your major and an ability to collaborate across disciplines and cultures.
  • Gain competencies in research/creativity, multidisciplinary training, business/entrepreneurship, global/multicultural awareness, and social consciousness to become a future leader in engineering.
  • Be recognized and respected across the globe as a program graduate.
  • Earn a Certificate of Distinction as a Grand Challenge Scholar and be honored by the National Academy of Engineering and Wright State University.