Katsouleas NAE Grand Challenges Scholars

Descriptive and quantitative hydrology, hydraulics of pressure conduits and measurement of flow, compound pipe systems, analysis of flow in pressure distribution systems, open channel flow, reservoirs and distribution system storage. Groundwater hydrology and well-hydraulics. Probability and statistics in water resources.

Through engaging and interdisciplinary experiences, you’ll widen your global mindset and social consciousness to tackle one of humanity’s biggest challenges.

Duke was a pioneer in tying the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges for Engineering to the undergraduate experience. This concept has since spread to more than 90 engineering schools worldwide.

Each scholar receives faculty mentorship and up to $5,000 toward completing a detailed scholarship portfolio.

NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering logo

What are the NAE Grand Challenges?

From making solar energy economical to engineering better medicines to securing cyberspace, the 14 Grand Challenges are must-do tasks to secure a better future for humanity.

Student Stories

Program Details

  • The program is an intentional series of courses, independent study and engaging experiences related to your Grand Challenges focus.

    The experiences are organized into five competencies. The program is capped by a senior thesis.

    Competencies

    • Research
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Global
    • Service Learning

    E-Portfolio

    As a scholar, you will create an online, public e-portfolio that describes and documents your GCS experiences. You’ll select the digital platform you prefer.

  • Experience Depth

    Research and interdisciplinary competencies are considered in-depth experiences, while Entrepreneurship, Global, and Service Learning can be medium- or minimum-depth experiences.

    Either (but not both) of the in-depth experiences in Research and Interdisciplinary may directly incorporate the Entrepreneurial, Global or  Service-Learning components, and thus can be “double-counted” as an additional component depending on the GC focus, the engineering and non-engineering courses taken, the nature of the research/project/curriculum and the extent of engagement.

    Research

    • Three (3) independent study classes or equivalent experiences related to the student’s GC focus
    • In-Depth Experiences = 400-plus total hours
    Example Experiences at Duke

    Note: Your GC Research experiences may also count toward Global, Entrepreneurial, or Service-Learning minimum-depth experiences. See restrictions below.

    Interdisciplinary

    • Three (3) non-engineering and non-research classes, or equivalent experiences, related to the GC focus
    • In-Depth Experiences = 400-plus total hours
    Example Experiences at Duke

    Note: GC interdisciplinary experiences may also count as minimum-depth experiences in Global, Entrepreneurial, or Service-Learning areas. See restrictions below.

  • For the remaining three competencies–Entrepreneurship, Global and Service Learning–one (1) must be at medium-depth level (or higher) and related to your GC focus.

    The remaining two (2) components may be minimum-depth (or higher) and related to any of the 14 Grand Challenges.

    Medium Depth is defined as a practicum, immersion experience or research activity that spans an eight-week summer or a regular semester, or one (1) regular semester class or independent study

    Minimum Depth is defined as a semester or less extra-curricular experience such as a volunteer activity, short course, workshop, seminar series or conference

    Entrepreneurship

    An entrepreneurship experience outside the classroom or lab.

    Example Experiences at Duke

    Global

    A cross-cultural experience outside the classroom or lab. For students from the United States, the experience should be outside North America. For international students, the experience should be outside the United States. See guidelines and restrictions above.

    Example Experiences at Duke

    Service-Learning

    A service-learning experience outside of the classroom that deepens social awareness and heightens motivation to develop practical solutions for society’s problems.

    Example Experiences
  • To complete the program, students submit a thesis that describes their experiences and how these experiences were related to each other and their GC focus.

    The thesis should include a reflection of how the GCS program added to their education and provided a wide range of experiences that shaped their understanding of the world and their future.

    The thesis is due before the end of the last day of classes of your final semester at Duke.

How to Apply

First, contact the program coordinator to discuss if the program is right for you. Then, before the end of sophomore year, submit your application.

Meet the Scholars
Class of 2024

Click to view e-portfolios.

Sara Bailey

Sarah Bailey

  • Major: Civil Engineering—Water Resources & Environmental Engineering
  • Grand Challenge: Restore and Improve Urban Infrastructure

Keena Gao

Keena Gao

  • Major: Mechanical Engineering

Dahlia Halabi

Dahlia Halabi

  • Major: Biomedical Engineering
  • Grand Challenge: Engineer better medicines

Joanna Peng

Joann Peng

  • Major: Biomedical Engineering
  • Grand Challenge: Engineer better medicines

Ezra Melaku

Ezra Melaku

  • Major: Civil Engineering

William Temme

William Temme

  • Majors: Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Grand Challenge: Engineer better medicines

Ashrit Verma

Ashrit Verma

  • Majors: Electrical & Computer Engineering and Physics
  • Grand Challenge: Engineer the tools of scientific discovery

Class of 2025

Alexander Penne

Alexander Penne

  • Major: Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Grand Challenge: Restore and improve urban infrastructure

Arushi Sivasankar

Arushi Sivasankar

  • Major: Biomedical Engineering
  • Engineering better medicines

Perisa Ashar

Perisa Ashar

  • Majors: Biomedical Engineering and Biology
  • Grand Challenge: Engineer better medicines

Amaris Huang

Amaris Huang

  • Majors: Biomedical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Grand Challenge: Engineer better medicines

Thomas C. Katsouleas

This program at Duke is named in honor of former Vinik Dean of Engineering Tom Katsouleas, who played a leadership role in founding and launching the Grand Challenges Scholars Program on a national scale.

Tom Katsouleas

Program Coordinator