The University of Idaho College of Engineering offers Idaho’s only Grand Challenge Scholars Program.
Developed by the National Academy of Engineers, this program develops our students’ entrepreneurial skills, connecting them to a vibrant, multidisciplinary community and expanding their knowledge of issues facing our society.
Students tackle research projects related to the toughest challenges of the 21st century, as outlined by the National Academy of Engineering. Their focus is geared toward making the world a more sustainable, secure, healthy and joyful place to live.
Since our program was formed in 2016, one of just three in the Northwest and the 28th nationwide to be approved, we have had seven students graduate from the program and expect seven more this year. Participation in the program has grown 375 percent, with 20 students involved this year. These students conduct more than 3,000 hours of research annually.
The program attracts all types of students, with all engineering degrees represented. In addition, many of these students are women engineers or come from underrepresented groups, making this program an example of our continued commitment to diversity and inclusion in our college.
We will be highlighting this year’s graduates during our Let’s Stay Connected virtual event 12:30-1:30 p.m. PST Monday, March 8. Register for the Zoom event to hear directly from our graduating students.
The success of this program would not be, if not for the current corporate sponsorship from the Micron Technology Foundation and Idaho Power.
Our Academy of Engineers also supports the GCSP, and is comprised of alumni or those engineers deeply connected to Idaho’s strong legacy of global engineering impact. Our college recognizes these individuals for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, engineering education, and service to the profession and society.
Dean, College of Engineering
Vandal engineers challenge what is possible. With help from our students, WWAMI Medical Education Program student Meagan Boll is working to overcome a spinal cord injury in her quest to become a CPR-certified physician.
Our student-designed device will make life-saving CPR accessible to more people - even those with disabilities or who use a wheelchair.
“I am very fortunate to have followed the path in engineering that led to SpaceX. I am very proud of what we have achieved at SpaceX, and it could not have happened for me without that foundation that U of I provided.” Tom Mueller, Mechanical Engineering Class of 1985
SpaceX co-founder, Idaho native and Vandal engineering graduate Tom Mueller ’85 was part of our very first “Engineer Like a Vandal: Discover the University of Idaho” series to help students who have applied to the University of Idaho learn more about our college and how to register for classes.
Vandal innovation is headed to the International Space Station (ISS).
A student engineering team is one of five groups selected nationwide for NASA’s Student Payload Opportunity With Citizen Science (SPOCS) program to build an experiment that will fly to the ISS and remain undisturbed for 30 days before returning to Earth.
Cybersecurity at U of I is a hands-on, technically based experience.
Thanks to partnerships with global power systems leader Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, our students contribute to solutions that keep the lights on and keep us safe.
As a Vandal engineer, near space is at your fingertips.
Our Vandal Atmospheric Science Team (VAST) recently conducted its first tethered launch, using a high-altitude balloon to send aircraft communication cargo into the air and test the equipment that will be used this semester for scientific and humanitarian experiments.
March 1-5 – Women in Engineering Explore – This free event introduces 9th and 10th grade students to basic engineering and computer science concepts through hands-on activities that focus on teamwork and developing interest in STEM.
March 4 – Engineering Ambassadors Open House
March 8 – Let’s Stay Connected: GCSP Update
March 11 – Coffee with Michael Kyte – Come join College of Engineering Professor Emeritus Michael Kyte for a virtual coffee session 10:30-11 a.m. PST. Register online.
April 30 – Engineering Design EXPO 2021 – Welcoming young learners, industry leaders and community members to experience the many ways U of I students are making a difference and solving real-world problems. Virtual and in-person event expected.