Daniel Robertson Grand Challenge Scholars Program Director
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Daniel Robertson is the College of Engineering’s newly appointed director of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program. After receiving his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University in 2013 Robertson spent four years working overseas as a Senior Research Scientist in the emerging area of crop biomechanics. In general, Robertson’s teaching and research efforts are focused on using engineering principles to accomplish what is recognized as one of the Grand Challenges of Engineering for the 21st century: sustainably providing food, fuel and fiber for the world’s growing population. Robertson’s past research projects include, characterizing soft tissue material responses, spinal biomechanics, orthopedic device design, plant biomechanics, and stochastic analyses of complex computational models.
Robertson hopes to use Grand Challenge Scholars Program as a vehicle for, “our students to transcend traditional academics. It provides them an opportunity to chase there ideas and dreams.” But with that said, he reinforces the fact that, “the program is designed to equip students with the skills knowledge and ability to make their ideas and designs become a reality. It is a training ground where students can get their hands dirty tackling challenging, multifaceted problems facing our society.” Robertson is confident and looks forward to helping students enrolled in the U of I Grand Challenge Scholars Program to become “world changers.”