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College Graduates Inaugural Class of Grand Challenges Scholars

Simon Brooks, Bridget LaSala, Siobhan Merrill and Aldo Pierini

At the Dean’s Awards celebration on April 22, 2021, Dr. Andrea Welker, associate dean for Academic Affairs, recognized the College of Engineering’s inaugural class of Grand Challenges Scholars. The National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) is an engineering education supplement that broadens the reach of undergraduate study by preparing students to think in international terms; developing the perspectives and skills needed to find solutions to real and urgent problems; and offering a clear view to future jobs that matter and the opportunities in engineering.

At Villanova University, the GCSP focuses on five challenges that build upon the College’s research expertise by: making solar energy economical; providing access to clean water; engineering better medicines; securing cyberspace; and restoring and improving urban infrastructure. Within these areas, students must demonstrate competencies related to research/creativity, multidisciplinary solutions, business/entrepreneurship, global/multicultural experience, and social consciousness.

2021 Grand Challenges Scholars

Simon Brooks, ChE: Intersectional Human and Climate Sustainability

Bridget LaSala, CE: Restoring and Improving Urban Infrastructure

Siobhan Merrill, CE: Providing Access to Clean Water

Aldo Pierini, CE: Food Waste and Water Consumption