UND College of Engineering and Mines part of national engineering education initiative announced at White House today [Monday, March 23]


David L. Dodds

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Engineering & Mines


The University of North Dakota College of Engineering and Mines (CEM) is among more than 120 U.S. engineering schools leading a transformative movement in engineering education announced at the White House today.

In a letter presented to President Barack Obama, UND College of Engineering and Mines and peer institutions committed to establish special educational programs designed to prepare undergraduates to solve “Grand Challenges”—complex yet achievable goals to improve national and international health, security, sustainability and quality of life in the 21st century. Together, the schools plan to graduate more than 20,000 formally recognized “Grand Challenge Engineers” over the next decade.

The College of Engineering and Mines plans to rebrand its existing Leadership Development Program as the Grand Challenge Innovators Program (GCIP). Through its expanded activities and experiences, GCIP will prepare students both on campus and via distance learning with the mindset and skillset to address Grand Challenges over the course of their careers. Activities will include:

  • Innovation and venture creation
  • Interdisciplinary and cross culture experiences
  • Mentorship and experiential learning
  • Research project addressing Grand Challenges

For details about the initiative please see the National Academy of Engineering release, “U.S. Engineering Schools to Educate 20,000 Students to Meet Grand Challenges,” online at www.nae.edu.

The following individuals are available for interviews regarding CEM’s role in the initiative:

  • Dr. Hesham El-Rewini, Dean of the College of Engineering and Mines
  • Dr. Brian Tande, Director of the Jodsaas Center for Engineering Leadership and Entrepreneurship at CEM

“The new GCIP will encourage, prepare, empower, and recognize students who will lead the way in the future as we address the Grand Challenges of the 21st century," said El-Rewini.

"The UND College of Engineering and Mines is well equipped to help reach this important goal of increasing our collective national expertise and ability to address challenges through innovative engineering," said UND President Robert Kelley.