The Grand Challenges Seminar

Begins with a high-speed tour of the Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st century: population growth, climate change, energy, mobility, water and food, aging infrastructure, resource recovery and recyclability, and health care. The course blends engineering with humanities and builds a framework for the world in which students will live, showing them how they can make the world different through their ingenuity and innovation. Policy and societal issues are also discussed in the context of the Grand Challenges.


Students this past year in their teams have...

  • Analyzed methods for improving the efficiency of solar cells,
  • Developed plans for organic waste management at WPI,
  • Developed a combined business/education plan for soap production in Malewa, Kenya, and
  • Developed a sustainable design of water and road systems in Kamba, Sierra Leone.
  • This Seminar sequence will count towards a Humanities and Arts (HU 1100) and Engineering Science (ES 1000) general elective credit.

*This course will not be offered in the 2013-2014 academic year


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Student Projects

Check out some of the past Grand Challenges projects students have completed in the poster galleries below: