Louisiana Tech to graduate five Grand Challenge Scholars

May 16, 2016 | Engineering and Science

At Louisiana Tech University’s spring commencement, five engineering students will join a prestigious group of graduates from the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program (NAE GCSP).
From L-R: Amara Uyanna, Pranay Uttamchandani, Caroline Bell, Ryan Joseph, Sam Helman.

From L-R: Amara Uyanna, Pranay Uttamchandani, Caroline Bell, Ryan Joseph, Sam Helman.

Caroline Bell (biomedical engineering from Metairie, La.), Sam Helman (mechanical engineering from Amarillo, Texas), Ryan Joseph (mechanical engineering from McKinney, Texas), Pranay Uttamchandani (chemical engineering from Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and Amara Uyanna (chemical engineering major with a minor in French, from Amuwo-Odofin, Nigeria) comprise the largest single class of Grand Challenge Scholars at Louisiana Tech. The graduating seniors completed the national program with presentations at the Louisiana Tech GCSP Showcase on May 9.
Louisiana Tech offers one of only 28 Grand Challenge Scholars Programs in the United States, and was one of the first universities in the nation to participate in the program.  The Grand Challenge Scholars Program, which started at Louisiana Tech in 2009, is an interdisciplinary, co-curricular program designed to better prepare engineering graduates to solve real-world, 21st century problems and enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills.
“This graduating Scholars class will add to the national recognition that our College has for producing high-quality engineers who are ready to address the challenges facing engineering at this point in time and who have a more holistic understanding of external factors than a normal academic curriculum would provide,” Dr. Bryant Hollins, interim chair for the Louisiana Tech NAE GCSP program said.
The NAE GCSP is a combined curricular and extra-curricular program that prepares students to address the needs of 21st century engineering, as defined by the National Academy of Engineering. In order to better understand the broader social, cultural and ethical implications of their technology and address these needs, students complete five components beyond academic requirements, including research, interdisciplinary coursework, global awareness, service learning and entrepreneurial experiences.
“The additional requirements are designed to give students a well-rounded understanding of the world and the ways engineering impacts it,” Hollins said. “By providing this extra exposure, these Scholars are better prepared to tackle the multi-faceted challenges facing engineering in the 21st century.”
For more information about the Louisiana Tech Grand Challenge Scholars Program, including how to join, visit
Written by Brandy McKnight –