COES associate dean named interim chair of NAE GCSP Committee

Dr. Katie Evans, associate dean of strategic initiatives for the Louisiana Tech University College of Engineering and Science, director of online programs within the College and director of mathematics and statistics, has been named interim chair for the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program (NAE GCSP) Committee.

Katie EvansThe NAE GCSP Committee, which includes 12 faculty from around the world, reviews proposals and provides mentorship for schools entering the GCSP. As Interim Chair, Evans will lead the organization’s efforts to increase both membership and the effectiveness of individual programs in addressing the 14 grand challenges of the 21st century as defined by the National Academy of Engineering.

Louisiana Tech was among the first five universities to adopt the program, which has now been implemented at more than 40 engineering schools around the world, and continues to grow. In 2015, 122 deans from engineering schools signed a letter of commitment to join the program and to produce 20 or more GCSP graduates per year.

“As one of the first universities to establish a Grand Challenge Scholars Program, we are excited to see this international initiative reach a growing number of students each year,” Dr. Hisham Hegab, dean of the Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science said. “Under Dr. Evans’s leadership, I expect the program committee will thrive, and the program will continue to shape how emerging engineers solve some of the biggest problems that the world faces, increasing the positive impacts that these engineers have in addressing these issues.”

The Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a combined curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular program designed to prepare the next generation of students to address these challenges. Participating students perform mentored research, develop solutions through multidisciplinary study, learn about viable business models relevant to solving Grand Challenges, learn how to approach Grand Challenges while taking cultural issues into account and gain motivation to address social problems through service learning.

“It is an honor to serve the NAE in this capacity,” Evans said. “I have long been passionate about the GCSP, as I believe it serves as an excellent framework for educating our future engineers and scientists.”

Evans is the Director of Louisiana Tech’s Integrated STEM Education Research Center and the University’s Office for Women in Science and Engineering. She has served on the national GCSP Steering Committee since December 2015, and served as the chair for the Louisiana Tech GCSP in 2015. Louisiana Tech’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program is currently being directed by Dr. Leland Weiss, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Visit the National Academy of Engineering to learn more about the NAE Grand Challenges or the Louisiana Tech Grand Challenge Scholars site to learn more about the Louisiana Tech GCSP.