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Parks College Part of National Engineering Education Initiative

March 24, 2015
Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Physics

screen-shot-2015-03-24-at-101258-amParks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology at Saint Louis University is among more than 120 U.S. engineering schools leading a transformative movement in engineering education announced at the White House Monday, March 23.

A letter of commitment from the engineering deans to President Barack Obama announced plans to educate a new generation of engineers expressly equipped to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing society in the 21st century. These “Grand Challenges” were identified through initiatives such as the White House Strategy for American Innovation, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Together, the schools plan to graduate more than 20,000 formally recognized “Grand Challenge Engineers” over the next decade.

Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D., Dean of Parks College, said participation in this initiative is on track with the goals Parks College has always pursued.

“Our faculty was educating our students to address the “Grand Challenges” before they became a global and national priority. Therefore, Saint Louis University’s Parks College has been one of the 20 founding schools participating in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program since its inception in 2010,” Alexander said.

“The Jesuit mission of our University and the historical emphasis of hands-on research-inspired interdisciplinary and entrepreneurially-minded education delivered by the dedicated faculty of Parks College are excellent matches to the Grand Challenge Scholars Program.”      

- Theodosios Alexander, Sc.D.

Sridhar Condoor, Ph.D., Chair of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Parks College, is the principal investigator for a grant from the Kern Entrepreneurial Education Network (KEEN) aimed at infusing entrepreneurship throughout the engineering curriculum.

“The next generation of engineers needs to be more than just technical experts,” Condoor said. “At Parks, we instill the entrepreneurial mindset and spirit that is not only critical for individual success, but also prepares future engineers to tackle the challenges the world is facing. The Grand Challenge Scholars program at SLU provides experiences that shape them into future leaders.”

Parks College Associate Dean K. Ravindra, Ph.D., said the Grand Challenge Scholars Program provides opportunity for our students to apply their engineering skills beyond the classical engineering discipline into the realm of societal needs.

“Our GCSP scholars have engaged in research related to topics such as applications of biomicroelectromechanical systems (BioMEMS) for stimulating the nervous tissue, touch-based system for measuring blood alcohol level, studying reverse iontophoresis and amperometric biosensors to build a non-invasive long-term blood glucose monitor and providing clean water for underdeveloped areas of the world,” said Ravindra.

Alexander and other engineering deans from around the country, are scheduled to meet with senior White House officials and attend a working session at the National Academy of Engineering in Washington D.C. Tuesday, March 24.

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