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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Grand Challenges for Engineering Course Modules is a Course

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Grand Challenges for Engineering Course Modules



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What you'll have access to:

The course modules were developed to introduce the global challenges facing society in the 21st century. They are centered on the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering and they help students develop an interdisciplinary systems perspective on global challenges related to the Grand Challenges themes of sustainability, health, security, and joy of living, as well as an entrepreneurial mindset needed to tackle these challenges. These modules aim to increase students' awareness of the social complexities involved in meeting the needs of local and global challenges through engineering and technology. Many different types of activities, discussions, assignments, and a project included in these modules provide students with opportunities to actively consider and evaluate the reciprocal relationship between engineering solutions or technologies and aspects of society including economics, politics, ethics, environment, culture, and human behavior. All of these materials can be adopted and adapted by faculty members to incorporate into their own courses and/or programs in both face-to-face classroom settings and an online environment.

Course Modules:

  • Goals for engineering in the 21st century in an interdisciplinary, global context
  • Developing solutions to make our lives more sustainable
  • Developing solutions to make our lives healthier
  • Developing solutions to make our lives more secure
  • Developing solutions to make our lives more joyful
  • Impact of engineering solutions
  • How can you make an impact?
  • Future solutions project
  • Research assignment
  • Professional portfolios
  • Additional resources

Who these course modules are designed for:

These course modules are for faculty.


Meet the Development Team:

Haolin Zhu, Senior Lecturer in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Dr. Haolin Zhu earned her BEng in Engineering Mechanics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and her Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University, with a focus on computational solid mechanics. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Zhu joined Arizona State University as a full time Lecturer and became part of the freshman engineering education team in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. She currently holds the title of Senior Lecturer and is the recipient of the Fulton Outstanding Lecturer Award. She focuses on designing the curriculum and teaching in the freshman engineering program. She is also involved in the NAE Grand Challenges Scholars Program, the ASU ProMod project, the Engineering Projects in Community Service program, the Engineering Futures program, ASU's Earned Admission program (formerly Global Freshman Academy), and the ASU Kern Project. Dr. Zhu also designs and teaches courses in mechanical engineering at ASU, including Mechanics of Materials, Mechanical Design, Mechanism Analysis and Design, Finite Element Analysis, etc. She was part of a team that designed a largely team and activity based online Introduction to Engineering course. She has also co-designed and co-developed two unique dynamic, hands-on, and active learning based MOOCs, Introduction to Engineering, and Perspectives on Grand Challenges for Engineering, for the Earned Admission program. Her Ph.D. research focuses on multi-scale multiphase modeling and numerical analysis of coupled large viscoelastic deformation and fluid transport in swelling porous materials, but she is currently interested in various topics in the field of engineering education, such as innovative teaching pedagogies for increased retention and student motivation; innovations in non-traditional delivery methods, incorporation of the Entrepreneurial Mindset in the engineering curriculum and its impact.

Amy Trowbridge, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Amy Trowbridge is a member of the freshmen engineering education lecturer team in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU and is the Director of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP) at ASU. Through the GCSP, Amy aims to prepare students to become globally and socially aware engineers who will lead future efforts to solve the world’s biggest challenges. She developed and teaches an interdisciplinary course focused on the Grand Challenges for first year students, and leads a week-long summer program for incoming GCSP students. As one of the first members of the freshmen engineering education lecturer team, Amy contributed to the development of a new hands-on multidisciplinary introduction to engineering course and a unique introduction to engineering MOOC. Amy is also actively involved in the ASU Kern project and Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), focused on students’ development of entrepreneurial mindset through GCSP and curriculum. She is interested in curricular and co-curricular experiences that broaden students’ perspectives and enhance student learning. She also values and encourages students’ use of Digital Portfolios to showcase their accomplishments and reflect on their experiences. Amy earned her Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University (ASU), and is currently pursuing her PhD in Engineering Education Systems and Design.

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