Student Design Competition

The NAE Grand Challenge Scholar Program educates engineering students in five domains: research, interdisciplinary curriculum, entrepreneurship, global perspective, and service learning.

In this spirit, in Spring 2010 each regional site of the Grand Challenge Summit Series will conduct a design competition with the theme “Improving Human Wellbeing in the Developing World.” The competition is open to all fourteen NAE Grand Challenges ( as applied in the limited resource setting of the developing world.  Example topics include, but are not limited to, practical applications in nutrition, agriculture, diagnostics, drug delivery, disease vector control, urban design, solar energy, water access, or water treatment. 

The regional competitions will serve as the qualifying round to identify the best designs that will go on to compete in the finals at the National Grand Challenge Summit in Los Angeles in Fall 2010.

Regional Prizes

First Prize: $500 + stipend to attend the National Grand Challenge Summit
Second Prize: $250
Third Prize: $100

Regional Poster Competitions

Individual students or teams of students are invited to prepare a standard 3’ wide x 4’ high (vertical dimension) poster that describes a technology, a process or a product derived from the NAE Grand Challenges that can be deployed in a low-resourced location where access to power, clean water, protection from the elements, and trained personnel may be limited to nonexistent.

The content of the poster must directly address an affordable and practical technical approach to improving human wellbeing.

Poster judging will be based on the following four poster elements:

  1. Issue addressed. Describe the target issue, why it is important, and where it is prevalent.
  2. Proposed technology, process or product. Describe the proposed approach.
  3. Innovation. Describe why the proposed approach represents an affordable and practical intervention.
  4. Production and deployment. Describe how this technology, process or product will be developed and deployed given the regional resource limitations.

Regional Judging

Each Summit site will be charged with locally-organizing and funding the poster competition and recruiting a panel of judges. The posters will be judged based on the content, composition, and presentation of the four poster elements described above. Awards will be $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd place and $100 for 3rd place. A standardized judging sheet will be provided to each of the judges at each of the competition sites.

Posters and Abstracts (for Raleigh, NC)

Abstract Submission

The submission deadline for abstracts is February 15, 2009.  Abstracts must be submitted online.

NOTE: Students MUST be registered for the Summit to participate in the poster competition. For group submissions, at least one person must be registered to present the poster.

Abstract requirements:

  • Required font is 12 pt Times New Roman
  • Title in boldface
  • Author(s) name(s)
  • Author affiliation(s) with at least one email address for contact purposes
  • Abstract text must be 250 words or less (not including title, authors or citations)
  • No images, figures or graphs may be included

Poster Presentation

Posters will be displayed at the Raleigh Marriott City Center throughout the course of the Grand Challenge Summit program on March 4-5, 2010.

Poster requirement:

  • Posters must not be larger than 3’ wide x 4’ tall (vertical dimension).
  • Poster content should be either printed directly onto a 3’ x 4’ sheet of paper, or pasted onto a 3’ x 4’ cardboard poster board.
  • Poster screens and tacks for mounting posters will be provided onsite.

For presentation at the Summit, students are to bring their posters to the Raleigh Marriott City Center during registration on March 4 to mount for presentation.

All posters should be up and ready for viewing by 10:00 AM on Thursday, March 4, 2010.

Judging will take place during the day and winners will be announced that same afternoon and winners will be announced at 4:00 pm on March 4 during the Summit program.

National Competition

The 1st place poster winners from each of the regional competition sites will be invited to submit their concepts for entry at the national competition held at the National Grand Challenge Summit in Los Angeles, CA in Fall 2010.  In the spirit of promoting entrepreneurship, competitors on the national level will be asked to expand upon their poster presented at the regional meeting by preparing and presenting a marketing and business plan for their proposed technology, process or product.

Details on presentation format, national judging and grand prize awards will be provided following completion of the regional competitions.