Six Notre Dame seniors complete Grand Challenges Scholars Program

GCSP Seniors

Six seniors in the College of Engineering have completed the Notre Dame Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP). This program, inspired by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary to find innovative solutions for society’s greatest challenges.

Students in Notre Dame’s program spend two to three years immersed in interdisciplinary learning, research, and entrepreneurial and cultural experiences on a project of their choice related to one of the NAE’s 14 grand challenges

Near the end of their senior year, students present the results of their exploration to their faculty advisors and other students. 

Congratulations to the following seniors who completed the program in 2024!
(Listed as they appear in the photo, left to right)

Jack McHenry (mechanical engineering) developed ways to restore and improve urban infrastructure, with a particular focus on energy supply and its connection to business and public policy.

Chloe Behringer (mechanical engineering) investigated energy storage systems, specifically the behavior and effectiveness of Ionic Liquid Crystals (ILCs).

Matthew Stracensky (mechanical engineering) focused on the optimization of existing battery technology for electric vehicles.

Richard McManus (electrical engineering) sought innovations in energy-efficient and quantum computing.

Elle Akerman (civil engineering) studied coastal boulder deposits to enhance understanding of coastal dynamics and bolster the reliability of hazard analysis methodologies.

Chiara Thrum (environmental engineering) developed water testing methodologies for identifying PFAS, a synthetic chemical and harmful pollutant.

“Like many before them, this year’s graduating Grand Challenges Scholars have jump-started their impact on the world by their participation in the program,” said Kerry Meyers, associate dean for student development in the College of Engineering and Ahearn Family Director of the Notre Dame Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program.

“We look forward to seeing them flourish and make a difference in the years ahead.”

— Karla Cruise, Notre Dame Engineering